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Area Half-Mind Expresses Half-Baked Thoughts (Updated 10/19/17)

IMG_4224_1I feel like sharing some poorly thought out observations on this beautiful Wednesday (beautiful because we adopted a new dachshund yesterday, and who knows, maybe he’ll turn out to be a hasher too).

By all accounts InterAmericas Hash in Phoenix was brilliant. Every attendee I’ve spoken with has said so, and I believe them. Of course I know some of the organizers and have hashed with many of the kennels who scouted and sponsored trails in and around Phoenix. I’m not a bit surprised.

I’ll be honest with you. At the 2015 InterAmericas in Portland I realized how much I hated being surrounded by throngs of loud drunken hashers. Then and there I decided my interhashing days were over, so I never signed up for Phoenix. I hared a local trail over the weekend and talked with another hasher, 2X4, who was at Phoenix and who had the same reaction. So it’s not just me.

Drinking’s not my thing any more, but it still is for most hashers. Okay, live and let live and all that, but interhashes and big crowds really bring out the loutish side of hashing and I’ll take a pass.

There’s been some commentary to this effect on the hash list, and I note it’s all coming from older hashers like me. Younger hashers wonder where the old-timers go? They move on to smaller clubs with older memberships, and you will too, some day. It’s just natural, I guess.

Update (10/19/17): Heard last night from a long-time hasher friend who attended the Phoenix InterAm and wanted to share her take on it. She said organizers obviously put a in lot of planning and work on the trails, but that a lot of attendees seemed to be there to see and be seen, not so much to actually do the trails (she mentioned a trail with two buses full of hashers, out of which only 15 actually did trail). And I have to admit I’ve heard similar comments from other IAH 2017 attendees: it’s all about the drinking, it’s all about the happi coats, it’s all about showing off patch collections, etc.

I can’t say anything, because I wasn’t there … I’m just passing on comments from a very experienced hasher, a person I like and respect, a person who’s been to more InterHashes and InterAmericas Hashes than most of us, a person who knows what she’s talking about.

Anyway, on-on to InterAmericas 2019, which will be on a cruise ship, with all-inclusive pricing for cabins, food, and drink. Although the idea seems shocking at first glance, it only makes sense. I know most of the hashers who organized recent InterAms. What do they all say afterward? “Never again!”

There were 1,500 hashers at InterAm 2015 and 2,000 at InterAm 2017. InterAm 2019 is planning on 2,500. Imagine trying to set up an interhash for 2,500 people. Turning over feeding and lodging to a big resort or cruise ship company was probably inevitable. World interhash is even bigger (did I hear 7,000 hashers went to the last one?), and honestly I don’t know how anyone manages to pull it off. They don’t call it hash mismanagement just because it sounds cute!

That said, a cruise ship InterAm, with pricing beginning at around $800 (not including air fare to Miami), is out of reach for most hashers. InterAms and InterHashes have never been cheap, what with the costs of getting there and staying in hotels, and that’s why a lot of hashers prefer going to smaller regional hash events. How many old and new friends are you really going to be able to meet at a huge event as opposed to a small one with just one or two hundred in attendance? And there are plenty of small hash weekend events to choose from … just check Hazukashii’s hash calendar every month or so, and plan a road trip to one near you.

A few weeks ago I was searching for a way to say the-hash-that-named-us. Like many of you, Pick’n'Flick and I started hashing with one kennel but moved away before anyone there go to know us well enough to name us. We started with Tampa H3 but moved to Okinawa after only a few hashes. We’ve always called Tampa H3 our mother hash, but what to call Okinawa H3, which named us? I put the question to the hash list.

I expected some snobbery from members of traditional kennels that don’t bestow hash names toward vulgar upstart kennels that do, and in due course those old arguments were trotted out, but other list members got my point over how important hash names are to many hashers and took the question seriously. My old hashing mate and friend of the blog Likk’mm came up with the best term: christening hash. And now I know what to call Okinawa H3, where other hashers got to know us, accepted us into the hashing family, and gave us the names we go by today.

Reference Harvey Weinstein and the latest Hollywood circular firing squad: another old hashing mate and friend of the blog, Tongueless of the Gypsies in the Palace H3, points out that hashers are no strangers to sexual harassment and even assault. I’ve ranted about it in the past, about getting young women hashers drunk at the circle and bullying them into flashing their tits or worse, about a few incidents of rape and attempted rape at hash events. Despite my rants, that kind of shit still goes on, probably as much as ever given our habit of drinking and getting rowdy at the circle.

So try not to be too self-righteous over Mr. Weinstein and the other men in the entertainment industry being denounced today. We’re just as guilty.

© 2017, Flying Booger. All rights reserved.

About Flying Booger  Hash House Harrier, man about town.


4 comments to Area Half-Mind Expresses Half-Baked Thoughts (Updated 10/19/17)

  • 8 Yellow Snow

    Blow Up Doll and I had signed up for IAH Phoenix but sold our regos. I, too, did not have the urge to hang with that number of hashers. My last IAH I attended was at Winter Park, Colorado, and most likely will be my last one ever. I enjoyed that IAH and was on the Mis-Mangement committee, but saw enough outrageous happenings during the weekend that kind of took some of the fun out of the event for me.

  • MTM

    American hashes tend to be wilder as far as I can tell. There seems to be an obsession with getting naked which also makes me think that they had repressed childhoods. The UKNH was so relaxed and pleasant this year. RDR to four pubs in the beautiful old town. Hashes put on drinks tents and London always has a formal dress drinks tent event. There is always camping but I got a student dorm room for about $25 a night (it was at an agricultural college this year). Live bands with a variety of beer, cider and prosecco, Sat and Sun night. The best part was the wine and cheese tents hosted by the various hashes on Friday afternoon (a new addition to the normal format). Hashes brought cheeses and wine from their corner of the country (or Europe) and set up booths and individual hashers brought their own wine and cheese to donate to the cause but they ended up with way too much.

  • Barterbitch

    I agree, American hashes seem to be wilder these days. The only American nash hashes (“inter-ams”)I’ve been to were in 1989 and 1991, so quite a while ago. The most recent nash hashes I went to were in Australia and the UK, and they were pretty enjoyable.
    I always did like the national & international events, maybe because I’ve come to know so many hashers from around the world. Oddly, in my eyes, some of the local hashers here in Melbourne stick with their own groups during these events. To me it’s a chance to re-connect with old friends and connect with new ones!

  • Baldrick

    I’m with you Booger. Too many big events where you don’t get to see half the people you want to see. I’ll stick with the smaller events like the Mekong, Belgian Nash Hash, Philippine Hash Bash etc.

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