Half-Mind Weblog

Flying Booger's repository of dubious Hash House Harrier wisdom

Recent Comments




© 2004-2019 Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

The Half-Mind Weblog is a Gang of Six™ Production

Hashing Straight, Redux

I quit drinking sometime in March 2007. I worried at first I might become a different person and no longer like hashing. Now, many months later, I can happily say I’m very much the same person and that I enjoy the trail and fellowship of hashing as much as before.

Looking back at my previous entries on this subject, here and here, I can’t add much. Basically, staying sober has been easy, and I can be around people who are drinking without being tempted to join in. I’ve found a new favorite beverage (iced green tea), and I love waking up feeling good. When it comes to hashing, I still love setting a good trail, on bike or on foot. I still love walking or riding trail as a member of the pack. I still love seeing hash friends, especially at the start and again at the end, before the circle gets going.

And the circle itself? Eh, not so much. When you’re not drinking, circles aren’t nearly as much fun as they are for everyone else. In fact they’re no fun at all, and I leave as soon as I decently can. It probably can’t be helped, but when you quit drinking you look at drinking — and drinkers — in a more critical light. For example:

I always knew some hashers were only there for the beer; these days it seems to me most hashers, at least here in the USA, are there for the beer. I always told outsiders hashing was about the trail and that the drinking afterward was incidental; these days I couldn’t say that with a straight face. I always looked down on the one or two obvious alcoholics I’d encounter at every hash; these days I realize I was one of them, and that a hell of a lot of hashers are well on the path to alcoholism if not already there. I always worried about hashers driving home drunk from the circle or on-afters; these days I think the hash itself — in encouraging hashers to drink excessively while knowing full well almost every one of them will drive their own cars home afterward — is being criminally negligent.

All this makes me rather a wet blanket; I leave early not just to please myself but to please everyone else. At the same time, I’ve come to love the basics of hashing even more than before. I was once there for the beer; now I’m there for the trail.

For me, the only workable course of action was to become an occasional hasher. Locally, there are two monthly hashes I never miss; both are small, BYOB, and A-to-A. If friends are haring for the regular weekly hash, or if I know the trail’s going to be A-to-A, I’ll show up. Interhashing? Oh, absolutely. When you’re on a road trip hash and you’ve had enough, you can always use tourism as an excuse to leave. InterAm 2009, here I come!

- Flying Booger

Back to Booger’s Hash Rants