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Ask Doctor Down-Down: July 2009

Dear Doctor Down-Down,

They say there are no rules in hashing. “The first rule of hashing is, there are NO RULES!” Isn’t that what you hashers all say?

So tell me, if there are no rules, how do you know what to do at the hash?

On On,
Authoritarian Anarchist

Dear AA,

No rules? Sure there are rules . . . we just don’t call ‘em that. They’re called “traditions.” Try showing up at a hash wearing new shoes and a Boston Marathon T-shirt . . . you’ll find out what the rules traditions are quick enough!

Every hasher learns and understands the traditions of his or her home hash. That’s how we know what to do. Traditions differ from hash to hash, of course, so when we visit another hash we watch and learn. Most of us, when we’re visiting other hashes, go along with the rules & traditions of those hashes. It’s all good; it’s all hashing.

But I know where you’re coming from. I’m a bit of an authoritarian myself, and I don’t mind rules at all. I find that certain rules serve me well, no matter what the traditions are at the hash I’m with, so wherever I go I carry a small set of rules around with me and always obey them. Why? Because they keep me out of trouble. Because they make sense. Because they work. And here they are:

Dr. Down-Down’s Personal Rules of Hashing

  • Rules for haring:
    • Trails should be obvious
    • Checks should be hard
    • Hares go looking for missing hashers
  • Rules for leading circles:
    • Never sing the same down-down song twice
    • Never make the same person drink more than twice
    • Keep it moving
  • Rules for hashing in general:
    • At a check, think like a hare
    • When lost, go back to the last check
    • When that doesn’t work, go back to the start
    • When that doesn’t work, pull out the cell phone
    • Respect the circle
    • Never talk about the hash at work
    • What happens at the hash, stays at the hash
  • Rule # 1:
    • No whining

On On,
Doctor Down-Down

Dear Doctor Down-Down,

Last year, using Facebook as an inspiration and model, I started HashBook, a social networking site for hashers. Almost overnight HashBook had a thousand members, and over the months it’s grown and grown, and now it has almost 15,000 members. Hashers use it for all sorts of things, and everybody seems to like it.

Except for this one guy. He runs a web site that used to be called GlobalHashCentral, but as soon as HashBook took off he renamed his site “GlobalHashBook” and is now telling anyone who’ll listen that he has twice as many members as HashBook.

Except when I look at GlobalHashBook, it’s just his old site with a different name. It isn’t anything like HashBook! Not only that, it sort of looks to me as if he’s making up his membership numbers.

Is this guy trying to boost his site’s readership by piggybacking on HashBook’s name? Does he hope to snare Google users running searches on “hashbook”? Does he really have 30,000 members? Is he really the douchebag he seems to be? Should I give the slightest shit about him and his claims? Should I just ignore him?

Please answer my questions, Doctor!

On On,
Wondering Webmaster

Dear Wondering,

Yes. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes . . . everyone else does!

On On,
Doctor Down-Down

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