Half-Mind Weblog

Flying Booger's Hash House Harrier Weblog Archives




© 2004-2020 Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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

Sixteen Questions: Dr. PP

The Half-Mind Weblog’s latest interview victim is Cissy Vanherle, known to hashers around the world as Dr. PP, aka Doctor Penis Pavarotti.

Dr. Penis Pavarotti

Dr. PP

Dr. PP’s convoluted hash journey began ten years ago in Austin, Texas. She currently lives and hashes in Brussels, Belgium, where she’s a member of the infamous Brussels Manneke Piss HHH. Dr. PP has held various mismanagement positions over the years, including Vice GM, Hare Raiser, and GM.

I asked Dr. PP to tell me what set of hash traditions she grew up with. Her answers:

  • Mixed
  • Dead hare
  • A-to-A trails in Brussels, but I miss Austin’s A-to-Bs
  • Singing? Hell yes!

Let’s see what else she has to say, shall we?


Dr. PP, when & where was your first hash?

I started hashing in Austin, Texas, on February 7, 1999.

How did you find the hash, or did the hash find you?

This is quite the story and I love telling it! When I was just an innocent and timid girl of a mere 16 or 17 years old, I was at boarding school in Brussels. Once in a while, feeling adventurous as the clock chimed midnight, some girlfriends and I used to escape through the windows and we climbed over the big iron school fence to go to the nearest bar. This bar, called “The Drum,” just happened to be the BMPH3 hash bar! Guess who was working behind the bar? No one other than Try-a-Fuck (TAF), currently in Austin, Texas. I also met many other Brussels hashers there. Later, when I went to university, I lived in the same area and kept drinking with the same crowd, but despite the attempts of some BMPH3-ers to get me to join them at the hash I was never convinced that it would be something I’d enjoy. After I graduated in 1997, I moved to the USA to continue my studies at UT Austin. About a year later, by total coincidence, TAF also moved to Texas (in romantic pursuit of his now-wife, She Mussel Bitch.) We met up at Lovejoy’s (the Austin H3 bar), where TAF introduced me to a whole bunch of Austin hashers. The rest is pretty much history: one day, I had a party at my house for my “new friends.” Just before passing out on my own front lawn (yes, not one of my proudest moments!), I promised I would join them for a hash the next day… Turned out to be the greatest cure for a hangover I’d ever experienced! So, my contacts with the Hash House Harriers precede my first hash-run by almost 10 years. Sometimes I wonder if that was 10 years lost, but things have just had a way falling into place since I started in 1999, so I prefer to think that I started when I was ready for it.

Dr. Penis Pavarotti . . . what’s up with that?

At UT Austin, I was working on a doctorate degree in arts and music, with a specialty in opera. It doesn’t take much more for a circle of hashers to mould that into “Dr Penis Pavarotti.” Huh. . . .

When & where was your first away hash?

Well, as I started hashing in Texas, technically, my first away hash was in Belgium: the “Three Frontiers” weekend in the Ardennes (Fall, 1999.) After that, I would often spend the summer holidays in Belgium and show up on the regular H3 event circuit in Holland, Germany, France, etc.

Where have you hashed so far?

I’m happy to say that I have been able to hash in many places, all over the world: Europe, the UK, Russia, USA, Mexico, Australia, Central and SE Asia, North Africa. . . .

Are there places you haven’t hashed but would like to?

I’m aching to hash anywhere in central or southern Africa. That continent is severely lacking in my travel experiences. True, the opportunity is there, I just don’t get around to it! It won’t be for this year or the next either . . . too many other things going on! If only the WIH vote had gone to Kenya!

Are there places where you wouldn’t consider hashing?

Chernobyl? Or worse, near where Sex Reject lives? Haha.

What’s the best thing that ever happened to you at a hash?

A few years ago, I met Big Bore, a hasher from Atlanta, Georgia. We are to be married later this year, when I will move back across the big pond. WOO-HOO! Besides that, hashing really invigorated my passion for traveling, not to mention the unique opportunities it has created in that respect.

What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you at a hash?

Someone drank the last beer (clearly, that was not at the BMPH3.)

What is the most dangerous trail you’ve done?

I can’t really tell, but I’m sure it involved Higgins and a small portable cooler.

What do you most love about hashing? What keeps you coming back?

There are three main things that keep my love of hashing alive: 1) the fact that it’s outdoors, 2) the friendships with like-minded individuals near and far, and 3) the potential for travel. I foresee that I will keep hashing as long as I enjoy it and I am able to.

What part of hashing could you do without, if anything?

There’s not really any one thing in particular that I would change, but there are certain trends that I don’t like. For example, I don’t understand people who are competitive about run counts or country-counts, and hash with the purpose of racking up their scores (frankly, I don’t give a shit how many countries anyone’s hashed in or how many runs they have). However, that’s just me and I wish those folks all the fun in the world working out their little sums. What also gets on my tits sometimes is the seemingly unavoidable “Hash Drama,” which occurs anywhere you go. It bothers me that the behavior of individuals sometimes causes anxiety or even splits within a group. That’s sad. I think we could all do without that!

Have your attitudes toward hashing or hashers changed over the years?

Many people get stuck on their mother hash‘s traditions and rituals and I’m sure I was guilty of that in the first years, too. As I traveled and moved around over the years, I concluded that there is no “one right way” to conduct a hash. There are many approaches to hashing that work. I believe that within the portrait of the game, every chapter has the freedom to create and follow their own traditions. As a result, my hash requirements are simple: “mud, sweat and beer” — trail and beer being the essence of hashing, in my opinion. If you’ve got good company to boot, you’re sailing! Conventions regarding circles, down-downs, hash names, songs, icings, etc. have become far less crucial to me. I go to the hash for a good time and some exercise, to meet people, drink a few beers and have a laugh. There are many ways to achieve this successfully.

Has hashing affected your personal or professional life (for good or ill)?

Sure. In a way, the hash opened up a new world for me. Although I always was an avid traveler, through the hash I have seen places and have had opportunities to get close to local life in a way that I would never have had as a “normal” tourist. I also love the variety of individuals who come to the hash. I have met people that I would almost certainly not have crossed paths with otherwise and who have contributed to a most colorful and diverse circle of friends. That makes me feel really lucky. Also, there’s no substitute for going to a new city, calling up the local hashers and being welcomed and taken care of without reservations. Who else but hashers can do that? Of course and not in the least, I met my fiancé, Big Bore, through the hash! That’s the best way I could have been personally affected of all!

Who do you tell about the hash? Good prospects, or everyone?

If I meet a person with the right mindset, I might eventually introduce them to hasher friends and perhaps take them to a hash, but I generally tell only very few people about the details of the hash. If I am asked, I usually leave it at being a member of a social running club. I’m also one of those people who advocates against hash publicity. It’s too easy for outsiders to not understand the overall picture and hence, criticize unjustly. I like the fact that the hash resembles a sort of sub-culture, a place where you can hide a little bit from the real world to let your hair down without being judged.

What’s in your hashing future?

Once I’m permanently in Atlanta in 2010, I’m sure I’ll be involved with the organizing of specific hash events, in the same way I have always done. I don’t think, however that I’d ever want to be week-to-week mismanagement again. I gave five years of my life to that purpose, and although I loved every bit of it, I believe that’s more than anyone should be expected to contribute! Travel-wise, I hope to go to UK Nash Hash next month, then the Ostend Gonads H3 event in October, the Mardi Gras Hash Train from Atlanta to New Orleans and the Mardi Gras Hash in 2010. I’m also very much looking forward to WIH on Borneo — I think that’ll be awesome, both for hashing and for pure tourism. I’m sure there will be other events slipping into my calendar as we go along, as well! I always like to leave a little room for the spur of the moment!

Did you enjoy reading this Half-Mind Interview? Click here for more!