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21 Questions: Target

When I set out upon this interview project I decided to talk with a wide mix of hashers, from the well-known to the unknown, from long-time hash veterans to relative newbies. This time around I hit up a well-known veteran, Philadelphia’s Matt Flanagan, better known to hashers everywhere as Target.

In an early draft of this interview, I described Target as “infamous.”  He demurred, telling me he’s actually “more a quiet, back of the crowd, person.”  Well, let’s see if we can fix that, shall we?

Sorry, no photo available . . .

There are no known photos of Target. Or unknown ones either. Not one, not in the entire universe.

Born in Camden County, New Jersey, Target currently lives in Westmont, New Jersey, and hashes with Philadelphia H3, the Ben Franklin Mob H3, Hockessin H3, and other Pennsylvania and New Jersey groups. He’s been hashing for 27 years, during which time he’s held a variety of mismanagement positions including On-Sec, Joint Master, and Trailmaster.

I asked him if he had founded any hashes; here’s his reply:

“I tried to get one going on the US Naval Base on Diego Garcia in 1998. The British, who owned that atoll, approved it but the US Navy noncoms refused to sanction any activity which might lead to alcohol use by the troops.”

Well, I have since heard of hashing on Diego Garcia, so I think the seed Target planted there has grown.

What kind of hasher is Target? He usually hashes with mixed kennels, and comes from the tradition of pre-laid A-to-A trails, which makes him a hashman after my own heart. Singing? Yes, especially when he’s with younger groups.

On-On to the questions:

————————————————————

When & where was your first hash, Target?

Katmandu, Nepal — April 1982.

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

A friend suggested I run with the KL [Kuala Lumpur H3, Malaysia] hash while there in 1966; I asked for an invitation to join but never got a follow-up even though I frequented the original Hash House for most lunches that year. In Nepal, I saw an announcement of a hash run in a local newspaper.

How did you get your hash name?

My hash name is Target; the name was awarded to me by the Colombo (Sri Lanka) H3 when I returned from being shot by the Sri Lankan security police — that story was previously featured in a book of hashing stories, Hare of the Dog by Stu Lloyd).

When & where was your first away hash?

Bali Interhash in 1988.

Where have you hashed?

Nepal, Egypt, Sri Lanka, USA, Spain, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Cyprus, Gibraltar, France, Canada, Diego Garcia, Tasmania (Australia), Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica, Ireland, Wales and Thailand.

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

Borneo (but not during summer months in the Northern Hemisphere); Africa, South America.

Anyplace you wouldn’t consider hashing?

Arabia.

Do you have any favorite haring techniques?

An endless (circular) false trail.

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

Developing good friendships, especially those that lead to romantic involvements.

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

Spraining an ankle during an evening run while trying to jump a drainage ditch in the dark during a KL Bimbos run in 1988.

What is the most dangerous trail you’ve done?

A steep, downhill, single file trail in Bali.

What’s been your most remarkable hashing experience?

The Friday night party on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum on the night of the 1987 InterAmericas Hash.

If you could pick the location of a future Interhash, where would it be, and why?

USA, Canada, Croatia, Italy, Spain or France. Convenient travel distances; temperate climates.

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

I can’t stop getting older, but if I keep hashing I can stay immature forever.

What part of hashing could you do without (if anything)?

Runners-only trails; my injured knees won’t let me keep up any longer.

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

No. But I’ve had to adjust to changes introduced by younger hashers.

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

A fair proportion of my personal life involves hashing and hashing friends, some of whom I introduced to hashing. I don’t think it’s affected my professional life in the USA.  I don’t discuss it at work; few employers could ever understand what hashing is about.

Do you tell everyone you meet about the hash, or only people you think might become good hashers?

Only people I’d like to get to know better.

Are there certain things all hashers should believe in?

Don’t be put off by inane insults or the actions of others who may not represent the overall group.

What do you think you’ve contributed to hashing?

Being there. Trying to promote hashing to appropriate friends.

What’s in your hashing future?

To keep trying to follow trail as long as I can. I hope my funeral ashes will be mixed with flour and used to set a hash trail in Valley Forge Park.

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