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Floating to the Top

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a hash interview. How about Floater? You know Floater, right? You don’t? Okay, we can fix that.

floater

Lars Wikström, known to the hash as Floater, hails from Norrköping, Sweden and hashes with Stockholm HHH and other area kennels. He’s been hashing for 15 years, ably serving the hash as RA and OnSec. He co-founded the Stockholm Underground HHHarriettes and two separate Inverness Hashes, one in Stockholm, Sweden and one in Inverness, Scotland (note to self: why don’t we have an Inverness Hash in Tucson, Arizona?).

Floater, like most hashers who have run with different kennels, embraces all hashing traditions. His personal preferences include mixed kennels, live and dead haring, both A-to-A and A-to-B trails but primarily A-to-A, and singing in the circle . . . but only down-down songs (I’m with him on that . . . really long songs, like I Used to Work in Chicago, exceed the attention span of most hashers and take the circle way off track).

On-On to the interview:

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Floater, when & where was your first hash?

Stockholm, April 1994.

How did you find the hash?

I had known some of the hashers for a couple of years and the idea of r*nning didn’t appeal to me, but you can say the hash picked me up along the trail. I was waiting with a beer and a cigar for someone who had his birthday that day and before I knew what happened I had shouldered my bicycle and gone along with them.

Why are you called Floater?

After my very first half hash (see above!) I was suddenly called into the circle with the words “Lars, you rescued your namesake from dehydration. You are a life-saver, a life-saving device, a floating device, a Floater.”

Did you have a hashing mentor?

Not really, I picked up bits and pieces from the older hashers as I hashed along.

When & where was your first away hash?

I honestly don’t remember, most probably West London H3, ’94 or ’95.

Where have you hashed?

In Sweden: Stockholm with excursions to Gothenburgh, Västerås, Ludvika. Outside Sweden: Limassol, Nicosia (Cyprus); Brussels (Belgium); London, Scarborough (England); Glasgow, Inverness (Scotland); Finale Lígure (Italy); Tallinn, Laulasmaa (Estonia); Räyskälä, Mariehamn, Eckerö (Finland, the two latter locations are on the Åland archipelago); Berlin (Germany).

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

Don’t know, really. As long as there are old farts that don’t take r*nning too seriously it’s OK with me.

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

Brussels because the Belgian hashers I’ve met have been nice and they have loads of interesting beers.

Do you have any favorite haring techniques?

To lay as tight and winding trails as possible with many shortcutting possibilities. Numbered check-backs are good to keep people together. Many checks. One day I would like to use a dice to decide which way to go.

What is the most dangerous trail you’ve done?

Must have been when I had marked the trail through a viaduct, but the pack decided that running along a railway track was much better (it wasn’t my decision to lay the trail exactly there) or when the trail went through a very heavily trafficked road tunnel.

What has been your most remarkable hashing experience?

The C.U.N.T. 100 in London. Eleven hours along a railway line with one beer stop at each of the 28 stations along the line, although my recollections of the last 5-6 stops are a bit fuzzy.

Do you have an anthrax/mysterious white powder story?

Having a hasher as a dispatching officer in the police headquarters makes us somewhat immune in Stockholm.

Have you ever been busted by law enforcement while laying or running trail?

Not really. I was stopped by a patrol car, but when I explained why I was laying out some white substance they thought it sounded nice and continued on their way.

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

Everywhere you go there’s a group of like-minded people.

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

Marathon runners laying too long trails.

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

I have been to places and seen parts of towns I would never have set foot in if it hadn’t been for the hash.

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

It depends, if people ask I answer.

Is there anything you think all hashers should believe in?

We’re all part of the world-wide hashing family.

What do you think you’ve contributed to hashing?

I have laid some trails that people seem to have thought were fun to run. I once created what now seems to be the oldest existing hash web page in the world except for the Internet Hash House Harriers Home Page that hasn’t been updated for three years.

What’s in your hashing future?

Perhaps not so much running anymore but definitely laying a trail every now and then.

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