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Hashing in the New Year

Every January I make a list of resolutions for the new year. My resolutions always involve doing something hard and un-fun, and every year I wind up breaking them, one by one (and sometimes, all at once). The one thing I do that’s really easy and fun is hashing, so this year I’m making a list of hashing resolutions . . . maybe they won’t be so hard to keep!

Hare more often. The one thing hashes always need is more hares, and I’ve got plenty of experience. Besides, it’s fun . . . even more fun than being a member of the pack. Along with that resolution, I promise to:

Keep trails away from civilization as much as possible. People are still freaking out over terrorism, seeing anthrax in every blob of flour and coded messages to Al Qaeda in every chalk mark. If there’s a way to keep trail away from streets and sidewalks, that’s what I’ll do.

Enlist inexperienced co-hares and teach them well. They’ll only hare as well as we teach them, and like I said, I have a lot of experience. Along with that experience, I believe, come responsibilities.

Keep trails simple and well-marked. This year I renounce fancy, clever trails. The only hasher who appreciates an elegant double-rat’s ass rope-a-dope with three false leads and a mile-long checkback is . . . the hare who laid it.

Consider the weather. Where I live it gets hot enough to kill people. When it gets hot I’ll keep my trails short and provide water and beer checks.

Respect private property. Not so much out of a sense of respect for property owners, but out of respect for the poor DFLs who’ll have to confront those property owners long after the whistle-blowing pack has charged through.

Pick good ending points. Where I live, that means shade and a degree of privacy. I’ll try to use parks with restrooms, but if I can’t I’ll at least try to find an area with plenty of bushes for privacy. I’ll also try to stay away from housing areas where residents might complain about noise.

Pick good on-after locations. From now on, on-afters are part of my trail planning. I’ll find a good hash-friendly pub or eatery within reasonable distance, drop by to let them know we’re coming, and announce the on-after location right along with the start so that hashers get plenty of notice and can plan on going.

Help guide the hash. Basically, I’m talking about providing adult leadership when it’s needed. Too many experienced old-timers pack it up and sneak away when the hash gets crazy. As I said earlier, I believe that with experience come responsibilities. I’ve done my share of mismanagement and don’t need to do that again . . . but I can use my old-timer influence to help keep things on track:

Stop stupid hash names. I’ll do whatever I can to prevent my fellow hashers from giving people gratuitously filthy names for no apparent reason. The world hasn’t run out of clever, meaningful hash names. I’ll just have to try to get my friends to think a little harder.

Stop singling out individuals for repeated down-downs . . . if they’re drinking alcohol, that is! Along with this, I’ll try to help the GM and RA keep their focus during down-downs, so that ceremonies don’t go on too long. DUIs are bad enough for the individuals involved . . . if the cops ever figure out that there are 30 or 40 drunks driving home from the hash for every one they randomly stop, well, it won’t be long before the stops aren’t random.

Keep hashing quiet. Actually, taking the hash back underground (where it belongs) has been a resolution of mine for the past several years now. And then reporters call, and I sing like a bird. Well, no more, damnit! We don’t need the publicity!

Help hashers appreciate hashing. And the best way to do that is to encourage them to take road trips. Talk them into visiting neighboring hashes or going to regional, national, and international events . . . they won’t fully appreciate what a wonderful thing hashing is until they do.

SDRA. Need I say more?

Hmmm . . . I was also going to quit drinking at the hash, but I know better than to make resolutions I won’t keep!

- Flying Booger

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