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Great Expectations

The following message appeared on the Southern California Hash List (hashsc-l@usc.edu) a few weeks ago:

Ok, I missed my first hash run in Dallas over Thanksgiving and now I’ve heard enough stories to peak (sic) my interest. Actually I’ve heard enough stories to make me puke. Running naked through bushes, getting pulled in the middle enough times to incapacitate my friend, nipple to nipple rubbing, beer shots off some dudes (sic) ass into some girls (sic) mouth, macking and more. Both my friends could barely walk or talk, but all the talking they did sounded pretty damn funny. I live in Newport Beach so hook me up.

Obviously, this new recruit is going to show up at his first hash with certain expectations. And depending on which hash he joins, his expectations may or may not be fulfilled. But what a contrast there is between his expectations in 1999 and my expectations in 1988, when I joined the hash.

A harrier named “Pussy Galore” talked me into going to my first hash, which just coincidentally was the Tampa Hash House Harriers’ virgin run. But pussy, far less pussy galore, was not one of the things I expected to get out of hashing. Based on what little I’d already heard, plus what PG told me, I expected to join a loosly-organized group of folks on a cross-country run mixed with elements of orienteering and hide-and-seek, followed by a campfire and picnic in the swamp. And that’s what I got, only it was sixteen times more fun than I’d imagined. Pussy Galore, you changed my life . . . I’ve been hooked on hashing ever since!

Eleven years zip by, and things change. Wow! Naked running, coed nipple rubbing and butt chugging, even (imagine!) macking . . . hey, dude, hook me up too!

Actually, after a few runs with the Tampa Hash I spent the next six years hashing in the Pacific, where hashers tend to keep their clothes on. I didn’t see my first tit flash until Gay to Flakers weekend in San Francisco in 1994. I didn’t take my clothes off and sit in a hot tub full of naked harriers and harriettes until my first Iguana Hash in 1996, when I also witnessed my first butt chug. I watched a remarkable harriette teach another harriette how to queef at the Colorado InviHashional in 1998, and so far that’s been the high point of my vicarious erotic life. I have yet to rub nipples with anyone but my wife, and macking, alas, will probably forever remain a dream, never to be attained.

What does all this emphasis on sex and nudity have to do with hashing? Not very much, I think, except for a very few hash groups here and there, primarily in the USA. To most hashers in the world, hashing remains what it always was, a drinking club with a running problem, and many hashers actively fight even the “drinking club” part of our reputation.

Now please don’t misunderstand me . . . I think it’s fine that some hash groups are comfortable with nudity and sex, and anyway, that’s their business. But I don’t think that nudity and sex is by any stretch of the imagination an essential part of hashing, and I don’t think we ought to portray ourselves to the non-hashing world as nipple-rubbin’ butt-chuggin’ mackers. Why?

Because there’s at least one guy out there who thinks that’s what we’re all about, and when his expectations aren’t met at his first or second hash, might try acting on those expectations. Is that the kind of guy you want showing up at your hash?

Think about it, harriers and harriettes. Hashing is an outlaw activity, even if our outlawry is mild. Were we to ask permission for the things we normally do . . . marking trails and running on public and private property, then assembling to drink and disturb the peace . . . the answer would be a resounding No. We’ve had more than our fair share of publicity lately, and we’re beginning to attract the wrong kind of attention . . . attention from the authorities, always the kiss of death.

Personally I’d like to see the hash go back underground, avoiding publicity and recruiting new members by word of mouth in order to attract only like-minded folks to our favorite form of recreation. I’m afraid that if we attract too many people like the young man above, coming to the hash with expectations of sex and nudity, we’re going to bring more trouble down upon our collective craniums than we can handle.

Please, dear harriers and harriettes, be careful what you say about the hash to outsiders!

- Flying Booger

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