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Any Publicity is Good Publicity?

00-276 – Cuyahoga Valley NRA (OH) – Disorderly ConductThe Hash House Harriers, a national association and self-described “drinking club with a running problem,” spent a recent weekend in the park and caused several problems. They lodged at Camp Mueller, a privately-owned facility located a half mile from the South District ranger station, and disturbed area residents by partying through the night. They leased a fully-stocked beer truck for their stay. On one afternoon, group members, many in various stages of intoxication, walked a mile to the Indigo Lake boarding site for the park’s scenic railroad. They verbally harassed visitors on the park’s towpath trail while on the way; at least one member mooned passing vehicles and people from the train on its trip north. Rangers intercepted the train. While they investigated the incident, a member of the group urinated on a park patrol car. He was arrested and fined $200 by the federal magistrate. The entire group was warned for disorderly conduct. It’s not known how often or where the group meets, but they are known to have met in at least two other states and possibly elsewhere and may appear in NPS areas in the future.

[Dale Silvis, DR, South District/Maureen Welch, DR, North District, CUVA, 6/6]

Dear Hashers,

First of all, I wasn’t there. Second, I don’t know what really happened and freely admit that my interpretation of what did could be wrong. But when I read that report, I see the hash from a non-hasher’s perspective, and I don’t much like what I see. Do I believe the report? Unfortunately, yes . . . I’ve been to enough hash events that the ranger’s words ring true to me . . . “On one afternoon, group members, many in various stages of intoxication, walked a mile to the Indigo Lake boarding site for the park’s scenic railroad. They verbally harassed visitors on the park’s towpath trail while on the way. . . .” Yup, that sounds about par for the hash.

At every hash event I’ve ever been to where hashers drink and then encounter non-hashers, we always do something to let non-hashers know we’re different. Well, you just have to, right?

I remember boarding the San Diego-Tijuana trolley with two or three hundred other hashers and serenading captive civilians – some with children – with every S&M Man verse we could remember or make up. I won’t quibble over the definition of “harassment”: whatever you want to call it, the experience we forced upon those unwilling passengers was frightening and unpleasant. We were lucky someone didn’t call the transit cops and have us all arrested. Lest I sound too self-righteous, let me make it perfectly clear that I was one of those drunken hashers, singing along with the rest.

During an Iguana hash in Hawaii, the organizers chartered a train. We finished the trail, got on the train, and mooned one and all (my own flabby ass prominently on display) as we rode back to the train yard for down-downs and on-afters. At one point the tracks crossed the main entrance to Barbers Point Naval Station, and we mooned the Navy gate guards and some cars containing families. Once again the hash gods smiled on us and no one was arrested.

I’m sure the hashers involved in the Ohio incident thought they were just being cute. So did we. But once you sober up you realize that only a bunch of drunks could possibly think singing “who can take a fetus, rip off it’s little head, fuck it in the soft spot,” etc, is “cute.”

Suppose you take your nine-year-old daughter and elderly grandmother to a movie at a nice theater, and a large group of Beavis & Butthead types suddenly crowd all around you. They talk all through the movie, and every other word they say is “fuck” or “shit.” Would you think they were cute? Would you want to be just like them instead of your old boring self? Or would you feel outnumbered, threatened, and harrassed?

Don’t blame outsiders for their negative opinions of hashing and hashers. Hashers (and I include myself here) don’t have any fucking sense when we’re around non-hashers. We’re our own worst enemies when it comes to drawing unwanted attention to the hash.

- Flying Booger

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