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Ask Doctor Down-Down: February 2002

Dear Doctor Down-Down,

What is the etymology of the word “Shiggy”?

On On,
Lost In The Wilderness

Dear Wilderness,

Shiggy is a combination of two Middle English words: “shite,” or shit; and “frigg,” or fuck. Thus, shiggy is a combined term literally meaning “fucking shit”; hashers, however, use it to describe vegetation, swamps, or other natural features that impede progress on trail. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was first recorded in the Royal Box at Wimbledon during the tennis finals of 1957, when Queen Elizabeth II whispered to her husband, Prince Philip, “I’m a bit randy – let’s nip into the shiggy and have one off.”

On On,
Dr. Down-Down

Dear Doctor Down-Down,

Yesterday a kind hasher brought to my attention that “I” was on a soft porn site. Yep, some imposter calling himself “Mr. Pay Per View” posted a butt shot that “bares” remarkable resemblance to mine. Who is this “Mr. PPV”, anyway? Did I get married while drunk and not recall the event? I was actually worried for a while and was trying to figure out who/what/where the photo was taken, but then I realized the photo was of someone else, not me. I have a birthmark; the imposter doesn’t. She has a tattoo; I don’t. What do you think?

On On!
Pay Per View

Pay Per View (note birthmark) The imposter (note tattoo)

Dear Ms View,

I have reviewed the photos in question and can authoritatively state that they are not of the same person. Please excuse me now, I have something to do.

On On,
Doctor Down-Down

Dear Dr. Down-Down,

I think it’s up to each hasher to remember Gispert and our origins as a group of average-seeming wankers with a taste for extreme thrills in the forms of running and drinking (especially drinking), and extending to humor and sex (especially sex). These guys certainly were not mainstream – they were never meant to be and damn well didn’t want to be – that’s why they founded hashing.

On On,
Shine On Harvest Moon

Dear Moon,

Thanks for sharing your views on the original hashers with me. I spend as much time as I can sucking up to, asking annoying questions of, and learning from the remaining old-timers of the hash, and I have to disagree with at least part of what you say. Extreme thrills and sex? Hardly . . . hashing in its early days was quite conservative and the behavior of hashers well within societal norms. Hashing today, in most parts of the world, is still this way.

But I do agree with you that hashing, from the very beginning, was outside the mainstream – even if only a little bit. To me, what made hashing different then – and keeps it different today – is a greater than normal level of camaraderie. Hashers enjoy a kind of camaraderie shared only by soldiers, firefighters, astronauts, and the like – and we don’t have to work nearly as hard for it!

Of all the “off-duty” social activities people participate in – fraternal clubs, racing clubs, bike clubs, AA, whatever – is there anything people look forward to with as much intensity as hashers look forward to the hash? I make an exception here for members of the Sexual Freedom League, if any are still alive and active. But really – hashers are more into what they do than any other group I know of, and I think the underlying reason is the camaraderie we experience at the hash – that intense feeling of being home, of belonging to a group of like-minded people. I doubt whether toddlers feel any more intensely drawn toward the Teletubbies than we feel drawn toward hashing and hashers.

Nurse Wretched says my answer is no longer funny and I have to stop now. Yes, Nurse Wretched!

On On,
Doctor Down-Down

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