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Ask Doctor Down-Down: October 2006

Dear Doctor Down-Down,

I heard someone say the greatest thing the other day. He told me the hash is a “drinking club with a running problem.” What an awesome slogan! Don’t you love it? Hashers come up with the neatest things! I’m going to share it with all my non-hashing friends.

On On,
Excited in Toronto

Dear Excited,

As far as I’m concerned, that slogan quit being cute a long time ago. For one thing, hashers didn’t invent it. Lots of other groups use it: there are drinking clubs with rugby problems, boating problems, mountaineering problems, singing problems, bicycling problems, ju jitsu problems, and at least one drinking club with a drinking problem (I should know, I’m a member).

What killed it for me . . . never mind all the drunken routs I’ve witnessed (and, I’m sorry to say, been a part of) and the damage done to hashers and hashing through excessive, irresponsible drinking . . . was watching a pack of wealthy poseurs ride through the streets of Sturgis last year, every phony-ass one of them wearing a black T-shirt emblazoned with “A Drinking Club With a Riding Problem.”

No, as far as I’m concerned, the best slogan is no slogan.

On On,
Doctor Down-Down

Dear Doctor Down-Down,

Have you ever heard of two hashes in the same location meeting and running at the same time?

On On,
Curious in Cheltenham

Dear Curious,

Funny you should mention. Yes, I have heard of this. Recently, near my hospice in the Southwestern USA, harriettes and harriers who haven’t been seen at a regularly scheduled hash in years started a breakaway hash that will meet and run on the same day and time as the regular hash. I wasn’t invited to the secret breakaway organizational meeting, so I crashed it in order to find out what was going on.

It turns out the reason these old-timers quit coming to the regular hash is that they don’t like the direction it’s taken. They didn’t like the new songs and traditions, they didn’t like the way circles were being run, and mainly, they didn’t like the new hashers who brought these changes . . . in short, they didn’t like change. They wanted the hash to be just the way it was three or four years ago. So they started a new hash to recapture the past. As for meeting on the same day and time, it’s clear to me they don’t want anyone from the regular hash running with them . . . what other reason could there be for picking the same day and time?

All this makes me curious. Dear readers, do you know of other oppositional hashes? Hashes that compete with each other, running on the same day and time? If you know of any, please write to me in care of the hospice. I’ll publish the results in a future column. Here’s the address:

Doctor Down-Down
Holistic Healing Hospice
4088 N. Hidden Cove Pl.
Tucson, Arizona 85749 USA

e-mail: doctor_at_pwoodford.net

Thanks & On On,
Doctor Down-Down

Dear Doctor Down-Down,

My, aren’t you the wet blanket. Dare I ask what you think of theme hashes? I went to a red dress hash last month and had tons of fun. But I suppose you don’t approve.

On On,
(A Little Bit Less) Excited in Toronto

Dear (A Little Bit Less) Excited,

Gee, am I that predictable? Well, I wouldn’t want to let you down, so I’ll confess I think theme hashes are getting out of hand, at least in the clubs I run with. I’m okay with an annual red dress run, but these days I’m constantly being told what to wear . . . at least once a month we’ll have a dress-as-the-opposite sex hash, a thrift-store-formal hash, a lingerie hash, an inside-out shorts hash, or a Hawaiian shirt hash.

We started this conversation talking about hashing as a drinking club with a running problem. Let’s don’t let hashing turn into a teen center sock-hop with beer!

On On,
Doctor Down-Down

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