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The Pig in the Python

Hashers, meet the Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers, meet the Hashers.

Writing an article about “live” haring a couple of years ago, I offered advice on different methods of laying trail, tailored to the hare’s physical condition. Here’s a quick summary of that advice:

  • For good runners: Lay the entire trail live, including checks and bad trails. Your ten- to twelve-minute head start is more than enough to stay ahead of the FRBs (front running bastards).
  • For fair runners: Go over your trail an hour or two early, pre-laying checks, loops, and bad trails. This will ensure that during the live part of laying trail, you’ll be able to stay comfortably ahead of the pack.
  • For poor runners: Pre-lay the second two-thirds of your trail. When it’s time to start laying live, use your head start to mark the first third of the trail, then take a short cut straight to the end. The pack will never guess.
  • For fat boys & girls: Find a building or wall one or two hundred meters from the start, behind which you can stash a car. Pre-lay trail from the car to the end. At start time, mark trail to the car, then get in and drive to the end. Remember to bring the key!

After writing this, I realized two things: One, I had just described my own downhill progress as a hare. Two, “downhill progress” equals “getting old.”

As hashers, we’re a microcosm of the society we live in, and like society as a whole, the hash is beginning to experience the effects of the “baby boom.” Between 1946 and 1964, most nations recorded a huge increase in the number of births. The post-WWII baby boom generation has had a profound effect on society and is beginning to have an effect on hashing.

Most hash historians agree that hashing entered a great period of growth in the late 1970s, and that our growth spurt continued through the 1980s and 90s, with hundreds - thousands even - of new hash groups springing up all over the world. Who were all these new hashers? Well, most of them were us - baby boomers! In 1985, members of the baby boom generation varied in age from 21 to 39 years old. In 1995, we were 31 to 49 years old. Today, in 2003, we are 39 to 57 years old. Before we know it, it’ll be 2010, and we’ll be 46 to 64 years old. Are you depressed yet? Just read on. . . .

Sure, there have always been older hashers (let’s be gentle and call them senior hashers). But their numbers have been small. Today, there are thousands and thousands of us in our 40s and 50s - not old, not yet anyway - but soon to be in our 50s and 60s. Some of us will drift away from hashing as we suffer the infirmities, insults, and injuries that inevitably come with age, but most of us, I submit, aren’t going anywhere. We love hashing, and we plan to keep right on hashing as we get older.

Many observers call our generation “the pig in the python,” and dread what might happen when the python finally passes the pig. As more and more of us enter our 60s, what might the consequences be for hashing? It’s anybody’s guess, of course, but since I decided to write about it, let me offer a few guesses of my own:

How Baby Boomers Will Change Hashing:
Flying Booger’s Top Ten List

    10. Better trail planning: Shorter & flatter, secondary trails for walkers.
    9. Dead hares up, live hares down.
    8. Handicapped parking at On-Outs & On-Ins.
    7. Really big chalk for larger, clearer trail marks.
    6. Two hashes in every town so divorced hashers can continue hashing without seeing their ex’s.
    5. Electrically amplified hash horns & whistles.
    4. New answer to “Are You?” - “Eh?”
    3. Reserved seating at the Circle for over-60s.
    2. Gispert Acres: Assisted Living for Hash House Harriers.

And the Number One Effect of Baby Boomers on Hashing Will Be:

    1. Better beer at the Circle!

See? Is isn’t going to be so bad, after all! See you at the hash, fellow boomers!

- Flying Booger

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