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Eleven Questions: Dual Airbags

The following interview was conducted in May 2008.

For a change of pace, I thought I’d interview a hasher I’ve actually met, Tia “Dual Airbags” Perry.

dual airbags_2

Dual Airbags is a New Yorker transplanted to Virginia. She lives in Dumfries and hashes in Washington DC and Virginia with Mount Vernon HHH and Over-the-Hump HHH. If your definition of hardcore is hashing three times a week, Dual Airbags is hardcore. She’s been hashing since 1994 and has been either a GM or an RA for much of that time.

What hash tradition does Dual Airbags come from? Mixed, A-to-A or A-to-B, singing at the circle. Live or dead hare? Rather than paraphrase her answer, here it is in her own words:

I personally live hare all my trails — even trails where the other hares dead hare — my section is live. MVH3 is generally a mixed bag — some folks pre-lay and very few live hare MVH3. Those people get set free from the nursing homes early on Sat mornings so the chances of them catching me are slim — except for when I get lost on my section so that makes the chances of me getting caught exponentially greater. When that happens I hand my flour bag to the first person I see, tell them where finish is and figure it out while I go hunt for lost souls. I figure if I’m lost — someone else will be as well. The great thing about this way of haring is it gets me a drink in the circle every time. OTh4 is nothing but live hared — period. Every trail twice a week. This makes for some great trails and not so great trails but in general it makes the whole hash a lot more fun — especially if you’re a hare.

Yes, I’ve hashed with Dual Airbags. Would I do it again? Would I? Would I?

Yes I would!

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Dual Airbags, when & where was your first hash, and how did you find out about hashing?

I was working on Ft. Belvoir, at a specific building as their resident telephone technician and my boss at the time was Quick Drawers and he nagged the crap out of me till I showed up. He hared the trail down at his place in Fredericksburg and I figured I would least know him so I showed up. He talked and talked and talked about the hash so much I felt like I was gonna get fired if I didn’t at least show up to one so I did. And about an hour into it, I just knew these people were a bunch of morons and I never wanted to do this crap again. And circle? Dear God, I was mortified. Who are these people?

And I still have that very same thought 14 years and a cumulative 1200 or so trails later.

And why do they call you Dual Airbags (he asked innocently)?

Well let’s see now. I have deep lung capacity. It gets deeper with each passing year, I’m afraid.

And while working at Ft Belvoir we had a picnic. About ten hashers all worked in the same building so we all went to the same picnic. Well, in true hasher form, there was beer and I had plenty of it. I’m aspiring to be five feet tall and some day I will indeed get there but on that day I was still four-foot-eleven-ish so I was standing on a picnic table to look people in the eye. Well, our very own Missing Link (MVH3’s Missing link) walked by and I thought it would be a great idea to put my shirt over his head. So I did. And the man screamed like a damn girl, waved his arms and flailed around like a fish out of water — all the while his head was inside my shirt. Hashers and company picnics do not get along well apparently. Well we fell and he hit his elbow that he had just had surgery on. The next day he brought all this up during my little naming ceremony and he said, “So we fell to the ground and I didn’t hurt my head not one damn bit — but my elbow hurts like hell!”  It took them like five seconds to come up with Dual Airbags.

Is there any hasher in particular you’d say taught you most of what you know about hashing?

No one really. You just sort of show up every hash and learn as you go. Much like telephone repair. However, I kept the buttcrack bit out of my professional life — I leave that to the male telephone repairmen. I however, am very quick to moon anyone in my hash life. Since my naming I try to keep my professional and my hash life separate, however one never knows. Some telephone repairman may see my backside whilst I am under a desk and he may very well walk by and say, “Hey — I know that ass — hey Duals, how’s it going?”

What’s the worst, most dangerous trail you’ve done?

This is an easy one. Austin InterAmericas Hash Long 2. Half of MVH3 went on this trail. Most of us left about a pint of blood on the first 2 hours of trail shuffling through 2 hours worth of the crappiest shaggy I’ve seen. I was so mad I was ready to give up at the first water check, which was about 2 hours into it. I thought we were done. I wanted to be done but no one else did and I wasn’t gonna pansy out first. About 3.5 hours into trail we were on some rocky cliff where it was a one-man-wide trail for sure and you had to buck up to the rocks so you didn’t fall off. Well Cunning Runt told me she wanted to get around me so I squished up against the rock and she didn’t make it — she reached for me and I reached for her and we both fell several stories.

The good news was it had been raining for days and days so her knees down to her toes got embedded into the sand — of course they had help since I landed right on top of her legs, just like she was giving me a spanking. We were scared to death and it took a minute for us to even say anything. My first question was more like, “Oh my God, Runt — I’ve squished you to death — are your feet still attached?” Cunning Runt said she would check if I kindly rolled off her. Hard Drive and Continental Drip stood at the top where we fell off that damn cliff and yelled, “Hey — the hash is up HERE!” Needless to say, her legs just sank a couple of feet into the sandy river bed otherwise we would have been taking her piece by piece out of there.

And then I let one of the hares have it when, at about five hours into trail we asked which way finish was and he told us to figure it out. Cunning Runt and I refused to join the circle, we were so pissed off at that point. We really could have gotten hurt and we were pretty shaky about the thing. I apologized later in the evening to the hare because I felt so bad about yelling at him but I have never forgotten that trail. I found it very surreal — I almost squished one of my dearest friends half to death and here I was apologizing to the hare for getting very angry and yelling at him when he happened to make a very poorly timed comment to me five hours into trail.

That’s when I realized that I had a conscience and I felt horrible about yelling at him. Egads, I do have feelings. It’s horrible knowledge really. Feelings — who the hell needs those damn things?

What do you most love about hashing?

I love the absolute camaraderie that hashing brings. You may not get to a hash regularly but when you do show up, it’s like seeing an old friend — you’re happy to be there and they’re happy you’re there. There’s nothing like it — anywhere. In fact, when I forced Little Big Man to play a sport for high school I told him it’s the real reason his dad and I hash — the feeling of “belonging.” There’s nothing like that in high school and I wanted him to have the same sense of belonging while he’s in high school. It’s a hard feeling to come by — that sense of belonging — and it’s great to have it and have that second family. In my case, it may even be better than the God-given real family because at least in the hash, you can pick your relatives.

What don’t you love about hashing (if anything)?

This has been said before and I will say it again — folks that think they have a license to be as offensive as possible in public because they are hashers. There’s a time and a place — when we have a campsite to ourselves — please feel free to be an idiot. No one there cares or we wouldn’t all be there to begin with. However, when we’re in public — keep your clothes on and have some decorum.

How has hashing affected your personal or professional life (good or bad)?

It’s given me a great sense of humor. Everyone could use humor in their lives and the hash certainly gives me that — three times a week.

Do you tell everyone you meet about the hash, or only people you think might become good hashers?

It seems everyone I know is a hasher. Every one of my closest friends have hashed at some point in their lives so there’s no one to tell really. When we do invite someone, I try to invite people that will not be offended by tawdry adult behavior. So I end up telling bartenders about the hash.

Are there any fundamentals you believe all hashers should embrace?

I think that everyone should say hello to virgins when they show up. They are scared enough as it is. You should try to make them feel a little comfortable. I don’t always do it but I certainly welcome them if I happen to be RA’ing a circle.

What do you think you’ve contributed to hashing?

One hell of a lot of rants and hash trashes.

What’s in your hashing future?

Hopefully Chicago. And someday I would like to be hash master at OTH4.

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