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TAF Talks

Tony Fryer, aka TAF, aka Try a Fuck, is not your typical person . . . which means he’s a typical hasher.  A Texas hasher from Scotland via Belgium, he has a president, a grand master, and a prime minister.  TAF is half of a hashing couple: along with She Mussel Bitch, he’s a member of the Austin Hash House Harriers.  He co-founded the Three Frontiers HHH in Belgium and served as RA and GM of the Brussels Manneke Piss HHH.  In 1999, he became the first non-Austinite to RA the Austin HHH.  TAF’s contribution to worldwide hashing was his management of the porta-johns at Goa, India, for InterHash 2002, where we’re told he did an outstanding job . . . out standing . . . in the field . . . oh, never mind.

Try a Fuck, looking for some shiggy

Try a Fuck, scouting trail

TAF’s hash orientation is very much in line with my own, which means he’s a right-thinking hasher:

  • Mixed or single-sex?  Mixed, always!
  • Live hare or dead hare?  Both.
  • A-to-A or A-to-B?  Both.
  • Singing at the circle?  Preferably.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

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TAF, when & where was your first hash?

Brussels, October 1993.

How did you find the hash, or did the hash find you?

I was the night shift barman (midnight – 8.00 am!) at The Drum in Brussels, a well-known and notorious expat bar during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The Manneke Piss H3 frequently used the bar as an On On On, and a good number of hashers drank there every night of the week. I got to know the group pretty well, drank and sang along with them, to the point where Higgins dared me to show at the hash the following Sunday. I showed up, I wore new shoes, I was iced, I drank, I had more fun than I’d ever had before, and I haven’t looked back since. That was fifteen years ago.

TAF?  How did you get that name?

TAF is short for Try A Fuck, which is a spoonerism of my real name (Friar Tuck, geddit?). It got shortened to TAF when my mother refused to sew name tags reading Try A Fuck into my clothes (yeah, I was young when I started hashing!).

Did you have a hashing mentor?  Who?

I would be the laughingstock of hashing from Aberdeen to Adelaide if I said Higgins, but he did introduce me to hashing and made sure to tell me not to wear new shoes on my first hash (I did anyway, and we both got iced for it).

When & where was your first away hash?

Hard to remember, but probably somewhere like West Rhine, maybe the FILTH. That’s when I met fellow half-minds like Codpiece, Neptunus, Sea-X, The Wolf, Charlie Brown, Pink Panter and others for the first time. Oh, the fun we had!

Where have you hashed?

Lost count – over 20 countries. Isn’t it listed on HashSpace? Hello, Doctor Down-Down?  [ed note: try here!]

Are there places you haven’t hashed but would like to?

Anywhere in South America, and maybe Africa too. I used to want to hash in Antarctica until I visited Helsinki in winter.

Are there places where you wouldn’t consider hashing?

Lagos. Cor Blimey told me about it. Also anywhere near Farringdon, UK, which is where Sex Reject lives.

Do you have any favorite haring techniques?

Really, really long false trails. I’m also a fan of the Higgins technique of making the first three checks obvious and the fourth really difficult.  A word of caution: beware of actually doing this with Higgins, as he invariably gets lost and comes in well after the pack.

What’s the best thing that ever happened to you at a hash?

I met my wife, and I still get to hash! Always marry a harriette, I say.

What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you at a hash?

I once got iced twice in a day, in two different countries. I was a virgin at the Grand Duchy H3 in Luxembourg in the morning, and that afternoon it was my 100th r*n with the BMPH3. It was winter, too.

What is the most dangerous trail you’ve done?

One of my earliest hashes in Austin, we were trespassing egregiously and got chased into the woods by some rednecks firing automatic weapons. Once in the woods, we discovered a Rambo-clad bow hunter, and since we’d ruined his day, he led us out of the woods via a secret route. We were met by the local sheriffs’ department, at which point Pinball started dancing around topless, which completely distracted them while the rest of us left.

What has been your most remarkable hashing experience?

Trailwise: hashing in Colorado and attempting the Asshole Trail at TexMex in El Paso. Partywise: just about any hash event in Asia. I’m still recovering from the Penang Postlube after IH98 in KL.

If you could pick the location of a future Interhash, where would it be, and why?

South America, for sure. I’ve heard great things and hopefully hashers (and our ways) would be welcomed there.

What do you most love about hashing?  What keeps you coming back?

Trails that fat people can do, the camaraderie, traveling worldwide, the ability to have an instant social crowd in just about every city in the world.

Have your attitudes toward hashing or hashers changed over the years?

Not much. I’ve learned how to not get so fucked up that I can’t make it into work the next day.

Has hashing affected your personal or professional life?

Personal life, of course: I am married to She Mussel Bitch!  There’s never a dull moment — she insists on having at least two out-of-town hash regos, with plane tickets booked and paid for, at any given moment.

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

Very few people. Although when you have ‘I Heart SMB’ tattooed on your ankle, they do tend to ask. Thank G for the Steve Miller Band!

What do you think you’ve contributed to hashing?

The introduction of the Flask of Doom, and perhaps a few hash songs, to Texas.

What’s in your hashing future?

Onwards and downwards. Literally downwards. The wife has been making noises about South America. I’m hoping for a beer check on Machu Pichu!

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