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A Brief History of Ball Wrinkle

The following interview was conducted in September 2008.

You probably shouldn’t read too much into this, but this is the first interview I’ve conducted where the subject asked me not to reveal his mortal name (“please do not publish my nerd name — I have business colleagues that wouldn’t understand”).  Damn, who knew hashing was so threatening?

Speaking of threatening, this is the third hasher I’ve interviewed who mentions a certain Pittsburgh HHH water crossing when asked to recall his or her most dangerous trail.  Gee, now I kind of wish I’d been there, too.

Ball Wrinkle hails from the right coast of the USA.  Born and raised in Ohio, he spent three years in Nashua, New Hampshire; nineteen years in Rochester, New York; and one year in Raleigh, North Carolina.  For the past six months he’s been a left coaster, living and hashing in San Jose, California.

You can encounter Ball Wrinkle at several California and San Francisco Bay Area kennels: San Francisco HHH, Sacramento HHH, East Bay HHH, Silicone Valley HHH, Agnews State HHH, Fat Humans Athletic Club HHH, Gypsies in the Palace HHH, and Santa Cruz HHH.


Ball Wrinkle (with the hat)

Ball Wrinkle has been hashing for sixteen years.  In that time he has paid his dues in various mismanagement positions: beer meister, webmaster, onsec, hare raiser, event organizer, haberdasher, RA, and GM.

Ball Wrinkle’s hash traditions?  I like his answers!

  • Mixed or single-sex? Mixed Baby!
  • Live hare or dead hare? Both.  Why limit yourself?
  • A-to-A trails or A-to-B trails? Both.  Of course.
  • Singing at the circle or not? I love to sing at the hash.


Ball Wrinkle, when & where was your first hash?

Summer of 1992, in Rochester, New York.

How did you find the hash?

I was invited to the hash by a co-worker, Frequent Faller, now hashing in Atlanta, Georgia.

How did you get your hash name?

Winter hash, stupid-looking but warm hat, a waterlogged softball trail treasure, some drunk Flour City H3 hashers — Rocky & Bullwinkle relate with a twist.

Did you have a hashing mentor?  Who?

Many.  Frequent Faller, my hash “father” who invited me to the hash, Ian Cumming for the most awesome songs, history, and wisdom, Skull for getting me to travel, Toothy Lunker for co-haring some of my most favorite trails.

When & where was your first away hash?

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — either the Roman themed one, or Camp Itchy My Crotchy theme.  They all blend together, and it was a long time ago.

Where have you hashed?

Hash History:

  • 1992: Rochester, New York — Flour City H3, Buffalo H3
  • 1997: Ithaca, New York — Ithaca H3, Buffalo H3, On-On-Dog-A H3
  • 2007: Raleigh, North Carolina — Sir Walter’s H3, Carolina Larrikins H3, TWAT H3, G-Spot H3, Carolina Trash H3
  • 2008: San Francisco Bay Area, California — East Bay H3, Silicon Valley H3, Gypsies in the Palace H3, San Francisco H3

Other hashes I’ve run with on occasion: Chicago H3, Beijing H3, Tokyo Ladies H3, Sumo H3, The Hague H3, Samurai H3, Tokyo H3, Bay City H3, Columbus Cowtown with a Hard-On H3, Buffalo H3, Cleveland H3, Eerie H3, Halve Mein H3, SF H3, East Bay H3, Jacksonville H3, Siete Cerveza H3 (Ft. Walton Beach), Charlotte H3, Richmond H3, Carolina Trash H3, G-Spot H3, Wrightsville Beach H3, Anarchy H3, Onslow County H3, Denver H3, On-On-Dog-A H3, Middle Finger Lake H3, Tidewater H3, Hogtown H3, Nittany Valley H3, Pittsburgh H3, New Orleans VooDoo H3, Allentown H3, San Diego H3, and many more. . . .

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

Kuala Lumpur, Australia, more of Europe, Africa, Korea, the Philippines, Okinawa, more of the USA.

Are there places you wouldn’t consider hashing?

Not really, but Iraq is pretty low on the list.

Do you have any favorite haring techniques?

I love to cross water with really long avoidance options, previously unknown tunnels, FRBeer stops (special beer stops only for FRBs), and the “fishhook” mark that I learned at the Sir Walter’s H3.  Lastly, setting a full-up live hash in complete darkness with the entire pack wearing headlamps is way cool.

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

The Pittsburgh hash set by Dead Kennedy and Drag Queen (I think) when they crossed a rain swollen river twice, and on the second crossing, hashers were being swept away by the current.  Whew!  That was close for some of the hounds.

What’s been your most remarkable hashing experience?

Some of the trails in Ithaca are stunningly beautiful.  Stony gorges cascading with water, wet, lush, verdant foliage, and wildflowers.  Amazing!  Similar experiences in the winter, hashing through virgin snow in an untouched landscape.  Beautiful!

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

The elusive “hasher spirit” that pervades almost all hash clubs, and an awesome trail followed by a cold beer.

What part of hashing could you do without, if anything?

The occasional sniping and grousing between hash management.  The religious fervor over live versus dead trails.

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

My expectations from the hash and hashers have relaxed over the years, and it’s even more fun for that change.

Has hashing affected your personal or professional life (for good or ill)?

Probably contributed to my divorce.  Yes ladies, I’m on the market.:-)

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

I tell a select few that I feel would enjoy the hash, and contribute to the collective “hash good” . . . and any cute girl that seems interested.

Are there certain things you believe all hashers should believe in?

That violence and stealing from hashers is a really really bad idea.

What do you think you’ve contributed to hashing?

Not that much, but I do try to help out fellow hashers when I can, to promote hashing in general, and to support those that are doing the same.

What’s in your hashing future?

More trails, more friends, more fun, more beer. . . .

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