Half-Mind Weblog

Flying Booger's repository of dubious Hash House Harrier wisdom




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The Half-Mind Weblog is a Gang of Six™ Production

Been a While, Crocodile

UntitledYes, indeed … I haven’t posted here since Arthur Gash died in early November. I wrote and delivered a eulogy at Gash’s hash memorial and send-off, and one of the hashers there kindly took the photo on the left, mid-way though a proper roasting of our departed friend and hasher.

Since then I haven’t had much involvement with the hash, either the jHavelinas or the Pedalfiles, other than to raise bike hash hares for December and January.

December was fucked up … there were two sets of hares for separate mountain bike and road bike trails, and the night before it started to look like it’d be raining the next morning. The road bike hares texted me about canceling. I texted back, asking them to at least be at the start to tell anyone who showed up the bash was canceled. No acknowledgement, and on the morning of the bash–yes, it did rain–they unilaterally bailed. By text. And no, they didn’t bother to show up at the start. Fortunately, the mountain bike hare was there, eight or so intrepid bashers showed up, and they went ahead and had a muddy bash anyway.

Next was January. I asked the hares who bailed in December if they’d take it–once again, no reply. But then a hash miracle happened and another hare stepped up, and also offered to take on some mismanagement duties! Which is fantastic, because I’m fucking DONE with hare-raising. I’ve been at this for decades now, and it never changes: everybody wants a trail; finding someone to lay it is like pulling teeth.

And there’s this: Pick’n'Flick and I are so much older than everyone in the local bash and hash, and I don’t know about her but I’m beginning to feel superfluous, not so much as a hasher–there are plenty of people in their 70s who still hash–but as a member of mismanagement. Before Arthur Gash took over, I’d been the de facto GM of the bike hash, and now, with his passing, I am again. I sense a desire on the part of younger bashers to see less of me and more of someone their own age. I don’t take that personally. Gash was a fantastic GM, and I feel the same way. So maybe this new guy is the answer!

When I did the Half-Mind Upcoming Hash Events Calendar, I’d include a good hash photo with every monthly update. By good I mean a photo of hashers on trail somewhere in the world, not just pounding brewskis. I loved those photos, and I guess I wasn’t the only one. Oral Sex, founder and GM of the B.R.A.S. & Pants H3 in Edinburgh, has started a Hash House Harriers Gallery on Facebook, and hashers are beginning to post some great photos.

Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 10.41.37 AM

It’s a closed group for hashers only, but I think you can click on the link or the image, go to the group on Facebook, and click “join.” Oral will vet you to make sure you’re on of us, then add you as a member. If not, you can DM Oral, who goes by her real name on Facebook. I’m really glad she started this group: it’s a good use of Facebook for hashers.


Pedalfiles Bash Trash: RIP Arthur Gash

On Saturday, November 4th, the Pedalfiles Bicycle Hash House Harriers lost our Grandmaster, Arthur Gash.

Gash was a long-time Tucson hasher. I can’t remember exactly when he started running with the jHavelina H3, but it was a long time ago. Pick’n'Flick and I were there for his virgin hash, and later his naming. We barely knew him then but got to know him well later on. He was loud and rowdy and always up. He started riding with the Pedalfiles almost from the very first bash, showing up on a rickety old Huffy that must have weighed a hundred pounds. As he did with the hash, he quickly got into bashing.

Late last year he offered to take over as Pedalfiles GM. He was the perfect person for the job. Between monthly Pedalfiles bashes, he and his partner Fuck Me would drive to Sierra Vista and Phoenix to ride in their bashes, and his ambassadorship paid off, with lots of Sierra Vista and Phoenix bashers showing up for our events. He revitalized the Pedalfiles and gave us new energy. We owe him a lot.

Gash co-hared the September Pedalfiles bash, stepping in at the last minute for a basher who had to drop out. A week before the October bash, which I was scheduled to hare, he felt bad and out of breath and Fuck Me made him check into hospital. The first word we got was blood clots in his legs and lungs. He was released just before my October bash and Fuck Me drove him to the start. We could all see the difference: Gash had lost a lot of weight, and his famous energy had deserted him. But he was there at the beer check and on-afters, and we all cheered him on.

What he told a few people that day, but not everyone, was that the actual diagnosis was stage IV pancreatic cancer. Not many days later he was back in hospital, then hospice, then he was gone.

Our local hash community is rallying around Fuck Me, of course, and organizing a combined hash and bash in early December. There’ll be a short memorial, separate trails for runners and riders, a circle, and a potluck on-after to send Gash on his way to G and the other great hashers who are waiting for him in hash heaven. Will we be loud and rowdy? You bet. We want Gash to hear us.

RIP Arthur Gash, friend, hasher, and basher.


Area Half-Mind Expresses Half-Baked Thoughts (Updated 10/19/17)

IMG_4224_1I feel like sharing some poorly thought out observations on this beautiful Wednesday (beautiful because we adopted a new dachshund yesterday, and who knows, maybe he’ll turn out to be a hasher too).

By all accounts InterAmericas Hash in Phoenix was brilliant. Every attendee I’ve spoken with has said so, and I believe them. Of course I know some of the organizers and have hashed with many of the kennels who scouted and sponsored trails in and around Phoenix. I’m not a bit surprised.

I’ll be honest with you. At the 2015 InterAmericas in Portland I realized how much I hated being surrounded by throngs of loud drunken hashers. Then and there I decided my interhashing days were over, so I never signed up for Phoenix. I hared a local trail over the weekend and talked with another hasher, 2X4, who was at Phoenix and who had the same reaction. So it’s not just me.

Drinking’s not my thing any more, but it still is for most hashers. Okay, live and let live and all that, but interhashes and big crowds really bring out the loutish side of hashing and I’ll take a pass.

There’s been some commentary to this effect on the hash list, and I note it’s all coming from older hashers like me. Younger hashers wonder where the old-timers go? They move on to smaller clubs with older memberships, and you will too, some day. It’s just natural, I guess.

Update (10/19/17): Heard last night from a long-time hasher friend who attended the Phoenix InterAm and wanted to share her take on it. She said organizers obviously put a in lot of planning and work on the trails, but that a lot of attendees seemed to be there to see and be seen, not so much to actually do the trails (she mentioned a trail with two buses full of hashers, out of which only 15 actually did trail). And I have to admit I’ve heard similar comments from other IAH 2017 attendees: it’s all about the drinking, it’s all about the happi coats, it’s all about showing off patch collections, etc.

I can’t say anything, because I wasn’t there … I’m just passing on comments from a very experienced hasher, a person I like and respect, a person who’s been to more InterHashes and InterAmericas Hashes than most of us, a person who knows what she’s talking about.

Anyway, on-on to InterAmericas 2019, which will be on a cruise ship, with all-inclusive pricing for cabins, food, and drink. Although the idea seems shocking at first glance, it only makes sense. I know most of the hashers who organized recent InterAms. What do they all say afterward? “Never again!”

There were 1,500 hashers at InterAm 2015 and 2,000 at InterAm 2017. InterAm 2019 is planning on 2,500. Imagine trying to set up an interhash for 2,500 people. Turning over feeding and lodging to a big resort or cruise ship company was probably inevitable. World interhash is even bigger (did I hear 7,000 hashers went to the last one?), and honestly I don’t know how anyone manages to pull it off. They don’t call it hash mismanagement just because it sounds cute!

That said, a cruise ship InterAm, with pricing beginning at around $800 (not including air fare to Miami), is out of reach for most hashers. InterAms and InterHashes have never been cheap, what with the costs of getting there and staying in hotels, and that’s why a lot of hashers prefer going to smaller regional hash events. How many old and new friends are you really going to be able to meet at a huge event as opposed to a small one with just one or two hundred in attendance? And there are plenty of small hash weekend events to choose from … just check Hazukashii’s hash calendar every month or so, and plan a road trip to one near you.

A few weeks ago I was searching for a way to say the-hash-that-named-us. Like many of you, Pick’n'Flick and I started hashing with one kennel but moved away before anyone there go to know us well enough to name us. We started with Tampa H3 but moved to Okinawa after only a few hashes. We’ve always called Tampa H3 our mother hash, but what to call Okinawa H3, which named us? I put the question to the hash list.

I expected some snobbery from members of traditional kennels that don’t bestow hash names toward vulgar upstart kennels that do, and in due course those old arguments were trotted out, but other list members got my point over how important hash names are to many hashers and took the question seriously. My old hashing mate and friend of the blog Likk’mm came up with the best term: christening hash. And now I know what to call Okinawa H3, where other hashers got to know us, accepted us into the hashing family, and gave us the names we go by today.

Reference Harvey Weinstein and the latest Hollywood circular firing squad: another old hashing mate and friend of the blog, Tongueless of the Gypsies in the Palace H3, points out that hashers are no strangers to sexual harassment and even assault. I’ve ranted about it in the past, about getting young women hashers drunk at the circle and bullying them into flashing their tits or worse, about a few incidents of rape and attempted rape at hash events. Despite my rants, that kind of shit still goes on, probably as much as ever given our habit of drinking and getting rowdy at the circle.

So try not to be too self-righteous over Mr. Weinstein and the other men in the entertainment industry being denounced today. We’re just as guilty.


Pedalfiles Bash Trash: 10/15/17

Last Sunday the Pedalfiles Bicycle Hash House Harriers celebrated its 11th on-oniversary. Tucson’s bike hash was founded in October 2006 by two local hashers, Bimbo by Day and Casual Friday (that’s them on the left), both of whom have since moved away. Both were in Phoenix for InterAmericas Hash the weekend before, and we tried to talk them into staying over in Tucson an extra week so they could be here, but work … sworn enemy of hashers everywhere … made that impossible.

We came close, though … Casual Friday spent a couple of days in Tucson on her way home to Florida, and was able to scout and bless Sunday’s trail with the hare, Flying Booger.

Having secured the approval of 50% of the founding members, Flying Booger announced the start and look at all the bashers who showed up at Hi Corbett Field!

The pack

Trail headed north through some quiet neighborhoods, looped behind UMC and onto the U of A campus, then down back alleys to a beer check at Bison Witches on 4th Avenue, where Flying Booger bought the first round in honor of another on-oniversary, his birthday (we won’t say which one because it’s too depressing).

Trail continued over the Snake Bridge to the Aviation Bikeway, though no one in the pack was really quite sure because Booger nodded off and forgot to drop flour on most of it. On a checkback near the end, 2X4 got diverted on old trail from another hash, old trail the hare never noticed when he was scouting. G smiled upon us and everyone made it on-in back at Hi Corbett Field, where we loaded up the bikes and drove to the Wooden Nickel for on-afters, where a good time was had by all.

Special thanks to 2X4 and Skinnidip, who came up from Sierra Vista to ride with us, and I hope some of us can return the compliment by driving down their way for Skinnidip’s Monthly Cycle bash this coming Sunday, October 22nd. Also most special thanks to our GM, Arthur Gash, who crawled out of his hospital bed to autobash with us. He’s going to be out of action for a while and Flying Booger will fill in as GM and hare-raiser until he’s better.

One last photo, just to prove Casual Friday was in Tucson earlier in the week, and at the on-oniversary bash in spirit:

Casual Friday & Flying Booger

Here’s to founders, they’re true blue, they are hashers, through and through.
They are piss-pots, so they say, tried to get to heaven but they went the other way!

Next month’s bash will be Sunday, November 19th, hared by My Clit Talks. Stand by for news!


Mending Ripping Down Fences (Updated)

The latest anthrax scare, reported by my friend Tongueless, GM of Gypsies in the Palace H3, San Francisco:


The complaint was posted to an on-line neighborhood forum. The ensuing discussion is interesting. First, you get some insight into public perception of the Hash House Harriers (reasonably positive IMO). Second, speculation on what the vandalism might have been. Third, the answer, revealed by the woman who posted the original complaint.

Frank Tendick, Central Richmond·5d ago
Sounds like the Hash House Harriers: http://sfh3.com/calendar

Darren Zebechoszyck, NE Inner Richmond·Edited 5d ago
Does this blatant act of vandalism involve putting chalk on the trail?

Linda Bacon, Cow Hollow Central·5d ago
Yes, sounds like the Hash House Harriers

Anna Furniss, The Presidio·4d ago
Thank you for the responses! Darren, no, I don’t consider the chalk on the trails to be vandalism but I guess some people might!

Jason Danli, The Presidio·4d ago
Wait, so what was the, “blatant act of vandalism”?

Deanne Delbridge, Central Marina·4d ago
@frank + @linda – I clicked on your link, however it does not explain what ‘hash house harriers’ means. Also i don’t understand the calendar with ‘gypsies’ listed.

Catherine Linn, West Marina·4d ago
@Deanne, they are both different groups of a much larger running club. They change locations and routes every week.

Peter McKenna, Inner Richmond·4d ago
Knowing the Hashers, the drinking club with a running problem, I’d guess the blatant act was peeing in the bushes.

Nina Frankel, Central Richmond·4d ago
do we have local Hash House Harriers? The white chalk markings are the work of the “hare” who marks the path for the rest of the runners. They celebrate the end of the run with lots of beer, so not surprising if some indiscriminate leakage occurs, but they don’t tend to be that ecologically disruptive. Just raucous when drinking and singing their unifying pep songs.

Anna Furniss, The Presidio·Edited 2d ago
Nah, peeing isn’t vandalism in my book. Dog walkers (and dogs for that matter) pee in the area all the time. The runners ripped down a chain link fence to get into what’s supposed to be a secure area across from our house. The area has guards but they weren’t present when the runners came by. I think we actually saw the “Hare” earlier but he ran away (quick as a bunny) when a guard tried to stop and question him. I’m a runner and I like group games as much as the next person but it’s like, come on folks, show some basic respect.

Deanne Delbridge, Central Marina·2d ago
@anna – You sound way more kind to this group than i would have been!

Anna Furniss, The Presidio·1d ago
@Deanne – Haha, yeah, I wasn’t so nice in person but I prefer not to unleash too much online. I’m more surprised that people would think I’d go to all this trouble for someone peeing in the bushes.

Tongueless’ initial comment on the complaint was written before anyone knew what kind of vandalism the hash was being accused of.

Oddly enough no one has any idea what she means by “vandalism” since aside from everything else the Gypsies make a point of cleaning up after themselves. Fits In thinks she may have meant “obscenity” not vandalism and been referring to the reading of which i posted a video you may have seen. On top of everything else we made a point of doing the down-downs behind a very Large tree so we wouldn’t be visible from the only occupied house in the area. The police in that area know us quite well and generally show up with a wave and a smile. In the recent past when I’ve gone to talk to them they’ve said, “Hey, we got a noise complaint and since it’s Thursday we figured it was you so we took the call because we knew we wouldn’t have a problem. Beautiful dogs, have a great evening.” and this was much later in the evening. I will say that the pack was 21 strong and LOUD but she still would have been able to barely hear us from across the street and with windows closed. Aside from that the area has a dog park and people were constantly going back and forth in front of her house. It’s not quite on a par with the crap in San Diego a few years ago but it is a reminder that the hash in becoming more mainstream has more problems to deal with.

Here’s the comment Tongueless sent after he learned about the fence:

I have no idea what she’s talking about when she says a fence was torn down or for that matter where she actually lives. I thought she was across from the start but maybe not. As to the “torn down fence” we have no control over what a particular pack member might or might not have done and we didn’t see it happen.

I don’t believe for a minute hashers ripped down a chain link fence. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a hare, if a chain link fence is blocking your way, just follow it toward the nearest cluster of homes or apartments and you’ll find a section where it’s been cut, probably by local kids making a shortcut to and from school. I’ve seen it again and again; it’s part of my bag o’ hare tricks.

Have you ever seen a fellow hasher rip down a chain link fence, or damage any other kind of fence? I haven’t.
p.s. I probably should have blacked out non-hashers’ names, but they posted under their own names to an on-line forum anyone can see, so I figure what the hell. You say it, you own it, am I right?
Update (same day, 30 minutes later): This has to be a record for the fastest update of a Half-Mind Weblog post. Almost as soon as I published it an email appeared in my inbox. It’s from Tongueless, who sadly confirms the San Francisco woman’s accusation: it was a hasher who damaged the fence after all, too impatient to go around the obstacle. Well, shit.

I wrote back and thanked Tongueless for popping my hashers-are-better-than-regular-people bubble, but truth be told that bubble popped 17 years ago, when a local hasher house-sat for us so we could go to InterHash. She threw a party at our house for all her hashing friends the night before we returned from Australia. When all was said and done, our bill for repairing torn screens, paying a cleaning crew to remove vomit from the carpeting and walls, and flushing and scrubbing out the hot tub, was several hundred dollars. In all these years Tucson area hashers have never apologized, nor have they offered any compensation for the damage they caused. If you read back that far in this blog, you’ll notice a cooling of my regard for hashers, and that’s where it all started.

I stand by what I said about finding cuts in chain link fences, though. They’re always there … you just have to have the patience to find them.


Even Better (Except for the Headline)

Speaking of hashing and the media (the subject of several recent posts here at the Half-Mind Weblog), here’s a wonderful article about hashing with an unfortunate headline, “A Drinking Club with a Running Problem.”

Photo from article (click on it to link to the article)

What I like about it is that the author simply describes hooking up with hashers in Nice and going on a run: how it happened, what the trail was like, the people he met. It’s the first article about hashing I’ve read in years that makes me want to get out and go hashing. It’s refreshing. What a concept, just describing a hash run and some of the wonderful things we’ve all experienced on trail.

Unlike other reporters, this gentleman doesn’t copy paragraphs from Wikipedia or my own hash primer and quote them without attribution (a thing that happens all the time, and that I whinged about in a previous post). No, he wrote this from scratch, and made it real.

One of my favorite parts of the article:

During the walk-run itself, I got a look at some of the most beautifully famous (and famously expensive) real estate in the world, from vantage points most tourists never bother with. If it hadn’t been for Francis and his hashing friends, I almost certainly wouldn’t have. If my “nice little walk by the beach” had turned out to be anything but, it also turned out to be a potentially life-changing experience.

I remember trying to tell squadron-mates about the Okinawa HHH when I was stationed at Kadena Air Base in Japan. “You’ll see parts of Okinawa no other American will ever see,” I told them, thinking of runs through back alleys in Naha City where we’d passed old-time wooden homes with rice-paper panels where kimono-clad women were making tea and playing the sanshin.

At the time hashing was new to me, and the most amazing thing about it was the way trails got you off the beaten path. That aspect of hashing still shines like a beacon to me … and here’s a writer, as new to hashing today as I was in 1989, who totally gets it!

Damn, though, I wish those fools in Nice hadn’t infected his brain with that “drinking club with a running problem” bullshit.


The Worst Ever?

From Facebook, posted today by our friend Vodka Splite.

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 9.00.43 AM
Click on the image to go to the article in The Guardian, or just click here.

So, is it the worst article about hashing ever? Hardly, I think. For that you need to go back a few years to the Great San Diego Witch Hunt of 2010, when the son of a hashing couple murdered some poor girl in a park and the hash was dragged kicking and screaming onto front pages and breathless scare-mongering “Are your children safe from hashers? News at 10!” television broadcasts. I covered all that back then, and I think the links in my original blog post are still good, so click and read if you feel like getting depressed all over again.

Hashers drink! Hashers get naked in satanic rituals! Children exposed to such behavior can’t help but grow up to be murderers! Here’s the hashing couple’s address, go torch their house and run them out of town!

What, you think I’m exaggerating? Like I said, click and read if you’re unfamiliar with this ugly bit of HHHistory.

IMO, newspaper articles that fixate on the slightly misleading “drinking club with a running problem” quote pale by comparison.

When it comes to articles about hashing, I want to note one thing, even if it’s at the risk of tooting my own horn.

In 1995 I wrote a pretty good general interest article about hashing. Hawaii RacePlace Magazine published it that year, and it was one of the first things I posted online to my then-new hashing website, the Half-Mind Catalog.

A few years later I read a newspaper article about hashing. It seemed oddly familiar, and I gradually realized I was reading my own article, quoted without attribution by some lazy newspaper reporter who’d copied it from Hawaii RacePlace or my own website. I was to get used to that over time, especially after someone (not me, honest … I suspect it was Stray Dog) copied it into Wikipedia in 2003 as the original entry for the Hash House Harriers (here’s the link to the original 2003 Wikipedia entry, which you can compare to my original hashing article from 1995)

That Wikipedia entry has been altered and improved many times since then (here’s the link to the current version), but the skeleton of my original article is still visible underneath, as it is in The Guardian’s hashing article, the one Vodka Splite linked to on Facebook this morning. No doubt The Guardian’s reporter did some factchecking on Wikipedia!


Half a Mind: Older than Previously Thought

Here’s a quick summary of my previous post, to save you the click:

Many hashers (including me) were brought up with the knowledge that a hasher named Phil Kirkland coined this famous quote about hashing: “If you’ve half a mind to join the hash, that’s all you need!” The story was he said it to a newspaper reporter in 1978. I found the original newspaper article and the quote is there, but Phil Kirkland didn’t say it—it was the motto of the Hong Kong Hash House Harriers.

Last night Manila H3 hasher Squatto, who started me on this research in the first place, forwarded copies of the first two pages of the Hong Kong H3 1975/76 yearbook, and there it is in black & white:

Screenshot 2017-07-23 07.53.17 copy Screenshot 2017-07-23 07.52.08

Now, as to who coined Hong Kong H3′s motto in the first place, that bit of hash history remains to be written.

By the way, Phil Kirkland, aka Thrill Furkhand, may be one of the hashers in those photos. Do any old-timers recognize him?