Like many hashers, I’m interested in our origins and history. I read everything I can get my hands on. When I go to interhashes, I seek out experienced hashers and ask them for their take on things. I’ve swilled beer and talked trash with old-timers around the world, including Ian Cumming, Bill Panton, and Magic Hughes (not bragging; I’ve just been lucky). I’ve been writing about hashing and hashers since 1993, in print and on the internet, and swap notes, information, and ideas with other hash publishers on a regular basis.
The upshot of all this research is that it’s turned me into a hash heretic. At least that’s what many hashers tell me, and I suppose they’re right. Many of my beliefs contradict common wisdom. One of these days I’ll get called into the circle for a public stoning.
Here, in one place, is the summation of my heresies:
- Hashing grew out of hare & hounds running, which has been around since the mid-1800s
- Most modern hash traditions are identical to those found in earlier hare & hounds and harrier clubs
- The Hash House Harriers, the original H3 club founded in 1938 by G & friends, was another in a long string of harrier clubs
- We must still honor G and the Mother Hash, however, because this particular harrier club has been spectacularly successful, and today has chapters all over the world
- Early hashes did not have circles, at least as we understand them today
- Beyond basic oratory and drinking, most things we do in circles today are not native to hashing
- Hashers did not invent the motto “a drinking club with a running problem”
- Recruiting new hashers should be done carefully, if at all
- Emphasizing drinking and sex attracts the wrong element and hurts us all
- Hashing is an underground activity and publicity is its enemy
- There is a serious alcoholism problem in the hash which most of us try hard to ignore
- Hashers can and do behave as badly as other mortals
- There is no “wisdom of the circle”; hashers need to be led
- There are rules
- Cans are easier than kegs
- Any selection of beer should include cheap yellow piss
- Simpler is always better
I’m proud to be a heretic, almost as proud as I am to be a hasher. When it comes to hashing, I’m with Mao: “Let a thousand flowers bloom.” Just as long as everyone remembers that, ultimately, I’m right and they’re wrong.
© 2010 – 2020, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.