Ask Dr. Down-Down: Nov 2002

Dear Doctor Down-Down,

What can you do about a long-time hasher who’s managed to piss off about half of the kennel with a variety of money-related shenanigans, including shorting the pack tab at the On-In and taking extra from the sub-hash cash for supplies at a trail. The hasher has also driven off a few prospective virgins with obnoxious behavior and has bragged about bringing a concealed weapon on trail, and has often blamed the mismanagement for f*cking up a trail that the hasher didn’t plan properly (involving a water crossing). The other half of the kennel is basically indifferent to this hasher, either through infrequent hashing or avoiding the hasher when present.

The hasher is unlikely to stop hashing, and the negative energy being generated about the hasher is bringing many of the pack down-do you have any suggestions on how we can reach detente with this person?

On On,
Frustrated Mismanagement Member

Dear Frustrated,

Bad Dr. Down-Down would think of some way to make light of this. Unfortunately, Good Dr. Down-Down is sitting on my shoulder tonight (who the hell does he think he is, Jiminy Cricket?). Good Dr. Down-Down says you should get serious answers for serious problems, which means those of you looking for something funny should keep on movin’ . . . there’s nothing to see here.

Hashers don’t like to hang this sort of dirty laundry on the line, so unfortunately there isn’t a lot of ”hash wisdom” out there to help us deal with situations like these. When I started hashing, I wanted to believe all hashers were wonderful people. I quickly learned otherwise. Your problem, you might be suprised to learn, is not that uncommon . . . a lot of hashes have had members who were so troublesome they eventually had to be chucked out, and IMHO that is what you’re going to have to do here . . . chuck him out.

My own home hash recently banned a troublemaker. What made it especially hard was that our problem child was also our founder. Although he’d done more than his share of great things, seeing a fledgling hash through lean times and making it a success, he couldn’t keep his hands off the harriettes. It went from being a joke to something much more serious, and had gotten to the point where harriettes were staying away from the hash – one had gone so far as to take out a restraining order on him. In light of his repeated assaults on harriettes, we had to do two very hard things: one, we had to admit to ourselves that, founder or no, we couldn’t live with his behavior any longer; and two, we had to tell him face to face he was no longer welcome at our hash. It was horrible. It was harsh. It was right.

You said a couple of things that caught my attention. First was that this hasher is unlikely to stop hashing, and second, that he bragged about carrying a concealed weapon on trail. The fact that your bad apple likes to hash means that hints and cold shoulders aren’t going to do the trick. The bit about the concealed weapon is about as clear a signal you’re ever going to get that you need to get rid of this guy, and now. In my admittedly-limited experience, people who carry weapons (I assume we’re talking about a pistol here) and brag about it are looking for an excuse to use the weapon, and sooner or later they’ll find one.

You’ve got to tell him he’s no longer welcome at your hash. Have a mismanagement meeting first to decide whether enough of you are willing to admit that you can’t live with this guy any longer. If so, then you need to pick a spokesperson to tell him. You might even consider taking out a restraining order of your own – that would have been our next step if our bad apple hadn’t left when we told him to. It’s ugly, it’s hard, and you’re all going to feel like a pack of little shits afterward – but not for long, once he’s gone. Be strong.

On On,
Dr. Down-Down

© 2010 – 2020, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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