Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away . . .

Luke: You were in a hash kennel?

Ben: I was once a Hash House Harrier, the same as your father.

Luke: My father wasn’t a Hash House Harrier. He was a navigator on a space freighter.

Ben: That’s what your mother told you. She didn’t hold with your father’s hashing. She thought he should stay home. Not drink until four in the morning and then piss in his knickers.

Luke: I wish I had known him, when he could drink.

Ben: He was a cunning hare, and the best biermeister in the galaxy. He was a good hasher. I understand you’ve become quite a boozer yourself. For over five years he got so curbed he could hardly function. Before the Dark Times. Before the Skirt.

Luke: How did my father become a lamer?

Ben: A young harriette named Dorothy Vader, namely your mother, who was pretty cool herself until she turned to temperance, helped other women hunt down and destroy the Hash House Harriers. She betrayed and civilized the hasher who was once your father. Your mother was seduced by the Dark Side of the Beer.

Luke: The Beer?

Ben: [smiles] Yes, the Beer is what gives a Hash House Harrier his power. It surrounds us. Penetrates us. Binds the galaxy together. And makes us yell “Head? Who said Head? I’ll take some of that!” Which reminds me. Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your mother wouldn’t allow it. She thought you’d follow the Hash House Harriers into hyper-space to find the Death Keg.

Luke: What is it?

Ben: Your father’s beer mug. The vessel of a Hash House Harrier. Not as random or clumsy as swilling straight from the spigot. An elegant vessel from a less civilized age . . .

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

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