MASH Hash # 51 Report
| In the midst of the summer heat, one of the eternal hares, Large Member, had volunteered to lay a trail for the faithful ones staying behind to ensure the wheels are running through the wet Korean summer. When Daddy Long Legs provided remote control announcement, the 51st MASH was all set!
The Running Venue, northeast of Gupabal, was a new one, nestled below a temple, which was more felt and heard than actually seen in the Korean greenery. The group gathered from near and far, through mysterious telephone connections, Internet and word of mouth and at last we were about 15 diehard souls (1 dog), of whom 1/3 ended up as walkers, partly due to late coming of some.
The stand-in GM (Large Member) welcomed the group and requested the Hare (Large Member) to give a detailed description of the secrets of hashing in some detail the for the benefit of three newcomers with a very vigorous appearance. However, as it turned out, his briefing fell on deaf ears – at least partly. The runners got ready – RoadRunner sporting her flashy, new “Be the Reds” singlet - then literally shot off down in direction where they had come from, across the bridge and to the right into the woods. At this point, the walkers were somehow still in their company and just managed by some magic telecommunication-activity to join Taint Tickler and his newfound lady-companion into the group. They wisely decided to stay with the walkers.
The runners had a hare-less run through the wonders of Chichuk-dong, including a near-death exposure to the gate of a military camp, running through some more rustic areas of Korean neighbourhood and the unavoidable dogs and some graves. The trial was expertly laid by Large Member who instead of enjoying the fruits of his many confusing checks, by seeing the headless runners milling around, elected to follow the walkers in their more lazily tour through some of the lower areas of the place. This was not only to cater for the needs of the walkers, but also to ensure his own survival after a close encounter with total fatigue during previous haring. Wisdom comes with age – at least sometimes.
The walkers returned to base somewhat earlier than the runners. However, when the runners first came, they came with a flash. One of the previously mentioned vigorously looking newcomers arrived first, clicking his clock as if he arrived at the finish line of London Marathon, which was not the case. The remaining runners all arrived in high speed and spirits, enjoying lots of cheering from the walkers and the increasing number of runners.
Because of the hare-less running, some of the crimes of the runners went un-noticed by the Acting RA (Large Member), who nevertheless took upon himself to punish and reward according to needs and deeds after the run. In his capacity of Acting GM, Large Member first congratulated the Hare with an excellent trial. Well done ! Then he went on greeting the newcomers, of whom most were from the vigorous group of three young men. At this point, the Hare informed the circle of the experience with Internet contact and remote control announcements. He admitted to have thought that the leader of the three (named Cory) was a woman and when (s)he had e-mailed that (s)he would bring to friends – and that they were all runners, Large Member had eyed a coup. The surprise when Cory turned out to be a young man with his two male friends (Barry & Shay) was carefully hidden until the Down Downs, when the group was presenting themselves as being of North American extraction, English teachers and physically fit (for all to see).
There were further newcomers: Allison & Ray Rootsey (no newcomers to Seoul), Selina Kim (from Honolulu) and visiting Kathy (“Faceplant”) Neill from somewhere Down Under. Warm welcome to all! At this point the Acting Acting RA stepped forward. Coyote had alarming reports from the run: One of the Front Runners had after coming well over half way through the run, exposed that he finally understood the markings by exclaiming “I have found it !”(Meaning the flour used for marking) Coyote attributed (wrongly, it was later found out) this late discovery to poor explanation by the Hare/Acting GM who was promptly awarded a Down Down. However, this misinterpretation was quickly corrected by the Acting RA/GM & Hare, by the citing the true course of events: Since the newcomers had been given ample description of the markings and shouting of Hashing before the run (Coyote had been absent, waiting for late-comers) – this was confirmed by the crowd – another explanation for the lack of proper understanding had to be found. It was quickly concluded that the profession and origins must be the major clues behind this obvious deficiency in listening to and understanding of instructions. Hence, the three musketeers were brought forward to another Down Down for being hopeless students. To their encouragement, Coyote had a comforting observation that “Poor students makes good teachers”. This remains to be seen.
Further Down Downs were given to the Departees (RoadRunner, Coyote, Faceplant, Utartan). As temporary Departees: Bloody Mary, Bunny (also as Hash Arsonist). At this point all runners/walkers except one had received at least 1 DD each. The next category was “Awards”: Faceplant for 20 (not bad in less than 12 months !) and Small Member (30).
After a watered down version of Swing Low, the BBQ was already hot and beef and sausages were getting burnt and eaten in a jolly mood under the green canopy of large trees. The most stalwart hasher, Faceplant announced his slightly unexpected and hence in the Mash’s view, premature, departure the following week, and subsequently auctioned his vintage hash-BBQ. Due to limited storage capacities and other practical obstacles, this gallant offer didn’t reach any awarding bids, so this sublime BBQ will again be stored in the dark areas of the parking-lot under one of Seoul’s more famous hotels where it also has languished during Faceplant’s ownership. It is up to anybody to take the challenge to revive this wonderful device and put it to good use again. On this slightly sad note, the merry mashers found their way back to their individual nests – looking forward to the next Mash.