Run 1656, Lung Mei, 24 September 2014

Another Mickey Mouse Trail


Honestly, it was all too much for Northern NT hashers – not known for their cerebral chutzpah – to take in. Hare Gunpowder Plod delivered his briefing to the dozen or so hashers gathered at Lung Mei in Sai Kung by unveiling alien trail markings: arrows in some colour the same as the ground, half arrows, full arrows, checks with Mickey Mouse ears, Xs for check backs…a collective groan went up punctuated by cries of “Why can’t we have normal markings?” “You’re in Sai Kung now, so fuck off!” snarled the hare, adding that there would be “lots of shiggy”.

So off the pack went, through a village parking area, up an embankment, over a concrete wall and straight into – shiggy.


This sorted out the specialists from the coordinationally challenged, with Liberace, Eunuch, Mango Groove, Catch Of The Day and a visiting Inflatadate bouldering their way effortlessly up the stream bed, dodging vines, leaping from slippery rock to muddy bank, traversing round big trees and on on into the black. Behind, One Eyed Jack, Stingray, Yan Yan, Golden Jelly and Golden Balls made heavy going of it, with the elephantine GB heard to proclaim, “Bollocks! My race is over before it’s begun!” Indeed, so slow was he that Golden Jelly waited for him – a gentlemanly deed that was to have significant consequences.

Meanwhile, at the front of the pack Liberace got every check wrong, even the super-easy ones in the shiggy. The climb out of the stream bed had  marked by a sort of traverse on rocks to avoid a massive nephila spider, with Mango slicing his shoes on the rocks as he gibbered like a girl. Eunuch solved the check at the top of the hill, the one that was to confound everybody behind, with One Eyed Jack, who had almost caught the frontrunners, “marking” the check. Trail went straight down the road to a check back marked with an X, which caused Liberace to go into an apoplectic fury. “It should be a #&*@^%!!!” he raged. It was finally solved by One Eyed Jack down a slippery defile, across a stream and past some abandoned village houses via chest-high elephant grass.

At the back of the pack, after battling out of the stream bed, GB and GJ found themselves on a single-track road going uphill, eventually coming to a bizarrely mismarked check. They set off uphill to the right as indicated by the rock placed to break the check, to arrive, after a long climb, at – a T. “Smells like Kowloon markings to me,” muttered GB darkly, and indeed it had been gay Kowloon wannabe One Eyed Jack who’d committed the cardinal sin of mismarking the check a la Kowloon Hash protocols, a sin for which he was to be roundly condemned by a baying pack in the circle.

Shortly after this was a two-way split, one way straight ahead on the road and another left into the forest on no recognisable track. Having decided to press on along the road (because only an idiot would push into shiggy that dense), the Goldens were startled by distant panicky cries from deep in the shiggy. “Is anybody there? Help! I can’t find my way out!” Eventually Yan Yan emerged bedraggled from the thicket after pushing her way through the shiggy towards the torchlight. She had called her boyfriend for help. “What do you expect me to do? Dunno where you are. Your bed, lie in it,” came the unempathetic reply.

Her travails weren’t over yet. On the concrete tracks through overgrown paddy, Yan Yan somehow contrived to drop her phone. Twice. The first time it went down into the muck and weeds in the paddy and necessitated a three-(wo)man search. The second time, seconds later, the glass screen shattered on the concrete into a network of cracks. It’s now thought that she’ll stop trying to carry it in her knickers on vibrate mode.

There just followed a few more contoury shiggy stretches with some bamboo forest thrown in before the lights of Lung Mei and On Home were seen. A fine run, with a pizza delivery to boot, and even a visit by the rozzers to move us along, but who were swiftly moved along themselves by ex-rozzers Gunpowder Plod and Liberace. We know our rights! Occupy Lung Mei!

Run 1655, Luk Keng, 17 September 2014

 Remember This

2014-09-17 21.52.18-1
Liberace takes the hare to task

What a hash! Way out in the far north-east at Luk Keng, many didn’t bother going, and we only had half the normal numbers. But people, you should remember that runs in these wilds are always memorable and worth the effort of getting to, despite the hare being our ignoble GM Salesman, a strangeling known for setting crazy half-runs that end nowhere! And indeed this night was little different.

“The typhoon spoiled my plans,” lied the hare. “I’d recced a fantastic trail but it was just too wet and windy.” “Bollocks,” we said.

“If you get everything right it’ll take you 20-25 minutes,” the illustrious one continued. “If not, you can double it. The checks are tricky. Think cryptic crosswords.”

And with those Salesmanesque bon mots ringing in our ears, we set off – the usual suspects: Eunuch, Golden Balls, Liberace, Mango Groove, One Eyed Jack, Stingray.

First check on Bride’s Pool Road was solved by Liberace, with trail taking us out along the Starling Inlet waterfront and round the inlet path to – a check like no other: “remember this” myseriously inscribed. Prof. Mango deduced this to be a clue that there would be a loop off this check, coming back to it and then home. How wrong he was. But the decision at the time was: which way is the loop going? We chose the left-hand option and found trail, keeping to the coast, and climbed a small hillock, where a check held us up for 10 minutes. We tried every direction: down the hillock along the coast. Nothing. Right through the shiggy. Spider webs. Left to a shelter. Aha! A chalk inscription: go back to previous check. But we’d already done all that, so started doing it all again. Nothing. Then a slightly more previous scrubbed-out check was found. Nothing. Mysteriouser and mysteriouser.

At this point GB decided to go back to the “remember this” check half a mile back, and started heading uphill from it on the undulating track to Wu Kau Tang. No trail was found, but by now a sort of dogged determination had gripped the pack that they weren’t going to be taken in by any more of the hare’s chicanery. All of them followed GB up the defile, Liberace taking the lead with Mango tucked in, Stingray following. At the back, GB, Eunuch and One Eyed Jack.

Trail was found a long, long way from the “remember this” check, and for a while it was pleasant running on a good trail. But that was all to change on encountering a split. This is where the hare’s machinations worked wonders. Two of the front three – Mango and Stingray – pressed on at the split, while Liberace took the right-hand, downhill option. When the back trio got to the split, Mango was already calling trail ahead, but the backmarkers divined that the right arm of the split would go down to Bride’s Pool Road and thus short-change the front runners. But this is where the beauty lay: Mango, seeing GB’s torch going downhill, yelled out: “OY! No shortcutting!” At this, Liberace – suffering a rare attack of conscience – attempted to get back on the ridge line by forcing his way up through the shiggy. Behind him, the back three took a relatively easy route down to the road and picked up trail. This was totally legal as there was no T marked to send them back. Thus the backmarkers rose to the front.

Eunuch got back first in about 50 minutes. Stingray the road runner reeled in GB on the 2km run-in while One Eyed Jack rolled in fourth, slightly ahead of a distressed Mango who spat his dummy and promised never to come again because he’d been beaten by “shortcutting bastards”. But where was whole-trail frontrunner Liberace?

Conversation turned to Islamic beheadings and deliberate bum notes in Beatles songs. But where was Liberace?

Twenty minutes later a strangely unincandescent Liberace jogged in. He had indeed heard Mango’s exhortation not to shortcut and had tried to get back on the ridge by the most direct route (straight up), but got tangled up in the “f*cking shiggy!” “I couldn’t get out!” he bleated. Well we’ve all been there.

Alcohol-greased conversation continued until the GM called the Salesmanesque circle: the odd downdown interspersed with far more entertaining yatter. The circle finished and we carried on. And on. Nobody wanted to leave.

That’s a great hash.

Run 1654, Sha Lan Villas, 10 September 2014

Landmark pub in Sam Mun Tsai sold and will stop trading on Monday

By “Sting” Ray

The Greengate public house, formerly The Gate, is recorded from 1776. It was rebuilt in 1953-4 and moved to Sha Lan Villas in 1994
The Greengate public house, formerly The Gate, is recorded from 1776. It was rebuilt in 1953-4 and moved to Sha Lan Villas in 1994

Landlord and resident crooner Mr Stingers (78), said “I couldn’t leave the old girl(s) behind, so I dismantled my old local, The Greengate in Green Street, Plaistow, brick by brick and brought it in my hand luggage Lego-like for reconstruction in Hong Kong. But everything must come to an end and due to old age I can no longer upkeep the crumbling structure so, I will shut its doors to the public for the last time tonight.”

There is a long history associated with “The Gate” but times have now changed. It was once a typical East End boozer, but is now in decline on the shores of Sam Mun Tsai. At one time, guests were greeted by an oriental femme fatale selling triple-X-rated videos and a smoking stripper (the nicotine type, not the hot type) dancing around a pole. Entertainment these days is more often than not provided by a bizarre circus act involving a gentleman wearing an outfit made of pawnshop Goldenballs and the enterprising use of a Mars Bar. Occasionally, at great expense, a Liberace impersonator is employed to ensure gay abandon and political correctness.

A pub crawl had been organised for the regulars as a last-night celebration. “It’s got a bit of everything – my greatest hits, if you like,” declared Stingers. Bar flies BJ and Pants from the other nearby local,  The Masons Arms, were also present but took no part having misread the opening date of the new premises. The Gate is to be converted into a fish and chip shop named Catch of the Day, and they thought they would try the self-service battered sausages. The Masons, being an upmarket joint, more of a wine bar than a pub, have banned many of The Gate’s regulars.

A special Japanese Scrabble contest was organized by the mother of the new fish shop owner but there was a suspicion of match fixing as her daughter was the only one that knew the answers.

Food was provided, but it was a far cry from the sausage feasts served up in the old days and regulars were wary of the Tangerine Dreams that often accompanied the (in)digestion of “The Gate Chilli”. Poncy fruit desserts predominantly made from Mango have always been available but rarely touched due to ever-present long dark hairs topping the dishes.

Of the crawl itself, one of the regulars thought that with the help of Velcro to hold up inside-out running knickers she would win the prize for a reverse completion. However, she was disqualified for a gross infringement of the rules and the purchase of child labour-produced running equipment. Those who partook of the crawl reported disappointment that although they found the long grass as advertised they could not find the long bong; as normal the local constabulary failed to spot the offending weed and went through a welcome cup of T instead.

The Gate has never been a quiet pub and a fight soon broke out in the snug over the misidentification of who was a wimp. It turned out that the wimp was really a rambo. As normal with pub fights, there was a lot of Ah-Ducking and ah-diving with very little damage to the bar furniture. The quick arrival of the local Plod, who knew a shortcut, soon sorted things out but only on the proviso that he could be included in the after-hours lock-in. A regular with his pet snake was once found sipping spillage on the floor and there was a suspension of the license due to crime and disorder in 2011 after the landlord was attacked after refusing a customer his 31st down down drink. The customer was jailed for 16 months.

The crawl also brought back many happy memories for the locals. One regular, Harry, a onetime fitness guru and sausage connoisseur, commented it was the best waste of a couple of hours he had ever seen. He added, “I was so impressed I asked my dog Rosie to sub me a couple of bob from his Swiss bank account to top up the blind box. Normally I give Jack shit to charity but the picture of the bloke on the box only had One Eye. I had to be careful though as the last time I saw a picture like that, it was only later that I found I had purchased a video from an oriental lady at the door. Mind you, that did give me the idea for the now international pub crawl quality marking system, the HR Sausage Quotient”.

Festivities were then interrupted by a Warcry salesman with a tambourine. A quick kick in the knackers from a member of the rival Moonie sect soon consigned him to the local Eunuch colony in nearby Shek Kong. At this point, the landlady, buxom Liz, had seen enough and told the remaining freeloaders to F*ck Off!!


Run 1653, Fung Yuen, 3 September 2014

The Inconceivable Trail


I arrived a bit late at Tangerine’s new residence at the end of Fung Yuen Road to find Eunuch just leaving. “I’m sick,” he moaned. “I’ve been in bed all day. I only came to bring the beer.” He turned to Antiseptic, who he’d roped in for the heavy lifting. “Dear? May I have a beer? Just one?” We thought his heroics, saving the hash from sobriety, would have earned him at least one coldie, but he departed with his tonsils untickled.

Tangerine Dream gave the briefing as I got changed and then everybody buggered off. Except me. By the time I was dressed, watered and laced up I was five minutes behind the pack. Tangerine Dream directed me up the steps to Sha Lo Tung, saying that I’d be able to short-cut the shiggy – a boggy mosquito-infested morass followed by a forest climb – and get in front of the pack. As I ascended the endless steps I could hear distant raucous shouting from the lower slopes of Cloudy Hill, and glimpse the occasional flash of torchlight through the trees. Sure enough I got to the top and on to the road ahead of the front runners, who could now be heard on the road to the left, so I followed trail downhill to the right as The Secret FRB, not calling. When One Eyed Jack got to the top of the steps his short-cutting instincts were too strong and he went straight down the steps back to the start/finish, taking Stingray with him. Meanwhile I solved a check that took me down some other steps and on to a nice dirt trail, although the number of spider webs I gathered suggested that the hare had set the run the previous day. Eventually trail led out to Ting Kok Road opposite the industrial estate. A check – one that was to foil everyone but Gunpowder Plod – offered options of a village route or the Ting Kok Road cycleway. The village option went nowhere so I figured it must be a simple run along the road back to the Fung Yuen turning. After a kilometre without seeing trail I accepted I was wrong and tried to second guess. The village must have been correct after all, I reasoned, and trail must come out on Sha Lo Tung Road somewhere, so I set off up Sha Lo Tung Road to look for it. After a few hundred metres I met G-Spot short-cutting down the road. He’d seen nothing either. So we went back out to Ting Kok Road to find Catch Of The Day, Liberace and Ah Duck milling around plaintively asking if we’d seen trail. They’d done what I did. Then, in a moment of brilliance, Liberace crossed Ting Kok Road to the factory side. Eureka! On Home!

It turned out that trail had done the inconceivable and gone from the check at the village straight into the industrial estate. Now Northern New Territories hashers are so conditioned to assuming that trail is going to be in the shiggy and not on hardtop, or at least NOT in the industrial estate, that nobody even considered the possibility that trail would cross the road. Inconceivable! Mango Groove and his group at the font had done the same as the Liberace group: straight along Ting Kok Road to Fung Yuen, passing by while G-Spot and I were up Sha Lo Tung Road. The only hasher to do the industrial estate was Plod, and only because the hare told him where to go after he begged for a super-easy wrinkly run (“There there Plod. You just go down Fung Yen Road and cross over into the nice level rectilinear tarmac hell of the industrial estate…”).

After the run Tangerine Dream threw dozens of sausages on the Barbie while Silent Partner Jojo showed us the sloughed skin of the king cobra living in a hole in the concrete underneath the house. Velcro Lips turned up looking glamorous and ran the circle. And Catch Of The Day interviewed ardent applicants for her birthday “bash” in the Jacuzzi.

The choosing
The choosing