Fools On The Hill
It was April Fool’s night, and as the hashers assembled at the Bride’s Pool car park in the balmy evening gloom, all were warily wondering what mischief the Hare, Gunpowder Plod, may have set in store for them to mark the occasion. All, that is, except Penile Dementia, who had arrived earlier and, dispensing with the usual formalities, plunged straight into the forest in search of trail. That left Velcro Lips, Walky Talky, Gaele Says No, Liberace, Golden Balls and Shamus O’Pressed (aka Take It Up The Arse Because I’m a Motherf*cking Arsenal Fan From ‘Worchester’), and two other hashers in mufti, Farty Pants and the recently arrived and soon to depart Go West.
Plod, bizarrely swaddled up as if preparing for the Arctic, sat magisterially surveying all, humbly served by his young minion, whom I here dub “Didn’t Catch His Name”. At length he roused himself and began scrawling strange hieroglyphics on the pavement, pronouncing on their significance as he did so. He then mysteriously produced a small packet of sweets, placing it carefully in the centre of one of his hieroglyphs. “Here be treasure” he intoned, or words to that affect, “if ye should find its like on the trail, pray bring it back to me, and thou shalt reap thy reward, aye, verily”, or something like that.
And then we were off. Up the Bride’s Pool Road a short distance and then into the woods on the right, down to the stream, up again, and back down the road to the start. A quick run, that. Splendid. But, wait, wait: before there’s even time to crack open a well-earned coldie, it becomes cruelly apparent that the trail continues on, down, down. April Fools.
Back in the dense woods between Bride’s Pool and the reservoir, confusion reigned. The hashers cut back and forth through a tight maze of criss-crossing paths, confounded by Plod’s eccentric trail markings, howling in baffled frustration at every check-back and faux on-on. Mayhem ensued. Forlorn cries of “Are You?” were audible in every direction. Losing his head entirely, Gaele Says No broke out and hightailed it to Wu Kau Tang. April Fools.
Calm was finally restored by the sudden, mysterious arrival, as if from nowhere, of the omniscient One-eyed Jack. “Here lies our path” he said, Gandalf-like. And he led the hashers out of the woods and home. Sort of. Gaele Says No had found his own way back ahead of the others, while Golden Balls, suddenly taken short, elected to back-track in hopes of reaching the lavatory before his need became too pressing. He still came in last.
On to the business, directed with panache by Velcro, who also provided a delicious curry that was devoured in seconds.
We never did find out what was the deal with the little packet of sweets.
– Hamish O’Pressed / TIUTABIAMAFFW