Run 1716, 14 October 2015, Tai Po Kau Forest

When The Bums Started Foaling

zolaaccuse

What an evening of banter and contention this was. Trail went north from the usual pagoda along Tai Po Road towards Tai Po, then left up the concrete path and steps towards Lai Chi Hang. Hare Stingray was employing an experimental form of marking that entailed laying multiple trails from a junction with the wrong ones just sort of petering out. “I needed the checks to work,” he intoned nasally afterwards whilst dodging the venom being spat by Mango Groove.

The first such falsie occurred below the village where trail only went so far along a track, and had most of the pack, led by Liberace and Catch Of The Day, charging up and down and looking for side tracks as if it were a check back. Meanwhile the sage One Eyed Jack accompanied by Golden Balls simply went back to the junction and tried the other path. Bingo! Up up up it went until there was a check with four options. While One Eyed Jack sloped off on the right track to the road that goes up to Leadmine Pass, the rest of us ran in various directions as Mango vent his spleen. “Friggin’ Stingray! He’s not putting any end of trail! Friggin’ batty boy!” And much worse. Meanwhile Dram and Golden Balls had sniffed out the trail – up a path Mango had already declared a lost cause – and quite soon the pack, which also included Luk Dim Boon, Bungle, Hard Up and one or two others, had regrouped and were heading up the road past the barrier gate.

A check back turned the pack around and onto the Tai Po Kau Forest Trails, with GB the first to canter into this wonderful running domain. Unfortunately his torch failed, as did his attempts to put in fresh batteries, so that Dram coming up the rear found him wailing disconsolately in the almost pitch black. Game over for GB. But up ahead there was plenty of action. Luk Dim Boon had taken the lead and came to a check, marking it before he found trail down through shiggy and a stream bed. Unfortunately he marked the wrong arrow using the Kowloon Hash convention of marking the wrong arrow (i.e. leaving the right arrow unscathed), so naturally everybody following went the wrong way. That’s his story anyway…

Bungle, so quick on the roads, revealed his lack of shiggy technique and fell far behind, as did Catch Of The Day on poles. In fact the whole pack was split into isolated individuals all doing their solitary forest run as Mango made short work of the shiggy and charged to the front. Liberace shamefully short cut, as did One Eyed Jack, who has done it so often we need a new word for short-cutting bastard. Charlatan. mountebank, quack, flimflammer, grifter. One Eyed Bunco Artist. Eye Patch Ponzi Schemer. Rogue.

Eventually all found their way to the beer, where non-runners Velcro Lips, One Hung Low and Golden Jelly were drinking our piss (Luk Sup Gow having already made good his escape), and Mango started everybody off in a mass round of accusation and counter-accusation. Zola had nothing on this.

Run 1715, 7 September 2015, Tai Hang Village

Brain Farts One and Two

OEJ writing

Present: Liberace, Velcro Lips, Serbian Bomber, Mango Groove, Golden Balls, Eunuch, Luk Dim Boon, One Eyed Jack, Catch Of The Day, Golden Jelly, Luk Sup Gow, Dram (hare)

Let’s start with a definition:

brain fart def

Yeah you guessed it, most of the pack on this run suffered from multiple brain farts. Maybe it’s a new disease. Hare Dram’s briefing specified a flat run with no need to climb any hills as he’d had to make some adjustments due to the RA’s failure to keep the rain away from the first trail he tried to lay – caught in a deluge on the hillside, fell over and injured himself.

Sounds simple enough. After running through a car park and through a cut to the temple near Moonie’s old gaff the trail then wound it’s way to another small temple. Here the front pack of Liberace, GB, LDB, COTD, Serbian and Mango decided to follow washed out trail up a steep hill. Brain Fart #1 marked in green on the map.

BF map

This is what happened to those hashers:

t-10 minutes

You’re daydreaming, and your medial temporal lobe subsystem, precuneus, medial prefrontal subsystem, and posterior cingulate cortex, which together make up the default mode network (DMN) are all active. This was during the briefing, as usual you weren’t paying attention!!

t-5 minutes

You confront a demanding task, such as following trail. Your anterior cingulate and right prefrontal regions, brain areas involved in attention, begin to activate, as do the cerebellum and the parietal, visual, and temporal cortices, which control the motor coordination you need to pilot through pedestrian traffic. At the same time, the DMN deactivates.

t-30 seconds

Your route is extremely familiar, you have been along these paths before. Your frontal lobes, bored by this habitual task, begin to power down. The retrosplenial cortex in the posterior section of the DMN begins to stir again. When the balance of activity between the DMN and the attention network reaches a certain threshold, you enter an error-prone state. You miss your exit off the footpath.

t+5 seconds

Your frontal lobes fire up again at high levels in an attempt to compensate for the error. They return to a state of optimal performance, ready to work on a corrective action. You follow washed out trail.

t+15 seconds

The stress of having made a blunder activates the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, your brain’s “panic button.” You experience a surge of the stress hormone cortisol. You reach the end of the washed out section and realise you are stupid.

On the map the real trail in red (as fully completed by Eunuch and OEJ) wound around the paths in Wai Tau Tsuen, went under the Hong Lok Yuen roundabout, past the old gathering point and on to the first footbridge, on which was marked the wimps / rambos split.

Rambos went right and down onto the cycle track, along a bit, then right through the fields up towards Tai Wau then back down to the service road and along to footbridge 3, having by-passed footbridge 2. Somewhere along here Liberace, Luk Dim Bun, Serbian, Mango and COTD had Brain Fart #2, marked in green on the map. GB had allegedly done the wimps but diidn’t know where the split was so one could say he cheated.

The markings were very challenging to follow as the hare had tried to protect them from the rain.

The usual culprits received down downs, well basically everyone. – One Eyed Jack

brainfart_by_genicecream-d59qrei

Run 1714, 30 September 2015, Yuen Long

The Almost Fatal Shore

Ferry

A larger than average pack of 16 hashers turned up for this pre-public holiday run at the usual park in Yuen Long. But it wasn’t the usual Yuen Long trail, which tends to go for the hills south of Yuen Long. No, this week’s briefing was a bit different. “Head straight up the pedestrian flyover,” said hare Golden Balls, “go through Yoho shopping centre, go through the railway station and pick up trail on the north side. Expect the unexpected!

With this bizarre directive ringing in their ears, Penile Dementia, Walkie Talkie, Luk Dim Boon, Eunuch, One Eyed Jack, Catch Of The Day, Stingray, Billy Jizz, Liberace, Red Rump, Mango Groove, Dingaling and Sam the dog cantered off into the hot night and sure enough picked up trail heading north straight through the village. Meanwhile, wimps Velcro Lips, Dram and Smooth Operator had been instructed to get in Golden Jelly’s car to be driven to the wimps’ start – which was Nam Sang Wai ferry. They were briefed to follow trail and if they saw the rambos, to keep quiet. Very mysterious.

The rambo meanwhile went up aa little bit, along to a check back that claimed Eunuch and One Eyed Jack, who spent 10 minutes lost, down through a village, along some country track and up a scramble to a farm before pushing through to Kam Tin River and the ferry. Now some of the pack had been on the notorious 2009 Nam Sang Wai run that had almost resulted in a number of hashers disappearing into the quickmud of this stinking brook, so expectation, or dread, was high, or low, depending on whether you’d been on that run or not (report on that run is reproduced below). But everybody piled onto the rickety old sampan after seeing the sign “TAKE FERRY PAID” chalked on the landing stage, except Dingaling and Sam, who were late, and Eunuch and One Eyed Jack, who took an even later sailing.

Once on the Nam Sang Wai peninsula there was a beautiful kilometre or so of running through open wooded terrain and grass. The savvy expected trail to head for the wetland tracks, but all it did was return almost the same way to the ferry, only this time along the sea wall rather than through the woods. This accounted for the wimps being told to keep quiet. It turned out that the hare had been unable to make any headway into the wetland tracks, which are now all overgrown and impassable without a machete. “And I was riding my bike there only three years ago,” sniffed the disconsolate hare.

The shenanigans weren’t over as GB, who’d been lurking at the ferry to pay the boatman, live-hared the bit back to the park. Only Catch Of The Day and Stingray passed him – at the railway station – so when he saw Luk Dim Boon, Billy Jizz, Red Rump, Liberace, Mango Groove and Walkie Talkie already cracking tinnies on his return the short-cutting accusations – and fervent denials – came thick and fast. More spooky action.

It mattered not as everybody was soon back. We were even joined by non-runners G-Spot and Fartypants for a raucous circle, followed at 11 by a trip to the licenced daipaidong near the other “park”. Yes, the lovely government in its pious concern for our well-being has stopped restaurants putting tables out on the pavement. The journey to the daipaidong claimed a few – we didn’t all make it! – Golden Balls

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Run 1483 Mystery Hare (Nam Sang Wai, Yuen Long)

Well where shall we start my little chubby eggs, sit firmly on you backsides and we shall begin our little story-time…let us just call it “The Return of ANTI-HASH”. We should have seen it coming…in the days leading up to this run our Hare Raiser Stingray was desperately trying to find a hare to replace the pre-advertised Victim.. poor sod, he even had to turn to the SKH3 just to recruit someone. In the end, the run this week was advertised as a mystery hare and as is now common practice when we have a mystery hare the pack number swells dramatically as stalwart N2TH3 members turn up in droves hoping that the said mystery hare could be one of our past superstars.

Actually, as we arrived at Nam Sang Wai things were looking good, as it appeared that Go West had set the run as he was back for a few days and as we all know a Go West run is an absolute pleasurable experience…lovely well marked clean delicious trail…not very taxing on the brain…yes the sort of thing we all look forward to on a Wednesday evening in July, a short pleasant jaunt around the wetlands before a nice cooling beer. As we all gathered together waiting for instructions Gunpowder Plod was getting impatient and tried to get things started but Mango Groove was having none of this, sternly reminding Gunpowder Plod that he is GM tonight and we should wait for Eunuch as he has the beer. After some mulling around eventually Go West handed out instructions that went something like “Err.. flour.. paper.. chalk… rambo / wimps run… errr.. should be about one hour!”.

So off we went… Brainiac and Walkie Talkie led us nicely off heading pretty much into the trails behind the villages. One Eyed Jack and Gunpowder Plod also did a great job with the checks, leaving Eunuch and Luk Sup Gow with very little to do apart from keeping an eye on Go West, who appeared to be sweeping his own run. As we headed into the long grass we appeared to miss three of the starting pack, namely G-Spot, Golden Jelly and Golden Balls…actually Mango and Eunuch noticed the sudden reduction in numbers and tried their best to call but they themselves were a little lost as they spotted One Eyed Jack disappearing in what they figured must have been the wrong direction. After some extra farting about Gunpowder Plod, Walkie Talkie, Eunuch, Brainiac, Go West, Stingray And Mango all ended up at a check near a small house on the river bank. After some intense checking the pack were getting a little bit pissed off pleading with Go West to tell them where to go as LSG and One Eyed Jack would be back at the buckets by now consuming all the lovely cold Skol. What then followed were probably the best two hash quotes so far this year. First Go West: “Actually I have a confession to make…I didn’t set this run, Golden Balls did,” followed by Eunuch: “I was actually enjoying this run but now I know Golden Balls had something to do with it I think it’s a pile of wank.

Having worked out that Go West had no bloody idea where we were going the master brains of the group had a brilliant ANTI-HASH moment… I know, let’s ask this nice man if he could take us across the river in his sampan thingy. As we jumped on board, Stingray appeared to know him as he showed him a watch that his Hongkong Hash mates had given him as payment on a previous run. Now this was all well and good, but Mango started to worry as he asked the others if anyone had any money… not a frigging sausage, so as soon as the sampan touched the other side we jumped off without paying. But things got even worse as we immediately realized that we should not have crossed the river as now we had a mega-run to get back and at some point we had to cross the river again anyway. We couldn’t go back to the nice sampan man as we had just done a major skank on him so we had no choice but to head for the city lights. As we ran around, Brainiac suggested that we should all stick together, which we all agreed made good sense just in case we got attacked by a pack of nasty dogs. Eventually we came back onto the river that we needed to cross, it didn’t look too bad, very little water, should be easy… so Eunuch and Mango went in first… somehow Eunuch managed to steer clear of most of the mud but Mango had no such luck as he ended up waist high in some of the most disgusting shitty smelling stuff you could ever imagine. Next to go in was Walkie Talkie, who began to scream “Help, help! I’m sinking!” Not one to miss an opportunity to rescue a damsel in distress, STINGRAY rushed to Walkie Talkie’s aid, managing to pull her out but in the process getting stuck himself, and as he began to sink into the slime he too started shouting for help …Go West rushed in, helping to pull Stingers out – minus his shoes. Eventually we managed to clamber up the river bank through tonnes of broken glass and out through a village where some very nasty dogs with very sharp teeth began to attack, but Brainiac soon calmed them down as he politely mentioned that he would do to them what he does to sheep back home. At this point we never even noticed that Gunpowder Plod had disappeared as we headed towards Pok Oi Hospital and the long run back home.

Back at the buckets after 2 hours, Golden Balls was observed looking very worried and sticky as One Eyed Jack had thrown Coke over him… please can someone tell One Eyed Jack not to throw Coke around, he’s supposed to snort it. Fartypants was looking clean and fresh and equally G-Spot and LSG were looking well pleased with themselves as they were able to work out how to get back without getting shitty. Golden Jelly had to turn back with Malu as her batteries had run out… but I think she was pre-warned by little Golden Balls not to follow us. Seeing and smelling the state of us, Golden Jelly managed to negotiate with a store owner for a quick wash down with his hose. After a few softies we just about had enough energy left for a circle before heading out to the daipaidong in Kam Tin right before closing time. Once again this was another excellent evening with the N2TH3 pre-school and I am sure we will be talking about this run for a very long while. – Mango Groove