When The Bums Started Foaling
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.