Big Moany’s run, so with his electronic collar tag set to shock then explode upon straying more than a few km or hours from the Missus, the run was predictably set from just outside the gates of Fortress Noble. A distinguished venue indeed, well familiar to the NT hashers, though many may recall, in the good old days, being lured and treated to the lesser-spotted Mina’s famous curry (so rare, her hash name is forgotten by your scribe). Supposedly, with the buckets just outside Moany Castle, the neighbours and traffic would be not disturbed by this seething rash-like outbreak of semi-naked, semi-drunk, boisterous, nay, screeching hashers.
The driving classes amongst us also know well, or should do by now, the local parking etiquette. The driveway to and past Camp Moany is busier than Heathrow Airport, so blocking or shocking BM’s ‘nice’ po-faced, bespectacled, soap-smelling, kiasu, Prius-driving-neighbours with their precious princeling cargo back from extra math/piano/Mandarin lessons is simply to be avoided, and that especially goes for the sinister, scowling village-dwellers beyond who, without fail, stop to glare coldly, edging forward awkardly as if navigating a supertanker into the Panama Canal, over-revving their blue lorry, or Alphard with black plates, or, more commonly, a souped-up AMG Benz back from dinner at a dodgy Kam Sheung Road plastic-tented, excessively fairy-lit daipaidong, complete with their foxy, but utterly shrew-faced trophy wife muttering ‘chop them’ and little Johnny Tripod in the back pointing his toy gun (for now) or otherwise giving a friendly wave with his middle finger. The etiquette is to just park normally on the roadside opposite Chateau Grande Moan, without causing obstruction. If you happen to have a shit, beat up, smelly old rape-van, then park it away from the posh gates, nearer the main road. However, if you are Catch Of The Day, then just park the Land Rover anywhere you damn well want – preferably jutting out at a 45 degree angle so as to entertain the pack and hamper the Tripod Way. If that proves to delay the start by another 15 minutes, then, after firstly stripping off of course, just shunt it in against the other cars – they’re only hashers after all and don’t mind (really).
Oh yes – the run. The hare, Big Moany, for it was he, said he had flu, so had set “an unimaginative run”, i.e. the same one as his last 50 or so, and promised that we would not be going up the 582 steps. We all set off with a sense of relief, except Eunuch, who was running late as he is finding it harder these days to reach the vinegar stroke (no inspiration, pressure, ageing, blinding headaches, etc) before leaving home – an essential prescribed pre-hash ritual in order to maintain his bouncy gait and happy calmness, thus preventing episodes of manic Tourette-like outbursts during or after the run. So off we set, towards Kam Sheung Rd Station as usual…but…no, not this time…it was not over the bridge. The cunning hare had lied and been a little imaginative, confoundingly setting the out-trail missing the bridge, seamlessly onto the Kam Po Rd beside the nullah.
We ran for so long on that flat, jarring concrete that my mind went numb until we came to the check on that footbridge that we do always go over, past a wimps split, up to that bus stop and car park that we do always go to, and up the path to the same old goaty contour trail upon which there was a check. Without question, the trail should go right to connect to the wimps. But Moany is no greenhorn. He had set yet another rather long check of the type that fills a front running bastard with self-doubt and the fathomless fear of losing his lead to the back of the pack if the call is wrong. Lo, so it was that Salesman, who had been leading for much of the way on account of having shortcut the first check, one step from discovering the on-on, went back and tried to convince the incredulous elite pack runners that the trail should actually go left about 6.5km, in the wrong direction. No way – they smelled the rat, and bolted right – with Mango Groove, Liberace and Luk Dim Boon noticeably selecting race mode. Off we went, up Mount Moany. Regular squeaks and chirps from COTD could be heard, indicating that she was catching the lead pack from behind. But the FRB’s, not having warmed up to the hare’s theme of long checks (previously solved by Luk Dim Boon and Salesman), did not adequately check the usual on-down shortcut the to the infamous steps.
Press on up they did, though dawdle did Liberace until COTD shrilled “on-on” down and effortlessly took the lead, pursued by Liberace and Luk Dim Boon. There was only one wet, skiddy patch, which sent Salesman into the sandbags. Nice soil path down until we all were shocked, shocked I tell you, by the ridiculous amount of tycoon-pleasing concrete being poured on this trail. We urged our retained angry SCMP letter-writers (Dram, Dingaling and/or Gunpowder Plod to do the honours). Down 582 steps, their steepness and thinness slowing Liberace, who is fast and fit but not exactly twinkle-toed downhill, enabling Salesman to pass, then an on-home fast paced ‘race’ under the subway, through Kam Sheung MTR and back home. But where was Kin? Another kind of twinkle as bush met bush, which undoubtedly caused the aforementioned hash crash.
Far behind, Golden Balls on the rambo trail caught Dram who was wimping and limping. “I’ve slipped on this gravel. Absolute disgrace. Where are the notices warning people of these entirely superfluous works? I’m composing a letter to the editor right now in ma heed!”
Back at Nobble Park the rowdy hashers cranked up the volume as they patiently awaited Eunuch’s return. Eunuch had started 31 minutes late, and made the bucket 31 minutes late, so all was well with the markings, with no Tourettes; so taking the time to drain his tubes prior to his solo run was worth the headache and manipulation. A nice run length and a good effort was made by all. There were plenty of down-downs and too much beer was imbibed by most. An excellent circle was conducted by our home-grown GM and RA, with contributions by Velcro, Golden Balls, Mango and the usual suspects. There was, I think, yet another Learning With Libs, as he conducted his first circle as N2TH3 GM in “Cantonese”. Meanwhile Penile Dementia seems to be enjoying himself so much these days that his corresponding increase in wife-fear is clearly evident. Something has to give. For some vague reason, Eunuch’s car had beer cans and traffic cones piled on it – but he drove off not giving a damn. I don’t know his crime, or if Mango was trying to wind him up, but he remained happy.
A good turn-out, a good run, but no curry, Big Moany, you c*nt. – Salesman