Earth, Wind & Fire
Arriving early for the run I headed for the conveniences, where I was somewhat disarmed to see a sort of Patrick Stewart meets Alf Garnett vaguely hippyish gwailo cottager loitering around the cubicles. Even more disarming, I recognised him. “You’ve run with us before, haven’t you?” I ventured. “Vibrator?” he offered to my consternation, before I realised that was his name. “Golden Balls,” I returned. Thank god there was nobody around to witness this exchange.
It was cold and windy and the start of the run resembled a dogging venue, with steamed-up car windows galore, and indeed hare Serbian Bomber had ensconced himself in Catch Of The Day’s jalopy where he could be seen gesticulating wildly. Some fat bloke in a flash BMW turned up but nobody paid any attention because none of us can afford a BMW. Then QT got out, the only man in the hash under 30 – and apparently the wealthiest. Eunuch glided in serenely followed by the Liberace batmobile – and that was it.
Thus the GM/hare got the pack off on time at 7.30 after delivering a strange briefing. “It’s short and there’s lots of checks. NO SHIGGY! No wimps’ trail. Flour, chalk and toilet paper. Two marks and you’re on, except for paper, which is one and you’re on.”
Did I say he got the pack off on time? I lied. Expecting the usual faffing, I’d put off getting changed until the last moment; it was cold. So as the pack set off I was still changing. As I frantically slung my jacket into the car my iPhone described an aerial parabola from pocket to parking lot. When I rescued it from under the car beneath which it had slid I beheld a beautiful screen pattern of fractured glass. I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere.
I soon caught up with the pack, who seemed to be traipsing aimlessly back and forth through trackless forest yelling “Are you?” at one another. Bizarre. Then I found out why. The hare wasn’t lying when he said there were loads of checks. They were so thick on the ground you could trip over them. And they all had toilet paper trail heading off into the forest, and then…nothing. Round and round we went, solving and re-solving checks. The sound of cracking wood as we pushed into the impenetrable was accompanied by exclamations (mainly from QT) of “F*ck!”, “Sh*t!”, and “F*cking wanker!”
Things continued in this vein for about 20 minutes until we found trail heading north up a hill. Checks came thick and fast and toilet paper came thicker and faster. A descent through bamboo. A stream crossing. Up the hill again, where QT and I fell behind because QT, in his wisdom, and knowing the Northern NT’s penchant for proper shiggy, had decided to wear the smoothest-soled shoes in creation. Needless to say they were absolutely no bloody use on the steep, slippery terrain and he kept falling over and sliding backwards into me. More effing and blinding.
Quite soon we found the on home and were greeted by the sight of Eunuch, Vibrator and Liberace picking up wood. “Catch Of The Day’s started a fire,” they said, as if this explained their behaviour. And so it was. On crutches after ankle surgery, she’d elected not to run, and instead spent the time doing press-ups, sit-ups and arson. Serbian Bomber and Eunuch conducted a circle round the blazing pit. Highlights were the inevitable crutch jokes after COTD’s ankle surgery, the singing of the Quo song “Down Down” in memory of Rick Parfitt, and the display of the Liberace Christmas Day pranking photo.
Run over in less than an hour, really interesting trail, a fire and great craic – an excellent hash. – Golden Balls