How To Win The Hash
The Northern New Territories Hash sank to a new low on this night when perpetual backmarker and chubber Golden Balls was the first rambo home – without shortcutting! How did we reach this sorry state, and what is to be done?
Kowloon Reservoir by night can be creepy, what with all those monkeys hooting in the dark or trying to grab your bag. So Sticky wisely moved the start of her run from the gloomy pagoda at the end of the dam to the brightly lit car park on Tai Po Road. There were still hordes of simian vermin around, but at least you could see ’em coming!
Normal marks, chalk, flour, paper, said the hare. A “T” means go back to the check. There’s a rambo trail, a wimp trail and a super-wimp, which I marked “LSW” – you’ll see why! Don’t follow shredded paper! And with this peculiar directive, Liberace led the runners off along Tai Po Road, followed shortly by latecomers Dingaling and Golden Jelly.
The first check led the pack up steps and through shiggy, but soon returned to the road. A second diversion went through more shiggy to emerge on the road that leads to the dam. Liberace, My Neck In, QT and Penile Dementia were setting the pace, with GB unsurprisingly in the rear.
Left at the pagoda and along the gently undulating trail, so far so predictable. Then, instead of going to Reception Reservoir, trail went down a long flight of steps to a service road, where we found the super-wimp split, which nobody did, having been warned that it would be a very short run. But wait – what’s this? Shredded paper? AND flour? Two sets of markings on the same trail? On a dark path, GB saw lights heading towards him. Checkback? No, it was Little Sai Wan hashers coming in the opposite direction on their wimps trail.
At a check next to a stream, also marked as the LSW R/W split, trail went steeply uphill. GB, who had passed Dram, Gunpowder Plod and Serbian Bomber, could hear the increasingly frantic Liberace somewhere below him shouting “Are you! Are you! ARE YOU!???” He could also hear Penile Dementia calling trail above him, so up he went, gently calling trail, to join forces with Penile and Flo as Liberace’s strangled yelps faded from earshot in the murk. Little did they know it, but this decrepit trio was now in the lead.
A beautiful stretch of path through bamboo followed, still with flour and shredded paper, emerging at a road that soon led to a fenced-off covered reservoir. There was a check, and somebody had put a “T” next to it in one direction. The trio chose to go through this T, rightly surmising that it was put there by LSW (whose trail went in the other direction) and soon found unequivocal NNT markings on the drainage culvert that arched up and around the reservoir. A check at the end of the culvert fooled Penile, but GB found the way along the road below that led back to the super-wimp split and ultimately back to Tai Po Road for a half-mile run in. Dram, Plod, Golden Jelly and Dingaling (who had done a shorter trail) were astonished to see chubber GB storming in first, closely followed by PD and Flo. Fellow chubber QT was next, revealing how Liberace had led him and My Neck In astray at the point where his strangled yelps had been heard by GB, and how, when they had got to the super-wimp split, Liberace had inexplicably turned left onto the out trail, taking My Neck In with him, despite the obvious home-trail arrow pointing straight ahead. Serbian Bomber, Liberace and My Neck In duly trickled in as everybody enjoyed the outraged Liberace’s accusations of shit markings, non-calling and every other excuse going. The ensuing circle was memorable for PD and MY Neck In’s vigorous policing of the surrounding macaque army. A very nice 6km summer run.
Two morals to this story: first, with the right mix of craft, stealth and luck, you too can win the hash; and second, NEVER, EVER FOLLOW LIBERACE! – Cock Of Space