It had all the makings of another disaster. Hare Catch Of The Day, crippled with a particularly bad dose of clapped-out joints, had set the run two weeks before she left for Hawaii using yellow ribbon, she told us at the briefing in the lobby of the Nina hotel, where we were to leave our bags. These had faded or disappeared so she set the run again, this time with blue ribbon. This had also disappeared or faded. So she enlisted the assistance of a “mystery” hare, one who had not seen the trail before and was to set it live by trying to follow the old markings.
Hashers may be highly intelligent fellows when approached individually, holding down top jobs and driving flash cars, but as a collective they are stupid. Which is why nobody suspected Crash Test Dummy of being the mystery hare, despite him being observed in an animated conversation with the hare away from the pack. Just another tiff, we assumed. And so with the hare explaining the bizarre tape hangings for trail, checks and check backs, and a promise to chalk the room number for B – for indeed it was another Nina hotel finish – on the pavement, six brave souls boarded two taxis for the start.
This was half way up Route Twisk near the Gun Club. Eunuch, Penile Dementia, Golden Balls, Crash Test Dummy, Liberace and Creme Brulee soon found trail that led to a check with multiple options, including a clever check back, heading along the ctachwater, down the road, or down several dead-ends to hovels and shacks, . After 10 minutes Penile Dementia found trail through a fence onto scrubland and eventually a quite definite, fresh flour arrow up a concrete trail. Only then did it dawn on the pack that Crash Test Dummy was not among them!
So the five pushed on up the steps, past the usual suspicious villagers going “Bin goh?”, and onto a nice rising dirt track. After some time, Chuen Lung was reached and the pack short cut across the river, fortuitously finding trail on the other side. Goldn Balls, who had fallen behind on the ascent, could hear the calls on the other side of the river but couldn’t find the way across because it was all a bit tricky and there was of course no trail. A couple of villagers came out to tell him there was no way across, and then a friendly one said “Follow me”, and led him on a mazy route through the shacks and on to the main Chuen Lung Road where, lo and behold, there was a check!
Meanwhile the other four had pushed on through some marshy stuff and an obstacle course of overgrown rubbish onto trails east of Chuen Lung, where they lost trail. GB, coming up the rear, found it and he and PD pushed up through dense and trackless forest as the frantic wailings of Liberace (Are you?!) faded into the distance. For a downhill run this was bizarre as we were now above Chuen Lung and still climbing. Eventually Creme Brulee, Eunuch and, after a while, Liberace resumed their places at the front as trail became more runnable. Just before the run’s high point Creme Brulee slowed to a walk to allow Eunuch to push ahead. Then it was the red-brick steps down, 715 of them, followed by more steps past temples and the like, and before we knew it we emerged into the air-conditioned Discovery Park walkway to the MTR and on home to the hotel.
The hare was waiting but no Velcro Lips, who was supposed to be bringing drinks and ice. Her jalopy had broken down on the highway and the poor lass was stranded. “Nobody was concerned about me,” she sniffed plaintively later on. “But Velcro, we were concerned – about the beer,” came the reply, and so PD went out on a 7-Eleven run for reinforcements. One Eyed Jack was also there making a first welcome appearance since his surgery. Meanwhile COTD produced a bag of black bow ties, which we were required to wear shirtless and provide the ageing hare with what presumably was her own private group of Chippendales. One for every mood. Down downs were awarded, cheesy comestible consumed, and, high above Tsuen Wan, the moon rose courtesy of Eunuch.