It was an auspicious start to this weeks’ run; a decent turn-out, in the right place and in good time. The season had recently turned the corner and there was a gentle cooling breeze ruffling the leaves beneath the sulphur glow of the streetlamps. All stood assembled, in eager anticipation of what might just turn out to be the best run of the year!
Then Liberace arrived.
The pack set off at leisurely pace, with committed FRBs Eunuch and Liberace up ahead, with Golden Balls and Velcro Lips ambling along at the rear. Hare Geriatric was taking a conservative route, all well lit and hard paved. Serial shiggy shirker Stingray was in high spirits. His happiness was relatively short lived, however, when the trail went decidedly off-piste; first with a steep stepped path leading to a checkback, followed soon afterwards by a stream bed and some stone hopping. The oft quoted phrase “he’s a Wanchai hasher, he’ll never set a run with any shiggy” was starting to sound somewhat inaccurate. Fortunately, a love of the urban returned and Geriatric had us all back on well-lit firm ground. Despite adequate lighting and very few obstacles, Liberace, still acting as FRB, claimed to have seen a “T” at the summit of a long flight of steps. The pack turned about and headed back down the steps, with Creme Brulee the only one looking comfortable in full retreat. Searching as far back as under the Ma On Shan bypass for any sign of the trail , someone remembered who had called the T. With an accuracy of information record close to that of Hong Kong Observatory, it was noted that Liberace’s calls were often dubious, so back we all went up the steps again only to discover that there was a check, and no sign of a “T” anywhere. Trail was soon called further on up the path, and so the run continued.
A little further along, there came the rambo/wimp split. The wimps continued on the made path, while the rambos hopped up onto a small retaining wall and followed the steeply stepped incline of a Drainage Services Department registered slope structure, and on into the hills. Somewhat unusually for Hong Kong, the forested hill consisted initially of pines and made a nice change from the usual close thickety shiggy we are all more used to. That didn’t stop the gripes though, and Stingray’s nasal bleating (“Bollocks to farting around in the shiggy”) could be heard wafting through the trees and scattering any wildlife lucky enough to escape from the depredations of the local population.
Talking of which, on the wimp trail, taken by One Eyed Jack and Golden Balls (with some OEJ-worthy short-cutting by Velcro and Dingaling), no sooner had OEJ observed that you quite often see boar in this forest, than a kerfuffle on the trail ahead revealed not one but two not boars but porcupines, one of which ran along the trail ahead for a good 30m, quills rattling, before disappearing into the trees.
Back on the rambos, it is a rare fact that Liberace keeps his sense of direction, never great to begin with, in his little finger. Seemingly not content with causing the earlier T clusterfuck, he continued to charge about in the woods like a demented spaniel, rushing in the opposite direction every few minutes claiming that he’d lost trail and must have taken a wrong turn. This feat of inept navigation was achieved despite being on a single track path with clearly no other routes to take.
After descending from the foothills of Ma On Shan, navigating yet another boulder strewn stream bed, the trail began to rejoin civilisation once more, and so it was a brief jaunt through Lee On estate and out onto the Wu Kai Sha coastline, before heading back to the start. Geriatric’s coastal trail was a masterpiece of deception, with checkbacks everywhere and not a litlle wading as the tide had come in since he set it. It ended up at about 10km for the rambos and 7 for the wimps.
Before the circle could get started, Dingaling suddenly had to leave claiming “work commitments”. This left the rest of the assembled skivers, vagrants, OAPs and Frenchmen to scratch their heads and ask what this “work commitment thing” was all about. With one down, GM Eunuch wisely decided to charge Liberace with the duty of standing in for anyone absent as a reward for totally cocking up the T that wasn’t. Several swift down-downs followed for the one and only professor of Chinglish.
During his time in the middle of the circle, Liberace had the gall to suggest that Mango Groove had been stood in front of the check, which was why he hadn’t seen it. This did nothing at all to explain where the mysterious “T” came from, that no one else found. However, some mysteries are enduring and best left that way, like the Marie Celeste, the Loch Ness Monster and where all the odd socks go.
Honourable mentions go to: Mango Groove, who does the best impression of Stingray anyone has ever heard (including Stingray, who looked surprised to hear his own voice despite having his mouth shut). Creme Brulee gets a mention for having the most flexible hash name ever, having been variously referred to as Creme de Menthe, Creme Diulay and Creme de la Creme, without letting it affect his stride. A heavily pregnant Din Dins made an appearance at the circle, although chose not to run on this occasion for undisclosed reasons. – 9 Ignorant Cox
Runners: Mango Groove, Velcro Lips, Eunuch, Stingray, Creme Brulee, Liberace, Goldenballs, Dingaling, 9 Ignorant Cox, One Eyed Jack