Billy Jizz set the tone when hare Creme Brulee announced his “wet” run at Sha Lo Tung:
“Beware of the water snakes. Anyone remember Dingaling’s run from a few years ago, same start location? GB swimming torch in mouth, Mango and Eunuch screaming SNAKE, SNAKE, panic in those following, oh the memories…”
There was also the incident on that run where One Eyed Jack fell three metres off a slippery rock into the engorged river. So with this sort of pedigree it was little surprise to meet a Sha Lo Tung native driving down the road as I went up, demanding what we were doing and asking what the “white powder” in the village was – powder that he’d just washed away, thinking it was dog poison. After the car reversing palaver on the narrow ascent I missed the start, runners and hare alike unaware of the missing section of trail. This looked set to be another disaster.
The hare warned of extreme shiggy on the rambo route, and to go right around the new house, not left. As I set off, fellow late starter Golden Jelly moaned that her torch was dying and opted to do her own thing. So off I set into the dark, but it wasn’t long before I caught the small pack at abandoned Lei Uk village (not the one near the road head – more on that later). They were coming back from something or other. Gaelle Says No plunged down a slope and yelled “Trail!” We were on.
Easy trail followed until we reached a new house fenced off in the middle of nowhere. Was there a check? I can’t remember, but hashers were thrashing around in various directions. Liberace had gone to the right of the house, as the hare had advised me, presumably to help me catch the pack. Very soon Liberace returned with the inevitability of night following day. “No markings!” He’d gone about 30 metres. I continued following the fence until I came to a washed-out blob of flour. “Trail!” At this point I hadn’t revealed my inside knowledge to the pack, and they chased me down the access road of the new house until we reached a check on the dirt road that connects the roadhead with Cheung Uk Village. Golden Jelly was there.
At this point I called the pack together and told them what I knew. There were only two ways to go and one led left back to the bucket, so we all headed right towards Cheung Uk, except Liberace, who insisted volubly that we’d just come from that direction.Who scrambled the compass in his head?
Nobody could find any trail. We split into two teams, with QT, Liberace and Dingaling checking through the village and Gaelle Says No, Eunuch and myself taking the trails towards Hok Tau. After almost a kilometre we finally admitted we weren’t on trail and split three ways, GSN running the whole Sha Lo Tung loop, Eunuch probing east and me heading back towards Cheung Uk. The village unit hadn’t fared any better, and after being out for around 40 minutes we followed the on-home arrows back to the roadhead, having missed the promised extreme shiggy.
The GM had a spread waiting for us: salami, pickled onions, crusty bread, a large sort of camembert whose name eludes me, and a magnum of rose. He also explained that we’d short cut the run at Lei Uk and got ourselves onto the wimp trail, so being good little hashers Dingaling and Eunuch set off again while we scoffed their nosh.
A carload of young people arrived to see the fireflies and we bade them good evening in a civil, friendly manner and helped them on their way. We didn’t see them again until the end of the superbly raucous circle. They emerged from the dark to the sight of the entire pack, who had been given a gloating down down by GB for not winning the Tour de France, throwing their rancid suds as one over me, in the end the only hasher to be soaked.
Eunuch and Dingaling produced a “go home” sign they’d found in eerie circumstances in the shiggy, but it wasn’t part of a pernicious village plot – it was the work of Creme Brulee’s son. As the circle wound down the GM suddenly shinned up a tree to fetch a light he’d hung there earlier. Competition for South Lantau’s Tree Climber at last!
And so the run was sabotaged. Some will see it as due comeuppance for another instance of Sha Lo Tung sabotage a few years back. But we don’t talk about that… – Golden Balls
Hare: Creme Brulee
Runners: Golden Jelly, Gaelle Says No, Eunuch, Golden Balls, Dingaling, QT, Liberace