|Everything you need for a party.|
Approximately 63 hashers gathered at Packing Pink Heat and Pickled Peter's this afternoon to celebrate the beer, exercise and camaraderie arising from John Gurr's Costa Rica trip of May 1982, 32 years ago. Chairs were unfolded, picnic contributions piled under the tent, blankets spread. Prodigal returns were celebrated: welcome back, John and Carol and Mike and Cock in the Crease. Hashers marshaled themselves around the satin-jacket club and Hand Job volunteered to push the shutter button for the team photo. In the midst of some serious to-ing and fro-ing and chatter, the Mufti prayed silence for the brief.
And may well still be praying. Goodness knows, he didn't get much silence. However, by great good fortune, the 29 runners did get a trail - not a result of good organization, of course, and the fortune augmented just a skosh by Phoenix Rising's OCD-ish complex that compels him to set a trail anytime anyone asks. In fact, there are probably instances when he's set trail without being asked...
|Hurrah! We found a backcheck!|
Anyway, PP hauled in PhR at about noon, and away they went, with only vague ideas as to where they might go. The final product was on the short side, and deliciously sweet -- mostly. While the walkers followed PPH's well-marked two-mile trail, the runners bushwacked their way to Springvale, checked lots of falses, made it to the backcheck 12 (on a trail this short, you've got to have a backcheck 12), and then skittered back to the On In through a brief sojourn in virgin territory, courtesy of the fourth neighbor from whom our heroic hares sought a permission. Up the final hill in time for a generous potluck and a shot at the newly, and beautifully, tiled pool, hip hip ON ON! The walkers looked curiously well-rested.
There were some seriously tasty salads on offer, and lots of fried chicken in various configurations. The spaghetti with pesto went surprisingly well with Spanish wine cadged from neighbors, and the senior hashers managed to figure out how to tap the four mini-kegs. Then Brent upped the ante with a growler of homemade raspberry wheat beer. He should do that more often.
It was a great party, and it only got better when the Mufti started shouting. First he shouted the roll: 11 for Melisande, 33 for Phyllis, and didn't someone have 44? Mini Schlonga had 199, and there will be a meeting of the Executive Committee. But first the Mufti had to wax nostalgic, putting on his thinking-fez in order to reminisce about the previous year, handing awards around for especial achievements.
If falling down and whacking one's head is an especial achievement, there is even more wrong... whoops. Tabled. But Blow in the Hole and Rrocks Starr did win generously-sized bandages to prepare them for the next time. (Mufti kindly applied the bandages to their foreheads; BitH had to switch hers to the back of her head, as that's where she aims. Or something.) Drill Me, Fill Me got a sheaf of hand-written permission slips in honor of his March trail, which involved about a half-dozen permissions from neighbors. You can read the text of Mufti's document in the photos here. Consensus was that he should share them with Valiant.
|The Cracked Head, or Conked Noggin, Award goes to...|
But Valiant had his own award coming, and was soon waving a sprig of lovely maple leaves in appreciation of the excellence of the educational tree walks he frequently leads for his fellow hashers. Bad Dog got a necklace signifying his possibly-OCD'ish commitment to hashing, with six big 'beads' for the six big anniversaries he celebrated in a single week last fall, including his 300th GFH3 run. Climax Investigator earned a brand new glider that will enable him to commute between his California home and the hash at no cost and without the damaging carbon footprint of his current system. The Mufti himself earned the coveted Velvet Glove award for inflicting the iron fist of discipline upon the hash, albeit with limited success.
He then declared the 2013-2014 season 'The Year of the Chef,' bringing forward seven of our most culinarily-talented colleagues. Remember Paula's Portuguese feast? How about Lezley's Irish extravaganza? Brent's home-brewed, Air Horn's Peruvian chicken, PPH's Thanksgiving brunch, Bite Me's New Year's brunch, and Chip Off the Old Dick and Maria's every groaning (over-)board. Someone (you may guess who) will get the Chef of the Year award the next time Mufti sees her, possibly in South Reston, maybe in the rain... COtOD and I earned fireworks-y looking things for foolishly frequent hash heroics.
|Papa John ought to have been in this group.|
Mufti meant to take a moment to remember Bea 'To Bea or Not to Bea' Ross and Jim 'It's Too Long' Westlake, both lost to us in the last year. You were probably thinking of them anyway, but if your current activity is conducive to a brief memorial now, you may remember them both smiling. They were both great smilers.
Then we had the administrative awards: Ménage à Trois and the Oral Advocate were missing, but Radar and PhR and PPH and PP and I got a choice of crackers or chocolates (like that's a choice?!) in appreciation of photo-taking, frequent setting, anniversary hosting and blogging.
Celebrations over, the Mufti made his sad, serious face, and announced the runners-up for the Dread Death March award. Second runner-up was the July run from R.S.'s house, which he co-set with PhR, BitH and Dances with Bulls. First runner-up was the September run from Ole Fud's, in which he and Strac and PhR accidentally mislaid a check, causing the pack to run a really long time in the absolutely wrong direction, wondering why there was no flour anywhere. And the 'winner' of the 2014 Death March award was (da da da da da da da da da): Phoenix Rising, for his 4 June hash in which inclement weather and an ambitious trail conspired to make a record three search parties necessary to get everyone back to the beer. Could happen to anyone, really.
|The thing is, he did send out search parties. There's no rule that anyone has to search for anyone. Plus, he told everyone to turkey. And the first search was only because of the rain. It's not like a hare can control the rain.|
And yay, hooray, hip hip ON ON to the GFH3. Here's to another 32 years, etc. etc. Best to end on a high note, so no mention of that whole Executive Committee meeting thing. Thanks to Mufti, PPH and PP for organization and set-up, to PhR for emergency trail-setting and trash disposal, and to Cocked and Loaded and Queen Cobra for the wine, and Brent for the beer. And whoever brought the spaghetti with pesto. Also the pool looks gorgeous and feels even better. Plus whoever's operating the weather these days, and the kids and wives who joined us and just make the whole thing that much more festive, and all the dogs who behaved so well and Suck Squeeze Bang for taking a turn with the camera. And more.
Out in the rest of the world, Thanks for the Mammaries was celebrating GFH3's 32nd atop Denali, and Cums Too Fast got so excited he swam all the way around Key West, 12 miles of chop in about eight hours.
|Cutest baby award goes to...|