There Are No Rules...

Around the world, hashers like to say that there are no rules in hashing.  Or, more elaborately, that Rule Number One is, "There are no rules," and Rule Number Two is, "See Rule Number One."  However...

There are an awfully lot of traditions.

Following is an arbitrary and entirely incorrect listing of some of those traditions, as applied at the GFH3:

The Trail:  GFH3 trails usually end in the place they started, although sometimes we get a creative A to B.  The trails are almost always pre-set.  Most people strive to use checks and back checks to keep the pack together.  Shiggy is always welcomed by most; poison ivy is always cursed by all.  True trail is typically about four miles, give or take.  There are always complaints about some aspect of the trail, and no one ever uses enough flour to make everyone happy.

Most checks are not this ornate.
The On-In:  Ideally but not necessarily offers a toilet.  Necessarily offers both beer and wine of at least moderate quality.  The GFH3 once entirely rejected a host's offering of Budweiser beer.  Or maybe it was Bud Light.  The GFH3 has never, as far as this hasher knows, rejected any food.  Food is usually a meal-like offering, and ranges from subs or pizza, sometimes with salad, to elaborate home-cooked or catered buffets.  A vegetarian offering is always appreciated, at least by me.  Unless it's lima beans.  Yuk.  Chips are usually present, sometimes with salsa or dip, and cookies or some dessert often is, too.

The GFH3 On-In does not include a circle ceremony.  We do have a boisterous roll call, however.  The Mufti, or his designee, reads down the list of runners usually present, and those actually present reply in some way (one traditionally answers with a formal, "present;" another shouts, "hooah;" there are several other personalized responses).  The Mufti then announces that person's total lifetime attendance.  When he announces his own, which is upwards of 1,500, several people shout, "audit!" or, "That can't be right."  If we have a brand-new runner, the Mufti announces his or her name, the run count "Number one," and then leads us in a round of cheering, followed by the unintelligible chant, "99 to the cup!"

Say it with me:  "99 TO THE CUP!"
If anyone has reached a run count of double numbers (22, 33, etc.), or triple numbers (444, 555) or the very rare quadruple numbers (1,111), the Mufti becomes very excited.  If two people have double- or triple-numbers, the Mufti becomes super excited and we all say, "Oooooooo" like it's all spooky.  If three people have repeating numbers, the Mufti has to lie down on the floor with his feet elevated and breathe into a paper bag, while the rest of the hash moans, "OOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo" and waves their arms around and rolls their eyes.

Hosting:  If every individual (not couple, but individual) who comes to the hash at least once a month or more hosts once a year, we are all set for hosts.  As this does not happen, some people graciously step up several times a year.  Everyone knows who all these people are.  If you can't or don't wish to host from your home, you can borrow a friend's, use your party room, find a parking lot, community room or other space that allows (or at least doesn't forbid) gatherings with alcohol, and host there.

This is what a Hash Hero looks like.
Now and then no one is signed up to host, and someone volunteers with just days to go.  That person is then a 'hash hero,' and gets extra applause during roll call.

Naming:  This is probably where GFH3 differs most from the typical run of hashes.  Great Falls members get a GFH3 nickname on their 100th run.  The group kinda-sorta doesn't recognize nicknames from other hashes.  The naming process relies on input from the Executive Committee, which is theoretically everyone with 100 runs or more.  People with fewer runs often sneak in, though.  When someone reaches 99 runs, the Mufti convenes the Exec Comm and opens the floor to suggestions.  A group of ten or twenty or so stare at each other, someone says, "Why isn't X here?  S/he always has good ideas," someone else says, "No, her/his names are terrible," and a third person wanders off to find a few more Exec Comm members.  Then three people suggest ideas at once, and six other people say those ideas are terrible/great/already done/too rude/not rude enough/make no sense.  Then someone else suggests a name, and everyone else says, "Naaah."  Then two people start to bicker about whether names should be naughty, nasty or nice, and someone else pushes up close to the Mufti and says, "I have it!"  And so forth.

"Make it nice."  "Make it REALLY rude."  "No, that's too rude."  etc.
Eventually the Mufti gets a dozen or so ideas written on a piece of paper and calls a vote to achieve three finalists.  More arguments break out, people leave to get beer and never return, someone who's been paying no attention wanders by and suggests something completely different, and the Mufti claims to have three finalists.  The Exec Comm votes and half the members argue some more while the other half reminisce about the good old days, when people drank more and came up with better names.

At 200 runs, the 'process' repeats and the hasher gets a new nickname.  At 300, or sometimes 400, runners get input into the final nickname choice, and at 500 runs, they get to choose their own, either one of their previous nicknames or a brand new one, that sticks for life.

Naming ceremonies:  On a person's 100th run, after the roll call, the Mufti dons his fez and demands quiet.  He then calls the person to be named to come stand by him, begs for clemency, and reads the list of 'bullets dodged' before unfolding, with a flourish, a handsome cotton t-shirt with the date, the runner's real name, and his or her new nickname.  Everyone cheers.  The last person to reach 100 presents the new 100-run-er with a silver cup, engraved with the names, dates and nicknames.  A few of the more enthusiastic audience members pour liquids into the cup, and the newly-named person drinks the contents, unless we're outdoors and s/he can pour them on the ground.

bullets dodged...
At 200 runs, there's another cup.  At 500, there's a plaque.  At 1,000 (SEVEN GFHers have 1,000-plus runs), there's a satin warm-up jacket.

Birthdays:  The group 'sings' the traditional Happy Birthday song in wildly different tempos and keys, mostly completely out of tune, and the celebrant is invited to make a speech.  Sometimes someone brings a cake.

Birthday boys and girls often respond with various ear-plugging attempts.

Speeches:  The speech-maker thrusts one arm into the air, and everyone else immediately cheers and yells.  Repeat twice.  Sometimes the speech-maker utters a syllable; rarely two.

synchronized speechifying

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