What Is Hashing
The “hare” for the week sets a trail for the “hounds” to follow. The hash run follows an unpredictable cross-country trail laid with simple trail-marks (usually flour or chalk, otherwise known as “hash”) showing the way. A crafty Hare will set “false trails,” trying to foul-up the Front Running B*stards (FRB’s) in the group, thus allowing the pack the opportunity to catch up. To make sure that the group stays together, harriers yell “ON-ON” when they see a trail mark and are heading in the right direction.
The history of the hash dates back to British Malaysia before WWII. There are now hash chapters established in almost every country worldwide, thereby making the planet a less lonely place for many ex-pats whose postings take them to faraway places. The good news for us home-bound Yanks is that hashing has caught on in North America.
Since hashing has been around since the late 1930s, different hash clubs have different traditions. Drinking, singing (drinking songs, of course), and other archaic diversions have been known to occur on the hash. The philosophy of the original Hash House Harriers from the 1938 charter was:
- To promote physical fitness among our members
- To get rid of weekend hangovers
- To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
- To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel
At trails end hashers gather to drink their beverage of choice and recognize the efforts, deceits, and folly of the hare. The Closing Circle is led by the Religious Advisor or other designated wanker. Traditions (and the degree of rowdiness) vary from hash to hash, but in general, the Circle consists of awarding “Down-Downs” for misdemeanors real, imagined, or blatantly made up. Visitors are always given a Visitors Down-Down as are Virgins (first-time hash runners) and anyone else who comes to the attention of the Circle. So come on out and enjoy the fun!
The Hashers was founded on 15 February 1992 by Peter “Bogya” Bauer and its parent hash was Montgomery H3 (Montgomery, AL) which was founded in 1983 by Bill Booker, Chris Moore, and Giles “Patchwork Quilt” Paget-Wilkes. Montgomery H3 was born of East Bay H3 (San Francisco, CA) which was founded in April 1979 by Robbie Cook and Bob “Old English” English, which in turn traces its roots to the Mother Hash in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.