(Courtesy of Brown Finger!)
The more I get to know Dr Byte, the more I appreciate what a fine and friendly guy he is, an excellent hashing companion – unless of course he is the hare.
It seems that in the BMY handbook of how to set the perfect trail, there is just one overriding philosophy: to find ever more devious and extreme ways in which to utterly annihilate any FRB who would dare to pit his inferior wits against the self proclaimed most intelligent hasher on the entire planet – and probably on many others as well – and to hell with the consequences for anyone else foolish enough to follow the FRBs along his trail. He has a whole chapter dedicated to a sub-philosophy, which defines such suffering folk as unavoidable collateral damage in a total war against the arch enemy. He is indeed the evil Moriarty of the hashing world; his preferred weapons of FRB destruction are complexity, distance and elevation, backed up with an inexhaustible arsenal of subterfuge.
So perhaps anyone reading this carefully worded diatribe will appreciate why I woke up this morning feeling a little anxious. And I was still feeling that way when we arrived at Moriarty’s usual A site in the Huay Tung Thao area, the one where he doesn’t have to pay the 20 baht entry fee every time he goes scouting, and where Mount Doom rises terrifyingly up to the heavens in a series of acutely ascending ridges. So the mind games had already begun; he had us all thinking that we would be heading straight up the mountain to some lofty point where we would come straight back down again, probably using a parachute, preferably in a body bag. But round one to the hare, he set us off in completely the opposite direction (perpendicular Moriarty?).
We found nice, flat, fun and happy trails, down which one could confidently send one’s granny and kids, family hashing trails in fact, fit for a family hash. We gaily skipped over the road and down wide open trails that were an absolute pleasure to traverse. We ate up a few Ks on these well used trails and I was beginning to feel that the dastardly hare was losing his edge, and we were simply going to frolic around the same area for a couple more Ks before heading back to the A, hopefully for a special BMY BBQ.
Fat chance! The games had only just begun!
At a circle check beside the road, Moriarty had the FRBs checking down the road, further away from the A, while he sat on his motorbike whispering the real direction in Kwazi Moto’s eager ear. Kwazi headed off in the opposite direction with Itchy bitchy and found the true trail leading into the rapidly expanding housing estate, where poor old Chuck Wao took the wrong trail from a cross check, down the wrong side of a wall, only to find that the true trail led down the other side of the wall and came out on his side of the wall a short distance from the check back. Too late, he had already returned to the check . . .
And then we were led to another devious circle check that had us rummaging through a smelly rubbish tip, and then on to another devilish circle check that had so many possible trails from it that it took us many minutes to find the true trail, which was cunningly off to the right, some sixty or so meters back on the trail we had just come down. By now, we were truly ticking off the Ks, and some of the pack was starting to suffer from physical exhaustion, and as we headed back through the housing estate, the short cutting began in earnest. More ominously, Moriarty was leading us ever closer to Mount Doom. Surely the sadistic bastard was not going to end the run up there?
It was in the foothills that we FRBs started to come across checks that had been kicked out by short cutters, some of whom had decided to risk taking the trail that did indeed start to go up the mountain. But then, thankfully, the trail turned sharply right, and after some bushwhacking through torched undergrowth, Itchy found the trail along some good running trails that were heading back towards the A, without too much elevation change, but with some excellent checks that had the FRBs running all the wrong directions. By now we thought we had cleared the short cutters . . .
I guessed by then we had run a good six to seven Ks, and I was confident that we would now be heading straight for home along the wide trail that I recognized from Moriarty’s last run here, the one with the Pussy Blood. But then I came across the fiend himself, sitting on his motorbike at a V check. He began to whisper sinisterly in my ear that I should go left, the true trail was left, only a check back going right. You don’t really want to go right, do you – ah ha ha ha ha! That did it. I wasn’t about to trust the scheming, conniving bastard, so I followed my FRB nose and headed right, and sure enough the powder just kept on appearing right before my eyes – a miracle, or so I thought. So I headed along the familiar trail back to the A, past more checks that some other short cutters had kicked out, but only some checks and not others. What the f . . .?
Back at the A, Skid Mark, Bend Over et al were already there, Bend Over convinced that he hadn’t short cutted. But where were the other FRBs? Chuck Wao and Graven Image hadn’t been too far behind me at the V check where I had tangled minds with Moriarty. Sometime later they arrived at the A, walking down the trail together, hand in hand, whispering sweet nothings in each other’s ear hole. What a wonderful happy family picture they made, the two of them, happy on the Happy Hash.
But then it all turned ugly, with Chuck Wao and Graven pointing accusatory fingers at all and sundry for being short cutting bastards. What the f . . .? They looked mean and nasty, not like happy hashers at all. It turned out that Moriarty had somehow persuaded, hoodwinked, fooled the poor bastards into taking the left fork at the infamous V check and had led them up and down the mountain, via a precipitous waterfall, using inhumane skiddy checks and other such devastating weapons. Graven had well over 10 Ks on his gadget, a real ball buster by recent Chiang Mai standards.
Being personally accused of being a short cutting bastard and a liar was a little hard to take, but in the end it appeared that, although I had not left powdered trail, I had in fact ran through a check back at the infamous V check and found the trail again some few meters past it. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed to find that I had missed out on all the fun up the mountain. Then again, I have to admit, my own preference for extra punishment is not everyone’s preferred perversion!
Finally, a little after dark, Moriarty and Bend Over arrived on their motor bikes, bringing in the two remaining lost souls who had, unlike everyone else except for the very brave and very angry Chuck Wao and Graven image, not managed to short cut their way back to the A.
And so ends the story of the hash that well and truly screwed all the FRBs and everybody else, except those who were wise enough to run only the first 10 or 20 meters down the trail and then return to the A to wait for the rest of the pack to return, some of us physically bloodied and others utterly bloody minded.
I loved the run, personally, but then apparently I am a short cutting bastard who deliberately chose not to do the most foul and devilish section of Moriarty’s dastardly trail.
And so, a successful mission for the hare. Here’s to the next time, evil one!
Graven’s epic 10k++ :-