I glanced at my Facebook one last time before heading out on the road to Florida.
“Also on New Years day we will be hashing, so bring a comfortable pair of running shoes. The theme of the hash is All Holidays attire meaning you dress according to your favorite holiday.”
WTF is hashing?
A small giggle escaped from my sisters lips as she quickly googled it.
Hashing . . . it’s a mixture of athleticism and sociability, hedonism and hard work, a refreshing escape from the nine-to-five dweebs you’re stuck with five days a week. Hashing is an exhilaratingly fun combination of running, orienteering, and partying, where bands of harriers and harriettes chase hares on eight-to-ten kilometer-long trails through town, country, and desert, all in search of exercise, camaraderie, and good times. – Onin.com
“Have fun with that.”
I was a bit baffled. What exactly did we get ourselves into?! Running? I just started my Couch to 5k program so I wasn’t exactly comfortable with running… but in conjunction with partying – I think I can do that.
So we stuffed a few things into our already full suitcase and didn’t think much of it.
Come New Years day, we rouse our partially hungover selves around 11am to prepare for the “early” hash at 1pm.
Shaun is full of mystery as he disappears for a while collecting his costume. I quickly put on an orange shirt and black leggings.
“Look! I’m Halloween!”
“You’re not just wearing that are you?” Maria smirks. She rustles up some black electrical tape and we quickly turn my shirt into a jack-o-lantern making my already rotund belly a perfect fit.
What I didn’t realize at the time is that hashing is a culture. It is a way of life to addicted hashers.
Maria is the 4th of July. Complete with an American flag shirt and red white and blue coming out the hoohah (not really but you get the point) all topped with a PBR tropical straw hat.
Brian was Saint Patty’s. He even gave himself a festive trucker beard to go with it. With a painted green mohawk and a green beard to go with his prized Saint Patty’s drinking run shirt, he was ready for his hash.
…but Shaun was still nowhere to be seen.
We arrived to the meet-up spot and Shaun opens up the trunk. He starts grabbing out a couple of branches and a massive palm frond while sticking them in pockets, in his belt, and out his pants.
“Look! I’m arbor day!”
What a motley crew we were. 2 Talk like a Pirate Days, a May Day, A Monster Easter Bunny, 2 normal people and the four of us.
So hashing in a Readers Digest version is something like a hunting dog game. You, the runners are the dogs. The people running away from you are the hares (or in this case, the harriettes). They leave various markers around town in flour to send you on trails. Sometimes the trail is false but when the trail is hot, screams of “ON-ON!” and whistles tell you where to go, like hounds howling over a scent.
There are shot checks where you have to take shots.
There are tick checks where you have to strip down “and make sure no one has ticks” (which does need to be done sometimes).
There are joke checks in which people need to stop and tell jokes.
So we were a hot mess running down the streets of Cedar Key (a community of 100 people) doing a scavenger hunt dressed as random holidays… beers in hand.
“Did anyone care to check the open container laws?” May Day asked.
“I don’t think anyone cares.” I said.
We clinked our Bloody Marys and slowly made our way to the end of the chase.
“What is your mother hash?!” cried Maria.
Shaun and I look at each other confused.
“The Titty Hash!” (Also known as the Trailer Trash hash – har har we are in an RV park)
Was it worth running 6 miles that day? Yes.
Would I do it again? You bet’cha.
But next time I know what to expect. Future hashers beware – I guarantee there will be another one of these things on Over Yonderlust.