This week the scribe was impeded by Metro delays and was not present at the start of the r*n. The following account is reconstructed from secondary sources and a certain amount of outright conjecture.
“Fly to me, my pretties!” screamed the hare. “Come, Monkey Runners, and flock to my trail, for the moon is full, the night is bright, and the Good Harewitch of the Hash commands!”
“Wasn’t it the wicked witch who had the flying monkeys?” asked Pimp.
“Shut up,” said Treasure Chest. “I’m the hare, I’ll choose what kind of witch I am.”
“We come to do your bidding, mistress,” ooked the Monkey Runners. “We have our hi-vis and our Garmins at the ready.”
“Is anyone having a half before we start?” asked Frogsporn.
The Monkeys gazed at him blankly.
“On out is that way.” The hare made an elbow, cackled wildly at gleaming Selene, then looked a bit shifty. “Good witches cackle as well, you know.”
The rump Hash nodded and began to r*n.
Monkeys flowed around them like sea foam. Cycle paths dotted with running checks led them away from the bright lights of the Pavilion Bar & Grill. A few FRBs on a last stretch of street, and then they were into the darkness around Brierdene Burn.
“Check all ways, my pretties, for there be falsies!” The good wicked harewitch stifled another cackle. Woof Woof and Counterfit exchanged a look.
“Do I need to worry about all this?” asked Cinderella. “I thought we’d already done fairy tales. This better not be a shoes thing.”
“The shoes thing was Sab last weekend,” Counterfit reassured her. “He just hasn’t bothered his arse to write that bit up yet.”
Upon a stop check they all stood, torches a-gleam in the inky darkness, when a distant cry came to ears both Hasher and simian.
“Is that someone shouting are you?” said Woofers. Pimp checked his watch.
“I make it twenty-five past seven. Good effort from Five Kwai.”
ARE YOU drifted in to them again. The Hashers shouted back. The Monkeys watched and waited in primordial silence.
Bike torch in hand, overstuffed bag on back, Chafing Bollocks came running up to them, gasping for breath.
“Where’s Five Kwai?” they all demanded.
“Cheers,” he replied. “Metro was delayed, I think Kwai’s still on his way.” He shrugged the rucksack on his back. “But I bring the boots of – “
“No, we’re not doing shoes!” screamed Cinders, and with that they were off.
Through semi-rural Earsdon they ran, on hedged footpaths betwixt farmers’ fields, running checks drawn with the diabolical neatness of pagan worship. Chafing found a lovely FRB right in the shiggy.
“Thanks for that,” he said to the hare.
“Thought you’d like that,” she replied.
The Monkeys ooked and scratched.
They hit the road at Holywell Farms, then into the housing estate beyond. In this dense urban terrain the Monkeys were in their element, scampering and bounding ahead.
“Falsies,” murmured the harewitch. The Hash stopped and waited for her to mark it, then r*n the correct way.
In a few leaps and bounds they reached the BS marking – a pub called The Cannon Inn. Here the Monkeys huddled, standing around the door, their tiny minds made frightened by the bright lights and the smell of beer.
“What’s the pub like?” Chafing asked.
“Don’t know, I hope it’s decent,” replied the harewitch.
“You mean you haven’t even been in yet?”
“To the bar, my pretties!” she screamed, then gave Chafing a look.
They all went to the bar, which was actually pretty decent. Couple of hand pulls, Murphys on tap, big box of charity sweets which got lots of attention.
At this point the numbers could be easily counted: there were five Hashers present, plus a load of Monkeys. Okay, about ten of them I think.
“It is well that my minions have attended in such numbers,” cackled the harewitch, “for we shall have need of sacrifices!”
“Where’s he going with this?” asked Pimp. Frogsporn shrugged.
“Oh god – is that what happened to Woof Woof and Counterfit?” asked Cinderella.
“No, they shortcutted,” TC told her.
“But Kwai – isn’t he coming? Has he been… sacrificed?”
“No, he missed too many metros,” Chafing explained.
The Monkeys ooked and talked about miles and drank their halves.
Soon they were on out again, the trail leading through back streets to Earsdon Park. Here they undertook the ritual of Hash Playtime.
Pimp and Chafing tried a slide that was too cold and dry to slide. Proper Chafing Bollocks on that one. Frogsporn and Cinders could be seen on the climbing frame. One of the Monkeys got in the big basket swing and was swung by Chafing as high as he could go, before everyone r*n off and left him to find his own way out of that one.
Their next obstacle was the A186.
“BANZAIII” screamed Chafing in Frogsporn’s ear as they dashed across.
Behind them the traffic beeped and zoomed as the anthropoid pack knuckled its way over, guided by the harewitch’s blazing eyes and moonkissed hair.
Soon they passed Chafing on an FRB. The trail was once again cycle paths, smooth and mostly shiggy-free around the edge of Shiremoor.
“Falsies again,” came the harewitch’s invocation. She cackled as the Monkeys all r*n the wrong way.
Soon they passed Chafing on an FRB. The pack was well condensed now, everyone nicely settled into the conditions.
Soon they passed Chafing on an FRB.
“For fuck’s sake, you again?” asked one of the Monkeys.
Chafing did a cackle and r*n on.
“He’s had a beer,” TC explained to them. “He’s a pain in the arse when he’s had beer.”
They touched road at Hartside, passed some housing, then found themselves again crossing the A186. The On Inn was in sight!
“Sprint finish,” chirped one of the Monkeys. The frontmost of the troop flapped its wings and took off, Chafing alongside. Towards the pub they r*n, responding to some primeval backbrain instinct.
“You’ve r*n past the beer wagon,” Counterfit yelled at them. That got them to stop.
The circle took place in the car park. It was GM free (Counterfit filled in). Lubri, having gone to Costa for a hot chocolate, joined the r*nners.
Pimp acknowledged the preponderance of Monkeys by omitting the usual rendition of the Monkees theme tune, even though the Hash outnumbered them by one Lubri. Two virgins were welcomed – the RA only had to be prompted once on the questions, maybe a record – and one was immediately named Bright Spark due to her taste for blinding hi-vis. Chafing was charged for being late and managed to blame it on the government. The sprint finish drew a charge as well. Response to the trail was generally positive, which prompted the RA to explain to the Monkeys that you’re not supposed to be nice to the hare, as all Hashers know well.
“It matters not,” she cackled. “For we have drawn upon the face of Gaia the blessed moonshine crown, and now my powers will be greater than ever!”
“What do you mean?” the RA asked.
“Look at the trail,” she explained. “It looks like a pointy crown.”
“Looks more like Lisa Simpson’s hair,” said Frogsporn.
And with that they went to the pub.