Friday, September 13, 2013

Hashing. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

A quick riddle. What offers you wholesome fun, good fellowship, a good sweat out and where you can speak in expletives language without having dumb blank faces staring back at you. Clue. It's a four letter word. 

Answer : Hash. Ah ??? Can't blame you, if you haven't heard about it. Read on to find out more.

There is no perfect definition of hash, but it can be loosely characterized as a running club with a drinking problem or a drinking club with a running problem. You called that fun! Simply put, hash need to be experienced to be enjoyed. The fact that it's found in every corner of the globe means that there is something magical about it.

The Good
Being a non competitive sport, hash does not offer prize for coming in 1st. Therefore individual can pace their run according to their abilities. If you are fit, run at your level, otherwise take a stroll or brisk walk and if you encounter a tough terrain, take a break. The whole objective is to have a good sweat out, which you are ensured if you complete a run.

Fellowship followed next, which are in abundance if you learn to leave your ego at home or keep it in check. Hash does not discriminate as no criteria is required to become a member. Members comprised of professionals as well as ordinary folks on the street. No intelligence is needed,  just a functional grey matter will be acceptable.

The whole hash community and culture is based on another four letter word : BEER. This golden fluid breaks down any barrier when it comes to communication. Strangers can become your friends overnight.

The Bad
There are some selfish FROP's (front runners on papers), on breaking a check does not shout On On to enable the continuing trail to be connected so that they can be the 1st runner out even though there is no prize for that. 

Because of these, the back or slow runners may encounter difficulty to follow the trail and there are situation where they got lost or disoriented. When questioned, the FROP's will plead ignorance and cocked up some codswallop stories. 

Alcohol is bad. Any Tom, Dick and Harry will attest to that. So is too much sex ! ( We'll leave the debate for another day ). The moral of the story is, when things are done in moderation, we'll have a hunky-dory time. If you choose to consume above your threshold, then you are inviting trouble. Don't blame beer for your malaise. 

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely ! Hash is no difference. Being a GM (grand master) for a prolong period can allow a person to lust for power and their reluctance to give up and pass on this position to the next person may result in clash of personalities. If not resolve amicably the club may suffer as a result.

Manipulation of club funds? Too complicated to scribe. These tasks require the intervention of the CIA, FBI & KGB. Pun intended.

The Ugly
People died running in the hash. Getting lost in the jungle and coming out past midnight. Hasher having an accident on the way home after their weekly runs. You probably have heard those horror stories. Sound like it's a war zone in hashing ! Truth be told, it's definitely safer running in the hash than driving on the Malaysian roads.

There are some element of truth to that, of course. But is hash the cause ? Looking at the bigger, the real scenario would be human elements. These would not have materialized if common sense have prevail. 

Like getting lost ! If hashers follow the paper trail and do not short cut and connected them properly such mishaps will not occurred. 

Dropping dead in the jungle ? This occurred because you may have a cardiovascular problem and not is not aware of your condition as certain part of the run may impose some strenuous effect on your heart. 

The tragedy is unlikely to happen to a senior hashers as they are seasoned enough to face the challenge. Members bringing new guests should therefore briefed them on what to expect in a hash run. Ignorance to do is at your own peril.

As for accident, if one consume within your limit, getting home safely shouldn't be an issue or play safe by asking your other half to become a member. While you get yourself intoxicated, she can be on the wheels to drive you back and not only that, she may have to bear with your snoring and smelly breath. Being a good hubby you probably know what to do to pacify her for the inconveniences. 

Despite all these issues, hashing have prevailed. No one is bigger than the club. Therefore, for all the good, the bad and the ugly and what not that can manifest, collectively, members of the club will ensure that good sense prevail and the hashing fraternity will not be jeopardize because of some smart alec personal agenda, ignorance or stupidity.

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