The Tale of the Trail
The Chicago Hash 17 May 2010 by Horn-E
About fifteen to twenty years ago, we had a good hasher named Deep Tunnel who would drive in from St. Charles with a buddy, The Colonel, about twice a month for CH3 Sunday hashes. We would often get 25 to 30 hashers back then. Occasionally he wanted to hash in his town. For the St. Charles hashes we would get fifteen or so for the 35 to 40 mile hour drive straight west on North Ave. Good hashes in virgin trail. Well, this week CH3 hit a new low in attendance. Oh, we’ve had lower, weather and such, but this was a beautiful night and we ran only about 10 miles south of many of us with good parking available, close access to the outer drive and public transit. We had two hares Stab ’em & Slab ’em who often opens her home for the hash and Chippendale who came from up north to lay trail here. We had only three regular hashers, Horn-E, Corn Star, and Lifa, who took half a day vacation to show up. We also had one hasher we haven’t seen in a looooong time show up all the way from Joliet, Cum In My Nurse. And another hasher, Just Ricardo. He’s new to Chicago and first and last hashed in Southeast Africa. They have about 25 to 30 running in the jungles and we can only get five regulars to show up. And where was mis-management? If they want to run the hash, they should run the hash. Remember, sometimes the hash is a bit out of the way as hashers that live further out, have a hash near their home. Well, they come all the way to your hashes as often as they can. We that live closer to ground zero, need to support their hashes too. Hell, the last First Crack of the Moon Hash had as many. But attendance has been down week after week. And I don’t want to see some phony inflated numbers. The only numbers that really count are those on trail. The first Monday Hash of the year used to get over fifty about 20 years ago. This year we had 26. Last week we had 14. And that includes hares and virgins and visitors. Where are the so called regulars? The Chicago Hashers.
So what do we do? Show up and support the regular weekly hashes. Without them, the hash has no base. That means work together to get the information out to all of the hashes well in advance. Not at the last minute as has been to often the case with CH3 over the last half year or more and really going way back. Having a list of names three months long means shit. Having locations for the next two or three weeks means you have your shit together. That is the hares responsibiliy as much as the Hare Raiser. Get it done. And publish that. Listing the last several weeks worth of hashes on your web site is stupid. Who cares. Write a good Hash Trash or erase it.
Cooperate between the hashes. It wasn’t until about a month ago that CH3 finally listed the Moon Hashes’ web site. Yet we list their weekly hashes along with the other hashes for the benefit of all of you. And through these posts. They still don’t list the Big Dog Hash or the Bushman Hash. And the ones they list, SCH3, TH3 and now the Moon Hashes are sandwiched between hashes scattered all over the Midwest. No visitor is going to go to the CH3 web site and figure out that SCH3 is in Chicago. They probably wouldn’t look all that way down the list of Web Site contents in the first place. And so, visitors miss hashing opportunities that could lead into greater interest in local hashing. We owe it to them to have a more cooperative system. Instead, it is more about selfish interests.
Cooperation between the hashes instead of confrontation and conflicts of dates. We still need to point out that CH3 still just sets up dates without caring if their is any conflict with others or not. This just leads to animosity between hashes. And hashers that have other dates already set up. The last time I looked, four out of six CH3 Sat hashes conflict with others with their usual fuck you attitude. They never even try to work something out. Well, almost never. After years of my offering cooperation, Salty Gash and I finally worked out a deal with POP and the Bushman Hash last year. Thanks Salty Gash. And a visitor was able to do both. It worked despite only have partial notification out of CH3. And we tried again last winter with the Moon Hash and Bushman Hash and Anthrax. Again, only partial notification from CH3, but we got some notification and some visitors got in two other hashing opportunities. Of course, with the partial notice, some missed out on the opportunities. This year, Virgin Banger worked with SCH3 to ensure that their would be no conflict over Memorial Day weekend. Great. Salty Gash and POP are again cooperating with the Big Dog Hash as far as I know. Great. But CH3 has scheduled a lot of other hashes in conflict again. This pits hash against hash and creates animosity that reflects in hashers picking hashes and avoiding hashes, decreasing overall attendance. Many, if not most of us, attend many hashes as opportunities arise. If someone is hurting hashes by undercutting them or conflicting with them or not letting other hashes know about them, then we are ultimately hurting our friends as well as those that we want to hurt. Hurt? Totally unhashlike.
Our web sites should prominently reflect the other hashes in town. Feed into each other instead of stepping on each other. If you get a new hasher and they aren’t totally into your hash, tell them about the other hashes. They might prefer a smaller, or larger hash. More drinking or shorter circles. Whatever. pass them on, don’t lose them to hashing. And don’t conflict with other hashes.
What can we do as individuals? Bring around your friends and introduce them to hashing. If they don’t really like the one they start at, get them to try another, especially of another style. Feed them into other hashes works both ways. It can and should be reciprocal. I always do. Get your old hashing friends to come back out. We have lists of hashers that are hundreds long and yet we don’t see more then about 75 between all area hashes in almost any three month period. Where are they? What did they like? What didn’t they like? Let the GMs know these things.
For my part, I do a lot of behind the scenes work for hashing all over Chicago. I attend about 140 or more hashes a year. All right, I’m an addict. I just happen to love the sport, the trail, the adventure. I also love the camaraderie that I find with most hashers. That is most of you out there and reading this. I also try to get emails from new hashers to give them a story of their first hash, a welcome message that tells them all about the various hashes in Chicago and an offer to join my email list that includes more upcoming hashing information then any other source in Chicago, including links to all of the local hashes, and sometimes locations before the other hash web site gets it out there. I write about 150 stories a year to offer an extension of the circle with a tale, fact and fiction, of our latest trails. I get posts from long gone hashers telling me they still read my stories years later. I also hare about 25 or more hashes a year. And I don’t need a Co-hare. I’m doing all I can, but I can’t do it alone. If you like hashing, we all need your help, haring and turning up to just hash. If it isn’t all to your liking, talk to the GMs, personally, and tell them what you like and don’t like and why. We might not be able to help you, but maybe we can offer alternatives, and if enough express the same opinions, them maybe we can find a way to change things. But lets all try.
CH3, 5 hounds and 2 hares, sucks. Believe me, we monthly hashes have fought that problem for years, and we do what we can to cooperate. Lets all try to make this hashing thing in Chicago as good as it can be. It takes you, first and foremost. We so called leaders can’t do a thing without you.
And by the way, this isn’t all just about CH3. It just happens that CH3 hit this low last Monday. All of the hashes can do better. I keep trying. Please, all of you, lets try to work together for the greater benefit of all of the hashing in Chicago. Selfish interests eventually fail. And lets hope that Stab ’em & Slab ’em won’t let this slight effect her to much and she will still want to host hashes in the future.
As for this last CH3 Hash, it worked well despite the small turnout. We know that in Moon hashing. We headed out the alley to the north and Corn Star led us. Check. She headed east and into this campus area and was again On and led us to another Check. She headed west and found another Check. Yes, Corn Star was out leading us and doing a great job. Finally we got hung up on a Check on 63rd. But that wasn’t to bad. Chippendale, our sweep hare couldn’t find his own trail either. Finally he led us to the east and north and we were on. The trail has Checks at about every 2 to 3 blocks and that kept us together and we all took turns finding trail, including out new hasher, Just Ricardo. But hell, he is another one of these fast runners and passed me often. We eventually worked our way under the south shore tracks and over to Jackson Park for a Beer Stop. Stab ’em and Slab ’em was waiting with a cooler and we enjoyed the nice weather. From here we headed south and eventually Cum In My Nurse led us out of the park at 67th St. It was Corn Star who again found this Check to the west. At the next Check, Horn-E finally led us to the south and through an alley with Just Ricardo and to a nice Back Check catching Horn-E and Just Ricardo. Back on 67th St, we headed west along the cemetery until a triple Split. Horn-E got lucky and headed west and then north to a little playground. Lifa and Just Ricardo came to the same playground from another direction and with two arrows pointing into the playground, we were sure there was another beer stop. Not. Bastard hares. A few blocks later we finished at Stab ’em and Slab ’em’s.
We held circle in the garage and had enough beer for a decent sized pack. Back to that problem of such a low turnout. Lifa picked an RA and it was Corn Star. This was the second week in a row without a regular RA. Last week it was R-Tard-E filling in and he did a fair first attempt. What would Corn Star do? Actually a fair first attempt. Well done. And so we all drank. Especially those damn hares.
We finally went back inside for multiple snacks and some pizzas. Hash cash went to the hostess for providing for us so well. Taxes? Fuck taxes. If you can’t even show up to collect the taxes, we don’t mail it in. It is our money and we drank it and ate it. We had a good time and had to leave by 11PM. Thanks hares.