A "hash" involves a trail that is set once (or more) weekly by some unlucky by one (or a group) of hashers, typically a lead and some helpers. These poor sods are known as the "hares". This also leads to the use of the terms "harriers" (male) and "harrietes" (female) when referencing hashers in general. In Lynchburg, the trails themselves are anywhere between three and six miles long. Trail is typically marked in flour and/or chalk.
“Hashing” began in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) where a group of British expatriates enjoyed playing “paper chase” or the “hounds and hares” game. Each week a couple of blokes acted as hares and were given a short head start. The hares left a “scent” of shredded paper. The “pack” (of “hounds”) then proceeded to try and catch the hares, following their trail over hill and dell, barking “on” or “on-there” as they found trail. The chase typically concluded at a local pub, or “hash house” (named for their lackluster food), where the traditions of the Hash House Harriers began. Today there are more than 1,800 hashes throughout the world.
HOW TO JOIN
The short answer? Just show up! Call 1-434-582-8076 for information on where to be and when.
Want more? Read ON-ON ---///--->
VIRGINS, VIRGINS, VIRGINS...
So, you’re a virgin. And you thought that after your first lay, the abuse would end. Guess again. If you have never attended a hash before, YOU ARE STILL A VIRGIN!! So, virgin, here is some key information that may lead you to actually WANT to check out a hash...
HOW TO FIND THE HASH
Each week, hashers meet at a predetermined place. You can call the Hash Hotline at 1-434-582-8076 and the recording will give you all the information you need to show up at the right place. You can also request to be put on our email list and you will receive e-mails about all the hashes and other events. You don’t need to let anyone know you are coming, just show up!
Once it has been deemed an acceptable time to begin, everyone gathers around the hares for chalk talk. This is the time when the markings will be explained and as well as certain particulars concerning the trail. Another part of the circle is the introductions. All those present, including virgins and visitors, introduce themselves to the rest of the hash.
THE ACTUAL TRAIL
After the circle-up, you will be pointed in the general direction of the trail start and will then be on your own (actually, you will surrounded by other hashers, but the difference is negligible). You will be looking for the marks as described by the hare(s).
On finding the first mark, you, the clever virgin, will yell out "On-ONE!" to indicate you do not have your head totally up your arse, and may be going in the right direction. Upon finding the second mark, shout out "On-TWO!" Find a third mark, and holler "On-ON", the indication that you are indeed on true trail.
When you find a circle with a cross through the middle, this is a "check" or "intersection" which means that trail can go in any direction from that point. The hares will attempt to confuse you with false trails, which may be marked with a large "YBF" or three horizontal lines... or not at all. Trail may simply evaporate after one or two marks. If this happens, return to the last check and try a different direction. At the check, you may also see trail marks with initials or strange symbols next to them. These are pack marks, arrows left by other hashers indicating the direction they took from the check. Follow these at your own risk... we don't always know where we're going.
And if you're one of those overachieving virgins who likes to run, look behind you, and you may see the whole pack bearing down on your cries of "On-ON!". You are now an "FRB", or Front Running Bastard.
A CHERISHED MOMENT - THE BEER CHECK
After running on trail for awhile, somewhere between the start of the run and the end of the run, there may be a very special check...the "Beer Check" also known as the "BC". Sometimes we have one beer check, sometimes more. The more beer checks on a trail, the more likely you are on a longer run. At the beer check, beverages, including beer, water, and soda are provided. Beer checks help keep the group together. While the faster runners drink and enjoy a break, the slower runners and walkers have time to catch up. But all have some time to enjoy a beverage or two. From the beer check, the pack takes off again until the on-in is reached.
The end destination of the trail is known as the on-in. This is usually a bar, restaurant or a hasher's personal residence. At the ending of the on-in, another circle is formed. The Religious Advisor ("RA") calls the hares into the middle where they are given the proper abuse they deserve for setting the trail. Visitors and virgins are also given justice for making the mistake of running with us. Accusations are also made for abuses on trail, such as wearing the same hash apparel as other hashers, showing up late or skipping the trail or together and just showing up at the end. Note: Do not wear new shoes, apparel that references competitive r*ces or r*nning clubs as this will lead to down-downs as well. If you do, prepare to drink for your foolishness. Accusations lead to down-downs. Songs are sung, beer or other beverages are consumed, food is eaten and much merriment is had by all.
Still want more info? Here are some Frequently Asked Questions collected from new hashers...
(Q) How do I join the Hash?
(A) Just show up to one of the trails. On your first trail, you will be a virgin but can consider yourself a hasher thereafter.
(Q) If I attend a hash, do I have any obligation to show up regularly or pay dues?
(A) In Lynchburg, the $3-5 you pay at the beginning of each trail is the only money we ask you to pay. We have people who show up once a week, and we have people who show up once a year (or less). If you had a good time, come back. If you decide that hashing is not for you, just stop showing up.
(Q) What exactly is a "Hash Name"?
(A) A "Hash Name" is the name that hashers go by during hash events. Every hash member receives a hash name, as decided by the other hashers, after his or her fifth trail, including one that he or she hared. Usually this name has some connection with a personal embarrassing event, or has sexual implications. In any case, it is usually a name that you don’t refer to in public, sign on your e-mails, or put on your resume. The more embarrassed or dissatisfied you are with your hash name, the more likely you are to be given that name...
(Q) So what's the deal with the term "Hash"?
(A) Okay, here's the story: The Hash House Harriers phenomenon began in 1938 with an Englishman named Albert Stephen Gispert in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He gathered together a group of British expatriates to play a variation of a game known as the "paper chase" or "Hares and Hounds", an English schoolboy's game. The group got its name from their hangout, The Selangor Club, which was commonly called the "Hash House" due to its barely edible food.
(Q) I'm oversensitive and easily offended. Is Hashing right for me?
(A) No. You should find a different hobby (suing people, tree hugging, protesting, etc.)
(Q) What kind of people attend the Hash?
(A) People from all walks of life, from judges to students. You'll find hard-core runners, non-competitive runners, walkers, and those that just like to get out and get a little exercise. In all cases, they are people that enjoy a good laugh, and can have some fun socializing while still getting some exercise.
(Q) Can I bring my children to a Hash event?
(A) It's not recommended unless you're setting aside money for psychotherapy. Unfortunately, we're not a family hash.
(Q) Can I participate in a Hash event without being forced to drink alcohol?
(A) Absolutely. Although a healthy tolerance for people who drink is desirable, the point of hashing is to have fun and get some exercise.
(Q) I want to be a hare. What do I do?
(A) First, attend a few runs so that you get the idea of what hashing is about. After that, see our Hare Raiser, who is usually looking for people to set runs. You will probably want to have a veteran co-hare to help out and show you the ropes.