Jogging While Intoxicated

Just in time for the worst storm in recorded history, Unreal catches up to Hash House Harriers, the drinking club with a running problem

And Pee Pole? He's the telephone company worker who was atop a pole one day when a guy appeared out of nowhere and took care of business beneath him.

For many Hashers the outing offers an array of potential mates and/or an escape from the humdrum of domestic life. As Viper Snatch puts it: "For those of us that have bad marriages, this is our reprieve." She adds, pointedly, "You leave your spouse at home."

Other Hashers insist that the Big Hump's weekly jaunts are about drinking — not sex. Weekend Hashes are another story. "You find a lot of men with blow-up sheep on Hash weekends," Bama Mate imparts. "Apparently a lot of single men like to fuck blow-up sheep."

PMS (left) and Viper Snatch apply the Hump headband to 
Puss ’n’ Boobs as fellow anniversary honoree Anthrax 
Tampax looks on.
PMS (left) and Viper Snatch apply the Hump headband to Puss ’n’ Boobs as fellow anniversary honoree Anthrax Tampax looks on.

The humidity is on the rise as the Big Hump gathers around a cooler of Budweiser in a picturesque brick-paved courtyard in Soulard. This evening's pre-Hash host is Meta Arsehole, a goateed 49-year-old who works for a downtown logistics company and has Hashed 171 times. Meta, it so happens, read an article about Hashing in Maxim in 1998 and joined his then-local chapter in Cleveland a year later. (It took him that long to find them.)

"Of the four of us who went Hashing that first time, at least three are still doing it," Meta boasts. "One is the GM of Cleveland, and one is the GM of Silicon Valley. So we've done really well."

When Meta moved to St. Louis three years ago, the first call he made was to the Big Hump. On this balmy evening he's right in the thick of the pre-Hash social, where "stretching" consists of tossing back a few cold ones, extending a hand to Virgins and a hug to Backsliders (figure it out for yourself).

Meta is joined tonight by Suck My Bag, along with Frankie the Dick-Thrusting Pussy Eater and Pee Pole. Deep Pockets, who cut his Hash teeth in Zimbabwe, is here for the first time, as is Just Kelly, a kilt-clad redhead from Denver who's in town on business. Viper Snatch, who invited Unreal via e-mail, reveals herself to be a plucky, 38-year-old blonde who discovered Hashing last year during a stint with the military in Guantánamo Bay. She roams the pack collecting Hash Cash — the weekly $5 entry fee (there are no annual dues) — between swigs from a bottle of 2004 Robert Mondavi chardonnay. "Come on, take a sip," she entreats.

Never far from Viper's side is Cubs Suck, a 36-year-old Chicagoan who resumes the sport each time he breaks up with a woman. "Hey, Lazy Ass! Late as usual!" yells Cubs Suck, scooting over to a sunny-blond man who just arrived in a wheelchair for his ninth Hash. "What the fuck is up?!"

Suddenly a whistle shrills. "Circle Up!" calls Postage Tramp, the Hump's Religious Advisor (RA). It's time for everybody to "hash-hush!"

Just now the temperature plummets and a brisk wind commences to churn. The only Hasher to take notice is Hopeless. "My wife just called," he announces, mid-sip and headed for the Circle. "Tornado warning. Eighty-two-mile-an-hour winds."

Meta Arsehole is ready and waiting with a plunger strung with Christmas lights in one hand, and Just Mike joins the Circle holding a water gun in the shape of a penis. "We used to have a guy in Korea who had a huge plastic penis," Shiggy reminisces. "If a girl touched him, it would pop out of his pants."

Dapper Sapper, who's in town for work from Toronto, and the Grand Master PMS step into the center of the circle. Previously named this evening's Hares, they will head off first and mark the trail with mounds of flour and chalk etchings every 25 yards. Fifteen minutes later the Pack will give chase. If we catch the Hares mid-task, we get to pull down their pants. But first Dapper and PMS proceed with Chalk Talk, in which they translate the strange language of markings they'll leave on the pavement to guide us.

A simple mound of flour, or an arrow scratched out in chalk, indicates that we are On Trail, or headed in one possible direction. Further marks will tell us if it's a True Trail — the one that leads to the finish line — or a Blow Job. In the latter case, we must head back to the previous marking and head off in another direction in pursuit of a True Trail.

In essence the trail seems to resemble one of those old Choose Your Own Adventure books, where a variety of paths ultimately lead to the end. Numerous rallying symbols will pop up on the paths to keep our spirits up. BN, for Beer Near, means we've almost reached the BS, the Beer Stop, or halfway point, where a cooler full of Budweiser awaits. (Tonight it'll be a bar.) The wind is so loud that Unreal can only guess at what Dapper Sapper is saying will transpire if we come to a Titty Check.

Eventually, a line of flour will signal the On In: the end. There the hashers will gather again for a round of hash awards and namings. And, of course, more drinking.

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