Monday, September 21, 2009

Honorary Humiliation at the Hash House Harriers, Dushanbe


After a hot drawn out summer the masses craved the ritual of a public humiliation. The pressure was mounting, the non-natives were restless, it could be no longer contained, the eruption was imminent; September 16th was scratched into the tablet of time for our baptism of fire.

At an unearthly hour, ‘Arse Fondler’ turns up in one of those white SUV full of shredded military secrets, and drives us to city limits where the urban sprawl is abruptly halted by mountainous fields of pasture. Several bleary eyed bewildered kids watched in disbelief as the three of us, (the third I will mention in detail later) lugged Santa Sacks of Shred into the foot hills. ‘Arse fondler’, an experience trail-blazer, started sprinkling the shred like moon dust, leaving heaps on eroded pathways, bushes, grassy mounds, cow dung, and small children, cunningly lightening his load, knowing that there was another 3miles up and down dale of trail to mark.

Josh, a Boston lawyer, short in stature, high in spirits, especially after a Friday night down the Irish pub where he reconnects with his beer-swilling heritage, was on the same path of fate as I. Supporting darkened glasses to protect his hangover from the sun, he ventured up the donkey track to lay the walkers trail. Twenty minutes later he has reached the end of the track, missed any disguised left turns, and was seemingly propositioned by a family of goat herds looking for a third wife (or another goat). Meanwhile, Arse Fondler’s emptied his sack over the hill side, whilst yours truly lugged his around like a Nepalese Porter.

After an hours troop march, the shred was scattered, dead end trails laid, a beer stop etched into the cut straw and sweat pouring from our backs, we headed to the Grand Master’s house for raspberry coffee and grapes. After a quick recoup, we jumped into his pimped up four wheel drive Lada (Niva)… sparkling paint job, bull bars, sub woofer, and halogen lights, and guided the Grand Master to the beer stop at the top of the endless hill.

At 4.00pm the hash meets at the pool hall, and word had travelled quick as two ‘newbys’ were to be baptised in font of alcohol and bestowed a Hash Name. In fact, the usual 30/40 participants swelled to 60/70, word had spread and the alternative Saturday afternoon entertainment limited during Ramadam.

Hashers of all ages, shapes, sizes and nationalities, including the Swiss, churned up dust along the shredded trails, cursed at the false trails and caught their breath at the ‘B**B-Stops’. The red faced sweaty hashers recharged their batteries with a chilled ‘Balticka’ at the Dushanbe View – ‘Beer Stop’ before rolling back down the track to the city.

Back at the grand masters, the circle of humiliation formed as the hash virgins, and visitors were ushered in to dance, sing and swig warm beer to boisterous school-boy chanting. The crowds’ anticipation grew as no-name Josh and no-name Shane were made to kneel before the Religious Advisor. What followed was a spectacle never to be mentioned in front of children; numerous dowsings in Russian beer, stripped half naked, and generally derided over any flaws in personality, appearance or actions. Finally, the naming; Josh is now affectionately known as ‘Vidal Baboon’, in reference to his carpeted back, thankfully there was no mention of his peanut butter fetish, and as for no-name Shane – you probably already guessed - ‘Full Sack’

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Full Sack!

Welcome to the group of funny and weird sounding names. You did it!

I wonder why this guy's name is Arse Fondler though?!?


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