Colombo Hash House Harriers/Harriettes guidelines for new conscripts.
Welcome to the wonderful and exhilarating world of hashing! This guide will serve you well as you embark on your journey into the exciting world of hashing. Sound corny enough yet? Now that we’ve got that nonsense out of the way, let’s get into what really would make your hashing experience as much fun as possible. I’m going to outline some basic premises of hashing and give you some insight of it means to be a hasher and, when the occasion calls for it, a hare.
Each kennel has its own set of rules and the Colombo Hash House Harriettes is no exception. These are in place so that you (and those around you) will get the best possible experience from hashing. Stick to them and we’ll not need to have words…
When you first come into the Hash, you will either be a guest of a member or have happened across our website or other paraphernalia. I will first give you a few basic rules that you will need to know as a guest. If your sponsor has not taken the time to ‘educate’ you in proper hash decorum, this guide will help you fit into the crowd.
At the start of the Hash, there is a run for about an hour. You may choose to run or walk the trail. The choice is entirely yours. No pressure.
When everyone gets back from the trail, there is usually about 20-30 minutes time to cool down, get refreshments and mingle about, getting to know the rest of the bunch. Use this opportunity to make some new friends.
The RA (Religious Advisor) will at some point call the Circle to order. You are then expected to top up your beer and make your way towards the hash table (alter). Everyone stands around in a circle, with the RA in the middle.
The formalities at the hash may seem a bit strange to the uninitiated but bear with it. Watch the other hashers and mimic what they do when your turn comes around.
There are certain rituals that need to be performed during the Circle, which the RA or On-Sec will declare beforehand. Please show respect during these occasions.
A very important point to note, talking during the Circle is seriously frowned upon – it disrupts proceedings and can make the Circle go on for an unnecessarily long time. When in doubt, shut the fuck up, even if someone else tries to engage you in conversation. There will be plenty of time to chat afterward.
As a guest, you will be called into the circle to tell everyone a bit about yourself. Be as open as you wish. It’s all in good fun. The RA will ask you a few questions to help the rest of the crowd get to know a bit about you. These will be along the lines of your name, what you do here in Sri Lanka, when you got here and when how long you’ll be here for as well as who brought you to the hash. Try to remember the Hash Name (more on that later) of the person who introduced you.
The hash fee you pay includes the run fee, all the beer you can reasonably manage and hash food. Beer cannot be taken away from the hash, so just don’t.
Try to pay attention to what is happening in the circle, as it will be important to you if you should decide to become a member of this sorry bunch.
If you have something important to say, for example, a charge against another hasher, a joke or story you to tell, you must put your beer can/mug/bottle on your head and wait for the RA to acknowledge you. You may then step into the circle and spew forth whatever nonsense you may. If the RA does not see you, don’t take it personally, there is usually a lot going in the circle. Do not try to shout over the RA. That will not end well.
Once you decide that hashing is the thing for you, you can speak to Hash Cash and pay your member fee. You will then become an official Hash House Harriette and get a sparkly new Hash T-Shirt. Generally, after becoming a member, we wait till you’ve done about 5 runs to actually give you your Hash Name. This depends greatly on how open you are and how much you mingle and get to know the other hashers and vice versa. We have named people on their very first run!
On Hash Names – When it comes time for you to get your Hash Name, you will be called into the circle by the RA, who will then ask you a few leading questions, pretty much as the same as when you first came in. The circle will then be open to ask you whatever they may. Try to be as honest as possible as that will get you a name that matches well. The more open you are, the better the Hash Name will be. Remember, once you are named, that will be your Hash Name for life.
Photos during the Hash – Everyone values their privacy. The whole idea about hash is that you can say and do as you will. No one wants to have a Kodak Moment just when they are caught doing something silly. There will be an official Hash Flash, who will upload appropriate photos to the website and Facebook page. There will be no unauthorized photos allowed. Please respect the privacy of everyone. The RA will have the final say as to who may or may not be allowed to flash.
On Haring – Every member is expected to hare in order to keep their run ration below 10. (runs divided by the number of hares). The Trail Mistress will designate the hares for a given date. Don’t fret, new members will always be paired with a seasoned hasher so that they can be shown the ropes. To help you along, here are a few rules that need to be adhered to when laying a trail.
Rule of thumb – When laying a trail in the city, always use flour. Paper/Hash Shreddy can be used at other times. The main hare will usually sort this out.
There are usually 2-3 three hares (more if it’s a special occasion). The hares do not pay hash fees for that day. Instead, they are responsible for sorting out hash food for after the circle. The cost is split between the hares. Options for food are at the hare’s discretion. There’s no need for a 4-course meal but do try to manage something substantial. Don’t be cheap, as usually most hares spend between 8-12 grand in total per run.
On Saturday, there is a runners trail as well as one for those who wish to walk. There is no necessity for a hare to accompany the runners, however, someone should be there with the walkers unless otherwise arranged.
So there we go. Just a quick heads up on how to hash. If you have any further questions, you can always ask anyone of the Mismanagement Committee, We are always there to help you along to make your days as a hasher more enjoyable.