Emerging from Putney Station, I was about to follow the P-trail up the hill to the Green Man pub when I spotted an elegant, smartly dressed, business woman standing by the bus stop, who looked somehow familiar. Then it clicked – it was none other than our very own GM, Dingo. I just hadn’t recognised her with her clothes on. I left her and her lazier acolytes to the delights of the No.85 and did my best to work up a thirst for the traditional pre-hash pint by continuing up the P-trail. Mind you, I think I would have taken the bus too if I had been wearing a pencil skirt and high heels, but you’ll have to wait until the next Red Dress Run for that.
We had quite an international gathering for this run, with 14 visitors from all over the world including Egypt, San Francisco, Iowa, and even the City of London. Our hare for the day was Phickle F, who set us off into the wilds of Putney Heath and thence on into the dense jungle that is Wimbledon Common. I do not exaggerate when I say that I have encountered less impenetrable tracks in the depths of the Malaysian jungle than some of the trails laid by our hare.
At one point I was intrepidly way out in front of the pack, having just successfully broken a check (a fairly rare occurrence for me) when I heard a distant cry of “New Balls Please”. Had we strayed so far off course that we were now in the grounds of the All England Club? No, it was our GM again, trying to locate me so that she could ‘offer’ me the honour of scribe duties for the evening.
By the time we reached the furthest extremity of the run (Queen’s Mere by my reckoning, but I could be wrong) the pack had become rather lethargic, with only desultory efforts to try to break the check. So we were quite happy to follow the cry of On On, which we assumed would lead us onto the trail back home. This optimism turned out to be misplaced. Somehow the FRBs had managed to pick up the wrong part of hare’s trail and were heading in an unintended direction. Our esteemed hare-meister (his words, not mine!) Phickle F then had to retrieve the situation with desperate cries of “On Back” and the scattering of copious amounts of flour to mark out the new trail. What then ensued will probably not go down in WLH history as PF’s finest hour, but basically entailed something resembling a live hare run, with the hash-meister continuing to chuck flour and chivvy the pack back onto the intended route home. Even then the return journey was not that straightforward, with the On-In trail crossing over the On-Out trail and consequently leaving several less observant hashers heading in the wrong direction. Indeed, they may still be wandering around the common as I write this.
Back in the pub, Down-downs were awarded to our numerous visitors, who were all polite enough to say how much they enjoyed running with WLH. Phickle F was of course made to atone for his trail laying misdemeanours, and Shakesbeer was castigated for not fing-off to Russia on schedule. (Apparently this penalty will continue every week until she does so). Finally, we had the task of christening Peter, a relative newcomer to the West London Hash. He had been observed making a plunge into the bushes whilst out on the run, so the RA proposed variations on the theme of Bush Diver, Brazilian, etc. The hash name finally selected was (I think) Sh*t in the Bush, so welcome to your new family SITB.
New Balls (Please)