Hared by Butt Plug
Write up By Pickled Fart
Hampton Wick is one of the best kept secrets of the Western London suburbs, buffered by parkland this charming village of congenial pubs and cosy restaurants lies less than a mile from Kingston Town centre but, separated from it, and, thankfully, the chavaratti it attracts, by the Thames.
In common with much of the local architecture, although probably Victorian built, the Swan is a mock-Tudor timber framed building in sympathy with the nearby Hampton Court Palace, complete with jettied upper floor and herringbone brickwork in the style of the period it emulates.
Our Hare, Butt Plug, is famous, not only for his prowess in laying interesting off-road trails, but also for his legendary drink stops. As the heat of this warm July day subsided to a comfortable running temperature a sizeable pack assembled, including our lovely GM, back from a month in her native Australia, where she displayed an exceptional prowess in the Iron Man competition that is belied by her vivacious charm and elfin good looks.
So we have our GM back, a great Hare, a fine evening, a great location and a large pack, so what could possibly go wrong?
I shall give you a clue;
It’s lonesome away from your kindred and all,
By the campfire at night where the wild dingos call,
But there’s nothing so lonesome, so dull or so drear…
Yes, I think you have got it, the pub had no beer. Well nothing any self-respecting Hasher would call a beer, their three real ale taps were as dry as the proverbial witch’s tit, leaving just a selection of bottles and lager. The landlord, new to this establishment, pleaded that he had underestimated the additional demand generated by the Hampton Court flower show which was taking place at the time.
As an aside, on Googling the above song to get the words, I stumbled upon the information that it had been rated, by the Australasian performing rights society, as that countries fifth most popular and successful song (it did not say where that Rolf Harris classic, “Two Little Boys”, came in the ratings). It was even translated into other languages, there was a Dutch version released called “Café zonder bier”. And a German version called “Ich steh an der Bar und ich habe kein Geld”. It requires only a smattering of that language to realize that the title, and chorus, line has been changed to “I am standing at the bar and I have no money” in the German version, presumably because the sheer incompetence entailed in a pub running out of beer is something that would be unimaginably to the Teutonic mind and certainly not be considered an appropriate subject for humour.
Anyway, I digress from the task in hand, writing up this run. The trail took us to the river and in a loop around the Home Park and, with the use of some cunning live haring, exiting it again by means of the same gate before crossing the road to Bushy Park where skittish young deer started from our feet as we weaved our way through the bracken.
At a certain point, a table appeared, in the middle of Bush Park, groaning under the weight of cheeses, pitta bread, charcuterie, quails eggs and a selection of red and white wines with which to wash it all down. The humble drink stop of the past is consigned to history, this was a full blown buffet that would do credit to a top hotel. By what black art the hare conjured this all up in the middle of a deer park no one could guess but that did not them descending on it with the customary lack of restraint displayed by hasher when they encounter food and alcohol.
Back at the Swan Whacker presided over a lively circle where a handful of visitors were welcomed, including an attractive young Jordanian Harriette and her partner, I did try to make a mental note of the visitors’ Hash names for this account, and even enquired as to her name, in response to which she thrust her shapely bosom into my face to reveal it stitched across the chest of her T shirt, but for some reason I not take it in. The circle concluded with the Hare getting a well-deserved pint of lager and then we all decamped to the Foresters across the road which had more real ale taps than you could shake a stick at and without the badge reversed on a single one.