Athletic drinking: perhaps you thought you were alone, beer pong fans, but hark! a “drinking group with a running problem”. What?!? Sounds too good to be true. But across the globe the Hash House Harriers, or H3, are out in full force. They’re like fraternities/sororities of silliness and fitness for adults of all kinds. The Constitution, dating back to 1950, states the group is meant to, “promote physical fitness among our members, to get rid of weekend hangovers, to acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer.” And the Nobel goes to…
The ratio of exercise to drinking varies from chapter to chapter; most chapters have both runners and walkers.The level of social acceptability also varies; some are family friendly while others go out of their way to be as lewd or politically incorrect as possible.
Seems like this could get out of hand really fast but there’s a method to the madness. Each chapter has their own traditions but generally once a week one member, or hare, sets a trail with chalk or flour with different signs or markings signifying a false trail, a backtrack, a shortcut, or a turn. In addition to the tricks, several types of “checks” are also used- most commonly a beer check- to keep the hound–the other members–together by slowing down front runners and giving everyone a chance to regroup and socialize. Among the popular jargon between hashers the most common phrase- and perhaps most important- is “On-on!” shouted to let other members of the hound know they are still on the trail.
Want to join a hash? Look up your local group! Don’t be intimidated: all the local traditions and markings will be explained to you at the “chalk talk” before the hash. But do beware of the “down-down” used for both positive and negative recognition of a hasher requiring the member in question to finish the entire remaining contents of his/her beverage without interruption or else it will be poured on your head. But you beer pong lovers can handle that, right? So go work off that beer gut with the Hash House Harriers and invite your hound back to your place for some beer pong afterwards.