|SIGNS AND SYMBOLS USED IN HASHING
|Marking out a hash course is
usually done with either sawdust or flour, though if you use sawdust, try and get hold
of "softwood" sawdust. This is lighter in colour, and easier to see. If you use the darker
sawdust from hardwoods, it tends to become very difficult to spot when wet and on leaf
strewn trails in autumn. One of the more important things to be borne in mind when
setting a hash, is that hashing is a social event. If the hashers get too stretched out
due to poor course marking, the hash can lose that social and friendly atmosphere. Ideally
a course should be laid out in such a way that the FRB's (front running b-----ds) can
stretch their legs a little, but the tail enders have no trouble catching up at checks
and regroups. This can be achieved with a little forethought, and careful use of the
following course markings
The first marking you are likely to encounter on a hash is the circle. Marked in either
sawdust or flour, this is usually placed at a point where you are faced with a choice of
directions to go in. Upon encountering one of these, the FRB's usually take on the job of
"Checking out" the direction to go in next.
||"KICKED OUT" CHECK
After reaching a check and sorting out which way to go next, a section of the circle is
"Kicked Out" adjacent to the future direction the course. This indicates to any trailing
hashers which way the rest of the pack went.
The most used of all the hash markings. They are the main course marker, and are usually
placed at intervals of 25 to 50 metres - more often if the terrain is a little confusing
(though some Hares prefer it that way). On reaching a CHECK and trying to find out which
way to go next, you are looking for three of these in succession. On encountering the
first, you shout back to the group; "On one", at the second; "On two" and at the third;
"On on". If however the third marking turns out to be a CROSS, (see below) you shout;
"On back" to indicate that you've gone the wrong way!
When checking out which way to go next on a course, if you are going the right way, you
will usually encounter three blobs in succession. However, going the wrong way will give
you two blobs in a row, followed by the cross. In other words you've gone all that way
for nothing (unless of course you're after the exercise).
Every now and again on a hash you will encounter - if you're a hasher, or you should
use - if you're a Hare, the regroup sign. As the name implies, on finding one of these
the whole hash stops and waits for all and sundry to catch up before continuing.
You're probably ahead of me on this one. You've reached a point on the course where you
need to find out which way to go next, but the hashers have got a little strung out.
Solution, the regroup/check marker. A rule that should apply here is that no one starts
checking until the hash has regrouped.
There a various reasons why Hares may want to use this sign. Possibly to give the ladies a
chance to do a bit of checking (men tend to monopolize this aspect of hashing), or maybe
just to be awkward. I'll let you decide. Either way I think the sign is self explanatory,
ladies only to check on this occasion.
||CHECK BACK or BACK CHECK (I'm never sure which)
Encountering three little blobs together tells the hasher to retrace their steps back to
the last blob they spotted, and look for an alternative route for the hash from that
|| BACK CHECK or CHECK BACK (Again I'm never sure which)
Same idea as above, only with this marking you retrace your steps back to the last circular check.
||MORLAIX ARROW or "FISH HOOK"
This is an entertaining little number, another one of those tricks used to keep the
group reasonably well together, whilst letting the FRB's dissipate their testosterone.
Upon finding one of these, each hasher then turns around and runs back to the very back
of the hash group, they can then run up to the arrow again and repeat the exercise if
they've any puff left. Some of the more sadistic hares take great pleasure in placing
these on the top of very steep hills.
Not least of the regular hash signs is that of the hash halt.
Apparently not all hash groups do this, but it's certainly an important part of TH3's
format. This indicates a part of the hash, usually a half to two-thirds of the way
round the course, where everyone stops for some refreshments the hares have
thoughtfully tucked away somewhere.
Some of the more kindly disposed Hares (when the cynical laughter dies down I'll
continue...........I'm waiting.......ok, on we go), will sometimes incorporate a "Charlie's Run"
this is an alternative route, usually placed after the Hash Halt, that is effectively a
short cut back to the finish. It's aimed at those who have youngsters with them, and
those that come under the heading of "The more energetically challenged" of the Hashers
(and are sometimes referred to as "The knitting circle", I couldn't possibly comment)
Most of the above are common amongst hash groups. However, generally for reasons of
their own, Hares will sometimes introduce a new sign for a particular purpose associated
with that hash.