ex-GM Messages

In the beginning there was this Digit

I was interviewed for a job at ICRISAT in March 1989, and an offer was extended to me even before I left Hyderabad. So I took in what I saw rather seriously, and one thing I noticed was the unbelievable terrain around the city. In 1989 the rocks were still there, you see. I’m talking about Nanakramgruda when it was a temple and not a financial centre. Having Hashed for nearly a decade in the Philippines and elsewhere before joining ICRISAT, I decided even before moving to Hyderabad that such an enterprise was called for.

And call I did. I even sent out inter-office memoranda at ICRISAT inviting likely Hashers to meetings in anticipation of the first run of the Hyderabad Hash House Harriers (H4). One of these memos is attached herein for your edification.

So, I hear you asking yourself, if you knew you would start a Hash in Hyderabad before you arrived in June 1989, and even sent out memos on the subject as early as 8 August (see attachment), why did you not start the club until February 1990?

Routing Slip
Routing Slip: Of the invitees to the first ever meeting apropos H4, three – Tom ‘Turkey’ Walker, John ‘Beachcomber’ Witcombe and John ‘White Man’ Wightman – wound up becoming Hashers

The answer was simple. I wanted an inaugural t-shirt and I simply could not find blank t-shirts for love or money anywhere in the twin cities. In those days, t-shirts were simply not worn in India, at least in AP. I checked the sports shops and harassed ICRISAT’s purchase department ceaselessly, all to no avail.

Months went by and my consternation grew. Finally, I had the solution. I recalled the aphorism If you cannot bring Mohammed to the mountain, bring the mountain to Mohammed. No t-shirts in India? Bring them from a t-shirted country. The Philippines, for example. My brother Andy was there in early 1990 and intended to visit us in Hyderabad. ‘Aha!’ says I, ‘Dear brother, please bring me 50 white t-shirts, large sizes.’ He did so.

Now what we needed was a logo. I had met a German artist who was decidedly eccentric, so I asked him to render me a logo. Something humourous that smacked of Hyderabad. It was he who invented the skinny chap with the fez and the bulging calves, and also the Charminar with a beer mug surrealistically suspended between the minarets.

And so it was that Run No.1 was held at Prem Vihar, the McGaw residence on Road 54, a venue destined for Hash greatness. The date was Sunday 18 February 1990. To my knowledge, H4 has never missed a single Sunday ever since – earthquakes, downpours, social upheavals, prohibition and other sordid calamities notwithstanding.

My name, Digit, was unneeded in the beginning since I was referred to by one and all as ‘the GM’. But this changed in the latter part of the year.

The Bangalore Hash had beckoned us all to a hill station in the Nilgris in December 1990, and a group of a dozen or so stalwarts decided to make the trip. My wife, the lovely Sex Object, along with young son Spark Plug, accepted a gracious offer from John ‘Junker’ Kerr, who wanted to drive down. I opted for the train along with senior son Fast Food and a Mexican postdoc named Jose.

This is where the plot thickens. At about midnight on Pearl Harbour Day (7 December), I involuntarily left the train. It was late, you see, and a bit stuffy in the bogey. So I went over to the door, and not without difficulty succeeded in opening it, whereupon I sat on the top step to breathe in the night air. The next thing I knew I was on my back looking up at the stars and the train was stopped about 300 metres away. It took a while to sort out what had happened, but first things first. Get back on that train, thinks I. And started running. But it left before I could get there.

Well, I surprised the station manager – apparently he hardly ever had 6-foot bearded foreigners covered in blood barging into his tranquil workplace at midnight – but he soon recovered from his shock and arranged to (a) pour some antiseptic over my disjointed joint and cover it with gauze bandage; (b) find me a car and driver to get back on the train, or to Bangalore, whichever came first; and (c) collect Fast Food from his berth on the train and hold him at the next station. Amazingly, all this worked out. I had forgotten about Jose, our Mexican postdoc, but when he noted that the station attendants were carrying my sleeping son off the train and asked why, he also disembarked. And so the three of us arrived at Bangalore intact (well, more or less intact). I found a surgeon who snipped away at the mashed debris at the end of my digit, and then we borrowed a car left for us by the ever-generous GM of Bangalore Hash, John ‘Hammo’ Hamilton (RIP) and drove onward to the Hash.

Many people wondered why, after experiencing such drama (and pain), I decided to go Hashing instead of convalescing comfortably at Bandicoot Lodge (Hammo’s palatial residence). Simple: faced with lying in bed in pain and boredom versus Hashing in pain and drinking beer I opted for the latter.

Which brings us to the naming ceremony, which took place that very day. Since then I have been known as Digit, thanks to His Eminence Hammo.

Hammo2
Hammo featured the incident described herein in his personal newsletter

Hammo1

I remained GM for the first 4 years (1990-93), and again in 1996. After that I was declared GM Detritus, which makes me unbelievably important.

My most noteworthy Hashing accomplishment was without question chairing Interhash Goa 2002, an event that Hashers from all over the world still talk about. Let me inject a plug here for the ebullient Reggie ‘TNT’ Frederick, without whom that wonderful event could not have succeeded.

My personal Hashtory began in mid 1980 in Kuala Belait, Brunei, my first Asian location. However, I consider Manila my personal mother Hash, since it was there I became a regular. After departing India in 2006, I ran in Dubai with the Creek Hash (where I became the GM), in Nairobi (where I became RA of the Original Nairobi Hash), and in Accra (where I became the GM). Wearing the latter hat, I successfully bid for hosting the 2013 edition of Pan Africa Hash. I am now living in the Philippines and continue to Hash with an assortment of clubs.

On On forever!

Signature

 

 

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Floppy Dick 1999 – 2000

Floppy Dick
Always will toast to you all!


Time period of being a GM

I was the Y2K Grand Master (1999-2000)

Your hash name
Floppidick / Floppy Dick
(Got this name cuz I ran a software company and floppys were cool things…. 3½, 5¼!)

Why did you decide to become a H4 hasher in the first place?
A pretty random accident, I must confess! I showed up one day and never left. Rain or shine, I hashed every Sunday for about 5 years. Man, I was hardcore!

The Miscom
The Miscom

Why did you decide to become a GM for H4?
I guess I did a good job with the Dark Side Nash Hash early in 1999. Slogged my friggin’ ass off! Got to honk my horn a lot during that time.

Where are you from?
I am an Ongole Bull!

Where are you today?
Simi Valley, California.

Are you still hashing?
Nope. Gave it up. The beer kept spilling  Just kidding! I just run now-a-days. Hashing in the US has a lot of nudity – the butt chugs got me!

While I can see how much fun you guys are having, bet none of you guys had fun like we did, back then! Knowing Digit, Obelix, Solutions, Cleopatra, Madame Tall, Big Bird, LvQF, TNT, Black Widow, Herr Zombie, Sexy Onions, Charade… man oh man… what a set of extraordinary men and women. Always will toast to you all! But then.. that is besides the point, just keep hashing and having fun, you half-minded buggers!!
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Memorable runs

 

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Glow Job 2013

Time period of being a GM
Jan 2013– December 2013

Your hash name
Glow Job

Why did you decide to become a H4 hasher in the first place?
Got dragged in by Closet Queen (Goetz Reiner), he told me they do weird things.

Why did you decide to become a GM for H4?
I was probably out of my mind and thought I should give back (in a positive sense)

Where are you from?
Germany

Where are you today?
Hyderabad, Nantes, Berlin (30 % each).

Are you still hashing?
More in India than in Germany.

 

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Tightarse 2013 – 2015

Time period of being a GM
After Glow Job till March, 2015.

Your hash name
Tightarse

Why did you decide to become a H4 hasher in the first place?
Been Hashing since 1987.

Why did you decide to become a GM for H4?
I had to say yes or my arm would break.

Where are you from?
My mother, oh you mean the country, a holiday town called Blackpool in the UK.

Where are you today?
In the UK, retired.

Are you still hashing?
Now and then but still running.

1987: I started Hashing in a small town call Makurdi in eastern Nigeria. The trails were similar to Hyderabad with dry tracks and bushland. Going off trail in bush land was a nogo due to the deadly snake population.
1990: I then moved to Kuwait and continued hashing. The desert runs could be intense, try running up a 150ft  sand dune when its 48 degrees. Hashing was curtailed when Sadam invaded.
1991: Went to Equador, no hashing but some running, the altitude was a problem. Managed a group run to the Volcano Cotopaxi snow line at 4700m, 19k run
1991: Then move to Dubai for a couple of years and ran with the D3 (Desert HHH).
1993: Oman, I was located on an Island, only had the opportunity to hash during my visits to Muscat
1998: Went to South Korea, did a few runs in Seoul
1998: Malaysia, ran with the Kuantan City hash. A small kennel at that time, usually 15 runners but grew with time to about 50 every Saturday. Also ran with Malaca and Penang.
2000: Indonesia. A good hash kennel, intense runs as always off road with plenty of hills and volcanos to run on.
2005 – 2015: India, you know the story.
Have hashed on holidays in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Oman, USA LVHHH(Vegas)
I have no idea how many runs I have done, must be in the zillions.
Now in the UK, boring

 

OnOn
Tightarse

 

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