Ekxtra Bladet
November 27, 1998

World's Biggest Laugh

World's Biggest Laugh
Police in Aarhus expose world's biggest hash ring!

Ekxtra Bladet

(Translated/Edited by Knuthead with assistance from Floater)

A police internet expert was sure that he was on the track of the world's biggest hash ring, with more then 160,000 members in a world wide organisation. And he found out that there was a Danish man behind it, living in Aarhus.

Red-faced police in Aarhus had to admit to Ekxtra Bladet yesterday, that they had found instead an organisation of thirsty cross-country runners with the name Hash House Harriers.

Just the word "hash" got the policeman excited. He found out, after a quick look on the internet, that the Hash House Harriers are to organize a big hash-event in Denmark next year [Interskandi 99. Ed.]. He pictured 160,000 hash wrecks in the country of the little mermaid. So he alerted his colleagues.

The policeman from Nordjyland didn't think to keep on reading the screen, nor does he understand too much English. He convinced the drug police in Aarhus, that a big case was ready to be solved. Even the telephone number of the hash contact person was given on the internet.

Third Degree Questioning

The busy policeman with the limited reading skills did not realize that the Hash House Harriers are the world's biggest club for cross-country runners. At Aarhus police station this hint from a colleague in another district was taken seriously.

"I was shocked when I was called in for questioning, where the accusation was that I had something to do with hash", says 32 years old Tommy Roenn [aka Charlie Brown Ed.] of Aarhus, to Ekxtra Bladet.

"Afterwards I could see that it was a funny story, but that was not what I was thinking of in the situation when I was called to a third degree questioning!"

Tommy Roenn is the contact person for the Aarhus Hash House Harriers. He runs his EDP consulting company Alpha Tech at Jaegergardsgade.

"I was told, that the police had tried several times to get hold of me at my address. On Wednesday, a summons from the police said that I had to show up for a meeting on Thursday, 10 am. I called them and asked what it was all about. I was told that it had something to do with drug smuggling. They had found my name on the internet."

After they threatened to pick him up physically, Tommy Roenn offered to show up at the police station immediately. And he took all kinds of material about the Hash House Harriers with him.

"I reckon they still thought that it was a drug issue, even though I told them everything about our running club. However they accepted all the material. Among other things there was a video of a run which showed what we are doing."

Cheap Fare

Tommy Roenn was recently in Malaysia to celebrate the club's 60th anniversary. And as he had also been on runs in Belgium, Holland and Germany at various times, it is easy to see what the police pictured for themselves. He was the perfect hash courier!

"Hash House means cheap food and service. After accusing me, the police did not look up on the internet to check out further pages where everything was explained."

Tommy Roenn tells us that The Hash House Harriers were founded by British soldiers in 1938, more or less by chance. They were bored in Kuala Lumpur ("og fandt ud af, at en löbetur var bedre end en morgen-bajer dagen derpå") and figured out that a run was better than having another hair of the dog the morning after. [Thanks Floater. Ed.] Since then the organisation has grown to 160,000 members.

"It was all about celebrating after a good run with a beer or two. And the rules are still the same."

"Do you smoke hash?"

"NEVER. Our only drug is beer, and in fact our main sponsor is Carlsberg. The club has 60 members in Aarhus and 300 in Copenhagen, and in fact many of them are policemen ..."

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