COME HASH HARRIERS
No prudes need apply to this wild, bawdy bunch
Even by South Florida
standards, this howling wolf pack called the Hash
House Harriers is wa-a-ay out there. Over the top.
The kind of people you'd hide from Grandma.
Especially when the moon is
``This is a haven for people
who aren't quite ready to reach adulthood,'' says
Sheila ``Drink Like a Sailor'' Cullen, 52. ``This is
Animal House 10 years later. This is the worst
fraternity on your campus. We're the people your
parents warned you about.''
Into the woods, over fences and
through canals they go, these 30 merry, marauding
members of the Fort Lauderdale chapter of the Hash
House Harriers. Every Monday night is for running
wild, baying at the moon, loping down miles-long
mystery adventure trails, chugging brewskies,
cracking bad jokes on the way.
On some nights they embrace an
urban version of the ritual, simply jogging from bar
to bar. Sometimes they run through South Beach or
downtown Fort Lauderdale. On a recent Monday night,
they followed a winding, wooded path near Fort
Lauderdale International Airport.
``I figure you break even, you
get some exercise and drink some beer,'' says veteran
hasher Mark ``Come Again'' Warshauer. ``You kill two
birds with one stone.''
The hash concept started in
Malaysia 61 years ago by British Army officers who
wanted to spice up their morning run. The Hash House
was the name of the bar where they'd end up.
Now there are hash groups in
almost every major city in the world. Hashers are
welcomed by their loony brothers and sisters in every
city. There is a roster 300-strong in Miami-Dade and
Broward counties. Each week they call the hash
hotline (954-680-HASH) to learn about the next run.
The trails are blazed with
toilet paper and baking flour by one of their own,
the evening's designated ``hare.'' The hare also sets
false trails to try to throw the runners off. If the
pack catches the hare, members take his pants down
and make him sit in a bucket of ice.
If you are offended easily and
notice the hashers approaching, run -- don't walk --
the other way. It's a bawdy group with some of the
corniest, most lewd jokes you've ever heard.
They're like a wild rugby club
turned Porky's-flavored fraternity, and every Monday
is hazing night. On a run, hashers are only addressed
by their hash names.
``My hash name is Pussy
Galore,'' proclaims Mickey Lester, 37, who lives in
Fort Lauderdale. ``I have three pet cats.''
``My hash name is MCI,'' says
Jim Moore, 31, who lives in Deerfield Beach and is
wearing a T-shirt with the phone company letters. The
initials stand for ``My [private part] Itches.'' ``My
hash name is Nicolush,'' says Paul Jenner, 27, of
Pompano Beach. ``I used to smoke a lot.''
No blow is too low, no insult
too biting, no bathroom humor too stinky.
Hashers have no rules, but many
traditions: If you mistakenly wear new shoes, you
must drink beer out of them. The first time you jog
the whole way, you must chug a beer. You get the
The mostly young and middle-age
professionals call themselves ``drinkers with a
They always hash on a full
moon. Sometimes, they run in red dresses, just for
the hell of it. And the Halloween hash is too gross
to explain in a family newspaper.
``We don't encourage drinking,
but it is appreciated,'' says Paul ``Low Blow''
Bechtel a visitor from a Fort Walton Beach chapter.
``I do this because I'm a
glutton for punishment,'' says Natalie ``Toshiblo''
Torquato, who works for Toshiba.
After their weekly ``run'' is
over, they form a circle and hoot and holler. One by
one, each hasher guzzles his or her beverage of
choice. Most follow the Homer Simpson school of
While the chosen chugger is
gulping, the rest sing: ``Why are we waaaaiting . . .
[next verse omitted for taste] . . . Why are we
waaaaiting . . . My grandmother's ovulaaaating . . .
``This is not a club for
everybody,'' says Low Blow, proving his point with a
loud belch. ``It's not for the prude.''
Published Wednesday, November
17, 1999, in the Miami Herald