October 21, 1994
By Sgt. Anne Dollyhigh
OKINAWA - As the hares make
last minute preparations, the anxious pack members
begin priming themselves for trail. Loud whistles
blasts pierce the air, sending the hares off in a
"Writes' em off
(WEMO)," who received her collective name after
completing six runs with Okinawa Hash House Harriers
(OH3), makes a mental checklist of things needed to
be done prior to running.
"OK, I have my headband,
whistle, and chalk," she thinks to herself,
"and I've paid my dues with the "hash cash.
'Have I forgotten anything? Nope, I'm ready to
Fifteen minutes after the hares
have departed, WEMO and the rest of the pack take off
in search of the tricky hares.
Once on the trail, she looks
along the ground for tracks, like "true
trail" arrows or puffs of chad (flour), that
indicates the hares passed that way. WEMO realizes
that the hares are not to be trusted, and will
sometimes leave a bad trail (BT). If WEMO is first to
discover one, she will mark it with the letters BT in
chalk and continue.
Each time WEMO sees chad, she
yells "on-on" or blows the whistle hanging
around her neck. She also lets out with a hearty
"true trail," when she sees a true trail
All official members have their
own pack arrow, and WEMO, like the rest of the pack,
will leave hers at an intersection indicating the
direction she has gone.
Along the trail, WEMO keeps her
eyes peeled in hopes of catching a hare. If she does,
it will be cause for celebration by the rest of the
pack after the run.
Ultimately, the clue she wants
to see is :finish" or "beer near." As
long as it is spelled correctly, this indicates the
end of another successful run. If it isn't, she will
continue running until the right version is spotted.
The OH3 van waits with coolers
overflowing with beverages to quench WEMO's thirst at
the end of each run. There is an abundance of food as
"The hash holy water is
cold," said Frank "B.C.E. (bearded clam
eater)" Collins. Which, as most of the others
agree, is the most important thing anyway.
The hash master, John
"Spouse (sucks up spouse)" Riley, takes
charge of the pack, calling them into the circle. The
hares are recognized and thanked for a good spotty
trail, and all first-timer hashers are called into
the circle to do a "down-down." This
consists of drinking full beverage of choice while
the pack sings and cheers.
"May I have a note
please?" asks Spouse.
The pack responds with a loud
note, undefinable on any piano keyboard, that kicks
off a chorus of songs.
"The hash has no rules,
just traditions," said George "F.M. (fart
master)" Page. "It is essentially harmless
fun where anything goes and nobody cares."
Watching the down-downs, WEMO
recalls the pointers Page, the hash scribe, gave her
prior to her first run. "Don't wear new shoes
they will make you pour a beverage into your
shoes and drink from it. Don't wear a white T-shirt
either, they will our water on you," he said.
What he failed to tell her was that thet pour ice
could water on you anyway. It's all part of the fun.
"My friend told me about
hashing," Takayuki Fujikawa told WEMO.
"It's a good chance for me to study English
while I make new friends."
Fujikawa told WEMO that hish
hash name, "Omikase," means "trust
me" in Japanese and that he, like many
Okinawans, enjoy running with the OH3.
After the hash master dismisses
the pack, WEMO joins them at the "on-on."
These get togethers are usually held in Japanese
restaurants and are a perfect opportunity to gain
insight from senior hashers.
"For me, hashing has meant
companionship," said Ryun "Knave (probing
sex knave)" Mouton. "I have met many
Okinawans through the hash and they are all wonderful
"I only hope, by the
powers of Simon Gispert, who founded the hash in
1938, that the hash will go 'on-on,'" concluded
WEMO left the restaurant in
anticipation of the next run which will be tonight at
7p.m. The location will be marked with arrows along
Hwy. 330 behind Futenuma. For information call, Diana
Reproduced (and edited) by Ryun
"Probing Sex Knave" Mouton