Welcome to this edition of Loneliest Planet, reporting to you from Upper Vaoala in Apia, Samoa, where we were invited to attend a special socio-cultural event known as the Apia Hash. This is celebrated religiously every Monday by a disparate group of misfits, dyspeptics, over-the-hill sportsmen and the disabled, as they especially cater for sufferers of Tourette ’s syndrome. This is all overseen by their high council, known as Mismanagement. Our hosts were Katy and Speedhumper, who had also been out to set the run. There was very little warning for what was to come, save a shouted Hash Circle from a lady known as Sassygirl BJ. We were told that the run was set on flowers, which we thought was a nice touch, given the green and fragrant nature and flora of this island. We felt somewhat sheepish to discover that they meant the ground and milled variety used in baking. Nevertheless, we gamely followed the pack, as it had been foretold to us that there were some vicious dogs awaiting en route. Going up the soon-to-be paved Cross Island Road was a cultural delight, with scenic views marred only by the elevated garbage cans required to prevent canines making comestibles from the trash. Some lovely houses along the way, ranging from the humble Samoan fale to luxury villas that would not look out of place in Mogadishu. The trail took us down the Lamosa Road, which was so named as it is the Samoan abbreviation for the London Missionaries who brought their no-tattoos, no-naked, no-dancing and culturally sensitive version of the gospel to these unsuspecting people. Apt that this is where the aforementioned canines resided. To call them rabid, slobbering, snapping bitches would be an insult to Lady Gagas everywhere. Thankfully the kind homeowner came out and beat several of them to a pulp with a stick, pour encourager les autres. We then emerged onto our starting road, but took a path less trodden, and we saw some lovely examples of Abelmoschus moschatus, so valued in India, which seemed to thrive here. We then crossed over a dried creek, to follow a trail through some thick healthy stands of Bambusa vulgaris, complemented by Casuarina equisetifolia which is an evergreen conifer-like angiosperm. We were then returned by way of what was called a false trail, which allowed the stragglers at the back to all of a sudden be at the front, and were first in line for some lovely local coconuts, procured by hand by the strapping lads of Poutasi. Next week we will be sampling the delights of a place called Tafaigata which we have been recommended to visit by some charming helpful expatriates here.
Sassygirl BJ stepped in as GM as POD has been stricken with the chicken. She called the circle to order, and asked the newbies to step forward. These were Simon (brought by some bird, more later) and Sandrine known as Kitty Kitty. They both got their first down-downs. Retreads were Snatched (making more Hashers), Pussysnatcher (breast feeding), Faumuina (holidays), Bad Investment (lazy), Titty Galore (with mum), Aaron (working) and Speedhumper (busy).
Shoe Inspector Sunny Side Up, tried but failed. Celebrity Awards went to Cunning Linguist for trying to disguise his journalist tag as The Tokelau Council and Pussysnatcher for Snatched for her story about men in skirts.
This Day in History Awards went to Murray for Gayboy (1851 – William Lassell discovers the moons Umbriel, and Ariel, orbiting Uranus), Witch Doctor (1905 – Sweden accepted the independence of Norway), Claudia (1917 – Battle of Caporetto; Italy suffers a catastrophic defeat by the forces of Austria-Hungary and Germany on the Austro-Italian front of World War I (lasts until 19 November - also called Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo) - The young unknown Oberleutnant Erwin Rommel captures Mount Matajur with only 100 Germans against a force of over 7000 Italians), Hot Nuts (1945 – Founding of the United Nations), Poumuli for Dawn Raid (1970 – Gary Gabelich sets a land speed record in a rocket-powered automobile called the Blue Flame, fueled with natural gas) and Godfather for Swinger (Feast Day of St James the Just).
Turning to the GM’s Awards, while this was a nice place for Hash, OSH would have had a field day with the low hanging garrottes used for clothes – Speedhumper, Aaron and Katy, helped by Daz, as this was the longest chorus to date!
The GM had met a new yoga instructor in town, who had been warned by IRA about hitchhiking and also sundry shady characters, but had disregarded the advice, had hitchhiked and been picked up by Bad Investment – A Chronicle of Disaster Foretold Award. Following on, after the run one of the Hashers had been a bit frisky, trying to get Titty G to come out into the bushes, to see, er, the tomatoes. Not only were these minuscule, but such hanky panky is against the Hash Rules, to be posted later. Eveready got the Wanna See My Bush Award.
Also this week, a Hasher had locked himself in his office, and had to phone someone to get the keys from his car to let him out – Hot Nuts for the Houdini Award. But Godfather stepped in and related how they had been watching the rugby, and Hot Nuts said, ok same time tomorrow? Which meant that Godfather sat up and waited for 3 hours before the game started. Thus the award was doubled.
A Hasher had approached some meres for help on the weekend, as he was afraid to go home. Apparently he had been helping himself too liberally (literally) with the local girls, and now one brother wanted to bash him up. As Cunning Linguist prepared, Alex noted that another Hasher had valiantly fought off a gorgeous local girl’s advances, and lucky for him as her boyfriend turned up a few minutes later. Daz got the Unhashmanlike Behaviour, while CL’s was really just Woozzing Out Award.
During the run some other unhashmanlike behaviour had been displayed by Poumuli according to Hot Nuts. Claiming he had steamed away from the pack, Poumuli replied that no, he had been last with Godfather, but the false trail found him at the front. And it was Hot Nuts who had shown undue athleticism by running fast to catch him up – people watching would think this was some sort of sporting club! In the end Simon, Hot Nuts and Poumuli took this one.
Hornithologist arrived and got the award for Simon missing her name. She also brought a friend, Glen, apparently also similarly erectile when around birds, and he was delegated to have a down-down for Hornithologist leaning.
Cunning Linguist wanted to award the GM for admitting on Facebook that she was inubriated, thereby implicating all that were with her. This failed on language alone, while Poumuli pointed out that CL had not been taught proper English enunciation in his adopted country, thus Murray got one more.
Poumuli also noted the large number of unsolved crimes recently, thus Crime. There then followed a discussion around the 1800th run, and it was agreed that it would be pushed back to the 16th of November. Vailima will be sponsoring and Sassy will be sending around order details for the shirts. Murray also made an announcement regarding the Jazz Festival on the weekend. And Claudia will have a birthday bash at the Edge on Thursday.
The Hares and Hosts were saluted, before we chowed on delicious home made burgers, WHO rulings be damned.
Check blog for next week’s run – likely to be at Hot Nuts’s.
Poumuli, IKA Slit