“Highway 17 is shutdown, northbound and southbound, near Redwood Estates and the Santa Cruz mountain summit.
The incident began when a thief robbed a Scott Valley bank at gunpoint around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.” -SF Chronicle, 26 January 2017
The Glow Hash is a sacred, long-held tradition of the Surf City Hash that dates back to the halcyon days of last year.
Back at the very first glow hash, President Obama was a moral guiding light in the White House, the Cubs had the longest losing streak in professional sports, and Alan Thicke and Carrie Fisher were America’s Dad and Adopted Half-Sister Princess respectively. Our own kennel ran drought-stricken trails, Beermeisters Rat Pussy and Deadliest Snatch kept us wet, and Puff the Magic Drag Queen had collected the money at every hash for as long as anyone could remember. I guess it seemed like nothing would ever change.
The pack met up at the far west side of Santa Cruz at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Company. A box of glow sticks awaited hashers who donned them in various configurations: necklace, bracelet, helmet, and of course, glowing phallus. (Photo not available) I spent a few minutes walking around the bar holding out $7 hash cash, but I didn’t recognize anyone as Puff. Normally Puff shows up well before me, so I just assumed I had one of those strokes that affects the part of your brain where you can’t recognize faces. That seemed like the most plausible explanation. Taking my new stroke into account, I just looked to hand my $7 to someone in short shorts and long socks. I will not soon forget the look of disgust I got from that college student who was both insulted by my offer of $7 and didn’t realize being called a drag queen is term of endearment.
Hares PCL, FapJack, and Baker’s Doesn’t collected bags for the A-B trail, gave some trail instructions, and took off. Arriving late was Ska Skank Redemption who said something about the horrendous three hours of traffic on 17. At circle up, Pussywood asked if anyone wanted to scribe. I volunteered without any kind of notepad because, hey, Puff is gonna take notes and have photos for me to review. Circle up provided us with a Just Someone and Virgin Someone Else. Someone yelled a reminder to mark the trail well for Puff.
Trail largely headed to the west. The railroad tracks were muddy. There was a photo check. I don’t know if anyone posted the photos to Facebook because I avoid the anxiety- provoking news in my feed. Dung Fu got some day-old decaf coffee at the new hotel which sadly lacks a bar. (But has a restroom in the lobby. Cha-ching.) Going over an old rickety railroad bridge, somebody yelled out that good thing Puff isn’t here: he’s afraid of heights. Yeah, but he’ll be alone when he does come by, I thought. Beer check at Antonelli Pond had a little dance-party-in-the field vibe, like those commercials for Smirnoff Ice or Zima or whatever is the hip new malt beverage. There was music, dancing, flashing colored lights, and beverages. I felt cool. Briefly. It was another 10 minute walk to Religion.
I just saw March of the Penguins. When the female penguins return from weeks at sea, they approach the big crowd, and run around the enormous, crowded mass of males squawking and checking each seemingly identical one for their mate. I did that to the crowd at Religion looking for Puff, except the penguins were hashers, and only a few of them had a baby seabird under their pannuses. I did not see Puff’s pannus.
Accuprick was RA. We had no beer fairy on account of “cold and flu season”. I don’t remember much about religion. Wicked Retahded got called up for running trail. He did a dance. Then he did the dance again. The pack was delighted. Moose Turd Pie was called up ostensibly for backsliding, but really because we wanted to see how drunk he was. Virgin Whatsherface tried singing the Gilligan’s Island theme song and totally failed. (I’d say Bob Denver would be rolling in his grave, but I’m not sure if he’s still alive….okay, I just googled it, and the two surviving cast members are Mary Ann and Ginger. I guess that question will be settled soon. But I digress.)
Standing in the circle, I was considering wistfully that I never really got to know my biological dad (having been abducted by aliens when I was a small child) when Dung Fu called out that Analversaries to be celebrated were Wicked’s 150th hash and my 50th hash. Besides being the two best looking hashers in the kennel, both of us have a strikingly similar Jesus-esque style. And when Wicked flashed me that winning smiling of his, the pieces all started falling together. Those warm times he placed a hand on my shoulder, the time he asked about my mom with a twinkle in his eye, the time he invited me to bring your son to work day. I dunno what it all means, so I did my down-downs and went back to the circle. Hares PCL, Fap Jack, and Bakers did their dance.
I looked around for Puff. Nothing.
We went to the Parish for on-on-on. I ordered a burger expecting Puff to walk in at any minute, mud-covered from trail with his camera at the ready. I finished my burger. Wicked asked me if I was still hungry, and we shared his fries. Still no Puff. He’s got until midnight to run trail? We can’t leave on-on-on yet.
I know Puff made it through the previous week’s landslides on Highway 17. I imagined him on the side of the road with a shovel singing Fleetwood Mac as he extracted his car. He showed up to every hash when President Obama was in the White House. He showed up at every hash through the Great Recession. He showed up to every hash during George W. Bush’s second term as president. He showed up to every Hash since before they invented the iPhone. He had showed up to every hash since before they decoded the human genome. He showed up to every hash since before George W. Bush invaded Iraq. Many times Puff had fought Highway 17, and if not a win, there was always at least a draw. It was streak, it was a record, it was seemingly going to stretch on into the endless future beyond any time horizon.
But all things are impermanent.
Next week’s Hares are Accuprick and Buttballs. Meeting place is The Mediterranean, 265 Center St in Aptos at 6:22pm. The have happy hour 4-7 and a full bar. Come have a drink while you still can because shit happens.
Love and burritos,