When I hear a hare say, “This is something I've always wanted to try," I know I'm in trouble. Ordinarily, I would have been bitching about this particular run from here until next year: "I drove for three days from California to be running in circles in downtown railroad industrial Fort Worth?" However, recovering from surgery and just having gotten in to Dallas the night before after a three-day drive in the Slop Hog, I was hanging around the start for directions on a safe, short trail for the infirm. As it turned out, the start was a check of sorts, so I was "check hanging," which is where I heard the hare, Tinkerbell, say those dreaded words, “This is something I've always wanted to try," as he patted himself on the back for sending the pack off running endless "Arkansas Blow Jobs" (they go around and around and never go anywhere) from the start back to the start. Prick in the Box, acting as sweep, realizing that sending the pack off on a false from the start , especially on a rainy day, is the best way to ensure that people won’t follow trail, got us checkhangers off on true trail, so in my infirmity I could say, “Look, three weeks out of the hospital and I’m an FRB,” as we headed off in the opposite direction of the pack, which quickly overtook and passed us as we stopped at the junction of yet another Arkansas blow job before turning right behind warehouses as the trail looped back on itself twice more, like the LA cloverleaf, until the run finally got underway, just as the weekend downpour itself also got underway. I had started out with some trepidation, in the process of mending and rewiring muscles and ambling along at a much slower pace than my already slow usual one, but was, instead of bitching about the trail -- either its loopy quality or the short center that I was following -- delighted to be saying, “I couldn't have asked for a better run, what a perfect run for me today," because the pack was returning to us every seven to ten minutes as we circumambulated the start -- "us" being another member of the infirmary, Fang, who fed me Ibuprofen and agreed to watch over me on trail; one of the hares, Prick in the Box, dressed in royal Elizabethan robes for the sweep ; and Funky Monkey, who, after one last loop under a railroad bridge, finally gave up on the trail and decided to hang with the sweep and the infirm after tiring of running in circles around the central circle of the run. Apparently it had rained a lot recently as the sidewalk, where I moved to stay out the way of the occasional passing car, had more shiggy on it than most of the run.
When we returned to the start, the downpour gained strength and we moved the down downs to the shelter of an overpass, where the Fort Worth Hash GM, Caveman dispensed the obligatory down downs and then came the “lame down downs,” which were for any and all excuses. Big Gulp, claiming that he had found a lost triplet, dragged me up for a calypso rendition of a whose refrain was, “because I’ve got Shortstrokes, Stretchy Lips, and Varicose Veins.” After finishing up the chips, salsa, and leftover chocolate Easter bunnies, we were off to Samie’s Barbecue restaurant, which had good food, good beer, and cowboy Karaoke. A man who took and collected photos of people enjoying Karaoke showed us his albums and told us if we found a picture of anyone we knew, we could have it. I found this picture of him and he gave it to me. I love it: it belongs in my “party animals” collection, right next to this [Dr. Scholl] and this [deGaulle]. This evening with the Fort Worth Hash reminded me what it is that I love so much about Hashing, what has restored me so many times: they pulled out their party tricks for us: “Hey Big Gulp, show us how you got your name!” which he did at Down Downs and on the Karaoke floor for the restaurant. I’d been in bed most of the time for the previous two weeks and just on my feet and here, way out of town with people I’d just met, I was able to do “an entire run:” abbreviated, yes, but an entire run nonetheless. I also managed to do three Down Downs as a welcome alternative to painkillers, and then continue drinking not just at the restaurant but at a bar, whose name I will not divulge in order to protect the FWHHH from their spouses and others for future subterfuge, after loitering in the parking lot outside of a dance hall bar with a $5 cover charge we sensibly opted to decline. We lost Caveman, however, as he had apparently run out of clothes to change into for the fourth venue of the day; it would be fun to see a dress-off between him and Flouncer. We stayed until my stomach hurt from laughing and the talk deteriorated into tales of DT’s sticking other people’s feet in his mouth and my sticking my foot in my own mouth. I haven’t had this much fun in a long time. Thanks FWHHH for such an important step in my recovery: the confidence to go out on a trail, and then all the laughter that literally had me holding my stomach for fear I’d bust a stitch!