You can tell that Grandad* has a kind caring soul when you hear that he asked Bushie to co-hare his Adventure Trail at WATTELUP. His published co-hares, Chunda and Jaapie tasks were restricted to assisting at the On On as Chunda is orally challenged (deaf) and his knees require a lube every ½ km. Jaapie is on light duties.
So freshly back from the World Rogaining Championships in Ross River (85 km east of Alice Springs) where he competed at the East MacDonnell Ranges with his only non-hashing brother Alan (yet to be named Vet Ranger), Bushranger donned his cross country Rogaining gear to assist on the ground. What a sight in his Kathmandu outfit including gaiters. Well the gaiters came in very handy in the bush section near the coast. Not quite as spiky as the spinifex at the Worlds but just as challenging.
Grandad did more reconnoitres than Major Robert F. Burns of the 90th Division, U.S. Army. Bushranger participated in two of these.
The course was very technical as you would expect from a retired Microbiologist who used his scientific skills to attack Mt Brown from three sides. There were two trails (even though some hashers returned saying there were more than that), one for the walkers and one for the runners. The short-cutters (like FT) were left to their own skill and cunning. Often the walkers were on the same trail as the runners and vice-versa (think about it).
It is common knowledge that anyone that runs hash only needs half a brain. Well half a brain was not enough for some hashers to work out how to follow a well-set trail with plenty on paper and flour false trails & checks for the runners and flour for the walkers. Those clever enough to stay on trail for the entire run (was there anybody in that category?) would have concurred with the published description of the run.
Whilst setting the trail Grandad and Bushie experienced the joys of bushwalking with abundant wild flowers and fauna. Grandad skilfully stepped over a snake only to discover the snake had left it’s skin there some time ago. Bushie made friends with a bobtail goanna (Tiliqua rugosa is a short-tailed, slow moving species of blue-tongued skink found in Australia. Three of the four recognised subspecies are found only in Western Australia, where they are known collectively by the common name bobtail. The name shingleback is also used, especially for T. rugosa asper, the only subspecies native to eastern Australia.). It had been gorging on the fresh vegetation and tried to crap on Bushie as he held it up for the photo shoot.
Rogainers have a term called ‘keeping in touch with the map’. Occasionally, although not lost, the hares were not in touch with their map. That is how technical the run was. You could argue that it may have been too technical for some Perth Hashers and as you probably know Grandad loves a good argument so now is your chance.
The scenery was absolutely stunning from the top of Mt Brown. If you made it there it was well worth the short sharp climb. Come on Mt Brown isn’t that high, ask Birdman who took a bunch of (mostly Perth) Hashers to the top of Mt Kinabalu, Borneo, Malaysia in September 1995. Mt Kinabalu is 4095.2 metres above sea level (I know as I climbed to the top with Colonel [Bushie]).
The runners and walkers gathered in the car park of the Ten Mile Well Tavern in Wattelup. At 5.57pm Grandad and Bushie lead the pack across the busy Rockingham Road to the entrance of Beeliar Regional Park. Grandad was waving a red flag and Bushie was wearing a safety vest given to him by PT Darma Henwa when he braved the jungles of Bata Hijau, Sumbawa, Indonesia trying to make a quid (or Rupiah) writing software. You may ask why all the safety gear? Well ask! During one of the many reconnoitres Grandad drove through the bottle shop driveway to purchase some icy cold liquid refreshments. The staff member told Grandad that she couldn’t serve him. When he enquired why she said the he drove in the wrong direction into the drive through. It was a requirement of the occupational health and safety act that he drives in the correct direction in order to be served. So, Grandad said ‘I’ll just get out of my car then, is that OK?’. It was. Shakin’ and Jaapie experienced the lengths the Ten Mile Well Tavern will go to to comply with the OH&S act when they entered the tavern to be confronted with complying ‘skimpies’ complete with warnings tattooed on their almost naked bodies and bolts to hold various body parts on.
Grandad explained the markings used to set the run. FT was so keen to attack Mt Brown that he took off without listening to the full comprehensive instructions on how to follow trail. Consequently he returned early (no he didn’t short-cut) with some derogatory comments on the quality of the run setting. Sometimes it pays to read the manual (or listen to directions).
As the pack burst out of the starting blocks to the gut busting ball tearing run Grandad and Bushie were content with the knowledge that they had set the bush run of the year. As they returned to the car park near the Ten Mile Well Tavern on the way back to the bucket a friendly local San Franciscan guy on a Vallkree electric fat tire bicycle pulled up. They had met this guy on Sunday during a gut busting ball tearing run setting episode. Always on the lookout for new hash members they invited him to join the pack for a run. Arriving at 6.30pm put him in the Rumpole category. Anyway Chunda wandered up and whilst our SF friend was chatting Chunda rode off on the electric Vallkee bike. Eventually Chunda was persuaded to give it back and for an exchange of a Cooper’s Green Bushie and then Grandad test rode the electric off road bike. Chunda ‘do yourself a favour’ and buy one. Then you can ride with the PHact cyclists on Fridays.
The pack returned in various groups depending on their level of short-cutting. The walkers managed to mostly stay on trail with Phantom leading the charge. Sperm complained of too much light (in his eyes) – gee it’s hard to get good help. Bushie in an act of complying with the Occupational Health and Safety requirements of the Ten Mile Well Tavern met them at the fence on Rockingham Road. Bushie assisted Phantom to leap low fences in a single bound (no that’s Superman, isn’t it)? Bushie directed the bunch of walkers across Rockingham Road thus complying with section 15 point 3A of the act.
Duties fulfilled Bushie retired to his car, which was cleverly parked in a paddock, to slip into something more comfortable and familiar to the Perth Hashers (miss-matched socks and colourful hash gear).
Eventually Action called the troops to attention whilst he ran the circle. Various birthday and returnee down-downs were consumed. A carton of birthday beer was put on by Tank. Dollar loved it and was spotted drinking two at the same time. Gumby was called to sing an appropriate birthday song for Tank. Action commands silence when he tells this weekly hash joke because they are so bloody funny and so he doesn’t need to speak loudly over the noise of the rabble. Top marks for Action. The four hares and co-hares (Grandad, Jaapie, Chunda & Bushie) were given down-downs with Bushie demonstrating where Rumpole obtained his down-down mug.
Then Neon stepped up to the crate. Neon told a joke befitting the location (carpark of the Ten Mile Well Tavern) and would easily blend in with the locals although he has less ink and no hardware attached to his body parts (that we know of).
Xmas kept us waiting whilst he prepared for his Indian rope trick. The Indian rope trick is a magic trick said to have been performed in and around India during the 19th century. Sometimes described as "the world’s greatest illusion", it reputedly involved a magician, a length of rope, and one or more boy assistants. Xmas qualifies then.
Another great hashing night.
The hashers decamped to the sound of the Chief Tugger & Assistant Tuggers counting the returns.
As they say in the classics (well in the Phantom comics) ‘wouldn’t be dead for quids’.
HashIT, Perth Hash.
*Grandad sometimes referred to as LL (short for Loose Lips) by Budgie since returning from Vaile, Colorado, USA, where he endeared himself with the locals chirping about the Australian way of life, the sunshine, the beaches, the surfing, the beer, the red wine and the sheilas. Hey Budge we have moved on mate, he is now called Grandad.