Trials and Tribulations of a Non Beer Drinking Hasher
“How can you be a hasher if you don't drink beer?”
I don't know how many times I have been asked this when visiting or joining a new hash. I am not allergic to beer nor a teetotaler, I just hate the flavour of beer (fruit flavoured beers from Belgium aside). I think beer is part of hashing enough that I normally accept down downs in beer but that makes down downs a real punishment for me
Many beer drinkers must like other tipples as well. I have been to four hash events where the cider or wine ran out: the interhashes in Hobart and Cardiff and the UK Nash Hash in 1999 in Scotland. The wine was ‘gone' by early Saturday evening in Goa although I got to enjoy it the following week when it was rediscovered and offered at the post IH hashes. By chance, I met the Cardiff beer meister in Chiang Mai who told me that only 9 people signed up as cider drinkers. Discounting that, he ordered enough for 200, later during the hash he exchanged 35 cases of wine for cider and they still ran out on the Sunday. The worse was Interam in Austin. On Saturday, the hotel allowed us to buy cocktails at the bar and take them up to the partying rooms but on Sunday there was new security staff. Not allowed! I had to resort to taking an empty bottle into the bathroom to get some water.
Many hashers can testify, sometimes to their chagrin, that I usually try to bring exotic alcohol to major hashes and distribute it (although my precious bottle of smuggled Absinthe only ended up staining my t-shirt when the Costa Rica Interam train lurched – man, I was annoyed). However, I have learned to just say no when my stocks for my own personal use are running low. (Nancy Reagan would be so proud of me!) I am already subsidizing the beer drinkers through my rego fee but a bottle of alcohol is often seen as for general use. I used to buy enough to give to others but after the expense and the hassle of lugging six bottles to a weekend hash event in Germany, I said ‘screw that.' The best situation was when I used to drink a sickly sweet fruit flavoured drink in Switzerland, (getting me renamed ‘Cherry Fizz' by the Zurich hash). That stuff was so foul no one else ever wanted any. If you really want to punish someone, make them do a down down with that stuff. Even though I happily used it as my alcohol of choice at hashes, down downs with it were even tough for me.
There is no doubt that the hash is and should be beer dominated but in my mind a really welcoming hash offers besides the traditional beer and non alcoholic drinks, wine, and where possible, cider and alcopops. They should be expected at major hash events such as interhashes or pan continent hash events. Not to mention that the male hashers are more likely to get laid the more harriettes there (and I have soberly huddled in corners commiserating with many non beer drinking harriettes) getting drunk!
Look for me with my two bottles of Georgian ('Republic of ' not the State!) Vodka to share at Perth Interhash!
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