Run 1784 Hash Trash
For Run 1784 Lakeside spent a phenomenal evening at the Konjo Ethiopian Restaurant & Craft in Smith St, Collingwood – hared by E&B. Upon entry, the pack was ushered into a series of upstairs salons decked out with mattresses, ottomans, and oriental cushions. No sooner had I settled back for a short spell of Tantric meditation than No-Balls wandered in and, after looking round briefly, announced,
Then peering more closely she continued,
“Hmm… What are all these labels on the buttons? I wonder which one is the safe word?”(!?).
Around the same time Colours charged in with hand outstretched, telling me that she’d require “$20, in advance, right away.” After some small awkwardness we clarified that she was collecting funds for the evening meal.
At length, the pack spilled out onto the street and was sent away by E&B, who advised that tonight’s trail was a ‘tight’ run. The pack hadn’t got very far, past former factories and warehouses of lower Collingwood, now uniformly converted into chic four-storey townhouses, when up from behind cycled E&B. Thereupon, she proceeded to hector the pack along the trail – contrary to all tenets of hash – with the determination of a blue heeler shepherding a clueless flock of merinos. Having become at some point detached from the main peloton, to my surprise I began to receive stern text messages from E&B, suggesting various mainstream routes along the trail, and that on no account was I to re-enter the restaurant before 8pm, for fear of gainsaying our reservation and upsetting the maitre d.
Little did E&B know that I had already staggered back into the café. There, in fact, I was warmly welcomed by our delightful hostess like a long-lost son. She set me back up in the upstairs salon against the cushions, cross-legged against a low coffee table, on which she set two glasses of traditional Ethiopian ‘soft drink.’ The first is called caribo, composed of barley and honey, and roughly the colour of urine. The second is a dark brown beverage called berthe, which contains grapes, dates and honey. To be honest, the best way to describe the taste is to imagine someone chucking a few cigarette butts into a glass of balsamic vinegar. Nevertheless, everyone who tried this remarkable concoction found the taste so unusual as to believe that it couldn’t really exist, and after five minutes, felt compelled to take another small taste. In this way, drop by drop, you get through about a thimble-full per half-hour.
After an eternity without the pack appearing, further text messages inveigled me to come out onto the street to join the drink-stop. Normally, the drink-stop is set at a fairly strategic point along the trail, so as to give the tired runner a few bevvies and a bit of energy to launch into the on-home. But tonight, for obscure reasons, it was set no more than twenty metres along the street from the On-in, with the drinks dispensed from the boot of Kok-Up’s car. This also happened to be directly in front of the broad glass windows of a Thai Massage Parlour, behind which a receptionist sat impassively, staring at the strange group of poorly clothed people beginning to mill about on the footpath.
Having reluctantly (i.e. hungrily by now) re-joined the group, I was immediately interrogated by Two Bottoms. After a long absence he had turned up to a run, leaving his lovely wife Bea at home for a quiet night in front of the TV. Two Bottoms, not unreasonably, wanted to know just why Bea’s quiet night had been startlingly interrupted by a chain of weird text messages from me – Mummies’ Boy. The answer was that E&B had for her own reasons sent her SMS instructions not just to me but to a fairly broad distribution list which included Bea, Two Bottoms, and I don’t know, probably half of the rest of you.
Eventually we got our Ethiopian dinner. This was a little bit unusual and spicy and so Game-on topped up at the McDonalds on the corner (where he was served a McHaile Selassie burger with kram-kram). Washing the grub down with globules of berthe and caribo, we surveyed the walls where some unusual Ethiopian stringed instruments hung. This set off an erudite conversation between Two Bottoms and Point-Post about the origins and development of the violin and the guitar, the Les Paul Gibson, the Rickenbacker, Pointy’s prize 1968 Yamaha guitar, etc – and did you know that Stradivariuses are so good just because of the aged wood in them?
Stand-in GM Kling-On appointed Swingers as Stand-in Sergeant@Arms for the circle. Swingers expressed a little nervousness about taking on the role but was reassured when it was carefully explained that he was just required to shout rubbish and make up stuff. Unnervingly the entire proceedings were carefully videoed by our Ethiopian waiter. The run and walk both scored highly out of ‘69’. NickleB reflected that E&B’s description of the run as ‘tight’ might have been because she was drunk when she set it, such was its apparent aimlessness.
E&B explained that by tight she mean that it ran closely along one side of a street and up the other. Young NickleB was really the only runner who did the run. He observed that the run was indeed so tight that if he forwarded a GPS recording of it to the City of Yarra they would know the exact mileage of all roads in the municipality.
Kling-On objected that ‘tight’ meant not just two sides but something shoved hard up between two sides of something. Here the circle veered into salacious talk yet again; I swear E&B announced that she had her carrot in her bag, and Punch expressed interest in having a massage real soon from her ‘physio’.