Monday, February 13, 2006

HASHING THROUGH THE VALLEY OF DEATH.


Yesterday afternoon, I went Hashing in the mountains north of Madrid with the Hash House Harriers.

We gathered in a circle before the run began, in order to receive instructions from the Hares (i.e., the two guys who laid-out the running trail earlier that morning).

After receiving the obligatory pre-run instructions about where the trail begins, when to expect the water/beer stop, etc., the Hares hit us with an eyebrow raiser:

“Please stick together and make a lot of noise when you enter the valley during the last five kilometers of the run, because it's crawling with wild boar hunters...and they're using high-powered rifles.”

:-O

So...as we descended into “the valley of death” an hour later, the runners all bunched together and—with notably increased frequency and fervor—began yelling the standard Hash House Harrier call.

“On on! On on! On on...!”

At which point, I had a troubling thought: “On on!” sounds uncomfortably similar to “Oink oink!”

19 Comments:

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Angie said...

Glad to see you made it out alive!

Of course, you're also lucky that Dick Cheney decided to hunt quail this weekend, not wild boar.

 
At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure glad Dick Cheney wasn't in the area!! ;-0

Great blog, keep up the good work!

 
At 10:38 PM, Blogger Nyana said...

That would have made for a hillarious Google Video piece (do they call it a vlog now?) A bunch of runners going down the Death Valley screaming "On On!" Sal, that must have been a very interesting experience for you. I would have been laughing instead of running in that situation. Good for you big runner!

 
At 10:42 PM, Blogger Di said...

Running with the Pigs ...?

Isn't Pamplona enough for your country of residence? I guess the high-powered rifles beef up the 'excitement' and shouting 'oink oink' is really just asking for it, isn't it.

Hey, tonight my coach was telling me about the Champagne Half-marathon ... champagne at every stop. I won't be ready this year ... not for drinking and running but seems like a must-do in 2007.

(Note to self: must practise running and drinking alcohol in preparation for this glorious event)

 
At 10:57 PM, Blogger ironporer said...

For some reason I keep getting this mental image of the potential step mother in the movie "The Parent Trap" knocking two sticks together...to repel cougars as I recall.

Nothing better than running thru an area infested by hunters with guns...hope they were more sober than the average hunter here. Then again, it is Spain...sobriety... dumb remark, never mind.

 
At 11:10 PM, Blogger christina said...

Why does this make me feel like yelling "Pork!"?

I've heard that the wild boars can be dangerous - they often crash through people's patio doors into their living rooms here - but I never gave a thought to the far more dangerous wild boar hunters.

Glad that no one mistook you for a pig! :-)

 
At 11:33 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Hi everyone:

Sorry, but I got to bed way too late last night...and somehow set my alarm to go off an hour early this morning. I didn't notice until after my shower and caffeine ("Why is it still dark outside? Wah...hey?! It's 6:05, not 7:05!!!"). Anyway, let me summon the last, dying gasp of energy in my brain and respond:

Ang: Dick Cheney? Yeah...I would've been just the latest in a long, long list of people who can thank him for a premature death. Pity he was shooting at quail rather than Quayle.

Anonymous: Thanks for the message, but don't be so anonymous next time. We're a harmless bunch, and promise not crank call you at 2am if you divulge your identity.

Nyana: Running into the valley definitely conflicted with my normally-sensible approach to life. But there were 20 of us and I was, more or less, the most petite of the bunch. I figured that I was least likely to take a bullet. Besides...if someone had shot at me, I simply would've caught the bullet in my teeth.

Lady Di: Running with the pigs? Are you calling me a...ah, nevermind. BTW...You MUST run the Champagne Half Marathon, and I'm going to help you. Go to the following website and start Hashing Belgium-style:

http://www.cix.co.uk/%7Ebicesterh3/uk/europe/belgium.htm

Methinks you'll like it. Plus, you speak pretty good English for a foreigner.

Iron Man: ¡Hombre! Where the hell have you been? You missed my "Name That Smoker" contest. I was about to call the Alabama National Guard. If I find out that you were in Zaragoza and didn't tell me...

Christina: You're right. It was lucky that nobody mistook me for a pig. And luckier still that nobody mistook me for a quail.

 
At 12:08 AM, Blogger Angie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:10 AM, Blogger Angie said...

The only thing I know about wild boars, I learned from "Old Yeller"... those were boars, right? I would be scared, too... they looked scary!

Ironporer, haven't seen you around lately! My hometown pal! :)

* P.S., the deleted comment was mine. I know that's annoying... I have to start proof-reading before posting!

 
At 1:25 PM, Blogger woman wandering said...

As if I would ever call you a pig Sal deTragalia ... the people who run with the bulls aren't ... 'ah, nevermind' seems appropriate about here.

Thank you for the vote of confidence re: my spoken English, and for the website, unfortunately Antwerp is the one that disbanded. Perhaps when we're done with our 'Running Lessons' some of the other will be interested in carrying on and reform the Hashers here.

 
At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Jo said...

I wanted to say something sly about Dickie-Poo but Angie beat me to it! GOOD JOB ANGIE!

As for the other "creatures", how come nobody was concerned about the boars themselves? Are wild boars in Spain less tempremental than their American counterparts?

Which brings up another question, why weren't you after one of them to stuff into The Salvitator?

 
At 10:49 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Granny Jo: I would've loved to bring home a boar and feed it to The Salivator. But in the absence of my own high-powered rifle, I would've had to kill it with my bare hands.
To do so would have blemished my manicure. I therefore opted for the rucola with raspberry vinegrette.

Sal

 
At 11:30 PM, Blogger Angie said...

Thanks Granny Jo! It was a combination of pure luck and boredom at work that led me to be the first to post a joke at Deadeye Dick's expense. Anonymous almost beat me to it!

P.S. Don't take this the wrong way, but Happy Valentine's Day from an Amorous Nocturnal Goddess Exchanging Loving and Affection! (Just visit Mausi's blog and all will be explained...)

 
At 11:49 PM, Blogger woman wandering said...

What can one do but giggle when one reads of opting for 'rucola with raspberry vinegrette' over 'killing a boar with bare hands' ...

I bow to you ... in a mocking way, so don't get delusions of grandeur. That would be entirely unbearable actually ... ye gods, shall I delete.

 
At 2:42 AM, Anonymous Nick said...

Hashing sounds like a good laugh - I enjoyed your write-up and added a link to my Spain blog.

 
At 7:09 PM, Blogger Alison said...

Sounds like great fun, well except for the running bit. I think I would find myself with the sitters and drinkers. Are the Hashers dog friendly? I have a Saint Bernard you could borrow next time for pork protection :)

 
At 9:22 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Haha - and since i'm by myself its more of a breathing sort of laugh. come to think of it hubby does the same thing - it's funny to hear it!

 
At 4:35 AM, Blogger Nyana said...

Sal: i love this bear picture and the story that goes with it (more in love with the story really) but you have to give us some more of that wit of yours.
make me laugh sir! i'm counting on you.
cheers!

 
At 2:25 AM, Anonymous Jo said...

A return greeting to you Angie from Jewel of Orgasms. ::grin::

P.S. My husband is rather perplexed! Wonder why? ::snicker::

 

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