Run No: 437 - 13 Oct 07 - Ashore on Treasure Island - Henqin Island

Hash no. 437: Ashore on Treasure Island

The sun was barely over the yard arm, whatever that is, as we gathered in the lee of Lotus Bridge Immigration. Word had reached us that many of our crew, among them Colonic of the Delicate Passage, had succumbed to another debilitating bout of beri beri - well, he said he was beri beri tired, and couldn’t get out of their hammocks. ‘Good’, we thought, ‘leave the landlubbers ashore, all the more grog for us’.

Captain Pugwash cast a weathered eye over the motley crew lined up before him, then picked it up, popped it back in its’ socket and looked us up and down.

He and Cunter Ass, his aptly-named cabin boy, had thoroughly surveyed the lie of the land and planned a masterly trail through virgin countryside, but decided to save that for another day when some more important hashers than us lot might turn up. As we made the crossing to Treasure Island, he and the boy retired to the privacy of the poop deck at the back of the bus and set about planning a completely different run more befitting our lowly status.

Whilst this was going on Fishy Fingers was busy below decks extorting MOP15 from the groupies on the grope visa, who were still haggling over the MOP3 bus fare. Hashers never change, except perhaps their shoes, so it was all getting a bit whiffy by the time we reached the other shore.

Treasure Island Immigration had spotted our approach, and all 28 of their crew pressed forward to watch as the 2 who were working randomly opened and closed their immigration desks in a futile attempt to make us play jump-the-barriers like their big brothers do at Gong Bei. Having made this crossing once before, most of us are old China hands by now and being hashers are far too lazy anyway to fall for that old trick, so after a couple of attempts they went back to swapping yarns about grannies leaping over the Gong Bei railings with air-conditioning units on their backs.

Once we had found our bearings we put them back in and went looking for the red lights, but since the only traffic in the village was a 3-wheel tractor there were none. To make up for this the Captain had secretly booked a room in a short-time hotel on the pretext that it would be a safe place to leave our bags. He soon changed his mind when he discovered that the hash virgin was a man, which was surprising really for a sailor. With nowhere to stow our kit the more innocent hashers ended up carrying their bags all the way around the trail, not realising that up and down the coast of China, even a whole kilometre from Macau, nobody would be tempted to open, let alone steal a hasher’s bag.

The hares set off at an ambling trot, so there was no hope of anyone catching them. The walkers left 5 minutes later, then us runners sometime after that. We caught the walkers just around the first corner, where they were strategically delayed, window-shopping outside the village shop. We easily overtook them, bounding along gaily between piles of reeking oyster shells and mosquito nurseries of stagnant water, then we came to the track leading up the side of the ancient quarry, which had been cleverly booby-trapped. The hares had arranged an alfresco buffet featuring nausettes of sun-dried cowpat with a drizzling of rice flour for the local bluebottles, who had no intention of sharing their good fortune with anyone.

Being hashers, this obstacle held us up for no more than a few minutes, and we struggled on up the hill with the future Valley of the Kings, Queens and Jacks spread out before us. Kidnap Cove, the scene of our recent adventure, was far off in the distance, the SS Minnow anchored offshore (well it wouldn’t be anchored onshore), with a fresh cargo of kidnapped hashers trapped below deck praying for St. Elmo to come and rescue them.

On we went and over the crest, following an old jungle trail which some say leads to the spot where the Captain buried his treasure, but all we found was an old mattress and half a dozen empty beer bottles. We hacked our way through the jungle until we came upon a check and a clearly marked trail of flour leading up the new mountain road as far as the eye could see. This was obviously the correct trail, so Nasiturd, Nancy Boy and Rebecca inched their way up it. A mile further up the mountain, Nasiturd asked Nancy Boy if he was still on flour. ‘Nope, I thought you were.’ It suddenly dawned on them that they had been tricked!

Back down the hill they ran, with the flower-pickers now miles ahead. In the time-honoured way of the sea, they had kidnapped a couple of local maidens, who, like all port girls, secretly enjoy a good press-ganging. The competition became intense as they all made their way down the hill, with everyone trying to talk at the same time. Meanwhile, down in the village Nasiturd had impressed the hares by being first in, which wasn’t all that difficult with everyone else still chatting and picking flowers.

The rest of the shore party slowly ambled in, got stuck into the grog and eventually a circle of sorts was formed and punishments administered. Fishy Fingers got keel-hauled for tactical shopping, having missed the circle completely to haggle over a T-shirt. An on-on was announced, since nobody could escape, and maggoty vittles dished out to all, accompanied by filthy sea-dog prattle which ran along the usual lines of sex, gossip, sex, scandal and sex, and out of this a new hasher was christened: Hooker No-sing, which all agreed was far more appropriate than Rebecca.

Having filled ourselves on weevils and grog, the order was given to make our way back to the ship. We piled into the village tractor, where we clung to our seats. We didn’t have much choice because the driver had just painted them and we stuck to everything we touched. Caught red-handed, we were marched into Immigration and summarily expelled from China. My God, if they won’t have us, who will?

Nancy Boy, somewhere in the South China Sea

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