Flipping through the paper this morning, I saw a picture that reminded me of one of our fallen hashers. There was Shaq with a Taco stuck in his mouth, an his head tilting all the way down to his shoulder. [If any of you don't recognize this description, I am talking about the new Taco Bell ads (TV, posters, and Billboards)] Figuring that Shaq might also have a herniated disc, I decided to read the accompanying article. Seems that the new ads, in the spirit that has now become standard American, have offended yet another minority group. This is not a minority of race, creed or religion, but one of injury. It turns out that 80,000 Americans suffer from a disease called "cervical dystonia" and two groups (the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation and the National Spasmodic Torticollis Association) are calling for a boycott of Taco Bell until the whole "taco-neck syndrome" (which supposedly comes from having to tilt your head so the stuff doesn't run out of the taco) campaign is scrapped. They have written letters to all parties involved, but have been brushed off.
Now I'm not one to criticize..... (O.K. stop laughing), but how far does this PC BS go? Obviously the people at Taco Bell never even heard of this disease and were in no way making fun of anyone who suffered from it. What exactly CAN you do/say/read without offending SOMEONE? In a world of billions, the chances are very small that you can get through even an hour without doing something that is offensive to someone else. When does it end? At what point does the National Association of Small Appetites boycott "All you can eat" restaurants because they have to pay the same price as people who can eat forever? When does the Unruly Hair Society boycott Clairol for only showing models with perfectly coifed hair (or for that matter, boycott Bo)? How long before we Hashers boycott bars because they let obnoxious patrons enter who think they own the place because they always go there (or on the other hand, the bars boycott US because we are offensive to their regular patrons)?
Until I get a list of every organization, committee, and association of people along with what they stand for, who makes up their group, and what the correct term is for their race, creed, religion, affliction, and/or designation, I give up! I cannot spend my entire life sitting in a corner, never speaking or moving, in order to avoid offending someone (although the Society of Mute Jack Horners would probably come screaming at me anyway!). Anyway, just be careful next time you eat a taco! You just might be hit with a lawsuit! And Crofty... maybe you need to send one of these groups a letter for more info???
People should finally realize that other folks are not out to get them. Most people don't have enough time in their lives to get their work done, much less come up with new ways to offend people. We are all different! Face it! Those differences can either be thrown into each other's faces, celebrated by grandstanding them, or just accepted with the thought of "So? And that makes you (or me) special... why?" I choose the latter, not in a bad sense of uncaring, but in the sense that thinking your disease, race, religion, or any other difference makes you better or more special than other people only perpetuates the stereotype that you are so desperately trying to destroy. Stop pointing out your differences and maybe, just maybe, other people will stop noticing them. I guess in my perfect world, my dream land, my Fantasy Island, everyone would be able to just get along and stop looking for reasons to be upset with everyone else.
Which now leads me into a convoluted segue to last week's Hash. While discussing running against the 90 mph Head winds, Bo accused me of running in my own Fantasy Island Hash. After the events of the run and the On-In, I was beginning to believe him. First there was the start: walking up to 48th and 1st, I realized the start was in front of the Hare's apartment building. Then I saw perpetual Hasher Mary the Greek with two other Hashers, standing all the way across the street. My immediate thought: What kind of Fantasy Land are they living in? (One of these hashers should be excused. He was the NYCH3 virgin Klause from Germany, and he, more than anyone else, was definitely in his Fantasy. More later...] Well, a nice group of roughly 30 showed up and off we went south on 1st. Steve Coleman let most of us know that he saw marks running down towards 41st street, so when the check headed up the stairs at 45th, we kept on straight. "Why run up when you don't have to"? A well marked trail led us into the vicinity of Grand Central, but all of a sudden the marks only appeared once every 2 blocks. Running past Ellen O'Dees, the lead pack split up to find the missing turn arrow. Finally found trail by Grand Central and then well-marked up Park, into the Park, along the Park, and out of the Park. Somewhere around 79th and 3rd, the trail disappeared again. Thankfully we had Idaho "I Know the On-In but don't follow me. Of course, I'm not going to run in the wrong direction though" Sue with us and leading the pack from behind, she effectively kept us heading North and East. All of a sudden we were on trail again around 89th St. Being a Fantasy Hash, we know that the Hares just forgot to lay flour where we were running. It had nothing to do with the turn marks we never saw. They just didn't exist in our world.
The On-In was a cozy little bar tucked off the Avenue. A garden patio in the back would have been appropriate and appreciated on a night when winter wasn't trying to stage a comeback. Instead we crowded the pool table, which just happened to be occupied by two Hashers from elsewhere. They were quite accepting of our presence and continued their game with little if any annoyance. They did manage to scurry put of the bar before called up for "Accidental Visitors" Down Downs. Two couches in the middle of the bar allowed plenty of comfortable seating, although the "K & K Kouch" had two bodies laying across it much of the night.
Down Downs were given to the Hares, the Visitors (Klause (one K above), and Chris Hucstepp (did I get that right Hardy?) from London), Last In and First In (Katherine and Rebecca (who seems to be quite proud of her precognitive powers, yet she never saw the down downs coming....)). This being my Fantasy Hash, Hash Cash was a bargain at $13!! Latecomer Allison was given a belated Down Down.
I'm not exactly sure what was served in those Down Downs, but when it took effect, the results were worthy of a Full Moon On-In. As they stepped off the plane onto Fantasy Island, I overheard Mr. Rourke's explanation to Tattoo:
Here we have Rebecca. She secretly desires to put her Party Girl reputation to rest by settling down with a special guy. Next we have Chris Tyree who wants to do them same... well... with a special woman hopefully. Klause would like to experience the NYC Hash. After trying unsuccessfully 6 times, we know he finally found them. Let's watch and see what happens next. Allison is here to try and take back a special place in the Hash. After a long vacation from the group, she never wants people to forget who she is again. Peter secretly desires to be a politician. He is thinking about campaigning for JM next year and wants some practice.
Through the night, everyone seemed to enjoy their fantasies. The results: Rebecca ended up marrying Crofty (a good match for both) and then got engaged to Matt. Seems she just couldn't lose the party side after all. Chris Tyree had a woman on his arm the whole night. Word has it that this same woman was his saving grace in London, allowing him to avoid the Deliverance re-enactment going on among the rest of the boys. He may have thought she was "the One", but reality set in when, upon asked, she claimed to be "one of the many". Klause ended up having a Kouch named after him and Kendra. Seems lucky #7 got him lucky in more ways than just finding the Hash. Either that, or it was the green pants!
Peter came in and, in his best Pataki impression, began working the room like a skilled agent. Pressing the flesh with those "in" Hashers, Peter laid out his campaign platform. Better Health Care was shown by busting the chimney calling himself Matt. Family values were shown by condemning the K&K Kouch. Lastly, Peter was proud to point out that his Math skills are working fine ("That's 2 more than Zero!"). All fine qualities in a JM, or a politician. Now if he could only lose the pointy shoes and suspenders. Allison, last onto the plane off the Island, did a very good job, albeit not a respectable one, of putting her name on the tip of many male hasher's tongues. Whether her name is exactly what she wanted there is an entirely different fantasy (?). She did, however, prove to one tough pool player.
Now that the guests were gone, I boarded my yellow plane that took me back to the reality I call home. Thinking back, I like my Fantasy World. I hope more people agree with me and we can make this world more like that one. A good trail and a good On-In. Thank you Hares. Thanks Mr. Rourke.....
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