Wednesday, October 2, 2019

All Along the Hashtower Hash Trash

What: The All Along the Watchtower Hash
Where: Brendan Behan Pub
Who: Do Me Decimal, (not) Massage A Trio
Wikipedophilia, Bring Out the Gimp, For the Love of God Finish, the virgin from last week, the just who brought the virgin from last week, Dribbles, Dry Hose, Sex TFF, Twat My Mom, Topless Barbie, Chunderelli, definetly other people I’m forgetting.

Arriving at the start early - running because trusting the orange line is like waiting for when I paint my masterpiece - the bartender very nicely informed me that the hare had called ahead to warn the bar of our arrival, so they had set up some orange food and pretzels on a few tables away from the bar as to not distract the denzins at the bar. Rage. As I was walking in, All Along the Watchtower was playing, on theme. Chunderelli walked right past the bar. Pack slowly trickled in, with tales of woe coming in from all those who braved the T. The hares and bag car arrived slightly be 7, and changed into an all-red outfit (this is relivant later) and was gay, or straight, or whatever, they left us alone at the bar with promises of beer lingering in the air.

Chalk talk:
Qatar Mile Queer led us in chalk talk, but decided to draw the marks in white chalk, unlike the hare, who decided to paint the side walks black with their chalk. The hare had given a whole set of “special marks” to our earstwhile RA, but he had forgotten all but one of them - CN/CC which stood for “Champange Near” and “Champange Check.” We were promised that it wouldn’t be “divorce juice”

Trial Grey-marks:

Everyone was scouting left, and some were scouting right. I scouted the wrong way around a super-market, and eventually I hadn’t seen nothing like a trial mark, so I headed back to chalk-talk. I found some grey-chalk-on-black-side-walk and followed until I saw cranium lamps bobbing in the distance and ran towards them. Pack ran helter-skleter going check-to-check; the hare living up to their origins as a cajun-hasher. Once we found marks it was easy to follow, but pack hadn’t seen nothing like an easily visible mark. Looping our way through JP - the lack of ability to see marks made us run in circles without knowing it - we eventually couldn’t figure out what any of it was worth and found marks leading into the woods with “CN” writen in chalk on a rock. The hare then used the tried and true practice of “an entire bag of flour over 100 yards” leading us through the woods to the champange. Luckily they ran out right at the champange, laying only one “wiki-mark” (as apparently laying down sticks in the formation of arrows is called - who would ever DO THAT?). Next to the champange were the cards that read “have mercy on their souls” as it was discovered this was, in fact, divorce-juice. [For those who don’t know divorce juice is a term of art for almond flavoured champange from trader joes] There was also hatorade mixed with something for the feinter of hart. After trying hard to finish the bottles, we looked around and saw that pack had shrunk to about six, so I went back to look for the rest of them. Apparently they were confused by the definition of “near” and didn’t see, or follow, the marks going up the spanish stairs, looking around instead for champange near the champange near mark. 

Trail “well, lets just assume it goes up hill”:

We all know the adage that “the hash runs up hill” and never has pack seen this montra more faithfully executed. We hashed around the heath street hill, through some parks and up some stairs. We got to an intersection and ran up some more hills, then to another intersection and up more hills. We were running a long a street at there was a check at the base of a flight of stairs, there was one easily visible and a second mark not too far up them, so I bounded my way up the stairs. Twat my mom kindly intercepted a local muggle who asked him why I had just bounded up the stairs to his house. Twat replied, in effect, that I was (am) an idiot, and that it was the wrong way. The man invited Twat to run a 5k on Saturday as I ran back down the stairs to catch up with pack. There was a check at the next flight of stairs, and trail did go up those, to a second shot check. 

Trial “this has to be where the beer check is, oh, no, wait.”

Starting from the mad dash up the stairs to the second shot check all of our - or at least YHNs - beer-dars were going off, only to be investigated as false alarms. After the shot check we finished running up all the hills to the park which overlooks the city - really narrowing down which one - and trial ran, unexpectedily down-hill, so we kept thinking that the beer check would be “right at the next park.” It never was. Eventually we kept running down, and down and down until we got to the Orange line tracks, which we ran over, to a hash-sit-a-peed by whatever-road-the-orange-line-follows. Continuelly getting my barings again, I suggested that we “scout up hill” to that weird tower thing we went to once one a red dress after being kicked out of Sam Adams. Pack blinked and ran down the “big road” while Chunderelli and i scouted - and found - trail crossing 4 lanes of traffic and going up hill. Trail came to an intersection and kept going up hill. It did this three, or maybe four, more times, until finally, blessedily, we saw “BN” pointing into the park with the aforementioned weird tower.

Beer Check Sex Cult?

The hare maintains that the tower was built in the 60s as part of a sex cult? They were very adoment about it, but I wasn’t really paying attention. I was paying attention to the fact that my legs were no longer climbing hills. The only conversation of note at the beer check was about how opiodes make you constipated, then people shared stories about suffering from the inverse of constipation as an adult. We thought the hare had been away for a while when we started talking about hashers who signed up to get colera, but were informed that they had only been away for a few minutes. Not wanting to talk about shit anymore, i wandered around the park, scouting in all the wrong directions.

Trial “We have to go downhill to get to where we’re going”

If our beer-dars had been biased after the second shot check, they were totally out of whack following the beer check, except that we totally go lost at least twice looking around at “View Checks” whose views featured tripple deckers with maybe a sight of a sky scrapper peaking over them in the distance. I’m pretty sure we ran down more hills than we ran up, but according to science that’s not possible. Fake news. They were perfect hills. We crossed back over the-main-road-heading-south-west-from-the-city and Twat led us in “Oh, sir jasper” to let pack catch up and reform. Sex scouted straight and had a knack for not following the falses down all the sides streets which went up hill,unlike YHS. However, that scouting led YHS to be slightly behind Sex at a group hug in front of a cool chruch on a hill, which we had circle for moon behind many moons ago. Sex and a few others went off scouting and calling “OnOn” in, lets be honest, whatever direction doesn’t matter, because I saw, running back towards us crouching and trying to stay behind trash cans, a runner dressed all in red. They sprinted across the road mid block and i turned and chased down the hare!

We sang the days of the week before running around the chruch and on-ining at the park next to the parking lot where moon ended years ago. 


Precircle food! Not only was it pizza, but it was, like, good pizza. We stuffed our visages with it. After pack had enough time to eat the delicous pizza buffet, QMQ started singing about the mayors daughter and we carried the beer-cooler over to a basketball hoop in the middle of a round court for circle. 


Quarter mile took a long pull from his beer and called the hare into circle, then went around asking for comments on trail. Disco showed up looking dabber AF. We sang the hare the “Shitty Hare” song, and they sang us ... something? Mobile? Sure lets go with that. It’s not true, but it doesn’t matter. When we finished their song and QMQ almost dismissed them from cricle, but then called them back in because he had forgotten to get comments on trail sign them a song. We, the pack, were slightly confused, so we all yelled our comments out again, and QMQ sang “Shitty Hare” and second time, no knowing that we had just done all this! The RA had lost control so the hare and YHS ran around circle yelling that while pack stood looking dumb. The RA then asked “what else he had forgotten” not wanting to retrace the entirety of his life accused the RA of “forgetting circle” and sang to him that ... “he should’ve used more flour and chalk.” Circle was quickly decending into madness but it was the amazing level of madness which is as indescribable as it is fun and intoxicating. There weren’t any virgins - not that I remember at least - but we did call sweat test failures in. When pressed for a song, we sang that the backsliders “should’ve use more flour and chalk....” The RA tried invain to assert some kind of control over circle, and kept on calling in people for accusations which should’ve had specific songs. The backsliders, for example, were asked “where o where were you last week? We should’ve used more flour and chalk...” There was a celebration of the end of summer by doing the same swedish-frog-jumping-thing which we celebrated it’s start with, but that didn’t take hold either. QMQ was accused of running into a tree, and sang to that he should’ve used more flour, or chalk. The hare was called in for being snared, and also told, for a third time, that they should’ve used more flour and chalk. Eventually, with the time progressing towards 10 and the beer flowing quickly, it was time to swing low and end this farce of a circle, which could’ve used more flour and chalk.

On - you should’ve used more flour or chalk - On


The hare provided the following document about their research and references for the trail:

All Along the Watchtower Trail: An Explanation, with references
Summary of inspiration for the trail:

The Lyman Family, also known as the Fort Hill Community, is a Boston-bred cult founded by musician Mel Lyman of Kwenski’s Jug Band. Lyman had a bit of a musical spat with Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, when Dylan played an electric set to an audience who expected a different style of show. After Dylan performed, the displeased crowd began to empty from the venue, and Lyman retook the stage to play for 20 minutes on a harmonica. Sometime between then and 1967, Dylan wrote “All Along the Watchtower.”

Two years after the festival, in 1966, Lyman, who’d moved to Boston in 1963, started a cult near the “Watchtower” of this trail, Fort Hill Tower. Like other charismatic cult leaders such as his more murderous contemporary Charles Manson, Lyman was able to draw people to him and manipulate them using sex, isolation, and music, topped off with healthy doses of LSD. When not being actually-not-hippies in the Fort Hill neighborhood, the Family was out selling a newspaper called Avatar, which got them into legal issues while supposedly expanded the cult message. As the 70s approached, bank robberies and assaults tied to the Lyman Family followed. Lyman supposedly died in 1978, though no death certificate was ever produced. Family members eventually founded a construction company, which may or may not exist today in Boston. Coverage of the Lyman Family as a cult began in the 1970s and has continued into 2019.

As a person studying information science, ol’ Do Me (Re) Decimal has an interest in communities of practice, and occasionally argues on trail that the hash, which is not-not-not-a-cult, as well groups like the Lyman Family that are actually-freaking-cults, are also communities of practice. Do Me heard of Lyman in a book ostensibly about Van Morrison’s album, Astral Weeks. After reading the work last year while spending a month convalescing at Buttler’s house, then discovering upon moving to Jamaica Plain that the site of the Lyman Family’s intrigues near the Fort Hill 

“Watchtower” were within hashing distance from Nira Rock, Do Me began r*nning stairs and plotting a route. Thus a trail was conceived, haphazardly, but with references, for this not-a-cult-but-perhaps-a-community-of-practice.

Selected References
Brennan, J. (2018). Van Morrison: Astral Weeks, Movement and Murder. Disgraceland (podcast).
Felton, D. (1971). The Lyman family's holy siege of America. Rolling Stone.
Turner, G. (2019). My childhood in a cult. The New Yorker.
Walsh, R. H. (2018). Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968. Penguin.

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