Sunday, December 12, 2010

I got a name. And a medal.

Yesterday, Saturday, December 11, 2010, a date that will live in inf... ah, heck. I'll start again.

Yesterday, Saturday, December 11, 2010 was a long, full, good day. Cold, though.

On any normal hashing day, any normal hasher my age... if there are any normal hashers my age... if there are any normal hashers at all... would have stayed home. First, it was bright and clear but colder than Lindsay Lohan's career, with a wind chill in the teens. Secondly, it was advertised as a "Danger Hash"; that usually means climbing and jumping, two things I wasn't any good at 40 years ago and mysteriously haven't gotten any better at as I've gained weight and gotten creaky. But it was my naming day with the Yongsan Kimchi Hash House Harriers and I wasn't going to miss it.

About two dozen insane hashers took off eagerly to follow the hares, only to find, ten seconds later, an eight-foot iron gate we were supposed to go over. One guy, the infamous Mr. Blister, did; the rest of us found our way around. The rest of the course was up and down steep rocky stairs (with a magnificent view from on high of the sundrenched, windswept Han River and all of central Seoul), through prickers and weeds and up muddy slopes, in the first floor and out the fourth floor of buildings, over (and under!) fences, and around the backs of houses.
(The YKH3 on Red Dress Day earlier in the year. Something's Not. Quite. Right with them.)

Somehow I finally made it all the way back. (My fellow hashers' climbing-and-jumping help... um... helped.) I had had to carry a toilet plunger-- symbol of some trifling behavior from last week that the pack found humorously objectionable-- the whole way, too. As everyone had cookies and sandwiches and beer (no cooler necessary) and shifted their weight and jumped up and down to keep warm, our pack leader took turns interviewing two other sixth-timers and me. The questionnaire was all about the great moments and humiliating moments and... ahem... highly personal moments of our lives. Then we were sent around the corner to shiver while she gave the info to the pack and they called out prospective names and voted.

Finally, when we namees had almost run out of shivers, we got called back. The pack was huddled together like raisins and constantly shuffled to left and right to stay in the sun. I have to say that I'm delighted with my name; someone took my tv appearance with Regis and a certain story about a trip I took to Iowa and the name of a recent movie and came up with my now-and-forever hash name:


Oh, that is so clever! But the amazing thing is that nobody here knew that, ever since my stint playing fantasy baseball 20 years ago, Corn Dog has been my nickname. Let's just say that I feel at home with my new name, which will replace that boring old "Steve" at all hashes for however many decades I'm still capable of hashing. (It's ironic that a longtime veghead such as I will be using the name of a meat dish at an event named after a meat dish, but hey...)

I made it home to thaw for an hour or so before heading out again to our school's Performance Night. We had an evening of our students' singing, dancing, playing instruments (Western and Korean), and four minutes devoted to my class' Six-Word Memoir project. (If you haven't seen it, please go back to my previous post and watch it, would you? It's really good, I think. And free.)

When the performances were over, I headed out on the subway again; the Seoul Flyers were holding their annual banquet at a pub in Itaewon. It was just bad luck that the one night they do that was the same date as the school's biennial show. I made it to the Dickens Lounge long after dinner was over, just in time for the last award of the night. But I did get to talk to friends and finally pick up my medal for running the Chuncheon Marathon seven weeks ago. (I ran a marathon... did I happen to mention that on my blog at some point?) The medal bears the name of the guy whose entry I assumed and my gastropod-like finishing time, but I've hung the medal with that side facing the wall.

In my long and picaresque running career, Saturday's prizes are the two awards I'm most proud of. And in the Flyers and the Hashers I've gained two running families-- one sane, one in-. It's nice, so far from home, to belong.

Happy Holidays to all,
Corndog Millionaire

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