Just when I think I’m getting good and jaded about all things involving both socializing and alcohol, someone comes along and puts me right back in my place.

I have never heard of hashing before. Until recently, when my shocked neighbor gave me a truly disdainful “Reeeeeally?” and looked down his nose at me and my obviously uninitiated liver. I clearly dropped a notch or two in his opinion of me as a solid drinking buddy. I felt extremely uneducated. Left out. Overlooked, even. How had I missed this?

So. I looked it up. (He was actually polite enough to forward me a link.) Everything you need to know about hashing can be found on the Hash House Harriers web site.

Hashing 101: It sounded vaguely illegal from the start with its distinct opium connection, but it now has more to do with beer than narcotics. It originated (or so I read) early in the last century when a bunch of bored Brits overseeing the British Empire’s interests in the tropics spent too much time at the “hash house” (opium connection — see?!) and in a semi-lucid moment of clarity decided they missed the right proper English hunts back home. Lacking hares, horses, and hounds, they simply assigned a buddy the job of “hare” and off he went to lay a trail of flour, paper, pepper, or whatever was handy. Then the “hounds” — his tipsy cohorts — set off in pursuit.

That’s the back story. Fast forward to modern times, and now it’s all over the world, including our lovely little boroughs of Denver and Boulder. Turns out, the Colorado Receding Hareline club has run/walk/drinking binges planned for May 27 – 29 for the Boulder, Ft. Collins, and Denver clubs respectively. One race starts at St. Mary’s Glacier, one starts in Golden, and one starts in the Poudre Canyon.

They can’t tell you where it ends (though they do tell you what to bring) or the chase wouldn’t be nearly as fun.

And of course, kegs of beer and/or comfy pubs are always waiting at the end. Definitely my kind of outdoor activity.