Once upon a time (1938 actually), a small group of warless, and therefore probably flabby, kaki clad soldiers, looking for something to do that was brave and manly, decided to run cross country through estates and jungles of KL, full of fearful hazards like gnats and bare breasted orang asli women. The run would end at the Selangor Club annex which was fondly called the Hash House, long buried under the northbound Jalan Kuching highway. This band of merry men became a real club but the ladies were not invited to join probably because in those days, ladies were gainfully employed knitting socks and needle pointing underpants to send to the solders in Europe who were about to do some real soldiering. The seventies dawned and the ladies of the Klang Valley decided that they also wanted to do this hashing thing. The men were furious but finally the ladies got their own hash on Tuesdays (to begin with), with the men doing the “dangerous” job of setting the runs. Thus was born THE KUALA LUMPUR HASH HOUSE HARRIETTES.
The first run on 18th June 1974 had twelve ladies and three men or maybe eleven ladies and four men. Peter Yap (who became Peter Beer) was strong-armed into supplying the ladies with drinks from his side-car in 1978. Needing to develop their own identity and character, the ladies made members guess the price of the meal at the on-on and also kept a record of how many runs each member had done. This tradition still exists today, along with a new one called Prick-of-the-week, introduced by Richard Leofsky to discipline all the A-holes who broke the club’s rules. By 1983, the numbers grew to 120 hashers every week, probably the biggest hash in the valley. Men were only allowed to join after a gruelling initiation ceremony called a “waiting list”. The on-on was usually 7 or 8 tables and the noise was deafening. If you managed to get any food this would fortify you to sit through John Duncan and his grotesquely long repertoire of rugby songs. This noise and the fact that no-one changed their clothes after the run meant we were soon banned from several coffee shops. The poor Grand Mistresses had to scream above this noise every Wednesday. Today the KLHHH is very different.
Whilst we have sadly lost a lot of our mad characters; Peter Beer was finally allowed to retire after 30 years of incredible service; no one’s trodden on a snake or bumped into a tiger for a long time; and we have to drive miles to find a good site. However, the runs are more structured, we only lose runners now and again, the beer and food is still good and cheap, and we can hear ourselves talk at the on-on. Time has moved on and the noise and smell of our old members is now a distant memory.Read more...»