Farewell Sermon from the Religious Advisor

Run 1500 - 15 October 2006 - Ano Voula


(To be read aloud. Stentoriouos voice preferred.)


“When a man grows old and his balls grow cold

and the end of his dick turns blue,

and it bends in the middle like a one string fiddle

He can tell you a tale or two…”


There cometh a time in the lives of each and everyone of us when we turn aside from our fellows and seek the solitude and tranquillity of our own firesides (or our air conditioning units). A time when we put up our feet and put on our slippers, When we reach for a cleansing ale and sit and stare into the flames or thermostat and ponder. I wonder at such times whether your thoughts turn to the words I have just spoken (above) as mine do.


They are very unique and special words, words that express, as so very few words do, that sense of lack that lies at the very heart of modern existence. That-don’t-quite-know-what-it-is-but-I’m-not-getting-enough sort of feeling. But they are more than this, these words; much, much more – they are in a very real sense a challenge to each and every one of us here. What is that challenge, I hear you ask?


As I travelled to the PASSSH Hash recently I arrived at the railway station, and by an oversight I happened to come out by the way in which one is supposed to go in, and as I was coming out an employee of the railway company hailed me. ‘Hey, mate,’ he shouted, ‘where do you think you are going?’ That at any rate was the gist of what he said. And, do you know, I am grateful to him because, you see, he put me in mind of the kind of question I felt I ought to be asking all of you hashers at the present time. “Where do you think you are going? Are you - on the true trail?”


Not so long ago I went into the hills with another hasher to train our young bodies, to be firm, to be strong and yes, to be hard, so that we can be ready for anything the hash may lay before us. Up and up we went, higher and higher until at last we felt we deserved a well earned Kit-Kat and sup of water. The valley of Attica lay before us and the neffos and dusk of evening eventually began to come upon us. And as we watched this wonder of nature my friend suddenly and violently vomited.


Some of us think that life is a bit like that don’t we? But it isn’t. You know, Life – Life, it’s rather like opening a tin of sardines. --- We are all of us looking for the key. Some of us – some of us think we have found the key, don’t we? We roll back the lid of the sardine tin of Life, we reveal the sardines, the riches of Life, therein and we get them out, we enjoy them. But you know, there’s always a little piece in the corner of the tin you can’t get out.


I wonder – I wonder if there is a little piece in the corner of your life? I know there is in mine.


So now as my era draws to a close,  and this homily too you will be grateful to hear, I want you all when you go from this hash of calm into the hurly burly of Athenian life, a world of lost trails and sorrow and helplessness and taxi drivers. A world of torment and blue flour. If you are ever tempted to say, “Oh, bugger this” then I want you to remember for comfort that the little bit in the corner of the sardine tin of Life is indeed what we call ‘Hashing’.



Strawberry Foreskin




With alopogies to Alan Bennet