“For fuck’s sake, how do you get up here every day?” Who’s Your Daddy gasped for breath, gazing around from the top of the barren precipice.
“Oh, you know,” The genie Straight To Hell stirred his Signature Manhattan. “Good health. Exercise. Also, I work from home and never leave. What ill wind blew you my way?”
“My birthday wishes. Three of them, I believe, as traditional.”
“But no wishing for more!” Straight to Hell cautioned. “And you have to rub my head first, remember.”
Who’s Your Daddy wrinkled his nose and did the deed. “First, some wisdom.”
“Well, Good Tongue Action is working late tonight, so it will be a while for that one.”
“Funny, I’d have taken you for the sage. Bald, old, on the top of a large mountain.”
“Please. If you’d just accept reality like your hair follicles obviously have, you’d be in the same boat. Hah, there’s your wisdom for you.” Straight to Hell blinked, and Who’s Your Daddy’s hair disappeared, as did a good six inches from his height.
“Damn you, genie, that wasn’t my wish. Turn me back!” Who’s Your Daddy waved his cane around in the air and coughed.
“Done. What’s for wish three?”
Who’s Your Daddy glared but hesitated before speaking. “It would’ve been Muff Snatcher’s birthday.”
“That’s a no-can-do right there,” Straight to Hell interrupted.
“Not what I was going for. I want to do something for him. I want us to remember him properly! I want a trail in his honor—a What Would Muff Snatcher Do run! Can you make it happen?”
“I can, but will I? Alright, alright! So you wish, so it will be.” Straight to Hell blinked, and with a flash of light they both were transported to Washington Square Park.
“For fuck’s sake,” Who’s Your Daddy spat on the ground. “Couldn’t you have done something about the bugs? And how the hell am I supposed to plan out a trail when you’ve thrust us forward in time by a week?”
At first, Who’s Your Daddy just saw the usual crowd of grouchy, cold, and complaining half-minds. Split Wide Open shivered even while in her parka, while I’m Drunk was attempting to achieve his namesake as quickly as possible. But slowly, gradually, a change passed over the crowd. One by one, hashers started smiling at each other. Some even said hello to people they didn’t know. Twerxes Like Xerxes waved at a passing tourist, drawing him into the conversation.
“Do you think you’ll be leaving soon?” Cuming Mutha approached them both. “I’d hope we can give you hares the usual fifteen minutes, but I’m a bit concerned it’s getting late.”
“I can understand him,” Who’s Your Daddy whispered to Straight to Hell.
“Yes, that’s part of your wish.” Straight to Hell stage-whispered. “They’re all acting like Muff Snatcher.” He grabbed the bag of flour. “Let’s do this!”
With that the hares took off into the darkness of night, winding up and down the streets to mount Coit Tower not once, but twice. The pack, for once, put great effort in calling out to each other, solving checks and marking backchecks. Heracknophobia yelled encouragement at her fellow hashers—Move, you assholes!—only to find her words were wasted on some poor souls who had paid hundreds of dollars for a personal trainer. But even she did not begrudge the time wasted on her part to help perk up their spirits.
Fuck Norris pulled to a halt on Market Street at the site of a familiar van. “Hand Pump?” she called. “I didn’t think this was the beer check.”
Hand Pump threw a box away as he exited the Apple store. “Just a quick errand.” He remarked. “Siri, text Fuck Norris directions to Coit Tower.”
Across town, millimeter Peter’s iPhone buzzed. “Coot Tower?”
Cockagami leaned over and pulled out his phone as well. “Hey, Hand Pump got an iPhone. And is texting his entire address book!”
“Think that means we should go to circle?”
“Eh, let’s give it one more beer. They could just stick Cockamole up there, and I’m sure no one would notice the difference.”
Back at the start, the mood was convivial. Slug introduced her brother to Just Doesn’t Get It and Glory Hole. Six Tits a Week shared his pizza with Do Her Well. The entire group shared their orange food with Allahu Aqbark, who rapidly made it just his orange food. Sir Menage-a-Lot limped around and complained of a sex injury, and Perfect Woman generously offered to help fix it. Chicken Bone Her brought Blowqueen and Udder Moron beers before getting her own. There were smiles and friendly faces everywhere you looked.
At last, the group gathered together for circle, and hares Straight to Hell and Who’s Your Daddy were brought forward. A record low of fifteen complaints about trail were registered.
“You know, this would have been Muff Snatcher’s birthday trail, and I have to say this is how he would have wanted it—hills galore.” Who’s Your Daddy started.
“Yeah, all three of us were born around now—different fathers, of course,” added Straight to Hell. “And to reflect on Muff Snatcher’s absence, Who’s Your Daddy wished that tonight would embody his spirit.”
“So when you, Backside Banger, asked that small Asian woman to join us, it was because Muff Snatcher was moving in you.”
“Ew,” said Backside Banger, rapidly moving towards the keg to fill his vessel.
“And when you, Miss Delivery, were charging up the hills tonight—well, Muff Snatcher would be doing the same if he were still around.”
“And when you, Fixed Queer and Shoeless Joe Jackson, left the East Bay to join us tonight—well, Muff Snatcher would’ve said that East Bay hashers are people, too.
“This is all a bunch of bullshit,” interrupted Cum Guzzling Cockaholic. “How the fuck do we know what Muff Snatcher would’ve wanted.”
“Weren’t you saying that you wouldn’t get foot surgery because you need it to masturbate with just like— ” Do Her Well started.
“Hush!” the Guzz yelled. “We don’t know if he would’ve been happy today. We don’t know if he would’ve made the world better or worse or just the same as always. For all we know he would’ve won the lottery, moved to Hawaii with Slug and said fuck off to the lot of you.”
“Fine, assholes, spell’s over,” huffed Straight to Hell.
“Hey, where’s my virgin?” cried Dick Ass Mother Fucker.
“Wait a minute,” called out The Good Shit Lollicock. “We do know one thing, and it’s that Straight to Hell and Who’s Your Daddy carry with them this vision of Muff Snatcher. And it’s a vision that’s kind and funny. Athletic and enthusiastic about life. Quiet, but welcoming. It’s a vision that’s a little different for all of us who knew him, but when we get together here we see how much is the same. And how much of him we pass along through time, even to ones who were never lucky enough to have known him.”
“And if that resonance is what’s left on the earth of Muff Snatcher, of Steve Ruddy, the fact that we can still see it to this day is incredible. I’d like to think that leaving behind that sort of impact at the end of your days is enough.”
It’ll have to be.