The Hash House Harriers is a running/drinking/social club which was started by bored expatriates in Kuala Lumpuer, Malaysia in 1938. ("Hash House" is the nickname of the restaurant/bar to which they retired for food and beer after a run). Hashing is based on the English schoolboy game of "Hare and Hounds"; a Hash is a non-competitive cross-country run set by one or more runners called hares. The hares run out in advance of the other runners (the pack of hounds), and set a course marked by white flour, toilet paper, and/or chalk marks.
A hashmark is a splash of flour used to mark the trail. The pack should call out "On-On" when they see a hashmark. Blasts on horns, whistles, and other noise makers are encouraged. Hounds asking "RU?" (are you on trail?) of the FRB's (Front-Running Bastards) should be answered "On-On", which means they are on trail, or "Looking", which means they`ve lost the trail.
Arrows, or several closely spaced hashmarks, are used to indicate change of trail direction.
A checkmark is a circle which indicates that the pack must search for true trail. Hounds should call out "Checking" when they see a checkmark.
A checkback is a line across the trail. Hounds, upon encountering a checkback, call out "Checkback", and goes back 5 marks and then consider it a checkpoint from that mark. A variation is "CB 5" where the 5th mark is the check. Particularly cruel hares have been known to mark such things as "CB 19".
A whichway is two arrows, only one of which points toward true trail; no hashmarks will be found in the other direction.
Tradition requires a down-down of a beer after a hasher's virgin hash, naming hash, and other significant occasions, e.g., 25th hash, 50th hash, etc. A down-down is also in order for hares, visitors, and for any other trumped up excuse that can be thought of. While frowned upon as "alcohol abuse", it is permissible for non-drinkers to pour the beer over their head; a soda Down-Down may also be elected. The primary consideration of the down-down is that once the mug leaves the drinker's lips, it is turned upside-down over the head.
Don't be shy about hashing - if you've half a mind to join the hash, that's all you'll need!