Some things in life you'll never forget. A natural disaster, a significant world event, a birth, a death... These milestones are often recalled with, "I remember where I was..." For the lucky few who attended what will surely go down in history as the 'Ikea Hash', their mental database has a new entry. They will forever be able to fondly state, "I remember where I was the day Ikea opened in St. Louis"
The invite directed us to a desolate cul de sac in just another part of St. Louis' industrial wasteland. Basic Disco Ass stuff. No need to worry. Although the street was harder to find than expected, parking was plentiful and we knew our vehicles would be safe. They were safely guarded by the "Russian Martial Arts" studio across the street and the "students" who would periodically come out and give us puzzled looks. Fine time to forget the Borat suit, eh comrades?!
Stink Palm led us through chalk talk, as Disco Ass explained the basic marks and Lack of Oxygen showed us his invisible blue chalk, for which he was fairly chastised. Disco and his "young hare intern" were blessed and headed out into the darkness. Stink decided we should have some fun with the "original Gayblade" (Huggy Bear) and tried unsuccessfully to teach him how to do a proper down-down. Some late cummers showed-up, including 59 Minutes with a double-leash, holding Turns Tricks and Chewie. Some canine protection for what awaited us beyond the darkness perhaps?! Smart move 59.
Trail was an obvious Disco Production: why run around things when you can run through them, safety third, let's annoy the neighbors, etc. The turkey split, took the runners past a front stoop party of what were surely extras from the new 'Boyz in the Hood' movie. As I ran past I heard one of the nice gentlemen say, "look at that muthafukin white boy run!" Sorry fellas, would love to stay and talk but...
The beer stop was next to the highway on an abandoned loading dock. We were greeted with a cooler full of cold beer and a crock pot full of piping hot meatballs! Not sure where they came from but we needed to eat these quick before the homeless guy got back and realized his dinner was gone. It can't get better than this, can it??...
Suddenly, a whistle blows and Disco tells us all to come closer?? He jumps on a cooler and pulls a folded paper from his pocket and begins reading the description of an item from the new Ikea store, "...Das Flutengaker, 23 inches wide, 16 inches deep, black, item number 2387..." What das fuken is he babbling about?!? "Follow the lighted arrows to the kitchen section...the first display...look under some things..." He surely wasn't sending us INSIDE the new store? Security will be tight, cops are everywhere, the news crews are probably there! Smiles faded from hashers faces. We had all read the article about the unfortunate hasher who dared lay a trail across the PARKING LOT of an Ikea. Now, we were expected to go inside and look for a puke halt???
"The store closes at 9pm. The hares need 10 minutes. Good luck!" Disco and L.O.O. disappeared into the darkness...
The beer stop was eerily quiet for the next 9 minutes. Seasoned hashers and newbies alike. All seemed to have fearful excitement in their eyes.
Stink called "on out" and everyone walked, not ran, from the beer stop. Was this a death march??
The pace increased, until the pack was running down dark streets, over a pile of rubble (Whiney tried to shortcut and got stuck in a fenced dead-end!), and into the parking lot of the giant, blue & yellow Death Star that is St. Louis' new home for moderately-priced, build-it- yourself furniture...Ikea! Now sweating from the run, the pack entered the sterile building that had opened only a few hours ago. The shoppers seemed to be more interested in shopping than hashers and the employees were so new that they didn't hassle us, as we tore into the kitchen section, opening drawers and throwing things aside to find our bounty. If you've never been to an Ikea, the place is massive. Finding our prize would be no easy task.
Shouts of "this way" and "over here"...whistles and "on-on". Our fear had turned into a deep need to find and consume whatever it was that was left for us. Had an employee found it? Was the ATF waiting for us somewhere...the police...FBI? Suddenly, word came our way. "They found it!"
As we approached the lovely kitchenette, a large group of hashers was huddled around the counter, obviously hiding something. Frankie TDTPE emerged from the crowd with a giant, metal salad bowl, proudly exclaiming, "I drank out of this!" If that doesn't blow our cover, nothing will.
Our fearless hares had left us a bottle of Svedka Grapefruit and
Jalapeno vodka which the hashers had poured into $3.99 coffee mugs and
$9.99 salad bowls. Many just drank straight from the bottle. Yes, we had
a puke halt/shot stop INSIDE IKEA on OPENING DAY! Pictures were snapped,
smiles were abound. We were having a great time!
Now, we needed to leave the mess we made and smuggle our empty bottle out of the store. Thankfully, Postage Tramp came up with the brilliant idea of using one of the giant shopping bags to hold the single, empty bottle and the piece of drywall he had, for unknown reasons, smuggled INTO the store?? The plan was infallible until we reached the exit and the husky security guard informed us that we couldn't leave with the bags. Like good teammates, we exited the store quickly and hoped Postage would write us from Swedish jail.
We made it back to circle. Postage arrived a bit later, walking funny. I guess he had found a place to hide the bottle?! We sang songs and had down-downs. And, for the first time in my hashing career, when asked by the RA, "how was trail?" the hashers responded with compliments. Was this the best shot stop ever? Will we tell future generations of hashers about this? Where do babies come from? Some things we may never know...