[BH4] Ian Cumming - RIP

Avocado Tom Tarka avocadotom at gmail.com
Fri Aug 28 01:51:20 CDT 2015


As some of you may have had heard, the hash suffered a great loss a week or
so ago: Ian Cumming has passed away.

Ian was the founder of both the Singapore and New York hashes (in '62 and
'78, respectively), forgot more songs than any of us will ever know, and
was instrumental in the existence of the Blue Hen Hash: both in terms of
spurring me on in hashing, and as many of the Blue Hen traditions are
inspired by those of the New York hash that he founded.  He also attended
the first BH4 hash.

It's impossible to capture Ian's essence beyond saying that he forgot more
songs than any of us will likely ever know, had a sense of humor that
couldn't be surpassed, and a sense of style that set the bar.

Below is a fun exchange about the origins of Singing in the Rain from when
Zippy and Flying Booger were putting together their "Definitive Songbook"
back in the early 90s, that I think people might appreciate.

Here are a couple of other links for those who remember him or are
interested in hearing more about him. If you're interested in the hash
obituary that has been put together, email me and I'll send it along.

History of the NY Hash:

Interview with Flying Booger: http://pwoodford.net/hashblog/?page_id=622

History of the Singapore Hash: http://gotothehash.net/history/hhhs.html

Ian singing as part of Jack Horntip's collection as he was exploring the
origin of songs (doesn't capture him, but what can you do when you're
singing over the phone):

Rest In Peace, Ian.

On On!
   Fuk Stik

Ian on Singing in the Rain (from Zippy's 1994 "Definitive Songbook"):

*Annex B - The Making of a Songbook*

*Editor's introduction*

*I stated up front that this book is a collaborative effort.*

*Not unlike any joint venture in life, this songbook had many similarities
to a marriage or a business partnership - the parties involved were
frequently at each other's throats. There were disagreements on the names
of certain songs, traditional Vscontemporary versions, whether to censor
the S&M Man [I didn't] and depth of knowledge and moral turpitude of the
collaborators. *

*To illustrate this, an exchange that took place over the origins of
Zuppata.                                      - ZiPpY*

*• A comment on Zuppata by Ian Cumming, NYH3:*

*"Big Dick in Thailand originated this glorious and ingenious parody. I
doubt if one Harrier in fifty understands the point. It is only really
workable if at least one local newcomer is there, and participates.*

*Using alcohol as bait, and all the cunning of your own drunken stupor,
they must be persuaded to lead the Hash in song (say it's a tradition for
new boots.)*

*They will of course insist that they don't know any songs, and you
helpfully suggest 'Singin' in the Rain.'*
*The joy with which they find the entire Hash joining in, trying to improve
it is a true sucker play. **Here is where it always gets screwed up, and
the **Leader of the Hash Lieder must instill discipline to get **the right
effect. The song is not open house for any asshole to add some stupid antic
like mooning, standing on one leg, or sticking their tongue out. The
actions are designed for one purpose, and one purpose only: to get every
one in the room, including the poor sucker who started the song, into the
classic farting position. (Big Dick called it Zuppata, by the way.) *

*Try it sometime - you'll like it."*

*• Sauer Krotch (Orlando H3) comments:*

*I thought Zuppata was a Rugby song. First heard it at a rugby party in
Charleston in 78...*

*• Ian Cumming replies:*

*Scour Snatch is full of shit.This "Singing in the Rain" (SITR) could never
have been a rugby song for the following reasons:*

*1.  When I invented rugby there were only two songs, and the Chiangmai
prayer was not one of them.*

*2.  When I hung up my boots fifteen years ago there were over four hundred
songs and Singin' in the rainwas not one of them.*

*3.   The subtitle is "Chiangmai Prayer" - not "Redneck Thud and Blunder
Oath". Chiangmai means 'In your faceSewer Scratch" in Thai.*

*4. Rugby players are slow-witted and couldn't master the concept of SITR.*

*5. Rugby players lack the fine motor co-ordination to go through the
actions. If some fairy-footed outside tried tointroduce SITR the studs of
the righteous second row would trample them into the mud.*

*6. Rugby players do not sing in the rain. They may piss in the rain, fart
in the scrum and shit on the stoop, butthey don't SING in the rain.*

*7. Rugby players have low, sloping foreheads, thick ears and no teeth.
Consequently they are tone deaf andcannot pronounce their 's's. Who ever
heard of Thingin' in the Wain" ?*

*8.  Rugby players love to gate-crash parties. Just because they got
smashed with Cower Krock at a party in 78 where SITR was sung doesn't make
it their song.*

*When we steal your banner and down-down mug next Labor Day' it's still
YOURS - you just don't happen to havethem any more.*

*9. We do SITR at our office Christmas party. Gestetner has no claim to

*10.  80% of all Hash songs are rugby songs, some of which we have
improved. The 72 that are unique Hash songs are clearly better than the
other 288. SITR is too good to be included in the latter group.*

*11. We need it to be a Hash Song.*

*12. Pissanya, rugby players. Your mothers use Frisbees for diaphragms.*
*13. Bid John Ellis and his twin brother Big Dick will beat the shit out of
anyone who says it ain't so. We are looking for Big John right now.*

*14. Who's fucking this cat anyway?*

*15. It is common knowledge that Spare Notch is bucking for Asshole of the
Year. It is my opinion that he is a shoe-in without all this fracas about
whose song SITR is.*

*16. And...May the bleeding piles possess him and adorn his bloody feetMay
crabs the size of horse-turds climb up his legs and eat;And when he's as
old as I am and nothing but a bloody wreck,May his head fall down through
his asshole and break his fucking neck.*
*17. We need to get on with the DefSongBk and discuss this important issue
over a beer.*

*18.  Who's fucking this cat anyway?*(links to the songbook are here. PDF:
http://bit.ly/1IniCfG Text on the web: http://bit.ly/1UgHjRV )
  "We are MoTown.  We are professionals.  We're here to get the job done."
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