After slogging and sloshing through the mud of Leeds, there was only one way the Haries of Cambridge were going to relax, and it was going to involve dancing, alcohol, and poor decision making. That's right, it's time for...
BUSA Party 2005:
Club Med meets Team FUNKY

So, after a quick bus ride back, a tearful farewell to our inspired captain Ben 'Benkipparooni' Hope (who friggin' missed his brother's wedding in order to cheer for us at BUSA- not run, but cheer- but felt he should make the wedding party), and the turning over of all our hopes and dreams to Si 'soft speaking hard acting' Rutherford, preparations for the evening began. For most of us, this involved a quick shower and a bit of primping, though I can confidently say that for at least one extremely fast Italian member of the club the #1 priority was washing off his running shoes and spikes rather than either taking a shower or permitting his roommate to do so. Luckily, with CUHH's 'Fafdom to the MAX' policy, no harm was done, and we sought our way as one hungry merry mass to the 'Zam Zam Restaurant,' which despite being named like something out of a Dr. Suess Story and looking like a hole in the wall from the street, served surprisingly large and tasty portions of kebabs, Indian food, and burgers. On the way there, however, the groundwork was laid for arguably the most hilarious thing the few of us lucky enough to witness it have ever seen. Without further ado, I give you:

Ally the Acrobat and James the Junkbuster

So, on the way to Zam Zam, a group of us passed a metal pole just outside the Hotel Ibis. It was roughly six feet tall, maybe six inches in diameter, and Ally 'Crazy Scotsman' Connell speculated he could, in theory, hurdle it. However, as we were all sober and discouraged him, he demurred and the rest of the walk passed without incident.

Fast forward 7 hours. Drunk on ethanol and endorphines, a group of us stumbled back from Club Med (a return trip that included the abortive theft of a traffic cone and a number of almost-illfated piggyback rides). As we neared Ibis, the fateful metal pole made another appearance. While there are no photographs of what followed, our crack virtual reality simulation team has produced the following depiction of the events:

The guy in the first frame is Ally, who effortlessly vaulted the pole through a hand-plant. The guy frames 2 and 3 is James 'Who Needs Kids Anyways' Traer (note the goatee), who attempted to immtiate Ally's performance. What happened then is one of those hilarious things that, if caught on video, guarantees immortality for those involved. James leapt onto the pole, planted his hands onto the base to hoist himself up, didn't get up quite high enough, slammed his groin into the top of the pole, paused for a dramatic moment, and then fell sidewise directly onto the street, sort of like Wiley E. Coyote running off a cliff and falling only after he realized there was no ground under him. Luckily, other than a left arm covered in Leeds muck, James looked to be no worse for wear, and claimed he was perfectly 'OK.' Other than the whole bashing-his-manhood-into-a-giant-metal-object thing, of course.

To understand the mindset that dominated during this episode, it may be useful to consider the picture of Matt and Ally at left. Ally mentioned was that the night included the accumulation of things such as party horns and streamers, but failed to mention by what means he obtained them. All that can be said is that as the night went on more and more random objects appeared on his person In general, I think this entire episode can be best understood under the general rubric of...

Getting Smashed and Making a Fool out of Yourself in Exotic Leeds

In order to reach a frame of mind where such activities were a good idea, we clearly needed to engage in some drinking and dancing. The first place we visited was some sort of sports club, where the primary entertainment was foosball (dominated by the strong wrists of Will George, who isn't satisfied to run faster than everybody else, but needs to dominate all available sports. Except arm-wrestling, right Will?). Some of then proceeded to Wetherspoons because it offers cheap alcohol, despite the fact that we can visit one at every city in Britain with more than 50 residents. Of course, this was all merely to loosen up a bit before the big event, our triumphant arrival at Club Med, which had been EXCLUSIVELY reserved for XC runners. Let me tell you something- you wanna get a crazy party scene together, throw a bunch of exhausted runners together with a few tubs of alcohol on a small dance floor. The insanity of the scene was enhanced by the failure of the air conditiong, which, as Si so aptly observed, may have been responsible for the profusion of sore throats and minor illnesses among Haries a few days later. Eh, you gotta make sacrifices to have fun...

Of course, this scene can be best appreciated through a multimedia extravanganza, so here're some pictures with hopefully appropriate captions. Immediately to the left we can see the triumphant Tom Offord, who, by both his account and others' was most happy by the decision of the DJ to play 'Push It.' As Tom writes, "'Push it' was played at the party after it was denied us in Dundee. A crushing victory for the most motivational choon mankind may ever know." Of course, describing it as 'played at the party' as though it were a natural occurence may be somewhat inaccurate, given that other reports indicate Tom specifically requested the song...

In general, the DJing appeared to be of a pretty decent quality, though it degraded as the night went on. Techno (YEAH TECHNO!!!) was gradually displaced by some pretty cool old-school hits, which in turn degraded into the stinkiest of cheese. When the DJ played the theme song to 'Friends' with an hour to go in the party, things were in trouble...

With such tunes blasting, crazy amounts of dancing were guaranteed. Particularly all-star performances were turned in by Clair Willer, Will George, but perhaps above all others, Matt Sims, who managed to break some serious moves despite the whole 'busted shoulder' thing. Even with 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen blaring from the speakers, Matt kept up his groove- particularly impressive given that, according to one Jeffrey Garland, it was dancing to *that very song* which caused Matt his injury in the first place. Such courage is rarely seen on the course country course, let alone on the dance floor.

Of course, what would a Cambridge Hare and Hounds party be without some Andy Bell controversy? Of course, with Ed Brady having returned to Cambridge immediately following the race, Andy was going to have to seek another source of scandal, but seemed to have no trouble doing so. At least based on this picture, that is...honestly, I think we can all be thankful that the camera cut off what it did...

The party featured plenty of good ol' fashion dancing of the more wholesome variety, however- pictured below are images of Cambridge folk being, well, just plain happy/drunk. In particular note that the normally sedate Ulrich has chosen a particularly apt moment to show his more wild side...In general, the night was filled with people whom we normally expect to be reserved and dignified going completely nuts. From Lucy Cundliffe to Aidan Brown, the party seemed a marvelous chance to watch CUHH's finest shake off whatever inhibitions they might carry in their quotidian lives...

You Gotta Play the Game if you Want to Score any Points

Unfortunately, however, not all Haries found it appropriate to participate in such revelry. Second prize in the 'Not understanding the whole Saturday Night party thing' goes to Owain Bristow, who, according to one report, said 'I actually have fun watching others have fun' in response to the question why he wasn't dancing, drinking, singing, talking with other people, and so on. In fact, the funkiest picture of Owain is included below- note the lack of presence of other people.

Just one piece of advice- if you're going to sit at a table during a party, try to emulate one Paolo 'Pimp' Natali, pictured right. Note the slight smile and confident body posture of our friend- you think being the only guy sitting at a table full of ladies is an accident?


Additionally, consider the following people, whom are certainly fine life role models in general: the dignified Jeff Garland, going completely nuts (ever wonder what the back of his throat looks like?), and the most respectable Si Rutherford, who that very evening told me 'I don't think drinking is particularly good for training, so I've been cutting back.' Wait, let me take a closer look at that beverage in his hand...I guess it *could*, I've never seen apple juice that color...


And lest you question either of those role models, let me remind you that Si has arguably been the heart of the club (Ben has been the soul), keeping us all moving, fed, and housed. And Jeff...well, he's pretty humble about it, but Jeff is about the smartest person you're going to meet all day.

Of course, Owain can respond to most criticisms simply by pointing to the picture and saying 'Look at the color of the shirt I'm wearing. BLUE. Hmm, what could that represent.' Such a defense may be effective in most contexts, but the playing field is leveled on the dancefloor.

Say what you will about Owain's need to learn the ways of funkiness (and we will work with you, my son- google '' for your first lesson), at least he showed up for the game- some folks weren't even in the stadium. Lee Harper chose to ditch the party, claiming he had to 'Go do some work [of the academic variety].' Lee, I love you, especially as my only short course companion, but this is simply unacceptable, especially as a first year for whom exams matter slightly more than your performance at the Fresher's Fun Run. It may involve chloroform and/or physical violence, but we will get you on the dance floor this year.

The Oxford Invasion and other Sordid Stories

Well, here's the part you've been waiting to read, you voyeuristic Haries you. Unfortunately, there's a lack of photographic evidence, so you'll have to rely on my storytelling skills. Arguably the most striking incident of the evening involved the intrusion of several Oxford runners. In particular, one of them- David Bruce, I think, and for a dark blue he seemed a relative non-asshole- seemed to take a liking to one of our otherwise committed female runners. The result was, I believe, no more than a bit of flirtation, but it was still striking. The name of the female Cambridge runner shall, of course, remain anonymous, and I would of course never use simple apposition to suggest the person's identity.

On a completely unrelated note, here's a picture of Emma Pooley dancing!

Additionally, a certain former ladies' captain Karen Ellison- to me unknown before that night- seemed to engage in some rather salacious shenanigans, though as with our other subject it seemed retained to the bound of propriety. Except, of course, when she approached Andy Bell and myself- an angelic pair if there ever was one- as we relaxed for a brief moment, and demanded that we dance. When we demurred, that's when the slapping began...

Beyond this, however, there seemed to be relatively little Cambridge action. I think this is one area we can improve on in the future, particularly with regards to interaction with other schools. Sources tell me there were some rather attractive University of London year, I fully expect a more focused and aggressive approach.

I'd like to end, if I may be so self-centered, with my own memory of the party, which can be best summed up by the following text message: '"Andy bell!Wills jus told me bout my jacob dancing incident!(i understand ur late night txts now).I have no recollection of this @all!+now hes writing th report!" Of course, the best part about the 'jacob dancing incident' is that while it was happening one extremely drunk Diarmuid O'Seaghdha kept was standing next to me, screaming 'J LIKES A GIRL!' at the top of his lungs and punching me repeatedly in the arm. However, as my hands were otherwise occupied and I have trouble pronouncing his name, I neither punched nor yelled back.

And with that, I leave you. Alcohol was consumed. Moves were busted. Hearts were broken.

It was a good night.

J.E. Many thanks to Jeff Garland and Katherine Vinnicombe for images.