Runners (or something worse) cause evacuation of Ikea.

Oh My!
Running Club Members Face Felony Charges
It seems someone may have over reacted a bit when the Hash House Harriers* decided to race through an Ikea parking lot.

My real question here, is what the mayor’s spokeswoman was thinking when she said

So what would be “more serious”? Aliens?

“And I saw, and behold, at the place where those from the north come down to sell furniture there came two who were running, and they sprinkled dust upon the ground, and then all the people did fasten false foreheads upon their true foreheads, and wound thread about their stones, and worshipped the beast with a multitude of noses. And then the eighth angel poured out his goblet upon the earth, and a seventh of the people in every land and every nation were smitten with emerods, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.” – Revelation 23:42-43

Snork. Are HHH so obscure in the US that this explanation didn’t occur to ANYONE? The only country I’ve lived in that wasn’t positively infested with them was Mozambique, and that was probably because of the land mine problem.

To be fair, though, I once mistook some HHH clues for something else altogether as well. We have a lot of stray cats and dogs in Cairo, and every now and then some mutt bares its fangs at the child of someone important, and the Powers That Be resolve to Do Something … namely, to poison the poor beasties.

So one day I was walking home and saw wierd mixtures of lentils and flour at erratic intervals along the curbs. Putting two and oranges together to get apples, I concluded it was another stray-poisoning scheme being implemented by the local government.

Since I had a number of friends with inquisitive toddlers, I called them all and said “hey, watch out while you are out walking with your kids … it looks like there may be poison out for the strays again. Don’t let your kids touch the lentils and flour!”

I’m not sure how I found out that it was merely a Hash House Harriers trail, but I felt suitably stupid when I did.

I’ve never been impressed with the Harriers, though. They seem like a good bunch here in Egypt, but in other countries I’ve lived in, they had outings where they drank to the point of being dangerous to themselves and others, or ran uncaringly through people’s private property. The brouhaha in the OP seems extreme, but it does seem like either harriers need better guidelines in place (for example, they could have TOLD Ikea before they did the trail marking), or if they do have guidelines, they need to start following them.

Since the parking lot of an IKEA store in New Haven, Conn. is a primary target for terrorists, I can understand the concern.

They’re threatening our very way of life. If we lose an afternoon’s-worth of access to cheap bookcases, what’s next?

Well, I’d never heard of HHH until someone started a thread about their group here on the Dope. (And let me tell you, I found that thread pretty confusing until I finally figured out what everyone was talking about, and then looked it up on Wiki.) But I still can’t see why the presence of white powder sprinkled in a parking lot, even in an obvious pattern, would require the evacuation of a store.

It was obviously a powder trail potentially leading to the powder magazine; any spark could touch it off and nothing could be more dangerous.

Let me tell you, the first time I saw a group of Harriers, chugging beers through those stupid beverage-sucker hats, jogging proudly through the woods, I was scared. The second, third, and three-millionth times, not so scared. Harriers are funny (and generally harmless.) The city officials need to get a life and grow a sense of humor…

but did they SEE Wiley Coyote with a box from ACME anywhere in the vicinity?

Never heard of 'em.

And, I have to say if I was the store manager, I’d get everyone out of the glass-and-steel-box o’ death until someone who knew more about explosives told me it was safe to go in there. All I know of car bombs is that they sometimes use fertilizer to make 'em. My gardening fertilizer is a white powdery substance. If I found weird white powder around a place where cars could be driven or parked, damn right I’m going to assume the worst until someone who knows more tells me otherwise. $10.50 an hour isn’t enough for me to risk my life in that building, and if I’m not in there, no one else can be either (since I’m nominally in charge of all of them and the contents of the store.)

OTOH, sprinkling flour in a parking lot is not illegal as far as I know, and I don’t think they should be charged with anything.

Wouldn’t the world be a lot nicer if we could all just laugh at misunderstandings and get on with our lives, instead of making someone pay for them?

I get so sick of the government prosecuting people, when they overact. Dumb asses. Paranoid people are exactly what the terrorist’s want, so the local government just keeps pursuing this instead of saying oops we fucked up. Way to go to make the locals fearful to do daily activities.

I happen to know quite a bit about explosives, and am also a HHH. Any explosive that would be sensitive enough to detonate without confinement would most likely be so sensitive that it would detonate when it was thrown on the ground (and probably as it was being taken out of the container, if not sooner).

Any explosive made from fertilizer is a secondary explosive, meaning it’s so insensitive you can literally run over it with a truck and it won’t detonate. It needs a primary explosive booster, and it can’t just be laying there in a small quantity, it has to be confined.

Even if it were an explosive, in the quantities used by HHHs, the explosion would be equivalent to a small firework.

I don’t think it needs to be said that I don’t think they can or should be charged, and that it is a pretty darn funny misunderstanding.

I read this in the paper yesterday and rolled my eyes. Granted, I’m a runner, so I know of the HHH, but give me a break. These two are being charged with a felony and need to appear in court? What the fuck?!?

I’ve never heard of them before, and you can put me squarely with WhyNot. In all aspects, including them not being charged.

Yay! See, ignorance fought and all that. If I called the police, I’d expect them to have someone on hand who could quietly roll their eyes at me and explain all that. And then I’d laugh at myself, let my employees tease me a bit, and unlock the store and get back to selling lamps and loft beds.

Exactly. Me, too.


In the US, eveything that hasn’t been on American Idol or flogged continuously on the news in the immediate past few days is obscure to just about eveyone. Often, things that happened in the immediate neighborhood a few years ago are as lost as the secrets of Incan quipu. Cecil himself once said “people today have the historical awareness of tree squirrels.”


And they was using up all kind of cop equipment that they had laying around the station and took 27 8x10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and paragraphs on the back explaing how it was evidence to be used against us in a court of law.
Or should I say
Confess quickly! You don’t want ruin your credit rating!

As soon as I saw the title of the OP, I knew it was the work of those Hash House retards. I’d heard of them because my ex-wife, who is an avid runner, went on one of their outings once. She’s a drinker too but they were too lame even for her to go to a second event.

In the end I very much doubt that they’ll be charged with anything.