Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

An Anachronism

What began as a simple surprise birthday party for someone as far on the other end of the political spectrum as I could imagine (albeit a neighbor) turned into an interesting experience.
I had always noticed this small building on the street that passed in front of the yard waste facility. It looked commercial since there was a big exhaust fan sticking out of the side. Occasionally, there would be a mass of vehicles gathered, but more often than not, it was deserted. I was curious though never consumed with it. Tonight, I had my chance to enter.
It turns out that this is a "members only" clubhouse, but even more startling is the fact that it's a "men only" clubhouse! Originated in 1930, this place became a venue for solitude among a group of males who used it, I guess, just to get away from the ret of their lives. Engaging the bartender in conversation while awaiting the birthday person, I discovered a few interesting facts.
1. There are openings for seven new members, but one must be recommended by a current member in order to gain admission.
2. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month and are dedicated to paying the bills then socializing. When I asked about specific bills, the barkeep said," Mostly, how to pay for the alcohol we drink and the utilities."
3. There is no community service performed by the group; each member merely has his own key to the place and is free to hang out with friends and/or fellow club members. Hence, no real reason to exist other than to get away from the world, and, one would suspect, the female of the species.
4. There are special food nights, like "Reuben Night" and "Steak Night," but no further information was forthcoming about either, though I did find out that some of the older members assemble on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon to play cards and drink. sounds like an idyllic life. No word on a secret handshake, either, but then, it was apparent by my questions that I was merely curious.
5. The place is an historical landmark of some sort, at least according to the marker outside.

Go figure: an institution like a "men's only" club in my neighborhood (roughly), and I never even knew about it. It certainly has to be an relic seen only in the movies featuring Sherlock Holmes: men swishing brandy in snifters as they sit around in smoking jackets and decry the women's place in the modern world, harrumphing should anyone crinkle a newspaper or have the audacity to escort a female into the sanctum sanctorum.
Just for a second, I thought it would be interesting to pay the dues and join, but then I remembered the Mark Twain (I think it was...or maybe Groucho Marx...or Karl Marx) quote:
I wouldn't belong to any organization that would have me,"
We left early since there was no food apparent. I'm sure we weren't missed.


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