America's Oldest "Tea Drinking and Whisky" Speaking Society
The Reunions 2000 Dinner

Mertonian Splendor

At half past six o'clock in the evening on the 25th of May of the year 2000, fifteen dedicated members of the 1975 section of the Merton Society convened in the Presidents' Room at the Nassau Club in Princeton, New Jersey for the gourmet Reunions 2000 dinner.

The following members were present:

After an appropriate apéritif interlude, the members sat down to dinner.

Degustation 101

(Left to Right) Saint Harry, Sir Patrick of Connell, Kaiser Wilhelm von Fuent, Sir William the Unconquered, Sir Matty of Glinka, the Duke of Homersex, the Shah of Pough!, Sir Gard of "Oh Yeah!" Davis, Sir "Honest" Jonathan of Fletcher, Lord Admiral Richard of Waldron

(Left to Right) Sir "Honest" Jonathan of Fletcher, Lord Admiral Richard of Waldron, The Sheik of Milk, Archeacon Shepley of Gooseberry, Viscount William of Sawchman, Sir Waynathon of Dilldox, Saint Harry, Sir Patrick of Connell, Kaiser Wilhelm von Fuent, Sir William the Unconquered (not shown: Prince Edward of Eglin (photographer))

Degustation 102
Sir Waynathon Leading Off
At this point, Sir Waynathon of Dilldox arose as the master of ceremonies and proposed a toast to the Merton Society.
The proposal was accepted with vigor.
A Toast to the Merton Society!

Subsequently, he offered a toast to Sir Matty of Glinka, in honor of his dedicated tenure as the Manager of University Cottage Club from 1950 until 1980.

A Toast to Sir Matty of Glinka!
Sir Matty received a standing ovation as a result.

Sir Waynathon also expressed the Society's gratitude to the Duke of Homersex for sponsoring cocktails. He then announced that on the table were fifteen bottles of the finest claret that the Merton Society had been able to obtain, each one with the name of an attendee on it. The members were invited to save these for a future personal special occasion, as a generous supply of the Bordeaux also was available for more immediate consumption at the dinner.

Closer inspection of the wine label indicated that this was a private bottling of claret from bin number 75 in the Merton Society cellar. It was a 1998 Château Merton Bordeaux, from the Gironde region of France (further research in publications such as the respected Vin et Fromage magazine might disclose that this was one of the most successful bottlings in the history of Château Merton).

Chateau Merton Fine Claret

At that point, the first course was served (as indicated in the menu, the dinner consisted of Prosciutto with Melon, Caesar Salad, Roast Prime Rib of Beef, and Crème Brûlée for dessert). By the end of the salad course, everyone was in fine form of agreement, the claret having had time to generate its subtle effect.

Sir Waynathon of Dilldox rose again to provide some additional enlightenment. He indicated that the Society had done an informal "poll" in anticipation of that evening's celebration. All those who had participated in the 1975 Lecture Series had been asked to contribute to this effort, whether able to attend the dinner or not. The "poll" was a request for "Merton Society Lectures We'd Like to Hear," from any other members of the Society. The following were the anonymous results of this poll, as read by Sir Waynathon:

  1. Viscount William of Sawchman, Merton Librarian, speaking on "The Statutory Consequences of Dating Underage Women;"

  2. Saint Harry, The Patron Saint of Tea Drinkers and Bulls' Pizzles, on "My Daughter is Neither a Tree Nor a Troll, and Don't You Forget It!;"

  3. The Sheik of Milk, David On & Offensend, elaborating on "Tabloid Peckers I Have Known;"

  4. The Shah of Pough!, Sir D. Jeffrey of Rice, waxing "In the Footsteps of Ellie Hale, Stiles, King Carter and Beth Jones: My Life as a Hunt Cup Jockey;"

  5. A request for a debate between Sir Gard of "OH YEAH!" Davis, Lord Royal Keeper of Her Majesty's Tools, and Donna Hanover, wife of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, on "The Regina Monologues;"

  6. Sir Waynathon of Dilldox, pontificating on "Distinguishing Between Forests and Trees: How to Make Your Organization Appear More Established Than It Really Is;"

  7. Sir Donald of Grassole, Defenestrator of the Duchy, on "The Naked Truth from the Bohemian Grove;"

  8. The Marquess of Fishnet, Count "Quikdrip" of Kuensell, in his cameo "tell-all" role, "Life on the Road with Mauricio Perez;" and finally,

  9. Sir "Honest" Jonathan of Fletcher, casting his spell with "How to Catch Bonefish With Your Bare Hands."

Then Sir Waynathon stated that The Merton Librarian, Viscount William of Sawchman, had a very important presentation to make. He turned the floor over to the Viscount, who proceeded to relate the story of the discovery of the Merton Society Library archives and insignias. The text of his speech can be found here.

It was during this speech that each attendee was presented with a Merton Society Medallion made from these same insignias. In addition, the Librarian recognized those members of the Society who had made special contributions during the 1975 Speaking Season by presenting them with the Order of the Merton Cross. The following persons were recognized at that time:

  • Viscount William of Sawchman, Merton Librarian, two medals, for "How to Speed Read Without Using Your Fingers," and "The Dewey Decimal System--How It Changed My Life;"

  • Saint Harry, Patron Saint of Tea Drinkers and Bulls' Pizzles, for "How to Drink Tea the Uncontinental Way;"

  • Burgermeister "Mister Bill" Liscom, in debate with Saint Harry, for "The Southern California School View on the Uncontinental Way to Drink Tea;"

  • Archdeacon Shepley of Gooseberry, two medals, for his famous "Enunciation and Renunciation" lectures, "What I Am Giving Up for Lent," and "What I Am Not Giving Up for Lent After All;"

  • Lord Admiral Richard of Waldron, for "How to Dress So That People Will Think You Own a Yacht;"

  • Sir Chas of Brown, for "How to Speak French So That People Will Think You Are from Oxford;"

  • Sir Waynathon of Dilldox, for "The Proper Use of Religious Candles for Official Occasions;"

  • Barrenass Johann von Kraft, for "Perfecting the Studly Gait;"

  • Sir Martin of Bufftucks, for "Developing Penetrating Bicker Questions;"

  • Sir Gard of "Oh Yeah!" Davis, Lord Royal Keeper of Her Majesty's Tools, for "Interior Decorating on Eight Drinks or Less;"

  • Charles Bell, esq., for "The Proper Use of Galoshes for Protection and Pleasure;"

  • Sir "Honest" Jonathan of Fletcher, two medals, for "How to Make Money in the Used Furniture Business," and "The Artful Pleasures of French Cooking;" and

  • The Duke of Homersex, for "My Intimate Experiences with Female Jocks."

After the medallions and medals were distributed, Viscount Sawchman continued with another announcement. He informed those present that the Society was planning to present a wonderful gift to the University Cottage Club later that evening as a symbol of its appreciation and loyalty. He indicated that the Society's agents in Great Britain were able to find a rare 1864 print of the Library and surrounding Quad at Merton College, Oxford, where the Duke of Homersex had attended as a young buck---

There was a brief pause for acknowledgement of the Duke and general "hear-hear!"'s from the audience.
A Pause for the Duke

The Librarian continued by explaining that this document had been framed, along with several items from the recent discovery at Cottage; namely, one of the few known originals of Merton's Rules of Order, and what truly can be described as one of the first Merton Society medallions ever produced.

After the main course and dessert had been consumed under the mantle of vibrant discussion, the attendees relaxed in anticipation of the evening to come.

Tales of Life Aboard a Dreadnought
The Lord Admiral Richard of Waldron entertained the group with stories about life aboard a dreadnought.

Some members were more amused than others.

Contemplating the Prospects of a Delicious Greek Pastry Aboard a Dreadnought

Finally, Sir Waynathon rose to conclude the evening. He reminded the attendees that, in spite of the evening's success so far, there still was a scintillating Merton Society meeting scheduled for that evening at the University Cottage Club. He added that just like the Merton Society tradition of previous years, at the beginning of the meeting, and upon entering the library, each attendee would be announced by title by Le Huissier Audiencier, Archdeacon Shepley of Gooseberry. He also informed those present that, although the Marquess of Fishnet, Count "Quikdrip" of Kuensell, had regretted that he would be unable to attend the dinner, he had indicated that he would be attending the meeting. Sir Waynathon then suggested that the group proceed to the University Cottage Club for the meeting, and for the rest of the evening, all the members wore their Merton Society neck medallions and medals with a new sense of Societal pride. Return to Top

| what's new | history | members | meetings | forum | guest book | home |