America's Oldest "Tea Drinking and Whisky" Speaking Society
The Reunions 2000 Meeting -- Part III
Archdeacon Shepley went to the entrance of the room and closed the pocket doors to allow for a more intimate atmosphere. The ranks of the Peons and the members closed in the main foyer area of the library, and more than a few could be seen through the rich cigar haze holding teacups laced with a liquid bearing a strong resemblance to whisky.

Then the Kaiser announced that he had been waiting twenty-five years for the opportunity to repeat something in front of Count Quikdrip, the Marquess of Fishnet. He walked over to where the Marquess of Fishnet was sitting and stood behind him. With the look of someone who knew exactly what was about to come, Count Quikdrip acknowledged to the Peons how he earned one part of his Merton Society title: being relatively nimble in frame, he was a particularly easy candidate to throw into the Cottage Club courtyard fountain on a regular basis, which was a common occurrence in 1975. Hence, the name "QuikDrip." He added that the Kaiser used to sing this song, which was taken from a popular joke of the day, whenever he was about to be thrown into the fountain. Standing over the seated Count and acting like he was rinsing some laundry, the Kaiser proceeded to recite the "Clear Blue Cheer" ditty, as follows:

"Nip nip nip in the bright blue cheer,

Nip nip nip in the water so clear,

Hold it up here,

See how fresh and clean,

Hold it up there, ........

Nip nip nip in the water...."

There was a brief pause, as though it had occurred to several people in the room that someone usually was thrown into the fountain whenever this ditty was recited. Somebody asked if they still threw people in the fountain at Cottage Club, and Sir Matty of Glinka, who would know the answer in his capacity as Lord Royal Keeper of Her Majesty's Font, stated that the tradition was no longer practiced due to a renovated plumbing system. Count QuikDrip could be seen with a distinct look of relief on his face. But his fifteen minutes of Merton Society Reunion fame were not up yet.

Then Sir Matty rose from his chair and suggested that Saint Harry tell the story of the night of the Annex adventure.

Saint Harry willingly took the challenge, and stood behind Count QuikDrip in order to gain the best vantage point for regaling the audience with the tale.
Reminding those present that these events had occurred well before any of the Peons in the room had even been born, Saint Harry told of how he, Count QuikDrip, Sir Donald of Grassole, and several other characters of that era's repute had encountered some local talent at a restaurant called the Annex in the town of Princeton. In summary, Count QuikDrip had decided to pay one of the local fellows a compliment by telling him what big ears he had. One thing led to another, and before long, words and then blows were exchanged outside the restaurant. Eventually, one of the members of the local welcoming committee went flying through a store's plate glass window, upon which event everyone else decided it would be best to seek refuge in a safer environment. The group eventually randy-voo'ed back at Cottage Club, but Count QuikDrip was nowhere to be found. After an extensive search, Saint Harry finally found the Marquess in the men's room, hiding in a toilet stall, crouching on top of a toilet. Upon being discovered, Count QuikDrip's only comment had been, "Is it safe to come out yet?"
Everyone got a good laugh out of the images suggested by the anecdote.
Le Huissier Audiencier

At this point, the Lord Admiral announced that the moment had arrived to present various Society awards. He asked Kaiser Wilhelm von Fuent and the Duke of Homersex to step forward, and he presented each of them with the Most Venerable and Illustrious Order of the Merton Cross in recognition of their scintillating lecture contributions to the meeting.

Then Sir Waynathon rose and added that there were additional persons worthy of special recognition that evening. First, he cited Sir Matty of Glinka, Lord Royal Keeper of Her Majesty's Font, for encouraging various members of the Society to share some of their "war stories" with the group, and he subsequently cited Saint Harry, the Patron Saint of Tea Drinkers and Bulls' Pizzles, for adding spontaneous scintillating entertainment to the evening's festivities. Each of them was given an Order of the Merton Cross by the Lord Admiral.

Continuing in the same vein, Sir Waynathon stipulated that there was one individual present who had been extremely helpful to the Society in the preparation of the facilities for the evening, and that was Christopher Wolff, the undergraduate president-elect of Cottage Club. He indicated that in the spirit of furthering the Society's goals of good taste and humour, the 1975 Committee of Three had decided to make Mr. Wolff a Full Member of the Merton Society. He added that Mr. Wolff was bequeathed the title of "Lord Wolff of the Lair, Protector of the Queen's Beasts," which the audience believed to be most appropriate, and he presented him with a medallion package.

It was at this moment that, whether influenced by the emotion of the evening, the haze of the Habanos, the whisky, or all of these, the Lord Admiral made an unprecedented motion to the Society's membership. Rising in front of the group, he indicated that the Committee of Three had received a "Petition for Membership" from all of the Peons in attendance that evening, and, in the spirit of the camaraderie of the occasion, he moved that all Peons present be made Full Members of the Merton Society and be given the opportunity to elect their own Committee of Three. The motion was seconded by the Sheik of Milk, and Sir Waynathon's request for any discussion was met by a chorus of "Hear hear!" 's from all of the members present. A vote was asked, and the approval was unanimous. The Lord Admiral reminded that anyone who becomes a member has to have a title, so each new member needed to be given an appropriate title. Sir Waynathon, who was in the back of the Merton Room looking for an ashtray, yelled out, "Let Lord Wolff do it!" And the rest of the Society affirmed that it would be most appropriate for Lord Wolff of the Lair to be the one to issue the medallions and bequeath the titles to the new members.

Viscount Sawchman brought forth a trove of medallions that he had kept handy for just such an occasion, and handed them to Lord Wolff.

The Margrave of Miller
Lord Wolff proceeded to award each Peon a medallion in conjunction with the ceremonial dubbing of an appropriate title.
Everyone was amused at the spontaneous creation of alliterative titles.
The Boyar of Bifurcation

The following additional titles were bequeathed that evening:

Sir Gard and Sir "Honest"

There was a great sense of contentment in the air. The twenty-five year members. . .

were celebrating the conclusion. . .

Sir William, Sir Waynathon and Viscount Sawchman
The Shah of Pough!

of a meeting. . .

that relived many fond memories.

Saint Harry

The new members were celebrating the beginning of a participation in an old tradition that they could carry into their futures. Someone suggested that the parties at the twenty-fifth reunion tent at the university were beckoning. Sensing another movement in the evening, the Lord Admiral announced that the meeting was adjourned in favor of heading to other festivities.

With a deliberate sense of satisfaction, the attendees gradually collected their belongings and proceeded, often in small groups, out of the Merton Library doorway, down the grand staircase, through the massive paneled foyer of the University Cottage Club, and into the world beyond the clubhouse door. And for a brief moment on Prospect Street that evening, the aroma of fine cigars wafting through the warm Spring air brought forth a steady stream of small groups of Society Members, all proudly wearing Merton Society medallions, and all beaming with satisfaction from an evening well spent. And as they walked down the street and faded into the Princeton night, the following comments could be heard:

"Let's all wear our Merton Society medallions to graduation! We could tell our parents that it is a special award for only a few select recipients, like the Phi Beta Kappa Society!"

"If I had one of these medallions as an undergraduate, there's no question I would have had a date every night!"

"An evening with both old and new friends, brought together in celebration of epicurean good taste and scintillating appropriate for a Night in Mertonia!"

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