America's Oldest "Tea Drinking and Whisky" Speaking Society

The May 2002 Meeting--Part I

At shortly after 10:00 p.m. on the evening of May 16, 2002, a motley group of Merton Society members and their followers arrived at the Breakfast Room of the University Club of New York for the May 2002 meeting. Mertonians Arriving
From the Tap Room to the Bar
The room had been furnished with chairs and a podium, and there was an ample supply of beer, wine, whisky (with the traditional teacups) and Merton Society cigars at a bar at the rear of the room.
Some of the speakers for that evening felt compelled to practice their presentations with trusted associates.
Sir Daniel practices his delivery while Sir William the Unconquered contemplates a jawbreaker
A French Wine Tasting
Others went straight to the bar.
Some even opted for a fine cigar.
A Finer Smoke Not to be Found
Strategic Planning
Others practiced in the privacy of a corner.
Sir Matty of Glinka was front and center.
Sir Matty and the Kaiser
There was a general sense of camaraderie in the air.
Even aspiring members got into the spirit of the affair.
Terry Ryan '77
Rum or Bourbon?
The Sheik of Milk and the Duchess of Bohania traded their favorite recipes for milk punch.
The Kaiser (l) let it be known to Sir Waynathon (r) that a bartender in the Tap Room had given him an entire box of Tannenberg cigars that were wrapped in fine Prussian tissue paper. The two of them immediately dove into the supply.
Kaiser Confidential
The Tea Drinker
Saint Harry arrived after "whupping" a Peon in a game of backgammon.
The Duke of Homersex (l) heard there was a portrait of one of his forebears in the room and decided to see for himself. Viscount William of Sawchman (r) nodded approvingly.
In Search of a Portrait
Providing the Bills of Affaires
As the meeting was about to begin, Baron Montgomery produced a supply of the meeting's Bill of Affaires, which described the schedule of lectures for the evening.
Viscount William of Sawchman finished his drink and rounded up the members of the Society outside the entrance to the room.
Dewey's Decimal Beckons

As with every previous Merton Society meeting, the beginning was to be marked by the announcement of the members. Serving as le Huissier Audiencier on this very important occasion was Sir Edward the Grave, who did an excellent job. Apparently, Archdeacon Shepley of Gooseberry, who had served ably as Huissier in the past, was unable to attend because his presence was required at a "Leather Convention" for "Veiled Profiteers" in Montana. Several members who were present expressed a keen desire that the Archdeacon present a full report on his adventures at this convention at the next Merton Society meeeting.

Announcing the Members

Sir Edward began the Members' roll call with great flair, aided by a microphone and a traditional religious candle mounted on a pool cue staff.

The following is the order of announced entry for the Members present on that evening:

Viscount William of Sawchman, Merton Librarian

Sir Waynathon of Dilldox

The Duke of Homersex (who was given a particularly generous preliminary introduction by le Huissier in the form of the following additional titles: the Emir of Endowmentia, the Prince of Pedagogy, the Exculpator of Exclusivity, the Harbinger of the Hiatus, the Benefactor of Blow-Pong, and the Illuminator of the Illiterate....)

Saint Harry, the Patron Saint of Tea Drinkers and Bulls' Pizzles

Lord Bortner of Roofball, the Duke of Defrocking

Sir Daniel of Riley, Lord Royal Taster of Her Majesty's Treats

Lady Rachel, the Duchess of Bohania

Prince Eric, Fils de la Poire

Sir Robert the Loose, the Earl of Sheeplove, and Master of the Ewe

Barenass Johann von Kraft

Kaiser Wilhelm von Fuent

The Sheik of Milk, David On & Offensend

Sir William the Unconquered, Lord of the Manner

Sir Patrick of Connell, the Earl of Jerseyshoresex

Sir Donald of Grassole, Defenestrator of the Duchy

Lord Wolff of the Lair, Protector of the Queen's Beasts

His Excellency Baron Montgomery of Aromatica

His Excellency the Ambassador of Bellicosia, the Earl of Encephalitis

Sir Matty of Glinka, Lord Royal Keeper of Her Majesty's Font

Sir Nouhad the Tamer, the Boyar of Bifurcation

Cavaliere Ereditario di Bagus di Coppi

The Viscount Prepares to Speak
Once everyone was seated, Viscount William of Sawchman, Merton Librarian, approached the podium.
With a loud clearing of his throat, he called the meeting to order.
Calling the Meeting to Order
The Opening Monologue
In a somber voice, he began by expressing how deeply moved he was to be in the same building as the famous "lending" library of the University Club of New York.
Some of the audience did not share his bibliophilia.
Say What??
From the Heart
Undeterred, the Merton Librarian continued by suggesting that, since he already had gained two Orders of the Merton Cross medals for previous contributions to the Society, the only way he could express his feelings would be to....
....cite the entire Dewey Decimal system from beginning to end using the "Hypnosis by Merton Society Medallion" method of memory enhancement pioneered by the Society's own Sir Nouhad the Tamer during his days as an undergraduate in the biochemistry lab.
Mammary Enhancement?
A Mertonian Haze
Unfortunately for him, Viscount Sawchman had placed the medallion on backwards, and--much to the audience's relief--he promptly forgot what he was going to say.
Sensing a hiatus, the Duke of Homersex rose to call a point of order, and suggested that the meeting proceed according to the Bill of Affaires, which next called for Sir Waynathon of Dilldox to make a few announcements. Viscount Sawchman mumbled something about "size not really mattering, anyway" and turned the podium over to Sir Waynathon.
Size Doesn't Matter?
Sir Waynathon Freeing Up His Speech
Sir Waynathon suggested that the purpose of this meeting, as with all Merton Society meetings, was to have a good time. He reminded the audience that, in 1975, many of those present had exercised their First Amendment rights of free speech, and this evening was going to be no exception to this tradition. He allowed that some of the evening's materials might be considered by some to be politically incorrect, and the Merton Society would not be offended if anyone decided to leave as a result.
Upon hearing this news, a large contingent of Peons entered the room with salacious anticipation.
A Peonic Tsunami
The Audience Practices
Sir Waynathon continued by explaining the time-honored tradition at Merton Society meetings: the audience is encouraged to express approval by saying "Here Here!" and disapproval by clearing one's throat loudly. He had the audience practice these acts with great enthusiasm.

He then called on Viscount William of Sawchman and Barrenass Johann von Kraft to provide a "Brief but Fitting Tribute" to commemorate the evening.

This gathering had a special meaning. Since the previous Merton Society meeting in 2000, one of the Society's members, Sir Martin of Bufftucks, had perished in the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center terrorist disaster. As a tribute to Sir Martin, the 1975 and 1976 Committees of Three had decided to name this meeting the "Sir Martin of Bufftucks Memorial Lecture Series." As two of his closest friends, Viscount Sawchman and Barrenass von Kraft offered to provide the tribute.

A Tribute to Sir Martin of Bufftucks
Remembering Buff

Viscount Sawchman provided a brief but meaningful tribute to Sir Martin.

Barrenass von Kraft added to this by suggesting that since Buff Wohlforth '76 was a very active member of the Merton Society in his undergraduate years, he would have been thrilled to be present on this evening. He then asked everyone to stand and drink a "Here Here!" toast to Sir Martin of Bufftucks.

The audience complied with great respect, and then returned to the matter at hand.

A Mertonian Tribute
The First Duke of Homersex
Under the watchful eye of a portrait of the First Duke of Homersex, the lectures were about to begin.
Proceed to Part II

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