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

The May 2002 Meeting--Part II

With the audience primed for scintillating discussion, Sir Waynathon introduced the first speaker, Lord Bortner of Roofball, the Duke of Defrocking, and indicated that he had been recommended by Kaiser Wilhelm von Fuent and Sir Patrick of Connell, the Earl of Jerseyshoresex.
Known as a politically active undergraduate, Lord Bortner had gained a reputation as one who was willing to debate almost any subject. His subject for the evening was "Richard Nixon: Our Greatest President."
The Master Debater
With a subtle invocation of his historical knowledge, the Duke of Defrocking proceeded to regale his audience with various little-known facts about President Nixon.

Citing numerous jokes and humorous stories, he proceeded to tell the story of Richard Nixon in a way that could take the sting out of any critic's barb.

He reminded the audience that, although the Summer of 1968 was known as the "Summer of Love," the Fall of 1968 was known as the "Fall of the Tie-Dyed T-Shirt." Exactly what this had to do with President Nixon remained a mystery to the audience.

In conclusion, Lord Bortner recommended that the audience learn to "Trust Dick," a proposal with which the audience seemed more than willing to comply.

A Liberal Dose of Applause
Even the Democrat in the audience enjoyed the presentation.
Meanwhile, the Kaiser had been in the back of the room, teaching various younger members of the audience the skills of proper bartending.
A Mentor Until the Wee Hours
Sir Waynathon then introduced the second speaker, Sir Daniel of Riley, Lord Royal Taster of Her Majesty's Treats, whose lecture topic was "Why It Is Time for Another Whisky Rebellion: A Discourse on the Perils of Tasting Her Majesty's Treats." Sir Daniel had been recommended by Lord Wolff of the Lair, Lord Green of the Hill, the Viscount of Vibratia, and the Rector of Ra.

His reputation as an art critic had preceded him, and it allegedly was surpassed only by his collection of "art" films. Notwithstanding his cultural instincts, Sir Daniel also was known for his collection of T-shirts from around the world, especially those whose theme related to his Merton Society title.

Sir Daniel began by educating the audience on the various definitions of "Treat," beginning with the more simple explanations and graduating to even more descriptive accounts of his concept of the most ideal form of delicacies.
He then recounted the perils of being an "Official Taster" for the Queen.
Citing the numerous risks incumbent on todays Royal Tasters, Sir Daniel described several humourous examples from his personal repertoire of stories about his Cottage Club salad days.
In conclusion, The Lord Royal Taster suggested that, should the University Cottage Club wish to continue the position of Lord Royal Taster of Her Majesty's Treats, then the least the Club could do would be to provide free whisky for the poor soul who assumes this position.

The audience heartily agreed with a healthy round of applause.

After thanking Sir Daniel, Sir Waynathon announced that there was going to be an addition to the agenda--Sir Donald of Grassole had made a request to make a special humorous "intermezzo" presentation, and that request had been granted.

Sir Donald went to the podium and announced that he was going to share some "Corporate Combinations We'd Like to See..." with the audience.

His first example was, "What do you get when you cross Fairchild Semiconductor with Honeywell Systems?" His answer was, "Farewell Honeychild."

Pandemonium erupted on the floor.

Both Saint Harry and the Duke of Homersex arose, screaming "Point of Order! Point of Order! We don't see this anywhere on the Bill of Affaires!" Smelling blood, the rest of the audience jumped into the verbal fray. Sir Waynathon, sensing an imminent debacle, pulled out the hook and gave Sir Donald the Mertonian heave-ho.

Sir Donald spent the rest of the evening licking his wounds at the bar with Herr Jagermeister.
Once the audience calmed down, Sir Waynathon resumed the progress of the evening by introducing the next speakers, Prince Eric, Fils de la Poire and Lady Rachel, the Duchess of Bohania. The title of their speech was "The Dangers of Coeducation, or Cottage Without Women (1886 - 1986): One Hundred Years of Misfortune?"

They had been recommended by Sir Edward the Grave, and, being the youngest of the new Merton Society members, they were credited with having a certain amount of blind faith, just for showing up in front of that evening's demanding crowd. But they were well-prepared as they jumped into their potentially controversial but humourous topic.

It was not long before it became evident that Lady Rachel's cigar and Prince Eric's Crème de Poire pear brandy had put both of them in a very good mood.
With clever innuendo and subtle references to the battle between the sexes, they educated the older members of the audience on the "ins" and "outs" of contemporary social life at Princeton.
At one point, Lady Rachel tried to distract Prince Eric by blowing smoke rings in his face.
Though distracted, he was not deterred, and he succeeded in establishing a permanent place for the term "Nooner" in the Merton Society Vocabulary Book.

The audience was highly amused.

A more detailed description of their presentation can be found here.

A Mertonian Stockpile
Some of those present used the recent discussion as an excuse to search for a "Nooner" at the bar, just as in undergraduate days. However, all they found was Crème de Poire, just like in undergraduate days.
Sir Waynathon rose again to introduce the fourth and final speaker, Sir Robert the Loose, Earl of Sheeplove and Master of the Ewe. He indicated that Sir Robert had been recommended by Sir William the Unconquered and Saint Harry, and that he and Saint Harry could be credited with the origination of the greeting, "Hello, Old Cock!", which often was heard in the halls of Cottage Club in the 1970's. He added that Sir Robert and the Duke of Homersex allegedly had offered spontaneous "Speedo Sculpting" poses in the elevator lobby of the Cross Keys Hotel in Baltimore during Saint Harry's wedding reception there in 1977. Sir Robert's topic was "T.S. or not T.S., That is the Question: Poet or Cunning Linguist?"
Sir Robert started by educating the audience on the motivations of the writer T.S. Eliot.

He then acknowledged that there has been a vibrant debate raging in the highest of academic circles regarding the authorship of a certain classic poem in English literature known as "The Ballad of Eskimo Nell."

Continuing on this note, he explained that a recent discovery of some long-lost manuscripts has suggested that Eliot was the author of "Eskimo Nell."

Without further ado, Sir Robert eloquently began to recite the famous ballad.

With rigorous vitality, he entertained the audience with every delightful stanza of this most humourous poem.

A more detailed description of his presentation can be found here.

Upon his completion, the audience gave Sir Robert the Loose a well-deserved standing ovation for his humour and his oratory skills.

General Brouhaha

As the final event of the evening, Sir Waynathon asked the following members to come forward:

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; and

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

Viscount William of Sawchman, Merton Librarian 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.

With that, Sir Waynathon adjourned the meeting, and everyone left in satisfied spirits. A trail of cigar smoke, the faint aroma of whisky, and memories of another fine Merton Society event followed them into the Manhattan Spring night.

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