Don't know what a snollygoster is? What's DARE got to do with it?
March 01, 2012
Well, at your own risk.
"There are many men in London, you know, who, some from shyness, some from misanthropy, have no wish for the company of their fellows. Yet they are not averse to comfortable chairs and the latest periodicals...”
The club referred to by Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes is brother Mycroft's Diogenes Club.
“No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one. Save in the Stranger's Room, no talking is, under any circumstances, allowed, and three offences, if brought to the notice of the committee, render the talker liable to expulsion."
My favorite fictional Gentlemen’s club belonged to another great mystery writer, Dorothy Sayers, by way of her admirable amateur sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey.
Appropriately called the Egotists’ Club.
She described it as the most genial place in London, where you go when you want to tell that “odd dream you had last night, or might want to recommend a dentist you discovered."
“You can write letters if you like, but there is no silence room and it would be a breach of club etiquette to appear preoccupied when another member addressed you.”
You must not mention golf or fish, (dentists were safe) and “wireless” (in the 1920s it was radio) but we can change that to cell phones.
In Sayer's short story, “The Abominable History of the Man with the Copper Fingers,” Wimsey himself unravels the case in the very club.
Gentlemen's clubs were very much real, of course, (some even allowed women) popularized in England in the late 19th century.
So…how would you design your club?
Make it all inclusive?
Any subjects off limits?
Ignoring Groucho Marx’s famous utterance, “I wouldn’t belong to any club that would have me as a member,” who would you have as members?
You have a choice of anyone in history.
I seem to recall a certain Sepia club car...but I could be mistaken.