Join The Club!
There’s an expression that many of us use when someone complains about something. We want them to know that we understand and sympathize. Or maybe, we just want them to quit whining about something that all of us experience.
Here’s an example of what someone might say to me and then my use of the response expression: Someone: “I feel like my car is always in the shop needing expensive repairs. Everybody hates me and I’m surrounded by morons.” Me: “Join the Club”
I use that “join the club” phase quite often. I thought a little deeper about it the other day. I thought about clubs.
I looked up “club” since I wondered what an official definition would be. On Wikipedia, I got this very basic meaning. A club is an association of two or more people united by a common interest or goal.
One of the earliest clubs I remember being associated with was called “The Dangerous Club.” This club takes us back to the earlier reference of “being surrounded by morons.” I was chief among the morons who organized this club. There were four or five of us in the club when we were probably nine or 10 years old.
The “mission statement” of The Dangerous Club was simple: We do dangerous things and we think it’s fun!” Our clubhouse was inside a shed behind the house of my friend Duane “Fudge” Sickels.
We had trophies in there from our expeditions, including a couple of black widow spiders preserved in little jars. And our most prized specimen was a scorpion, which we had caught and preserved as well.
Besides catching poisonous insects, we liked to find scary ledges to dare each other to venture out on in the rock canyons west of Richfield. I’m suspecting that may be the reason that I have had, up to as recently as the other night, episodes of recurring nightmares about either ledges, heights, spiders and rattlesnakes. That’s not to even mention bulls. We’d dare each other to run across a corral with a mean Holstein bull pawing the ground.
That boyhood club counterbalanced the Cub Scouts which was the other “club” we were in at the time. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are clubs of sorts.
Space won’t allow discussion of all the clubs that I could talk about here. I’ll mention that I belonged to 4-H clubs as a kid. One year we raised rabbits as a project. The name of our club was “The Bunny Boys.”
I don’t think the leader thought anything of it, but we privately sort of fancied ourselves as somehow very remotely, and mostly innocently, associated with the Playboy Bunny concept. Like I said, we weren’t very smart sometimes.
When you go to the county fair, you notice that 4-H clubs continue in Sanpete County. If you don’t remember what the 4 H’s are, it’s: Head, Heart, Hands and Health.
I’ll fast forward through high school and college with those years of sports “clubs” and extracurricular stuff. My main “club” during some of those days was being in a rock and roll band. Practices were our “meetings” and playing at dances were our “field trips.”
Once I was married, I was soon invited to be involved with “service clubs.” Most of us are familiar with the Lions Club, Kiwanis Club and Rotary Club. I belonged to the Jaycees, the Exchange Club, and the Chamber of Commerce at different times. I think that most of these types of clubs have had declining membership over the past few decades. I had fun and I think that some good was done.
For some reason, the new generations don’t seem to be overly interested in their father’s and grandfather’s clubs. It’s a new world, I suppose.
There are new clubs these days that people can join. The internet has created an environment for many to exist. I learned about a few of these clubs the other day on mentalfloss.com,
Random, Interesting, Amazing Facts – Fun Quizzes and Trivia mentalfloss.com. I used to be a subscriber to the magazine Mental Floss. They stopped their print version of the magazine some years ago. It only exists online now.
There is a club called the “Secret Society of Happy People.” I know a few people who I could recommend for membership to that one. Some people are already annoyingly happy. And some, really need to become happier.
An interesting club is “The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists.” Another: “The Cloud Appreciation Society.” We’re talking about the traditional clouds in the sky, not the electronic, computer related “cloud.”
I have a neighbor who I believe would want to join “The Lawn Mower Racing Association.” It has evidently “spread like crabgrass.” If you want to keep up with the standings of the club, you can follow their blog: The Cutting Edge.
“The 20-Minute Society” is a club whose members receive a text which tells them where they must arrive within 20 minutes. This club started in England at Newcastle University and it’s all about “surprise and delight.” The members never know what might be coming up next as they have a surprise event every two to three weeks. I don’t know if the club has caught on in America yet.
There are lots of ways to get involved to make a difference. Joining a club or starting a club can be a way to provide help to others and provide fun and sociality for ourselves.
Some years back, a few of us started a club. It was part book club and part “go to dinner” club. Sometimes we call these kinds of clubs, “meet, eat and burp” clubs. It was a lot of fun for the few years it lasted.
Our senior citizen organizations could use a boost in Sanpete. Maybe that will be my next stop on the club circuit. I’m getting the discounts; maybe I should join the club.