“Explorer-Ethnographer” is one of the many jobs that we here in the editorial offices would like to try out just as soon as we finish digging our time-tunnel back to the nineteenth century. But the hallways and dorms of Harvard, though they offer a depressingly low risk of dengue fever, still turn up their share of treasure. After a long Raiders of the Lost Ark-style struggle for possession of this priceless artifact, and having rejected offers of purchase from any number of spectacularly wealthy private collectors, we are now prepared to make the codex public. Available here now, and later on in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. For the edification of humankind. For the permanent recording of history. For remembering what events one should not wear hats to. We introduce the Member’s Manual of the Owl Club for Men.
The opening page to the manual is an appropriately button-up affair, but perhaps a bit too austere. For example, this owl is hocking potato chips and having a fucking awesome time doing it. This owl is peacing out with Abe Lincoln (!) and is also “wise to the monumental mischief of the Terror Twins.” By contrast, the Owl Club’s owl appears to have been “backed up” back up there for well over a century, standing on its anthropomorphic legs and stuffing its wings up its butt. And thus we have stumbled on our first ethnographic discovery: Owl men never poop.
At 1,200 members, the Owl is also way less exclusive than we had imagined, coming in far behind such exclusive groups as the House of Representatives, the Ferndale Elementary School Student Council, and the roster of regular patrons at Jacques Cabaret. Also: weighty stuff, living your whole life in a way that brings credit to the Owl. I can imagine the many Owl alumni who would just love to have that second platter of fried clams, but, alas, such gluttony could potentially stain both underpants and club reputation alike. One must also admire the sassy democracy evidenced by the emphasis on “all members” being beholden to these rules. So tough skittles, Weatherby; Punchmaster or no, no more fathering illegitimate children in the koi pond FOR REAL THIS TIME. LOOK, I PUT IT IN THE GODDAMN MANUAL.
Linguists will be thrilled to note that the origins of the term “player” (and by extension its opposite “player-hater”) are no longer obscure. The very first “player” was, in fact, Preston Player, and his boys Reginald Mansfield Johnson and Malcolm Scollary Greenough Jr. sometimes got all up in his grill about how many biddies he was hogging for himself. This was, of course, long before the club moved from Polo Club Alley to Gumdrop Boulevard and was briefly renamed “Wizard Higgentrout’s After-School Club for Boisterous Young Sausages.”
The traditional tenth wedding anniversary gift is tin or aluminum but Mr. Purdon, loath to admit just how wedded he was to the concept of a plush all-male bungalo just minutes from the Harvard Yard, went with billiard balls. This abridged history neglects to include the 1911 installation of a ‘rumpus room,’ the 1918 addition of a ‘pony garden,’ and the 1986 multi-million dollar Project Gomorrah.
Note the codification of The Walk of Shame. Sunday dawn rolls around, and you are outta there. Just in case you actually thought you were being kicked out into the street at dawn in your silky top and strappy shoes because Brad reeeally wouldn’t want you to be late for power yoga.
Every time a freshman girl is denied a rum and coke in the billiard room, an owl gets its wings. Contemporary reports show that one’s “utmost” now consists of a shoulder-shrug, grunt, an offering of a bottle opener, followed by an eerie, persistent hovering.
That’s right PURGED FROM THE RECORDS. And what’s worse is, if you then break the mirror you were snorting coke off of before you were PURGED FROM THE RECORDS your collars (all of them) will refuse to pop for a period of seven years. Shackled to permanently flaccid neck accoutrements, exiled members then have little chance of spawning.
Apparently, all those preppy sophomore dudes wear humiliating ensembles and perform idiotic cheerleader dances outside of the Science Center just to celebrate the wonderment of punch season and to display their creative flair—not, in fact, because they are being freaking hazed. Also, being PURGED FROM THE RECORDS sounds intimidating until you realize that it probably just involves deleting a row in Excel.
This, as a matter of fact, is Mr. Lawrence Anderson and he serves his stock of chips for and at the pleasure of the members of the Owl Club for Men.
The Owl Club for Men recently partnered with UNILU in a historic effort to benefit the community. The Owl volunteered to assume responsibility for housing all hot Wellesley chicks (no fuglies) stranded in the square and in need of shelter, allowing UNILU to focus its undivided attention on the homeless. Of course, from its beginning the Club has been a designated “safe place” for orphaned money and bonds, especially those who recently lost their small business owner parents to savage corporate warfare.
What this means is that there are weddings, and even more alarmingly funerals, where a substantial portion of the assembly is wearing the same tie. Which has teeny tiny owls all over it.
Omitted: 4) Super Secret Shadow tie – invisible with peek-a-boo owl print. To be worn at all times.
Lockers. Because where on earth else are you supposed to stow your gold pocket watch, your silk waistcoat, and your Spanish leather riding crop when you are about to be in company with peasants who might be taken aback by personal articles so evidentiary of good breeding and good taste? The club atmosphere just wouldn’t be the same without a jaunty scene of members tossing their heads back to laugh heartily, tossing their towels into their little cubbies, and tossing their hands into each others’ balls.
We’ve got the key to the humidor too. Thatz right. We’r in ur humidor. Smokin ur cigarz!!! We can haz ur snuff too?
Let us make a note of this, Owl members who may be displeased with the publication of your manual: if we get angry correspondence from anyone other than the Undergraduate President and Graduate President, you are in huge trouble.
There is nothing that can make this funnier than singing it in your head. With Hellhammer playing in the background.
From the payment and registration form, written in clear and legible Brospeak. “Mom and taxes,” ok? They’re not talking about your ski chalet, they’re not talking about your cottage in the Hamptons. They want the address of the townhouse where your mother watched an illegal immigrant raise you.
Although we have politely redacted all of the membership and contact information graciously provided to us in the packet, this fax number, presumably obtained at great expense, was too awesome to pass up. HOOT vanity plates also available. Alert your favorite livery service.
For the eager student, the full text of this newest addition to the Western Canon is available in PDF format here. Please read on and then sit in your dining hall making any and all of the jokes we missed.