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just tryin' to be friendly, come and watch us sing and play

by mg at 03:31 AM on May 29, 2002

When Rannie come to visit next month, I’m planning to throw a party. It is as much for him as it is because I’ve lived in my apartment for more than two years and never thrown a party before. But don’t tell him that.

Anyway, amongst my friends, it is customary to have some sort of theme to every party. The best of those was the “Fight Club” Party. Everyone was encouraged to dress as their favorite character. I went as Tyler Durden, of course. I wore some funky pants, a pair of sunglasses, and the red leather jacket I found in a thrift store in Boston and bought specifically because it reminded me of Fight Club, which I’d seen only the night before. Even more coincidentally, I had been in Boston attending a conference and staying with a friend who had just moved back to New York a few weeks earlier and was the fella who drove me to the party.

Back to the party, there was a support group room, with nametags to fill out, a podium, and a schedule of group meetings tacked up to the door. In the kitchen, you could try you hand at making soap. There were mock fights staged. A friend of mine missed the “mock” part, walked up to me and hit me as hard as she could in the stomach – I didn’t feel a thing. Anyway, you get the idea.

So, I was talking about something completely unrelated tonight, and Adam mentioned prohibition. We simultaneously realized that’d be a great theme for the party. We could make every dress up in 20s garb (flappery!), require a password to get in the front door, brew up some grain alcohol in my bathtub, etc.

I don’t think I’ll actually use that, since I’m entirely too lazy to put the work in to create the illusion, but as we were discussing, something got stuck in my head. Before the 18th Amendment was passed, there was a bible-thumping teetotalers movement.

I remember one time I was in Chicago, my mom had come out to visit me in Iowa, and she wanted to go to the Al Capone museum (for some insane reason). It really wasn’t much of a museum, but they did have this animatronics show that was relatively entertaining, and educational too!

The teetotalers movement included this group of women, one in particular, who were fed up with their men getting drunk, abusive, and being unable to work. They’d roam around, vigilante style, smashing up bars. I cannot remember what those women were called. I know they had a name, and I know I used to know that name. Adam, usually knows everything (like the name of the other primates, besides humans, who have sex for pleasure, the bonobos – something we were discussing just a few minutes earlier), but even he was stumped on this one.

I tried to Google the answer, but after spending an hour reading through Prohibition history (and listening to way too much Midi ragtime), I gave up. Having to listen to too much Midi will make you give up a lot of things. I very nearly slit my wrists, but realized I could just turn down the volume.

But, the point is, I couldn’t find the answer myself, and I know one of you out there has it. So, can anyone want to help a brother out?

And, oh yeah, if you’ll happen to be in or around New York June 15th, and would like to attend the first ever Bad Samaritan Bash, let me know.

comments (4)

They were the "Home Defenders", organized behind Carry Nation. You're welcome.

by Bob the Corgi at May 29, 2002 5:43 AM

I so very much remember Carry Nation's name now that you bring it up. There is the vaugest of recollections of some school project I once had. Still, "Home Defenders" is NOT what I was looking for. It was a slang term. Most likely something based on what the Home Defenders did. Like how Quakers are called Quakers because they'd shiver and quake. But only involving smashing things.

by mg at May 29, 2002 6:47 AM

We do have this group here in BC, mostly in Nelson, called the Sons of Freedom. They're a sect of Doukhobours that believe getting naked and burning stuff down brings about spiritual cleansing. Is that what you're looking for?

by daegan at May 29, 2002 1:57 PM

mg, what's your address? (and when are you not at home?)

by Eviltom at May 29, 2002 8:23 PM

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