One of the best features of Mensa is its wealth of Special Interest Groups [SIGs]. Some of them, however, do not get the publicity they deserve. To remedy this, we asked several of our regular contributors to write up their favorite SIGs. Here are the results.
Scarpology SIG. A group with a mystical bent, dedicated to the proposition that human character can be best determined by studying the soles and heels of an individual's shoes. Meetings are held every Thursday evening at the home of SIG coordinator Wesley Galosh. (Warren Fogard)
Complainers SIG. Our regular monthly meeting was held in Alice Crump's dinky little apartment. She must not have paid her utility bill, because the place was freezing. Joe Steingrub brought stale Dorito chips and some kind of glue-like dip. While our guest speaker droned on and on about nothing, several members escaped to the kitchen for a futile discussion of this year's rainy season. It was decided that we should appoint a new editor for our newsletter; maybe then it will get delivered on time once in a while. If our Program Committee can ever get its act together, next month's meeting will feature a talk on "New Tax Solutions for Government Deficits." But don't hold your breath. (Andover Fisk)
Antagonists. antagaNEwS is the newsletter put out by the current rulers of the Antagonist SIG. The newsletter is irregular as staff changes with each issue; with all the antagonism generated by each number, the current production team is sacked each month.
At last month's meeting we discussed the virtues and advantages of folding versus wadding (of toilet paper), and the group was astonished to find a small but vocal minority which neither wadded nor folded but wrapped! This month's meeting will try to resolve once and for all the position that bakery-sliced English muffins are just as tasty and less messy than the so-called "fork-split" variety that purists insist on eating. A recent study shows that those who like "fork-split" muffins are usually born under Taurus, are either Reliability Engineers or Accountants by profession, fold rather than wad, prefer American cars, insist on regular eating schedules, and have one child and are divorced. Some acquaintances refer to "fork-splitters" as fastidious to a point and have very precise sexual habits.
Once that topic has been cut up, we'll proceed to the "nit-pic spelling" session and prove once and for all that the correct spelling of ca-ca is indeed ka-ka. If you don't agree, then get hosed! We don't want you there to further antagonize the rowdy bunch. (Tod Wicks)
Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist SIG (Formerly Daughters of Kali). The LCSTSIG goes international this month, with guest speakers from around the world describing their own particular specialities. Fatimah X will describe the art of sewing plastic explosive into jockey shorts without blowing yourself up. Meghan 0' will share her recipe for steak and kidney and strychnine pie. Lupe E will demonstrate how to disguise an anti-personnel mine as a nursing infant.
We will also hear how T-shirt sales, advertised in magazine, are faring. This is a potluck, so please bring goodies to share. Directions: When the moon is full and you hear an owl hoot three times,blindfold yourself, stand before an open north window, and wait for further instructions. (JoAnn Malina)
Binary SIG. Last month's meeting was held at the home of Pascal Appleman, 1000101 Convoluted Way, Silicon City. The festivities were a bit late getting started because of a confusion over whether cars whose license plates end in odd numbers were supposed to park on the right or left side of the street; even numbers, same thing only vice versa. By the time all the participants had got themselves sorted out, it was 1101000110 o'clock, and the principal speaker, Gareth Penn, had to curtail his remarks to a brief 11110 minutes. The topic was "Life at Six Digits, Both in Age and Earnings," and it purported to be based on personal experience.
In the discussion that followed, it was pointed out that great savings could be made in the state's education budget by introducing the use of binary numbers into grade school arithmetic classes, instead of base-10 numbers. Whereas it takes students years to master the base10 multiplication tables, base-2 tables can be learned in five minutes: "0 times 0 is 0, 1 times 0 is 0, and 1 times 1 is 1." Projected savings from this innovation would reverse the current California state budget deficit of $llOOlOl000000lOOl0000000lOOlOlOl11110000010100 within 11 years. The meeting was adjourned at 10011000110 in favor of some 1010110 proof refreshments. (Gareth Penn)
Punch-Out Arguing SIG. Our active membership is on the rise again after the January meeting put seventeen of our regulars in the hospital. Tom "Knuckles" Murphy and Bob "Bigmouth" Bailey, two of our most persuasive debaters, were released last week, and another half dozen should be back in action soon. Best wishes to those still recovering!
Our next meeting will be held at 8 pm on April 1st at Bob's house, which is now fully repaired. We'll begin with an argument about what to argue about. BYOB as usual; if you must bring full ones, OK, but empties are encouraged to minimize injuries. There will be a $3 bandage charge. Wheel chairs available. (David Durst)
Herpes SIG. Our membership drive is now in full swing. Top honors go to Candi Bunnimuff, who inducted four new recruits during Dirk and Darlene's hot tub evening in January. Don't miss this month's Ointment Party -- it features a talk by psychologist Adolph Lesion on "Twenty Ways to Pop the Question."
Last month's roundtable discussion by four doctors from the Institute of Loathsome Diseases brought out a number of interesting points of view. It's a pity that the bulb burned out on our projector before we got to see the slides of Asiatic leper colonies. We look forward to having more informative meetings like that one, and to welcoming many more new members in the months ahead. Those thinking of joining are urged to phone Candi or Dirk for an appointment to our next initiation ceremony. (Randy Flesh)
BigotSig. I've been trying to form a SIG for bigots of all persuasions and I've come to the conclusion that no one else qualifies! I guess that's what happens when you hate everything and everyone! I don't think I can find anyone out there whom I could like -- that would make me less bigoted. So I'll just stew in my own hatred of the rest of you low-lifes. I just get so excited thinking about all the hatable things of other people, and wallow in the fact that not everyone can claim to have several billion scapegoats! (Tod Wicks)
Practical Parapsychology PSIG. Our last meeting was held at J. Rhine's laboratory. There was a debate regarding which skill is most useful: telepathy, clairvoyance, or psychokinesis. In action that was a little difficult to follow, the clairvoyant predicted that the PK expert was going to do the telepath bodily harm; the telepath read the clairvoyant's mind and started to direct a countering suggestion to the PK expert; and in a rather exciting flash of light they all disappeared. Next month's meeting will be devoted to discussing where they went. (Barry Leff)
Shapeshifters SIG. We will hold a rally on April 1st to protest speciesism and to affirm our right to be surgically altered into any species, living or extinct. Our main speaker will talk on "Latent Mammalian Elitism in the Movement." The previously scheduled talk, "The Buddha Was a Cherrystone Clam," had to be canceled when the speaker's surgery date was moved up.
Workshops to be conducted include "Flamingoism: How to Stand on Those Skinny Legs," "Mouseism: the Impossible Dream?," "Bull-Mooseism: Using Phone Booths After Surgery," and "Peace Of Mind as a Maidenhair Fern." Gather at 9 am outside the San Francisco Zoo. Fashion Show to follow. ID will be required to be sure of getting out again. Canine-Clubbers are requested to help keep the Sons of Hoof and Horn from eating the shrubbery. (JoAnn Malina)
Special Report: Television Smasher's Hotline. When you reach the inescapable conclusion that your television has to be smashed, but you haven't got the heart to do it yourself, dial 1-800-472-9678. Our dedicated group of amateurs is on call 24 hours a day, ready to swing into action. A helicopter and pilot are available for extreme emergencies. If desired, the offending property will be dispatched discretely and the remains removed to a secret burial ground. Don't panic: help is only a phone call away. (Warren Fogard)
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