Thursday, August 14, 2008


Soon we're going to delve into fourth grade's magnum opus, We Can Live Without Boys... Can't We?, a tale about a group of boy-crazy gals of varying hair shades who form a club to stave off their testosterone addiction. Since we're going to be, uh, "in da club," as it were, for quite a few posts—the story is 24 pages typed, and most of that is single spaced, egad!—I thought it would behoove us to first discuss the grave, grave importance of clubs to the elementary schooler. And also because I have some club paraphernalia that's just begging to get on the Internets...

Half of the allure of the club was the sense of community/common bond, or at least co-conspiracy. I don't know about you guys, but most of my clubs tended to involve an element of secrecy—and then, of course, lording those secrets over people who were NOT in the club. Because the other half of a club's allure—let's admit it—was the fun of excluding other people. Kids are kind of jerks that way.

The first—and definitely most embarrassing—club I can recall being a member of was in third grade, and... well, I'll just let these Club Notes speak for themselves:

Name: USA crushers
What: Crush something on a boy's midsection (balls) or kill people (beat them up.)
Leader: Katie
Assistant: Sada
Slave: Yoav
Member: Dana
Member: Jessica
Slave: Michael

Meet at benches
Katie Talk.
Beat up.
Talk beat up T.M.
[I believe this is shorthand for "Talk about who we're going to beat up tomorrow."]
Girl stuff [I guess the "slaves" got to cut out early.]

I would like to stress that no balls were actually harmed during the brief lifespan of the USA Crushers (prematurely cut short—dare I say, neutered?—when Jessica's mom found out about it and nearly had a nervous breakdown). We did subject the "slaves" to a hazing ritual in which they were supposed to crush their own balls, but I believe we let them get away with some light taps to the "midsection." Michael had a crush on Jessica, so I think he may have gone at it with a bit more gusto in an attempt to impress her. Yes, by hitting himself in the nuts.

Seriously, the USA Crushers were all talk. Most of that talk was about who deserved to have their balls crushed, hypothetically. I think we thought of ourselves as vigilantes. Hypothetical testicle-maiming vigilantes. Or something. Oh, what do I know? I was only an assistant.

Our next club, in fourth grade, was strictly for the ladies—no balls allowed, crushed or otherwise. Check out this club ballot written up by Jessica:

Club names: VOTE:

1. Heartbreakers
2. Dreamgirls
3. Rocksies
4. Brooksie's
5. Rinkets
[I'm pretty sure that's what it says; I have no idea what it means.]
6. Vibrations [Uh, ew?]
7. T.G.'s
[If I'm not mistaken, that stands for Tough Girls.]

Club colors: VOTE:

1. Pink purple
2. Purple & Blue
3. Yellow & Green
4. Pink Green

Club symbals

For those of you not of age in 1988, that's Friends Forever for the girls and True Love Always for the boys. Our official club name and colors, though, I have no memory of. It's quite possible we never voted, as most of our elementary school plans came to little, if any, fruition. But thanks to this magical time machine called the Internet, you can ALL cast your club vote! (See polls—but if the Rinkets wins, I might demand a recount.)

I did, however, find this list of proposed club activities for the Heartbreaking Brooksie Vibrations.


I. boy books
I don't know why I felt I needed this, as my diary was pretty much a boy book already.

2. list faults
Pointing out your friends' flaws? Always a great idea!

3. write rags to riches

4. secret names
5. code letters
These kind of go without saying, don't they?

6. share secrets
Um, duh.

7. dream books

8. diary
See #1.

9. record book
Not quite sure what we were recording...

I0. make-up EX.
Does that stand for makeup EXPERIMENTS? I think it does!

II. make clothes
I was really excited for us to fashion some, uh, fashions until my mom burst my bubble with the concept of "seam allowance." We probably had to settle for puffy painted Hanes. Again.

I2. held at members houses
As opposed to the playground, I suppose.

In fifth grade we had two clubs. The first, the K.I.D.S. Club (whose acronym meaning has long been forgotten by me), was spearheaded by my friend Sherron and had an actual point—which was (shockingly!) NOT to detail our obsessions with 10-year-old boys! Instead, its aim was to petition the U.S. government to declare a national Kids' Day. Oh, yes it was. I remember having at least one meeting, but I don't think our petition was ever signature-ready.

The other club was, of course, the requisite Baby-sitters Club ripoff, because who doesn't want to leave their children in the hands of an elementary schooler?

A Baby-Sitting Club

1. Names:
Kids Company
United Kids and Sitters

2. Members:

Newspaper ad?
Phone calling

I was serious as a heart attack. Or at least Stacey's diabetes.

4. Officers:
President - Katie
Vice President - Jessica
Secretary - Sada
[Appropriate, because although the self-righteous, ahem, "individual" Dawn was inexplicably my favorite BSC-er, I was in actuality more like Mary Anne. Sans Logan.]
Treasurer - Casey
Alternate Officer - Maggie

And if the alternate officer wasn't enough in-your-face BSC poaching, there was also this:

5. Other ideas:
Kid-Kits (boxes filled with toys, books, and games to take on jobs)

Actually, maybe I was the Kristy in this scenario. Frightening. Naturally, this club was doomed as well. Too many logistics and, oh yeah, turns out we had very little experience actually watching children while unsupervised. Go figure.

NEXT TIME: Can they live without boys? Here's a clue: The book was originally titled simply We Can Live Without Boys. And then I added the ...Can't We?


NoseInANovel said...

"Hypothetical testicle-maiming vigilantes" is quite possibly the funniest thing I've ever heard. I almost peed myself with laughter, and were I not at work, I would likely have fallen on the floor.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the "Rinkets" was a reference to United Skates of America? (our skating rink had a boring name, so I'm envious!)

This is awesome! In 4th grade, my two best friends and I formed a club called WPU (Weird People United) - I remember we had a song; not sure if much else occured. Maybe we learned how to build floating cans?

zanne said...

I remember forming clubs with my friends in elementary school! I don't really remember any of them, though. We didn't take notes like you did. I remember trying to start up my own baby-sitters club, but it didn't work. Yeah, one of the best parts of being in a club was excluding other people... until you're the one being excluded! OH, I do remember one club--we were learning square dancing in gym class, so some of us decided to form our own square dancing group since apparently, we loved it so much! We came up with our own songs & practiced at recess.

I remember writing True Love Always like that! How funny.

I can't wait to read your next story!

carey said...

i was kind of a club fiend in elementary school. i ran a betsy-tacy fan club, then a nancy drew fan club/detective agency, then another detective agency that actually had a case (we explored the woods...we didn't find anything interesting in the slightest), and after i read are you there, god? it's me, margaret i started the wild blossom sensations. and of course i had a fake bsc--my next-door neighbor and i started "the kid lovers' club." we had one meeting, put out a bunch of fliers, and nobody ever called us. perhaps because i was only 11 and she was only 8. :P

the best of my old clubs, tho, was the mongoose club. basically, my next-door neighbor (vp) and i (president) would stand on top of the sandbox in her backyard and tell our brothers (secretary, treasurer, and junior member) what to do. and this went on for, like, TWO YEARS.

Anonymous said...

I created the Slumber Party Club! Based on the Sleepover books. It lasted for like a year or two, but we only had one huge sleepover. We should have been called something else because we did a lot of club activities that weren't sleeping over.

CRS said...

Haha... we had a Cloak and Dagger "club." I remember having no idea whatsoever because I never saw the movie. I was so the bitch.

BadKat said...

Love, Love, LOVE the USA (Ball) Crushers!!!

I am really glad to hear that I was not the only boy-obsessed 9-12 year old!!

I had a club with the now infamous Rachael, that we required people to list off as many swear/dirty words as they could to get in. We were SO cool!!!

Nys said...

Me and two of my friends made up a baby-siting club called the Kool Kid's Klub.

It took us about 40 minutes to realise what the initials stood for.

gollygee said...

Wow, this is going to reveal how totally nerdy I've always been, but I believe the only club I ever formed was a young scientists' club. It was organized by the Boston Museum of Science and they gave us experiments to try out (which I usually ended up doing alone) and then we all traveled to Boston and met our penpal scientist. And she was a nerdy lady. It was awesome. :D

And I cannot believe you were seriously in a club of which its sole purpose was to get boys to punch themselves in the balls. That is SO FRICKIN HILARIOUS!!! :D

LongWinter said...

This blog! Every post = me in stitches.

The best club was the Five Pieces of Friends when I was in grade three. We had meetings at recess, and each day was for a different activity, like gossip, or personal secrets. We took pictures of ourselves and made a calendar (yeah) of the Five Pieces of Friends. We also tried to haze other girls to become, like, alternates by making them write on the bathroom walls, but the teachers got ahold of us on that one :(

Jessica said...

Thank god for that suitcase of yours. Otherwise, the most psychologically fascinating bits of my childhood would be lost to me forever. We definitely had active imaginations, that's for sure. And what's with the incessant secret keeping? I thought we were all supposed to be BFF?! Did you write to any more of our television friends without my knowledge?? HMMM? Any CLUBS that I didn't know about???

Deathycat said...

I never had a club. :( Unless you count that time in eighth grade me and my best friend pretended we were in a cult and acted out crazy satanic rituals to frighten people. We were weird.

Dave N said...

Wow, the USA Crushers are infinitely more disturbing than their name suggests!

Tiffany said...

I just found your blog tonight, and it's AWESOME!!! haha. and you and I are the same age, so I totally relate to everything here.

I wanted to comment, because I too wanted to start a babysitters club, but I didn't really have many friends, but I totally made a KID KIT!!! ha ha ha.

Actually, when I was in the 5th or 6th grade, I "babysat" a girl my sisters age(i think she was in the 2 grade or so) and her 2 little sisters while their mom did work at her in-home office.

I remember once though I got in trouble for playing that Dance nintendo thing(that was like a Twister pad that you danced on and was hooked up to the nintendo) and i wasn't even watching the kids, haha.. Thanks so much for bringing back all the hilarious memories.. :D and I definitely look forward to reading more great stuff..