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The Irreverent "M"

Margaret Cooper

"He told me to have a nice day. So I slapped him."

"Hello, is this the coordinator of the Beer-Swilling Louts SIG? It sounds like my kind of group."

"You're disgusting. I like that."

The statements above typify the radical fringe of Mensa, to which new members are always welcome. In fact, we need you.

Most of us Mensans are familiar with the difficulty of growing up smart in a "normal" society. And, for many of us, there is the corollary: growing up irreverent.

We ain't got no respect.

A co-worker enthuses to you about his ambition to own that yuppie status symbol, a Porsche. You reply that most porches are on derelict wood-frame houses, and not worth owning. The co-worker gives you a look and sidles away, shaking his head. At lunch, he does not share his Perrier with you. You have been branded irreverent.

Sound familiar? You must be a Mensan.

The "normal" world believes in a list of structures, desirables, and truths against which most Mensan minds rebel. Let others strive to follow fashion, whatever the expense; you make do with good old comfy jeans from 1978, and take pride in a car that runs 36 miles on gas fumes. Let others believe in propriety; you deal with reality. In their words, you are an irreverent Mensan.

Well, you have company.

There's the Wednesday night Irish Music / Beer-Swilling Louts / Consciousness-and-Bail-Raising SIG. Not for them the shiny brass fixtures and ferns of a trendy bar; they want drinkin' buddies, good cheer, good beer (or even Diet Coke), and regular, non-" designer" folks. A good time is had by all, and not an "in crowd" in sight!

There's the Mensa Regional Gathering: a weekend in September for fun and irreverence. "Normals" may want purpose and structure, we want to mingle and play, using our minds and also exercising the raucous side of our personalities. Be proper elsewhere; at the RG, feel free to unleash nonsense, terrible puns, silly stories, and raunchy innuendo.

There are forces of impropriety throughout Mensa. I have heard of satirical projects and publications in other regions, some even perpetrated by the elected officers! Here in Minnesota Mensa, we fight stodginess with underground gossip festivals, with pagan ribaldry and song-writing, with disreputable surveys, cartoon-sharings, and outings. Look for an Anti-Valentine party or circulate around the tables at First Friday listening for the telltale bursts of laughter and applause as another hideous scheme gets hatched. And, please, join in! Remember, "a dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste."

Yes, Mensa is the place to bring out your funniest irreverences and enjoy the gleeful reaction they truly deserve. Hate Madonna? Don't give a hoot about what's in fashion? Enjoy a good demolition derby? Come along and speak right up. You're among friends.

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