Knights Templer

 My father once was invited to join - I think it was the Knights Templar, which I believe is related in some way. Our family were Scottish, you see. I hope it isn't actually a religion, because I don't like to make fun of religions, but he didn't make it anyway, and from what he told me, it didn't sound like one.

It seems that during the initiation ceremony, when they blindfolded him and put the chicken on his chest he had one of his episodes of uncontrollable hysterical laughter and had to be removed from the hall. After that, they decided he was just not serious enough.

But he had kept his ceremonial sword and some other paraphernalia, and so, decades later, I won the best costume contest at my girlfriend's Junior High School Masqerade party by dressing up in one of my mother's 1920's flapper skirts and one of her fancy leather cocktail jackets, lacing up some sandals with long leather bootstraps by criss-crossing them up my legs, a fur hat I had gotten somewhere with a pair of cow horns glued on top for effect, that I thought was a pretty good imitation of a Viking, and then girding my waist with that Knight's Templar Sword.

The sword wouldn't cut hot butter, but it had a long gold filigreed blade and fancy tassel hanging from the handle, and it was impressive.

I must have looked ridiculous, but at the time all the country bumpkins, I included, thought it was magnificent.