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by Travis Hardin

I'm pleased to be your guest columnist for this month's Western Maryland column, newly named "South Mountain Meanderings", or SMM for short. I also write a column coincidentally called "Sado-Masochistic Moanings" for a publication of shadowy and dubious existence. I hope text doesn't get mixed up in the computer by mistake.

After lasting only through July, the summer doldrums came to an abrupt and early end in August when about a dozen regulars and guests got together at the Frederick Pizza Hut for pizza and witty repartee. We missed our veteran pizza fanatic, Carol Baldwin, who was away on a business trip. But the waters were stirred up when sailing SIG coordinator Charles Karow, riding the fresh zephyrs westward, docked smartly at the red and white sign and came in. Charles was accompanied by a man who, to these nearing-fifty eyes, appeared on the threshold of balding and greying, yet who claimed to be our young and vigorous LocSec, Tim Hardy. The imposter was a friendly chap who was welcomed by all, but his identity remains a mystery to this day.

In addition to our wild and wonderful regulars, prospective member Eileen Moseley from Smithsburg joined us. Eileen has by now begun law school in Baltimore. We hope she finds time for some Baltimore area MENSA events and that she will also join us when she can at South Mountain. Mensan Debbie Williams joined us after having moving to Frederick from the Balt/Wash area. Welcome to Frederick, Debbie.

Mr. and Mrs. Tim Hardy breathlessly report a novel and delightful activity for one to two couples. The items you will need are a goose feather, a strong rubber band, a cigarette lighter, and two silk...[Note: Your Editor must regrettably exercise her discretion at this point and remind all our columnists that this is a family publication. She furthermore does not believe goose abuse is justified in the service of another species' questionable "pleasures". Your editor presumes--rightly, she believes--that the feather is intended to be plucked either from a live goose or from a dead goose, those being the two major divisions of geese. A division one goose experiences pain either from the feather-plucking or while involuntarily becoming a division two goose. --Ed.]

Beginning in October, the South Mountain (formerly Western Maryland) Mensa gathering will move from second Tuesday to second Thursday. This will get us the private room where we can act with typical abandon, as opposed to the atypical abandon some of us exhibit in the public area. Same place: Frederick Pizza Hut, on the south side of Route 40 west, on the Golden Mile.