Horse thieves beware

Pax Arcana

While the Internet gets all the attention these days, it is wise to remember that modern life is rife with scourges left over from olden days. For example, who hasn’t been the victim of a moustache tugging at the hands of some ruffian? Or had his monocle pilfered from his frock coat whilst lounging with a snooker of laudanum at the apothecary?

But chief among these offenses is horse thievery.

Luckily the denizens of Dedham, MA — including in their number Paxites Father Scott and Birch — are well-protected from such wickedness. According to Birch, the town is home to a great contingent of men called the Society in Dedham for Apprehending Horse Thieves.

Look, they have a logo and everything:


According to the Web site, the society was founded in 1810, and for the past 100 years or so has apprehended thieves at the rate of exactly 0 per century. But that hasn’t stopped the society from recruiting from among the world’s elite to fill its ranks, just in case:

Since 1810, the Society has enrolled nearly 10,000 members, worldwide, although the actual number of living members is problematical, since many of those who have died have also failed to remove themselves from the rolls. Members have included Popes, most of the recent Presidents of the United States (except Jimmy Carter, who seems to have excited little interest), General George Armstrong Custer (a posthumous selection), and Raquel Welch (a spontaneous nomination).

It’s hard to disagree with the choice of Raquel Welch, but it seems like they’re setting the bar awfully high for membership. If I weren’t already a member of the Grand Council of the Great and Serious Men of Science, I would probably be intimidated by the application process. Plus I don’t live in Dedham.

If only there were some other way…

Oh lookie!

For a one-time ten-dollar fee, anyone may enroll him- or herself, or a friend for a lifetime membership, and create an affiliation with an historic organization, and the ancient Town of Dedham.


The Society in Dedham for Apprehending Horse Thieves [Home]


1 Comment

Filed under history

One response to “Horse thieves beware

  1. Birch

    Needless to say, I am going to apply so that I can put this on my resume. Being associated with popes, presidents, and Raquel can only help my cause.

    Pax, this exposure is just what the society needs. I’m sure its president will be calling any day now offering you free membership. Put in a good word for me.

    Oh and I saw the old building where they used to meet. The only thing that came to mind was burlesque.

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