the Dead President's Namesake Society

Submitted into Contest #111 in response to: Write about a group of friends who hope to use their combined skills to better the world. ... view prompt


American Friendship Teens & Young Adult

“Hear, hear! The meeting is called to order.” Reagan knocked his mug on the wooden table top to make it official. 


Reagan sighed. “Yes, Clinton?” 

“Can we get the mozzarella sticks?  

“Yes, Clinton.” 



“Something else?” 

“Should I put an order in before we get to the addendum or whatever?” 

“I think it can wait. May I proceed?” 

“I also have a question.” 

“Lincoln, if we don’t hold the questions to the end we’re never going to get through this. Can it wait?” 

“I guess.” Lincoln leaned back with a slight smirk and put an arm around Clinton.  

“Thank you. Now as I was saying, the Dead President’s Namesake Society Harriet Tubman University Chapter meeting on this date October 5, 2040 is officially called to order. We shall now recite the pledge.” 

“We gotta do that every time now?” 

“Yes Harris, don’t be a spoilsport. Put up your hand.” 

“Webster’s staring at us.” 

“Webster’s always staring at us, he’s the bartender. That’s literally his job.” 

“I am the namesake of a President of these United States. As a member of this elite club, I vow to preserve, protect, and defend their honour in my words and in my deeds. Blessed be America.” 

“Blessed be. Now mozzarella sticks.” 

“Fine Clinton, go ahead.” Reagan shook his head. “She’s relentless.” 

Lincoln sighed. “Yeah, she’s pretty great.” 

“Well, if she’s going, then I’m going to hit the little girl’s room.” 

“Ok, but right back here after Harris, don’t go flirting with Webster on your way back or we’re never going to finish this.” 

Harris flipped him off over her shoulder before disappearing into the bathroom. 

“Is this seat taken?” 

“Uh, no, I guess you can take it back to your table, where you’re sitting, not with us.” 

“Oh, c’mon Reagan. You’re still not going to let me in? My name is James after all.” 

“Yeah, that could get you into literally any club in America James. We’re doing a thing here.” 

“I think we could make an exception for Emile. He’s here anyway,” Lincoln said, swirling the beer around in his mug.  

“I guess that's more than I can say for Jefferson, that turncoat. Wait. Who’s Emile?” 

“I am.” 

“Your last name is James? I’m not even sure that counts—” 

“Your whole club is based on—” 

“Alright, alright, you can sit with us on a probationary basis, geez.” 

James smiled plunking his beer mug down and bringing his chair in closer with a terrific scrape.  

Reagan winced.  

“Mozzerella sticks are on the way.” Clinton said, scooting into the booth side of the table next to Lincoln. 

“Well, maybe,” Lincoln smirked. They all turned to look as Harris and Webster were talking quietly with their heads close together at the bar. Webster noticed them staring and straightened up. Harris rolled her eyes.  

“You’re sure I can’t join you?” Webster said watching Harris walk back to the table.  

“You’re sure your middle name is Barry after Barack Obama?” 

“I’m pretty sure.” 

“Alright then, William Barry Webster, you’re in. Clinton if you say ‘Mozzarella Sticks’ one more time...”  

“Don’t worry, Logan’s watching the air fryer,” Webster said pulling up a chair. 

“Alright then,” Reagan said again. “First item on the agenda…” 

There was a collective groan. 

“First item,” he continued louder, “…is a student in the science department. His name is Madison Monroe. I want him for our club.” 

“I think you’ve got to give that one up Reag, the guy’s a ghost. No one’s seen him,” Lincoln said. 

Harris took a swallow of beer. “Not true. I heard a rumour he changed his name to Max.” 

“See that, Lincoln? That’s called research. And she’s not even in the science department like you. Thank you, Harris.” 

“I have an item,” Harris said tossing her dark curls over her shoulder and turning to Webster. “Why in the 2040th year of Lords and Ladies, do we still have one-ply toilet paper in the Women’s restroom?” 

Webster held up his hands in mock surrender. “Hey, I just pour the drinks, I don’t own the place.” 

“Well, you should take it up with your manager. Or I will.” 

“I’ll let him know tomorrow.” 

“Thank you.” 

They smiled at each other. 

Reagan cleared his throat and knocked his mug on the table again.  

“Second item—” 

“Oh, there’s a second one today,” Lincoln said, lifting his eyebrows in surprise. 

“Yes. Jefferson. Has anyone seen him?” 

Clinton fiddled with her nose ring. “He was in my 20th Century Women Seminar yesterday. Maybe he had a swim meet?” 

Reagan snorted. “Jefferson can’t swim, can he?” 

“I think he’s trying to get a scholarship,” Harris said. 

“Fine, I guess we can read him the minutes.” 

“Jeff usually takes the minutes,” Lincoln said. 

“Damn. James, you’re now in charge of minutes.” 

James smiled. “Why do you need this Madison guy so badly? Can’t you just find a girl named Madison? There’s at least three in my intro to psych class.” 

Clinton and Harris nodded. 

“We don’t let in just anyone named Madison, just like we don’t take in everyone named James, because they’re not special.” 

“Plus, he already asked one and she said no,” Lincoln added, helping himself to a mozzarella stick from the platter Logan had just set down in front of them. 

“Well, girls named Madison are a tough sell for a club like this.” 

“Because they usually have plans on a Friday night.” 

“Yes, Lincoln.” 

“So, what do you guys do, besides recruit people with Presidential names? Just sit around and talk about dead Presidents?” 

“In words and in deeds, James.” Reagan relented and grabbed one of the last mozzarella sticks for himself. “I told you he wouldn’t get it,” he said to Lincoln.  

“James has to pick a president,” Clinton said grabbing a loose cheese glob from the greasy paper.  

“What, like my favourite?” 

“No, we don’t do that here.” 

“Well, I can see why you wouldn’t Reagan.” 

“Thin ice James. What she means is, you have to pick a specific James, only you can’t pick Madison or Monroe because those are saved.” 

“Um, uh. Who is else is there?” 

“Not our fault you didn’t do your research beforehand. We’re just gonna call you Garfield.”  

They all nodded. “Yep, that suits.” 

“Hey, wait—” 

“Write it up in the minutes, Garf.” 

Reagan handed him official looking From the Desk of the President’s Gift Shop stationery.  

“Ooo pen and paper. Very retro,” James said accepting them gratefully. 

“Yes. To recap: Eyes and ears open for Madison.” 

“What should we say if we find him?” asked Webster. 

“Just invite him for a drink here on Friday. I’ll do the rest. Next, Jefferson…” 

“What about my toilet paper?” 

“OK Harris, as Finance Officer you can be in charge of the toilet paper investigation. Maybe we can hold a fund-raiser.” 

“No way. Good toilet paper is a basic human right. The University should pay for it. It should be in the budget. I can check.” 

“Fine. We’ll write an Op Ed about it in the school newspaper on behalf of the club.” 

“Ooo! Can I write it?” Clinton said. 

“Sure. Harris can crunch the numbers and Clinton can write it into something somewhat interesting.” 


“Lincoln, you can be in charge of checking out the bible from the library for Barry and Garfield’s swearing in ceremony,” Reagan continued.  

“Ok, but they really frowned upon that last time. Maybe we do the part with the bells outside?” 

“I mean, I guess. If you’re not going to let me do fireworks...” 

“No! No fireworks!” Clinton and Harris said together.  

Reagan folded his arms.  

“What can I do?” James said scrawling quickly on the paper. 

“Um, you can type the notes up for Jefferson, when we find him,” Reagan said frowning slightly at his handwriting.  

“What about me?” said Webster. 

“Well… we could probably use more mozzarella sticks, if it’s not too much to ask.” 

“Yaaay!” Clinton and Lincoln cheered quietly.  

“I can do that. Coming right up.” He winked at Harris, who beamed.  

Reagan knocked his mug again. “Meeting adjourned.” 

September 15, 2021 17:52

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