Tail Gate – Musings from the Editor

The Distinguished Club Program

When Toastmasters switched over to the latest version of Distinguished Club Program, my first thought was that it was a somewhat deceptive method to get clubs to work harder on membership. When I gave it more consideration, though, I recognized its value in encouraging clubs to serve their members more effectively. Now, after reading Dave Thyfault’s article, “This Toastmaster Has Regrets,” on page 9, I realized there is even more to it: Esprit de corps.

What makes members want to stick with and support a club? Certainly the quality of the meetings is a major factor, as is the way the club meets members’ needs. But what about pride in the club? Aren’t members significantly more likely to want to be part of an organization they are proud of? And won’t that pride influence potential new members as well?

My home club was President’s Distinguished last year for the first time under the new system (we almost made it once before, but that’s another story). It was a momentous occasion, and this year we’re striving to repeat that performance. Part of it is that the current president wants not to be the one who was in charge when the club didn’t make it. Part of it is the pride the members feel in the club. And, yes, part of it is competitiveness. We’re all aware of the clubs that have been President’s Distinguished nine and ten years in a row. If they can do it, we can do it.

Because of it we’ve adopted a can-do attitude that consistently produces quality meetings, serves the needs of our members, and encourages our guests to come back and join.

It’s amazing what a little pride can do. Are you proud of your club?

A Really Bad Day

The following was seen in a Florida newspaper:

A man was working on his motorcycle on his patio and his wife was in the house in the kitchen. The man was racing the engine on the motorcycle and somehow, the motorcycle slipped into gear. The man, still holding the handlebars, was dragged through a glass patio door and along with the motorcycle dumped onto the floor inside the house.

The wife, hearing the crash, ran into the dining room, and found her husband laying on the floor, cut and bleeding, the motorcycle laying next to him and the patio door shattered.

The wife ran to the phone and summoned an ambulance.

Because they lived on a fairly large hill, the wife went down the several flights of long steps to the street to direct the paramedics to her husband. After the ambulance arrived and transported the husband to the hospital, the wife uprights the motorcycle and pushed it outside.

Seeing that gas had spilled on the floor, the wife obtained some papers towels, blotted up the gasoline, and threw the towels in the toilet.

The husband was treated at the hospital and was released to come home. After arriving home, he looked at the shattered patio door and the damage done to his motorcycle. He became despondent, went into the bathroom, sat on the toilet and smoked a cigarette. After finishing the cigarette, he flipped it between his legs into the toilet bowl while still seated.

The wife, who was in the kitchen, heard a loud explosion and her husband screaming. She ran into the overflowing

bathroom and found her husband lying on the floor. His trousers had been blown away and he was suffering burns on the buttocks, the back of his legs and his groin. The wife again ran to the phone and called for an ambulance.

The same ambulance crew was dispatched and the wife met them at the street. The paramedics loaded the husband on the stretcher and began carrying him to the street. While they were going down the stairs to the street accompanied by the wife, one of the paramedics asked the wife how the husband had burned himself. She told them and the paramedics started laughing so hard, one of them tipped the stretcher and dumped the husband out. He fell down the remaining steps and broke his arm.

This story redefines what it is to have a bad day.


"Your mother’s revenge: she spliced her will with videos of her last trip around the world that you never wanted to watch."

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