In 1627, the commonly accepted date for the first proto-Meander (hosted by one Hieronymus Enoch Nosegrunt III, Ninth Marquess of Scatterdly, who called it "Ye Most Pekuliar Hyke Through the Nighte of ye Full Moone, to be accompanied Revelrys, Wyne, and Poetiks"), it was not expected that this tradition would ever take root. In fact, Nosegrunt IV, the Tenth Marquess, was widely known for ridiculing his father's event, and after he assumed the throne only one Pekuliar Hyke was held during his entire reign.
It was not until a few stray practitioners of the discredited gathering reached the New World, in the early part of 1710, that the ritual was guaranteed a future. Through a strange coincidence, it was unrelated Nosegrunts who restored the ritual -- Prodigious Nosegrunt and his wife Prosperity Nosegrunt (nee Snorkelbeak, of the Boston Snorkelbeaks) -- by holding the Pekuliar Hykes during the warmer Summer months. The line of these New World Nosegrunts was indeed worthy of their name, and at least four of their thirty-seven children (Increase, Lucre, Accrual, and Cindy-Lou) were known to lead their own Hykes as adults.
Still, at various times, the tradition seemed like it might not go on. In 1917, the gatherings were banned as part of the passage of the 18th Amendment. A few daring individuals known as "Moon Runners" (not to be confused with their fellow criminals, Rum Runners or Moonshiners) carried on during this time. Their irregular pattern of hiking, developed to avoid detection by authorities, is what later led to the ritual being associated with the word "Meander."
Today, after the legalization of the Meander by a special Presidential Order accidentally signed during the Reagan Administration, we are free to Meander as we wish, and often the only thing that threatens the tradition is inaction. So take this opportunity, and join in Saturday!
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