Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Military Order of Cooties

Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman.

The Faith Tabernacle Gospel Church has been on the corner of 21st Ave N and 4th St N longer than I've been in the neighborhood.  Part of their sign just kind of faded into the background and I never looked too closely at it--until yesterday.  The sign reads, "Antsinpants RT. 14 Military Order of Cooties," and may just be the weirdest thing in Hawthorne.  That's saying a lot.

Apparently there are a whole slew of "fun and honor" orders of military vets out there, although I'm still unclear as to what exactly the cooties people did.


  1. "Cooties is, in childlore, a kind of infectious disease. The term may have originated with references to lice, fleas, and other parasites. A child is said to "catch" cooties through any form of bodily contact, proximity, or touching of an "infected" person or from a person of the opposite sex of the same age. Often the "infected" person is someone who is perceived as "different" and bears some kind of social stigma: of the opposite sex, disabled, someone who is shy or withdrawn, someone who has peculiar mannerisms, etc. The phrase is most commonly used by children aged 4–10; however, it is also used by many others older than 10."

    By the Wikipedia definition of Cooties, I would say that the Northside is infested with them. So, if the Military Order of Cooties can do anything to combat this plague lets reopen a branch!

  2. It actually says "RT 14" which I am assuming is "Regiment 14?" This sign is simply awesome.

  3. Thanks, the post has been edited with that correction.

    I think this is my favorite title of a post pretty much ever.

  4. That is hilarious...I love it.

  5. The other really fun thing about this building is that there is an inverted cone on the flag pole to prevent anyone from climbing up the flag pole to gain access to the rooftop or maybe break in an upper window. It's just like the kind of cone one would see on the pole of a bird feeder to keep the squirrels out. The first time I saw this I thought "Wow. The people in this neighborhood must be like animals." LOL (And now that I've been here awhile I realize there are *some* people who fit that description, but the vast majority of us are not going to come climbing through your window)

  6. Here's a link about the Cooties you will find informative:

    Their primary purpose is to have fun in the context of bringing a smile to the faces of hospitalized vets.

    I actually met some of the Cooties, once. It was in December of 1988. My father, who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and actually fired on the Japanese planes, who fought in New Guinea and landed with McArthur at Leyte Gulf, was dying of lung cancer at the VA hospital in Minneapolis.

    (He smoked, a lot. Unfiltered camels, mostly, though it was Lucky Strikes that got him hooked when he was young)

    Some vets from the VFW came by to see how my dad was doing. (Unconscious, mostly) One of the vets was wearing a little bronze bug on his lapel and I asked him about it. He said that, by the rules, if anybody asked him about the bug that person had to buy him a drink. He told me I was getting off lucky because we weren't allowed to drink in the VA hospital. Something like that. And he went on about the cooties in his World War Two era humor.

    His explanations about the Cooties were funny and actually made me smile, even though my dad was there, dying, and unconscious. I mean, the guy was TRYING. All kinds of folks would drop by like that to see my dad, various military orders...there was an order of Jewish war veterans. One of them gave me a green pen.

    It made an impression on me, how these vets wouldn't leave another vet by himself to die, even though none of them knew my father personally.

  7. I should also add...

    Jeff, if you're on the light rail and you should happen to drop by the VA hospital, go to the "visitors entrance" and check out the statue of Bob Hope. There is something quite humorous about the statue.

  8. The name of this place was Russell Gaylord's AntsinthePants V.F.W. post# 14 The Royal Order of the Cooties was the motto and John explained the history of the Cooties. This building was a neighborhood institution that sponsored Little League Baseball and numerous wedding receptions or get togethers such as banquets and anniversaries. I miss the old North Minneapolis. It was a very unique area that does not deserve what it is going through these days. I once again thank all of you guys and gals for your honest efforts and hard work. Good Day from Boathead who can't figure our why my account's screwed up.