The sleuthhound club featured a flag, on which artistic Jerry had copied a picture of Droopy the dog from a comic book. On this flag, Droopy wore a Sherlock Holmes deer-stalker cap and carried a large magnifying glass. Now that was a sleuth hound for sure.
John, being too young, was naturally excluded. This made the club even better, because not everybody could be in it. That was the cause of the trouble.
We had most everything we needed. Titles for the members, for example. Ordinary members were sleuthhounds, but the leader — Jerry, being oldest — was the Deep Creep.
Our motto was “Go see the Deep Creep before you Beep.” To this day I do not know whatever this might mean, but it still has a fine ring to it, don’t you think?
We had a club song. In fact, this song had formed the genesis for the motto. The song goes like this: “If you do ever want to sleep, then you had better go visit the Creep. He’s gone, and gone, and very Deep, Oh he is the Deepest Creep, beep beep!“
Oh sure, it’ll never be a hit record, but remember, we were kids, and, to be truthful, I’ve written worse songs since, but don’t spread that around.
The trouble began with the initiation.
Naturally, young John, being excluded, wouldn’t let us alone. “Why can’t I be a sleuthhound?” he demanded. We told him he was too young. He said he wasn’t, because he was eight and a half, and that was plenty old enough to be a sleuthhound. Even Jerry had no logic to refute this, so finally we set up an initiation.
Donny, being John’s older brother, was ensnared in John’s initiation. The initiation was that, for three days, whenever the two of them were in the presence of their mother, John was required to say “beep beep” every ten minutes. Donny was required to circle his finger near his temple and say, “He’s crazy.”
The initiation lasted about half a day. John and Donny’s mother had just had it up to here.
The sleuthhound club seemed to slide downhill after that. Oh, we had a few meetings, but it seemed the joie de vivre had gone. The club sunk into despond, and we went on to other things.