Getting into the New York Athletic Club

Getting into the New York Athletic Club

Morris and Esther Cohen are chatting with friends on the subject of retirement.

“What are you going to do when you retire?”

Without hesitation, Morris says, “Ve vould join da New York Athletic Club.”

“Bist du im ganzen verdreht?!?” [Have you completely lost your mind?] The NYAC is ultra-restricted, ultra-WASP!”

But the Cohens are undaunted, and, sure enough, one year later, they present themselves at the NYAC.

They’re ushered into the walnut-paneled and Persian-carpeted Founders Room, to be interviewed by the Chairman of the Membership Committee,
Poncefaute Throckmorton Chatsworth IV.

“Thank you so much for stopping by. I just have a few questions for your application. Names and residence, please?”

“Of course. I’m Mortimer Fitzhugh, and this is my wife, Susan. By the way, she’s an alumna of The Junior League and a summa cum laude graduate of Radcliffe College. We live in Alpine, but also have vacation homes in Rumson, Chappaquiddick, and Aspen .”

“Excellent. Children?”

“Yes. Our son Chip will be graduating this year as valedictorian from Phillips Exeter Academy and plays first singles for the United States Junior Davis Cup Tennis team. Our daughter Muffy is in her second year at Harvard, where she’s first in her class and captain of the women’s field hockey team.”

“Wonderful. Your profession?”

“Certainly. I’m the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Winthrop, Codington, Genteel and Fitzhugh. It’s a fourth-generation Wall Street investment banking firm.”

“Impressive. And a final question, if I may: your religion?”

“Oh, no problem. We’re goyim.”

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