Mailvox: tribalism wins

A reader relates a recent encounter with a group of Mennonites:

I am currently staying at a travel lodge in northern Wisconsin and there are 30-40 old school Mennonites, cousins of the Amish, also here.  The free self-serve breakfast room provides lessons regarding how the Amish likely will behave if, as speculated, they ever do achieve population dominance.

The Mennonites entered the room en masse and immediately occupied every open table remaining in the place.  Each clan had its own table and it did not matter whether there were two members or eight, they had their own table by clan and would stand beside their territorial claim despite empty seats being available at the other Mennonite tables. Spaces were reserved by laying objects in the conventional way.

Then the Mennonites formed an after church social barrier in front of the food supply, blocking outsiders from access in polite fashion while kibbitzing together in Swiss German.  The kids were all barefoot and roaming around, which dissuaded the rest of us from approaching.

About six old ladies commandeered the two waffle-making machines and began preparing waffles exclusively for all Mennonites.  They cast intimidating glares at some tough-looking brawny, sleeveless construction workers who attempted to stand in line for waffles.  Not gonna happen.

The men, who are noticeably trimmer than the somewhat fat women, helped themselves to all the food, making immediate return trips to fill up individual and shared plates for their tables.  This left only coffee for the outsiders.

No grace was given nor prayers offered, once the last old lady abandoned her waffle post the entire group began eating and the men discussed whatever Swiss German topic.  The food area resembled a war zone where the cockroaches would have starved.

Those Mennonites are going to do well when things fall apart. The rugged individualists should be fine, at least as long as they’re out in the deep wilderness without any resources that these people happen to decide they need for their families. 

Notice how the supposed tough guys couldn’t handle the old women. They could have unplugged the machines and refused to plug them back in until one machine was given to the non-Mennonites, but apparently they couldn’t even manage to work together in that one simple regard.