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by Allen J. Sheinman | June 03, 2011

It's time once again to uncover some of the more esoteric reasons for humans to band together in group formation.

1. The Tug of War Association (ec2011tow.co.uk). Right now the group is abuzz over the next European Outdoor Tug of War Championships (Sept. 22-25, at Exmoor National Park in England). Anyone can attend, but you have to have some pull to participate.
2. The Procrastinators' Club (procrastinators.org). Begun in Philadelphia in 1956 and now counting some 14,500 members, the club has an official motto ("If procrastination was bad, they wouldn't have put the 'pro' before the 'crastination'") and offers a handy guide on how to procrastinate (Step One says it all: "Contemplate the reasons that make procrastination a good thing to add to your daily tasks").
3. The Harvard Tiddlywinks Society (hcs.harvard.edu/~htws). One thing you can say about a group of brainiacs flipping small discs (or "winks") into cups — it keeps them off the streets.
4. Association TransCommunication (atransc.org). Formerly the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena, this group is dedicated to the study of electronic sounds that mimic human speech, whether in the form of whirring engines, random radio transmissions or just general background noise. At their meetings, F&B stands for food and beeping.
5. The World Chess Boxing Association (wcbo.org). Here's what you get when you mix the gentility of chess with the brutality of boxing: Bouts of 11 rounds, each of which consist of four minutes of "speed chess" followed by three minutes of slugging, followed by a one-minute break. You lose either by knockout or checkmate.
6. The Soap and Detergent Association (cleaningproductfacts.com). This "group" celebrates the use of sodium lauryl sulfate in cosmetics and offers research findings such as "nearly nine out of 10 Americans believe the cleaning products they buy are safe when used as described."
7. The American Society of Hypertension (ash-us.org). No, they don't promote hypertension, they study it. Their low-sodium banquets are legendary, but we just like how their name gets our heart racing.
8. The American Hypnosis Association (hypnosis.edu/aha). This organization is for "hypnotherapists, other professionals and private persons interested in hypnosis and related fields." At meetings, they schedule plenty of coffee breaks in case members find themselves getting sleepy...sleepy...

Source: Meetings & Conventions