Before the 16th century was out, Bandicoots figured heavily into the earliest English settlement in what is today the United States. Predating both Jamestown and the stick-in-the-butt Massachusetts Pilgrims, was Sir Walter Raleigh’s Colony of Roanoke. Long considered to have been lost to posterity, the first arrivals rather split into two groups, each absorbed into bands of the local Native Peoples. The smaller group, after carving “Croatoan,” an archaic Meherrin word meaning “up yours,” into a tree, migrated southeast. Some academics believe their direct descendants are responsible for the invention of NASCAR, Krystal Burgers and the Hula Popper lure.
France continued to be a hotspot for the SOBs throughout the Enlightenment, though many of the lodge members were satisfied with swilling Grenache in semi-darkness. For every Madame DeFarge during the Revolution, there was a Monsieur DeFarge, sick to the gills of endless yammering about insurgency. Those browbeaten spouses of both genders found solace in the grumbly fellowship of the Bandicoots, notably at Lodge 34,582, secreted up an alley in Paris’ 11th. That post was later renamed in honor of Mme. Delphine Robespierre who lamentably said, “Christ, Max, so the quiche is cold. What are you gonna do, cut my head off?”
The last three centuries have only strengthened the resolve of the SOBs. Wars, economic panics, Prohibition and Up With People were all thrown at humanity, but none succeeded in keeping Bandicoots from their daily glass half empty rounds.
Though the membership of individuals is by definition secret, rumors have long circulated that many of history’s most famous cynics and curmudgeons have, in fact, belonged to the SOBs. Among the more noteworthy names linked with the Bandicoots are Ambrose Bierce, Catherine the Great, Colonel Kurtz, Sarah Bernhardt, Genghis Khan, Lewis Carroll and Moe Howard. The world will never know for certain, but future chapters in the annals of the Secret Order of the Bandicoot remain to be written. Notice I said “written,” not texted or tweeted or any other such modern nonsense, you little bastard. Hey, let go of me. I’m writing here. Who the hell …. Get your filthy paws off me…