Jody. The mere mention of the name is enough to send shivers down the spine of any service member.
For G.I.’s based in India during World War II, the threat of a Jody was omnipresent.
Yet in a real band of brother’s moment, the jilted men turned their heartbreak into something meaningful; enter The Brush-Off Club.
A self-help book could never.
According to the January 24, 1943, issue of Yank, The Army Weekly, mournful hearts organized for the first time in military history to join forces in mutual sympathy.
The rules to join the club were fairly straightforward — if you were in possession of a broken heart “or a reasonable facsimile,” you were in.
The elite “club ha[d] a ‘chief crier’ a ‘chief sweater’ and a ‘chief consoler,’” wrote Sgt. Ed Cunningham, field correspondent for Yank. All members were “required to give each other the needle; i.e., full sympathy for all active members… By-laws state: As we are all in the ‘same transport,’ we must provide willing shoulders to cry upon, and join fervently in all wailing and weeping.”
For those nursing a heartbreak there was a small consolation, namely the more serious the offense — say one’s fiancée marrying another, and to a sailor no less — the more quickly one could rise through the ranks.
The more magnanimously scorned, the clearer the path for Brush-Off presidency.
Members were encouraged to turn the frown upside down, perhaps take a sip of beer, wail at the moon for a brief period, and then eventually move on.
Take that, Jody.