Tales of Nudists and Onions
All of us are aware of behemoth associations such as the NRA or AARP. Huge groups such as these wield major power in the halls of government and hold great sway over vast legions of donors and supporters.
But for every well-known major association, there are a hundred other tiny ones that most Americans have never heard of. I’m based in Washington, D.C. — home to thousands of associations. And whenever I visit an office building in the area, I always take time to look over the tenant directory in the lobby. Almost always, the building will house one or two small associations that address some obscure issue.
This has led me to a new hobby. Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of little-known associations from across the nation. Virtually any issue or interest is covered by an association. Here are some of my favorites.
National Candle Association
Based in Washington, D.C., NCA acts as “the collective voice of the candle industry.” NCA’s Web site (www.candles.org) provides useful information, such as explaining the four elements of a candle. For those who are too lazy to look them up, they are wax, wick, fragrance and colorant. Unfortunately
for fundraisers like you and me, there’s no advice about how to burn a candle at both ends.
American Association for Nude Recreation
In addition to providing information and acting as an advocate on behalf of nudists, AANR also provides a Web site (www.aanr.com) with photos of nude people running through fields, playing volleyball, jumping into pools and even skydiving. You also will find good tips about using sunblock in unusual areas. I have only one question: Why does this Web site’s “shopping” area sell clothing?
National Pasta Association
NPA’s Web site can be found at www.ilovepasta.org. In addition to providing more than 300 pasta recipes, it also has a helpful section that illustrates pasta’s many shapes. And like most associations, NPA has its enemies … in this case, the Atkins diet. So, NPA also happily provides you with a tirade about the evils of a low-carb lifestyle.