L.A.’s Oldest Eating Group Hams It Up

By CHARLES PERRY, Los Angeles Times
December 12, 2007

IT’S 7:45 a.m., and 40 or 50 people are lustily chanting, “F-V-N-E-M? S-V-F-M! F-V-N-E-X? S-V-F-X!” over the remains of breakfast.

This club has recited its mysterious “cryptogram” every Wednesday morning since 1925. The final line makes the secret meaning clear: “O-I-C-V-F-M-N-X!”

Or sort of clear. It’s “Oh, I see, we have ham and eggs!” (Get it? O-I-C= “Oh I see,” V-F= “we have,” M= “ham,” X= “eggs,” N-E= “any” and S= “yes.”) In its defense, it was devised by a newspaper cartoonist, so you have to make allowances.

For more than 40 years the group has been meeting at Friendship Auditorium. That’s the big hall on Riverside Drive that many a motorist has puzzled about while whizzing south from Los Feliz Boulevard.

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