posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 10:48 PM
Nobody brings anything. IF you show up with one of those briefcase thingies, everyone suspects you're from the GL of TX!
There are a whole bunch of linen aprons on a couple of pegs in a little foyer outside the lodge room. We usually make a couple of jokes about needing
to tie a couple of them together to go around the fat guys. Then we joke about who's doing the dishes now that we've eaten.
As far as "collar thingy" (masons usually refer to it as a "Jewel"), they are a mark of office, and are kept in the lodgeroom for use by a
substitute if you can't show up. If you are Grand Poobah of the Mystic Viewmaster, and you can't make it, someone else puts on your 3-D glasses and
says the lines, so that the lodge is opened in due form. (titles and objects in this paragraph have been changed, to protect the innocent)
I haven't been in a Texas lodge where they wear gloves (except for officers, maybe). Our stewards, deacons don't usually carry their staves around,
My lodge is incredibly informal. There are a lot of young guys, and telecommuters. One dude shows up in those baggy pajama-looking pants, and the
other officers sort of roll their eyes. A few of us try to wear a necktie and jacket, but a lot of the factory types aren't about to go for that.
The funny thing is that while the lodge fronts on a sidestreet downtown, most people park in the parking lot of a pool-supply company across the
alley, and actually go in and out through what is technically the back door. If somone knocks on the front door, the whole dinner assembly of guys
and their wives spins around and stares.
As far as the differences between states, the ritual varies about like reading different translations of the Bible in English. The words are the
same, just slightly different order. Texas has kept a lot of fairly archaic English. One of my friends was telling me that California and Kansas
both have "modernized" the language--on the other hand, they still walk around with staves and gloves and tails, like it was a jack the ripper
There isn't every joking DURING the ritual itself. Otherwise, the same old jokes every mason knows. I made some of them myself after the EA degree.
"Initiation room? I thought you were all going to the men's room! I was trying to follow you into the toilet!" and the ever popular "Where's
the cake? You all have on aprons and carry those little pie-servers, but where's the Cake!" (Frau Dr. actually originated that one!)
Not that there haven't been funny moments in the ritual itself but you'll have to sit on my side of the lodgeroom, and we can whisper about them
while we're waiting for the stated meeting to begin.