The Old Netmaster's ancient office chair squeaked as he lifted his hip to scratch his ass.
"Ahhhh," he said, and the chair groaned under his weight as he sat back down.
The lodge's new Junior Steward suddenly appeared in front of the Old Netmaster's cluttered desk, holding a package of hot dogs in each hand.
"I love my lodge and all the brethren, Old Netmaster, but for the life of me, I sometimes just don't understand the lack of peace and harmony when it comes to what we'll serve for supper before our meeting," he said.
The Old Netmaster caught himself picking his nose, then stopped, hoping the fresh-faced young Mason hadn't noticed.
"What do you mean, son? Our wonderful Worshipful Master has laid out our Masonic dinner menus for his entire year. I've read it; he should be proud. I think he's done a splendid job of rotating the schedule between hot dog suppers and hobo bean suppers.
"That's just it," the young Steward said. "He's done an awesome job. For example, I know that tonight we're having hot dogs, and that's a good thing, because hot dogs are, of course, a Masonic staple and the true mark of an American. And one website I read said that hot dogs represent the Masonic pillars of Boaz and Jachin.
"But he didn't specify what kind of hot dogs I should buy! A couple of brethren say they're watching their cholesterol and they want me to serve turkey dogs, but most of the brothers insist we have those bright red artificially-colored hot dogs filled with unidentified pork parts like we always have!"
The Old Netmaster rolled his eyes, cleared his throat, fidgeted around until his chair gave that certain squeak that gave him goosebumps. "Son," he began, "I've eaten hot dogs at Masonic dinners for longer than you've been alive. There is only one kind of hot dog a real Mason will eat.
"You've been surfing the Internet again, reading those blog sites showing the Masonic menus of those left-coast liberal Masons with their uppity ideas about health foods and Masonic symbolism, haven't you?
"Son, serve the pork hot dogs," he said in that pseudo-gravelly voice he had convinced himself impressed the parade of new Masons who kept presenting themselves in front of his desk. "Throw the turkey dogs away. I wouldn't even give those to my retriever dog Princess."
The Junior Steward nodded in agreement, knowing that he'd made the right decision in asking the Old Netmaster what to do. After all, he thought, this man has been aggressively monitoring the Internet for over ten years, feverishly jotting down, cataloging, cross-referencing, and then posting online every little nuance about the menus of Masons, pseudo-Masons, quasi-Masons, fake Masons, bogus Masons and even anti-Masons. If anyone knew what was acceptable and unacceptable in the wide world of Masonic dietary digestion, it was the Old Netmaster.
The Old Netmaster read the young man's mind, and as if to signal his not-so-silent agreement, he farted.
The Steward smiled and pretended not to notice the Old Netmaster's flatulence.
"And another thing," the Old Netmaster said. "Don't get any ideas about serving French's mustard. We real Masons don't want anything to do with those French posers."
The Junior Steward's eyes widened. ”Well, I'm going to the kitchen now and get these hot dogs a-boilin'. The brethren will be so happy, and those two guys who wanted turkey dogs can just enjoy eating buns soaked in the generic ketchup I bought. It will be great enjoying the friendship and fellowship of traditional Freemasonry!"
The Junior Steward turned to leave, and then thought of something clever to say.
He turned back to face the Old Netmaster, and politely pretended not to notice the Old Netmaster was already engaged in digging his index finger into his ear.
"Old Netmaster," the young man said, grinning widely. "I guess that means we'll never have French fries in our lodge, right?"
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