“I swear Herbert your screaming about “those kids” makes you sound like a Scooby Doo villain!” The whole table laughed, and everyone turned to look at Pudge who was choking on his beef and noodles through the laughter. Bailey continued “If you don’t calm yourself you are going to give yourself a heart attack.” Herb began to sit quietly and began to spread butter on a piece of white bread quietly while muttering something under his breath.
Jerry continued, “The biggest problem I have is wax. After every meeting there is candle wax all over the lodge room floor from all those candles they use in their rituals. I’ve actually ruined several vacuum cleaners by accidentally sweeping over all that blasted wax!”
“You aren’t anymore Herb, but I can remember when your sons and daughters were involved in the youth groups that meet here.” The 50 year member said while he sat down with his food. “Why, I can remember several members complaining about the same petty things then, as you are complaining about now. Seems to me Herb, I remember you standing up in the middle of the lodge defending those boys when your son Herb Junior was Master Counselor about…. Hmmm twenty five years ago?”
Herb began to breathe quickly as his eyes appeared to grow several sizes larger in his head, sweat ran down his forehead while his hands began to shake. The entire table grew nervous about the old Past Master's medical condition as he began to speak.
The Fifty Year member rolled his eyes and shook his head “I’m sure it was completely different Herb.” The old man continued “You knuckleheads really surprise me. You really, really do. Sometimes I think we might as well turn in our charter and turn this building into one of those coffee houses that are popping up around town!”
“I can say that the first time I danced with a girl was on the floor of that ballroom next to where we are sitting right now. And it was many years before I was able to attend a high school dance.” Many of the men began to smile as their minds drift back to that same time in their lives. “If you think about it, most of the Demolay boys from that time got married to those cute little Rainbows or Jobies, we became the next generation of Masons in this lodge and they grew up to be Eastern Stars. I will admit we might have lost a couple of generations but, by golly many of these young men are bringing their children to join and I can almost envision the cycle beginning again.”
“Jerry, you mentioned how many problems the kids have caused you in the maintenance of the temple, but let me ask this; How many times have those some young boys and girls helped you by volunteering to work on the building on weekends?” Jerry lowered his head “Quite a few, John. They have helped paint the walls of the lodge rooms and the ball room and helped me strip and reseal all the floors. They have also cleaned out all the junk from the basement and the attic. Actually, they help out a lot. It really saves the building committee a lot of money by not paying out labor.” The old man smiled “How many of our Masons were there on these weekends?” Jerry laughed “Oh, maybe one or two...”. The whole table laughed.
“That’s what I thought,” The old man continued “And I bet I could call the Star’s Worthy Matron and she would tell me the same thing about the number of times the girls have helped them cooking and cleaning and baking cookies for their bake sales. But apparently these children, or as they should be called according to you guys, "Menaces to society" seem like they are a pretty valuable asset to this organization to me.”
“Brethren, you are right. They are a bit unruly at times. But after all they are children they need our guidance to become better men and women. If you stop and think about it guys, that’s why we all are here: To become better men. We just happen to be further down that level of time then they are. They need us for guidance as much as we need them to help perpetuate the membership of this lodge. It’s the perfect circle of Masonry.”
“Jerry, I’m sure if we found some nice brass discs or nice plates we could catch that wax instead of it falling on the floor of the lodge room.” The Fifty Year member said. “I’ll talk to the Chapter’s Dad. I bet we can come up with something.” Jerry replied.
Pudge stood up and began to walk to the lodge room with the Fifty Year member “Honestly,” Pudge said “I think these guys and their back and forth insults are the circle in Masonry.” The old man laughed “Oh it’s a circle all right but these stooges are more the Imperfect circle instead of the perfect circle.” The old man laughed and said quietly to Pudge, “Funny thing is the joke is on all of them. I took the last piece of pie before I sat down. They are all out of luck.” Both men laughed themselves silly as they walked into the lodge room.