The Boiled Hotdogs

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Robert H. Johnson

Joining Freemasonry over 11 years ago, I think back about all kinds of experiences. The degrees, the fellowship, the camaraderie, and of course, the goofy stuff too. What goofy stuff you might ask? You know, the stuff we joke about all the time. In fact stuff we've grown to complain so much about, they become internet memes plastered all over Reddit or Facebook.

One of my most favorite of which is below. I have a new favorite every month. 

Somethings I remember about Lodge are totally inconsequential to my overall experience, yet are nuanced memories that pop in my head--sometimes met with nostalgia, sometimes warm and fuzzy feelings, sometimes embarrassment, and sometimes nausea.

The title of the article mentions boiled hotdogs. That's one of those gnarly and nauseating memories. As I recall it, it was a Monday night, a practice night. The new Sr. Warden, an older fellow with a southern flair was really excited. He made dinner. He was raving about these "big @ss, hotdogs", he'd bought. I gotta break in here for just a moment because I really like hotdogs. Grilled outside on the BBQ, on the Foreman, panfried--I'll eat a hotdog. Here's my only catch--I only eat all-beef hotdogs.

So, there I was. I was starving, had just finished a ritual practice where I was beaten up about how terrible I was, and I walked into the dining room. I grabbed a mini bag of Doritos (Nacho flavor if you're curious), and there it was. That foot-and-a-half tall stainless steel pot of hot water. An opaque sheen of otherworldly substance floated on the top, only broken by the plumped, bursting, and over-boiled hotdog. Tongs with rust at the hinges laid out on the table.

I picked up those tongs, gave them a few open-and-closes, as any man does before use. They squeaked. I stared at the mist coming off of the hot water, at the pearlescent sheen and those fat, rotund, odious hotdogs floating there. I looked up and locked eyes with the Sr. Warden--his hulking mass, his tremendous smile from ear to ear. He was so proud of this meal. I was proud of him too. But there I was and time stood still. I smiled back. I plunged the tongs into the pot with the apprehension of an 8-year-old boy sleeping over at a friend's house and the family has some god-awful weird thing to eat.

"Nothing But Trouble" The Hot Dog Scene. It's gross. Watch it here.

As a kid, maybe you get out of it. "Oh I gotta run home for a minute." or "I just remembered. I am supposed to eat at home. I'll be back after dinner." But I was 32. A grown man. I had to do it. I looked back at the pot and was able to get a hold of one of these hotdogs. I shook it a bit to get the excess grease sweat off of it. And the flaccidity of it--it just broke and fell into the pot again. I dove in again for a second one. Got it. I didn't shake it off. I just tossed it in the bun, I covered it with mustard, relish, giardiniera, and grabbed a Coke.

I was able to eat about two-thirds of that hotdog. You know when you eat something and literally, the second it hits your stomach, you know you shouldn't eat anymore? Yeah, I did too. I at more of it anyway. I couldn't be rude. He was so proud. So I did it. I took one for the team. I choked it down and thanked the Brother for the meal. As I cleaned the kitchen that night with the stewards, I looked in the garbage can to see what exactly I had just eaten. What did the lodge pay for? What would the members be paying for tonight and tomorrow?

My suspicions were confirmed when I found the packaging. It was an off-brand, made with everything you don't want to know about. I paid the bill for eating that hotdog, and so did a bunch of Brothers. Thinking back in my memories of Freemasonry, that's one I will never forget. That's one of those nauseating memories.

What about you? I know you have a story too. Let me read all about it in the comments. Freemasonry is amazing, but there's some bad stuff too.


RWB Johnson is a Co-Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 2nd N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Spes Novum Lodge No. 1183. He is a Past Master of Waukegan Lodge 78 and a Past District Deputy Grand Master for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) Whence Came You? & Masonic Radio Theatre which focuses on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry. He is the co-author of "It's Business Time - Adapting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry", “The Master’s Word: A Short Treatise on the Word, the Light, and the Self – Annotated Edition” and author of "How to Charter a Lodge: A No-Nonsense, Unsanctioned Guide. More books are on the way.

1 comment:

  1. Ball Park. Boil 'em for a few minutes and then grill 'em.
    We have cooked them in a cast iron skillet at the lodge.
    Harmon Hot Dogs are really good.


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