I decided to leave lodge at a reasonable hour. I needed to stop at the store, and I wanted to spend the rest of my evening with my wife. Mind you, at Braden a “reasonable hour” is 10:30 p.m., but regardless, handshakes were exchanged and away I went…for about eight blocks. Realizing my van was a bit sluggish and veering to starboard, I pulled over and did a walk-around.
A flat. Terrific.
Now, I’m a capable adult. Mostly. And had this been the 90s I could have fixed the flat myself, when donut tires were easily accessible from the trunk and I could bend and flex. Sadly, this was not the case, as my impossibly German-engineered spare was impossibly German-engineered under the carriage of my car, and accessible only with a special tool kit that, along with the owners manual, was suspiciously missing when we bought the van, used, from the dealership.
I looked at my expired AAA card lounging in my cup holder. I could re-up my membership (for a hundred bucks), and maybe they’d get me rolling again, or maybe like before they’d tow me to a garage who would have to look at my car the next day (for a couple hundred bucks), and maybe I could hitch a ride home with a friend, call in sick the next day, etc.
Instead I put the call out on the group chat. After all, lodge was just eight blocks behind me.
“We’ll be right there.”
Before I finish my menthol a truck pulls up and three brothers step out: the worshipful master, medical student, and an ex-cop with a lumberjack beard.
We make a trip to Wal-Mart where one of the brothers buys a jack and a monkey wrench (he needed them too, and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one unprepared). We spend a good long time looking up loosely-related videos and a lot of trial and error trying to get the spare from the car.
There was also a considerable time spent laying in the gutter by the ex-cop, because… well, let’s face it, he was the one with the beard. It was touch and go. Luckily we had to avoid doing some…er…permanent modifications. But about two hours of cold, and mud, and grease, and bad language, I was on my way back home, and the brothers were, of course, on their way back to the lodge.
Do we do it because we’re Masons?
Nope. We’re Masons because we do it.