pjf: Well-being = creative education + freedom
Education for Life: self-empowerment; Creative, productive freedom; organic food, farming > biodiversity, ecology


The Freemasons Secret Handshake


Freemasons, Secrets, satire, short stories. X Entric and his pals read an alleged newspaper, then visit a mediocre market ...






satire! - also threemasons handshake ...

Picture X Entric, his pal Loopy and his lodger, Rodger, bemoaning their boredom. Several hundred times X Entric and Loopy had meandered the roads and footpaths of Camp-site by the Sea, many times they had perused the alleged newspaper of this town, and still they failed to find anything interesting to do.

alleged newspaper; comic art


Rodger, being relatively new to the town, was a mite puzzled, also disappointed.
'Surely there must be something to do,' pleaded Rodger. His career as a young vet was just beginning and the possibility that his first job since qualifying had landed him in Nowhere Upon Nothing was disturbing his sleep.
'We'll have to join the Freemasons,' said Loopy. she shrugged apologetically, and blushed more than a little.
'Are you bonkers?' asked X Entric, gurning elaborately in an attempt to convey that this was a friendly, not-to-be-taken-seriously insult.
'You know very well that I am,' replied Loopy. 'Rude bastard,' she added, while nutting him on the chin.
Eventually, X Entric regained consciousness and shook his head to dispel the stars.
'I keep telling you, Loopy, if you must be violent, please aim at the lower left jaw. All those teeth are botched dentistry and I'd be better off without them.'
'Have you got severe indigestion?' asked Loopy. 'You were pulling the strangest face just before you went to sleep.'
'Er, no,' said X Entric. 'Do please elaborate on your Freemasons plan.'
'There's nowt else, so we'll have to join,' she explained.
'Gotta be worth trying,' agreed Rodger. Nowt ventured, sod all gained, as it were.
- - - Time passed, even in Camp-site by the Sea, and the three bold adventurers were interviewed, provided references (for each other) and gained their membership cards and tiny teddy bears on a rope that all Freemasons were required to wear around their necks except when swimming in public or operating a lathe.

Turbo Lathe Horror




'Yippee,' said X Entric. 'Our membership cards have arrived, let's go!' he bent his legs at the knee to break some of the cement which coated his jeans - his probably-jeans – it's hard to be sure under all that sand, cement and other DIY disasters.
'Oh thou complete plonker and scruffy git,' began Loopy, warming to her theme. 'They have a man on the door. A LARGE man. And he won't let us in without you two wear suits. I might also, just for a laugh.'
'Suits!?' hollered X Entric and Rodger in perfect disharmony.
'Bathing suits, birthday suits, etc., don't count. You done gotta be practically Mafioso, verging on bling, to get into the lodge.'
'Oh bugger,' said Rodger.
'We'll end up normalised,' complained X Entric.
Fat chance, thought Loopy, but held her tongue.
- - -

The giant in a suit, possibly humanoid, gave them a withering stare and examined their membership cards and photos. He ducked under the doorway of the Camp-site by the Sea Freemasons Secret Lodge – temporary membership available for tourists with big wallets to get a better look.
'Dis really you?' he grunted.
''Yes,' said Loopy and X Entric simultaneously.
His eyebrows shot upwards, merging seamlessly with his advancing hairline.
'Well is it bloody you, SIR. Or is it bloody you, MADAM?' he howled.

Freemasons Bouncer




'It's all right, sir,' said Loopy. 'It's me wearing his coat. The old git can't see well enough to determine whose photo is which, as it were; but the tight git would recognise his overcoat anywhere. Property, you see. A true capitalist at heart and a future foundation stone or whatever of this fine institution. Your employer.'
'Nice speech, Loopy,' said X Entric. 'What the hell did it mean?'
'Later, X Entric,' she sighed.
The three newbies sat at the most secluded table in the bar of Camp-site by the Sea Freemasons Secret Lodge – temporary membership available for tourists with big wallets - and sipped their overpriced drinks.

Campsite by the Sea




'What's life all about, really,' began Loopy. 'When you get down to the nitty gritty, no pretences or peer pressure, bravado or whatever, what's the bloody answer. In fact, what's the bloody question? What really matters?'
Looking up from his pocket calculator, X Entric responded thus.
'Good lord ... '
'That's a matter of some debate,' interrupted Loopy.
'The drinks in here are 37.2 % dearer than in the supermarket!'
'And this is the cheapest watering hole within twenty miles of Camp-site by the Sea,' added Rodger.
Groaning noises began to emanate from Loopy.
'That's the best you can do?' she wailed.
X Entric rapidly brought up both fists to protect his chin on the right side. Also his nose.
'That's your bloody contribution to the “life, meaningful or otherwise” debate? Incidentally,' she added. 'I did have the presence of mind to bring along my shopping from yon Insanesburys mediocre market.'


Insanesburys Mediocremarket




She pointed to the two carrier bags bearing the Insanesburys logo, each having a loaf of bread visible.
'I thought you didn't like bread?' asked Rodger.
'That's to hide the bottles of beer than lie beneath!' declared Loopy. 'Cost price plus ten percent to you gents. I'm sure you two puddings will buy the bread off've me when you realise you've run out.'
The evening wore on, having little else to do in Camp-site by the Sea, and the three adventurers meandered, emboldened by pop, from room to room. One large gentleman approached two apparently wealthy bods nearby and, having exchanged bizarre hand-signals, led them to a small secluded room to discuss “A proposed business deal of a delicate and highly profitable nature”.
'We better keep out, or we'll have the local Mafia after us,' said Loopy.
'Precisely,' agreed Rodger.
'What's going on?' asked X Entric.
'No way shall we follow the great and good (sic) into this small and dimly illuminated room,' Loopy elaborated.
'On pain of death,' agreed Rodger. 'Sorry to hear you feel sick.'
'Lead on Mac Duff,' said X Entric, nodding to Loopy. 'You being of the feminine persuasion, the old duffers will probably invite you and your “business associates” in!'
So she did. And so did they.
'I've been thinking about this huge dollop of land behind Insanesburys mediocre-market,' began the instigator of Clan Destine, as they agreed to call themselves. 'We should bid for that and keep it for the good people of Camp-site by the Sea. You can't trust these incoming types with new money.'
'Imagine the things we could do,' agreed Percy Portly NVQ and bar (Plymouth Poly).
'And we'll get all the profits,' added Freddy Pinching-Piles.
'Should we have a game of shove halfpenny while we let the possibility brew and develop?' asked Freddy, nodding sagely as he digested all the ramifications of investing loads of his own dosh, employing no-end of oiks and having to resume getting out of bed every morning before elevenses.
'One mustn't be hasty, in business,' interjected Loopy. 'Especially where one's own capital is concerned.' Bloody hell! I'm getting the hang of this, she thought. Oh bugger, she also thought. Old git number one is scowling at me. I done said the wrong thing.
'Of course one mustn't,' he said. But I was wondering if shove halfpenny is a bit rash. I think we played that yesterday. It's relatively early in the night, and maybe we could rise to a game of pool?'
'What stand up!?'
'There are ladies present, Freddy. Make an effort lad.'
- - -

Time passed, even in Camp-site by the Sea, and the three bold (one bald) adventurers found themselves back in the quietest corner of the establishment, even in the same seats that they had started the night.
'How do we protect ourselves from indoctrination?' asked Loopy, peering groggily at the multitude of wealthy weariness. As she crossed her legs, empty beer bottles clanged together under the bread.
'Indoctrination?' asked X Entric.
'The subtle pressure to become like them,' suggested Rodger the lodger – the relatively sensible one.
'Subtle?' asked X Entric.
Loopy scowled at him and sighed. Suddenly she had an idea.
'I know!,' she declared. ''We'll have a secret handshake! Any one of us gets the wobbles and starts to talk like the Freemasons, we'll give them the secret handshake as a reminder. You are not one of them! That's what it means!'

'Bloody good idea,' said Rodger. 'It would need to be a bit startling, so that it wakes up the fatally-normalised from their precarious state.'
'Handshake?' said X Entric. 'Precarious??'
Loopy sighed. 'We need a name – we could be the Three-masons!'
And they were.
- - -

Weeks passed, having nothing better to do, and the three bold adventurers (one bald) found they'd developed a routine of Saturday nights at the Freemasons Lodge.
'If they got rid of the nonsense and suits, this could be good fun,' said Roger, potting his opponents cue ball.
'They could let anyone in; not just the semi-rich, pseudo-significant old codgers,' enthused Loopy.
'The place would soon be full of piss-heads,' moaned Roger.
'Hmmm,' was the collective sigh, rapidly followed by the secret handshake for everyone's benefit.
'The beer is cheaper at the mediocre-market,' said X Entric. 'Surely they'll go there?'
'We could put up a sign,' said Loopy. 'Piss-heads might like to go to the mediocre-market.'
...

N.B. there is no relation between any characters, places or names in this tale and real characters, places and names. Except Insanesburys mediocre-market, of course, which is really Teskos.
pics by Marty Downs - thank you sir! :)


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Tags: The Freemasons Secret Handshake : Freemasons, Secrets, satire, short stories. X Entric and his pals read an alleged newspaper, then visit a mediocre market ...
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