How do masons communicate?
October 5, 2007 3:44 AM   Subscribe

Masonfilter: If I were pulled over by the police for a minor infraction (35 mph in a 30 zone) and I wanted them to know that I was a member of the masons, how would I do this?

Obviously Masonic police officers NEVER do favours for civillian masons while in uniform. However, in a situation that offers limited mobility and opportunities for a handshake how could one communicate a shared affiliation?
posted by jimbaud to Human Relations (24 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
When a relative is on the job, you put the special card in your wallet behind the license so that when you take out the license in front of the cop he sees the card.
posted by caddis at 3:58 AM on October 5, 2007 [2 favorites]

"Is there no help for the Widow's Son?"
posted by oh pollo! at 4:17 AM on October 5, 2007 [3 favorites]

Ask him "how old is your mother?"

(the answer refers to his Lodge number)
posted by the cuban at 4:18 AM on October 5, 2007

I guess this means you don't have any masonic insignia or what-have-you on the back of your car? I always figured that this was the purpose of those stick-on logos. Rather like the decals that firefighters (and, often, their families) use to skirt tickets.
posted by onshi at 4:18 AM on October 5, 2007

Well, there's always the "secret" handshake, of course if he's not a mason, you'd probably get your ass handed to you . . .
posted by jeremias at 4:23 AM on October 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Most masons I know seem to have the little symbol either on their bumper, or sometimes on their license plate. Unless you know the cop is a Mason by the fact that he's wearing a lapel pin, asking them about it, even in a subtle manner, is probably going to irritate them. The symbol on the back of the car allows them to make the first move, which is far more preferable to you trying to bring it up.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 4:42 AM on October 5, 2007

Yeah I see those little stickers/medallions on peoples' cars all the time.

Um. Good luck getting out of a speeding ticket with that, though.
posted by kavasa at 4:56 AM on October 5, 2007

The handshake.
posted by fire&wings at 5:09 AM on October 5, 2007

I was of the understanding that if you were a mason you'd know that....
posted by ArgentCorvid at 5:58 AM on October 5, 2007 [3 favorites]

The Freemasons i know here in Australia wear a distinctive ring. You could just make sure it's displayed prominently.
posted by slea at 6:04 AM on October 5, 2007

Don't you end up with lots of mortar in the pores of your skin that you can't ever wash out?

I knew a woman married to a Chicago cop. She actually thought her hubby's PBA sticker or whatever it was entitled her to get out of a ticket for parking too close to a fire hydrant. When an honest cop disagreed, she flew off the handle and spent the day at work complaining. I could never respect her after that.

Anyway, 5 miles over rarely gets stopped unless they're doing something like area enforcement to address complaints. That's "let you off with a warning" level.
posted by dhartung at 6:46 AM on October 5, 2007

Say "Tubalcane."
posted by frecklefaerie at 7:38 AM on October 5, 2007 [2 favorites]

why not the straightforward approach? "hi, i'm a mason. any interest in joining our lodge?"
posted by bruce at 8:06 AM on October 5, 2007

The real problem is he's going to ask you what lodge you belong to and other details. Lying about being a mason to a mason I'm sure leads to the "give this ahole a ticket" category.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:27 AM on October 5, 2007

I work with a passel of Masons, and I'd recommend that if you aren't one, you shouldn't even try this.

There's a whole lot of shared knowledge and jargon he'd expect you to be privy to. It's not like a club where you just pay dues and purchase a tie tack.
posted by Miko at 10:25 AM on October 5, 2007

My father-in-law is a Mason and wears a ring with a red stone and the Masonic symbol on it. He told me once (don't know if he was serious, as he's a bit of a joker) that if he's ever in court, all he has to do is make sure the judge sees that ring.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:26 AM on October 5, 2007

Maybe if the Judge is a Mason. However, given Masonic emphasis on a high standard of ethical behavior, I'm really not sure how often Mason status gets you out of situations in which you f*ed up.
posted by Miko at 10:28 AM on October 5, 2007

A mason would not give you preferential treatment based on memberships, or expect any
posted by doppleradar at 10:39 AM on October 5, 2007

I've seen lapel pins and rings on older Masons, license plate frames and bumper stickers on the cars of younger Masons. Good luck using it to get favors though.
posted by lekvar at 1:13 PM on October 5, 2007

[a few comments removed. question is not "so what do you think about masons" it is also not "know any good mason gags"]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:34 PM on October 5, 2007

FWIW, my neighbor is a cop, and he told me earlier this week that stickers, PBA stuff, and other means to try to get out of a ticket only serve to "piss him off."
posted by 4ster at 1:47 PM on October 5, 2007

perhaps, but I will never forget the first time I handed that card to a cop. He clocked me doing 40 in a 25 zone; I might have been doing 31, tops. It was not looking good, then he saw that card behind my license, asked who was on the job, I told him, and then he handed me back my license, and said have a nice day. I remember just sitting there thinking how unfair, yet lucky for me, this whole situation was. The whole PBA etc. card system is just low level police corruption.
posted by caddis at 5:14 PM on October 5, 2007

The whole PBA etc. card system is just low level police corruption.

Exactly, and it should be treated as such.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:11 PM on October 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Unless you know the cop is a Mason by the fact that he's wearing a lapel pin,

Which he would not be, as it would be considered out-of-uniform to wear non-police insignia like that.

My father was a Mason, and from my limited exposure, I agree that if you aren't a member you shouldn't try this; there are incredibly arcane levels of secret communication among members and you'd be pretty easily spotted if you were faking.
posted by pineapple at 6:41 PM on October 5, 2007

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