Last night I went to the Moose lodge to see my buddy Geno's band. They played a lot of old-school rock & roll, a couple of country tunes, Brick House, you know, fun stuff. Most of it was stuff the boys knew, too, so I noticed a couple of Sons singing along. I almost got a couple of them up on the dance floor, too, but...dancing with your mom is social death, and I wasn't going to push it.
I got to introduce the Sons to Geno, suitably transformed from "Christine's Fun Friend" to "Mr Mears Who Knows How To Act Around Children"--a transformation not every adult manages with grace.
The rest of the band was happy to talk music with Son #1, which was very cool. And the Sons shot pool. So the combination of pool and live music pretty much had us stoked, as a group. They even got along, mostly, which was a relief.
What Geno didn't mention, though, surprised me. Geno can sing.
He has been coming to Open Mic for months, playing great guitar, and keeping his lips zipped. But the man has a beautiful voice. GENO, NO MORE HOLDING OUT AT OPEN MIC.
And now, on to The Moose.
Years ago, when I was not even a teenager, I think, my father's boss insisted he join the Moose. And so he did. He ended up attending a lot of functions at the Moose lodge, because that's where his boss liked to do business, and Dad knew how the game was played.
The Moose, however, had a policy. "Moosettes", aka Wives of Moose Members, were only allowed in the front of the lodge. So, my mother could go sit around the bar with the other Second Class Moose Citizens, while Dad and his boss did Secret Moose Stuff in back, or she could stay home.
She chose, mostly, a third way, in which she taught me and my sister moose calls and a Secret Moose Handshake which we all used as my father left for his Moose meetings. It is very possible that the Moose has changed their policy on women, in the 25 or so years since Dad joined the Moose, but I don't know. When Dad's boss retired, Dad stopped going to the lodge. It wasn't all that fun, anyway, and Mom of course had us all Moose calling as a reflex.
Flash Forward to 1987...Christine, wearing a Cheap Trick t-shirt, most likely, brings Bash home for Thanksgiving weekend, and he proposes. My mother finally sees a use for the Moose: we can use their lodge for our wedding reception.
Two of my bridesmaids were not, apparently, suitable Moose guests. They were not eligible to enter the lodge, at all. Not the bar, where the wives cooled their heels, and certainly not the holy of holies which was the back room where receptions took place.
My dad officially quit the Moose, the day they told him he couldn't use the facility for my wedding reception because two of my bridesmaids were black. We all stopped Moose calling, and retired the secret handshake, and I for one was proud of Dad for taking a stand. Bigots. This was the late eighties, remember? As the Sons would say, "Cracker, pleeeease."
Again, it is very possible that the Moose have changed that policy, as well. I seem to remember a lawsuit, a few years back, that opened up the Moose for African-American members. But, you know, Two Strikes in my mind, against the Moose. Honestly, I never would have gone to a Moose lodge, if it were not Geno, and live music the Sons could hear.
And then, last night.
As I've said, Geno & band were great. We had a great time. Hubby came late, because he was auditioning a new lead guitarist for his own band. But about 10 minutes after Hubby arrived, they kicked me and the Sons out of the building. Apparently they noticed that they have a "no kids after 9" policy.
I think what they noticed was, I was a band Fan, not a band Wife. So all those kids shooting pool and bobbing their heads to the music were not there to support their dad, but instead were Breathing Moose Air Without Having Moose Cred. I will lay you odds, if Hubby had not shown up, they would have continued assuming I was there With Geno, instead of just To See Geno, if you know what I mean. And we would have seen the whole show.
But, hey, I have no problem with the "no kids around the bar after 9" concept, so we were out of there faster than I could even say goodbye to Geno.
About 5 minutes later, I got a call on my cell phone from Hubby. He'd been kicked out of the lodge, too.
"ARE YOU A MOOSE MEMBER?"
Hubby explained that while he was not a Moose, he was with the band, and was going to join them on stage for a few songs. That cut no ice, with the Moose. Out on the street he went, after perhaps 15 minutes of Breathing Moose Air and Observing the Mighty Allure of the Moosettes.
Hubby and I, we are done with the Moose. But Geno, we love.