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The Adventures of Furthermore, the Masonic Raven
Written by Skip Boyer



FURTHERMORE GETS A SPONSORSHIP

The large truck blocking the road in front of me on my way to lodge the other night was owned by Arrowhead, purveyors of bottled water. A sign on the back of the truck—the only reading I had available at the moment—proudly declared that Arrowhead Water is the Official Water of the Phoenix Suns, a professional (much of the time) basketball team.

I'm so happy for them.

The key words in today’s lesson, Brothers, are “endorsements” and “sponsorships.” Can you say endorsements and sponsorships? They’re long words. Try something shorter. Like “Who cares?”

‘Fess up now. Have you ever even once bought Arrowhead Water—a good product sold by nice folks (my lawyer says I should say that)—because Jason Kidd and his buddies on the Suns drink it? Do you really believe they do drink it? Do you think Suns owner Jerry Coangelo drinks it? Sorry. What they really drink is another issue all together. So let’s not digress.

Endorsements are the way of things today. Everybody is scrambling to get someone else to praise their product. Sometimes, the results are ridiculous. For example, did you know that Home Depot was the official hardware store of the Olympic Games? Yup. They were. And because of their Olympic endorsement, I went right out and purchased enough plywood in 4 by 8-foot sheets to build a two-story house. Just kidding. I didn’t buy a thing from Home Depot. Instead, I went to Home Base, a competitor, which is closer and had better prices on what I wanted to purchase.

Even sillier was the fact the Olympics had endorsed an official beer. Now there’s a mixed message, kids.

Celebrity endorsements are also a bit insane. Let’s see. I should use this product because actor Harrison Ford or sports figure Dennis Rodman think it’s just swell. I should jump over a cliff because actor Sly Stallone does it. Or Michael Jordan. Well, he may be the exception. Michael is like the King of Endorsements. If he says Nike is way cool or Wheaties are beyond great, you better believe him. He probably owns both companies by now.

Event sponsorships are just about as bad—and a lot more irritating. Just try watching a single sports event. The sport doesn’t make a difference. The hitter slams one over the wall. The announcer says, “And now, here’s our America West How Far Did It Fly report” and says it was a 382-foot homer. This would have much more credibility, of course, if it were some airline that could actually fly 382 feet without screwing something up.

In American football, the lineups—offensive and defensive—have different sponsors. For crying out loud, even the first down line has a sponsor! Not to mention the occasional statistical updates, moments of historic trivia and the halftime report, which is sort of a monument to commercial sponsorships.

If you doubt this is out of control, check on the holiday American football bowl games. The Picturegallery.com Bowl. The Tostitoes Fiesta Bowl. The IBM OS2 Bowl. The Outback Steak House Bowl. The Tidy Bowl. Just kidding.

Now, there are two ways to deal with this. You can accept and ignore it. Or you can make it work for you.

This latter approach is the one my Masonic pet raven brother, Furthermore, and I are adopting. Why shouldn’t we have sponsorships and endorsements, too?!

So, today, these words are being brought to you by Dell Latitude Computers, for the best in word processing. Try one today. Tomorrow, we’re talking to IBM. My appearance at the office today is sponsored by Chevrolet, the Heartbeat of America, and endorsed by Chevron with Techron. My coffee break this morning has the hearty endorsement of Starbucks, of course. And this evening’s entertainment at the Boyer household is ringingly endorsed by Gilbey’s Gin. (I know. Not very upscale. We’re working on it.)

I encourage you to adopt this approach, as well. There is absolutely no reason why you, too, shouldn’t have your own official hardware store or gin supplier, you know? This is called “thinking outside the box” and is the wave of the future, which is being brought to you this morning by AT&T. At least for the moment or until they get slammed by MCI.

Individual lodges could have individual sponsors! And now, Brothers, tonight only, the East is brought to you by Coppertone Suntan Lotion! See the Master’s remarkable glow! Or tonight’s degree is sponsored by McKay Publishing. The Lecture is brought to you by Teaching Tools and the Apron Lecture by Good Housekeeping! There is an opportunity here, Brothers, and I, for one, believe we should grab it before the guys over at the Knights of Columbus get hip!

And now, well, you probably suspected…a word from our sponsor….




BACK TO THE HOME PAGE?

To all Lodge Trestle Board editors: Feel free to use any of the tales of Furthermore. Should you choose to do so, however, we deny any responsibility for actions by your own lodge. If, after the first couple of columns, the brethren appear restless and begin to surge toward you as you enter the lodge room, we suggest you flee and deny any connection with Furthermore.






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