His neck was of red, his face that of white, and his mood blue.
Or, at least, I assumed it was blue by the scowl on his face. Moments later, I realized that his wasn’t a frown, but rather a face contorted into perceived sorrow by the bulging dip of Copenhagen between his cheek and gum.
He was my wife’s escort to be seated, a groomsman in one of the many weddings I’ve had the honor to attend in recent times. Tis being wedding season, I’ve decided to recount this particular wedding and its unique environs.
The dipping groomsman was the first tip that this wedding could become an interesting bazaar of the bizarre – certainly worthy of my reception attendance.
I was not disappointed.
The six groomsmen were adorned in matching tuxedos with tails; three with their hair also sporting tails. When the groom and his best man emerged, all of the groom’s wedding lineup started to giggle. One of them pointed behind us, back up the aisle. I looked back to see a white poster hanging from the eave of the balcony. In red ink (or perhaps blood), it read (verbatim): “Its not to late to run!”
I chuckled heartily, then turned back to my wife. She was not amused, giving me a stone-faced sigh of disapproval.
The ceremony was basically traditional. The bride was given away by her father, who took out his toothpick to kiss her on the cheek before he gave away her hand in marriage. The bride then sang two selections – “Did You Ever Know You’re My Hero,” and “Live Like You Were Dying.” I was hoping for the medley to continue with “It’s My Wedding and I’ll Sing If I Want To.”
Instead, I was thrilled when the groom said “I do,” and a man about four rows behind me screamed, “I HEARD THAT!”
The vow-sealing kiss was also memorable in both its time span and gusto.
Midway through the embrace, I grabbed a tithing envelope and scratched down “So, we get to see the wedding ceremony and the consummation?,” and handed it to my wife.
Again, the sigh of disapproval.
As they ran down the aisle, properly hitched, I looked back up at the sign on the eave. It had been turned over, and now read: “Git Er Done!”
The reception was held at the father of the bride’s house. The entertainment for the reception crowd was… the reception crowd. A karaoke machine was set up in the corner of a game room, which included, among other attractions, a pool table, a foosball table, video games, and a Dale Earnhardt pinball machine. I don’t know if they brought all that in special for this occasion or not.
We hadn’t been there for 45 minutes when a commotion splintered the mob on the deck around the garbage cans holding kegs of beer. Two women – at least in their late 50s, both in their Sunday best – began to scrap, knocking over one of the kegs during their hair-pulling melee.
After witnessing this blessed event, I hustled back to my wife in the more serene inside quarters.
“Honey, you missed it,” I gasped. “These two older ladies got into a fight and knocked over one of the kegs. The big guy who set up the karaoke machine broke it up and told them to ‘take it out to the pasture.’ It was great.”
Returning to the game room, I was in line at the Galaga machine when I struck up a conversation with the dipping groomsman, who introduced himself as “Sook.” Sook and I became fast friends, and he invited me to the “after-the-party party” at the local VFW.
“Do you really need an ‘after-the-party party’‚ Sook?,” I asked as Uncle Keith sang “It’s Raining Men.” “I mean, this one seems to be going pretty well to me.”
Rather than risk another sigh of disapproval, I didn’t mention Sook’s invite to my wife. Not long thereafter, keys in hand, she came up to me while I was in line to ride the mechanical bull and indicated it was time to leave.
“Aw, come on,” I said, third in line after a 20-minute wait. “I want to ride the bull… and somebody else may get in a fight. You can’t miss that again.”
On our way out, Sook fell in our path.
“Leaving so soon? Where ya going?”
I explained that we had a babysitter and needed to get back home.
“Well, we’ll see ya’ll again next time,” he said.
“Yeah, next time they get married again,” he said, cackling as he stumbled off.
Blue, he wasn’t. Nor was I.
© Len Robbins 2013