The Weasel's Wedding
My friend, the Weasel, was getting married in Jackson, Mississippi, and I was honored to be asked to be one of his groomsmen. He asked Monkey Boy to be his Best Man. Since Monkey Boy and myself both lived in Knoxville, we could travel together to the big shindig. But the two of us can never do anything right, so here's a brief rundown of what happened.
Monkey Boy was going to be attending Law School in Birmingham, Alabama, and was in the process of moving there. Mrs. Monkey had set up a job interview for the Friday afternoon before the wedding. The plan was simple. We would drive two cars to Birmingham, Monkey Boy would leave his car at their new apartment complex, and than drive Mrs. Monkey's car to Jackson. This is the only way that this plan would work, sine Monkey Boy's car was a stick shift, and he was the only one of us that could drive a stick.
Okay, so me & MB (Monkey Boy) are in one car, and MM (Mrs. Monkey) is by herself in the other car, following behind us, and mentally preparing for the noon interview. Her car tags expired at the end of July, and this was the last Friday in July. And did I mention that it was a little hot?
Me & MB were fine, enjoying pleasant conversation, and waving back at his wife every now and then as we passed each other.
So, we were trucking along I-75, until we were about, oh, twenty miles out of town, and had spotted our 83rd Waffle House sign. Now, I enjoy waffles as much as the next guy, but there are only so many times that one can get a hankering for said waffles because of these ingenious yellow on black signs. We resisted the intestine-saving urge to stop for any waffles, when I started into one of my many stories about my pal Squig.
The story I was telling MB, was that during the spring of 1987, Squig and I went to Spring Training in St. Petersburg, and at my behest, wound up eating just about every meal possible at Denny's. Since then, Squig has never trusted my culinary choices. Then Squig came down to visit, and I took him to Perkins for pancakes. Now I've got to tell you, I never really cared for Perkins, until I had their pancakes. Their pancakes are absolutely incredible. They are far superior to those IHOP pancakes. Trust me on this. Even Squig concurred. Face it...fat guys know their pancakes.
Now, as a result of my superior story telling abilities, both MB and me are craving pancakes. Of course, MM behind us had absolutely no idea that we were craving pancakes, nor could she understand our sign language signals, denoting pancakes. At least that's what we thought we were saying. It’s not easy trying to pantomime pancakes through a rear window on the interstate at seventy-five miles per hour.
We drove through Chattanooga, across into Georgia, passed two women who appeared to be super happy to have their picture taken at the "Welcome to Alabama, the Heart of Dixie" road sign. (Ask for the visual next time you see me) and then into Birmingham, driven by a maniacal quest for pancakes. Not just any pancakes, Perkins pancakes. Needless to say, we didn't get a chance to stop for pancakes, and we found ourselves in front of the Monkey's new apartment complex, a very nice complex in Birmingham. We stepped out of the car, and it was hot. My God, it was hot. It was really hot. It was around 11AM, and was already in the upper 90's. That's hot. Remember this, we'll need it later.
After waiting while the Monkeys signed their lease, we then decided that we would go to get MM's car registered. Since MM had the interview in about an hour, this seemed like a prudent thing to do, in lieu of getting pancakes. At least for the moment. There would always be loads of time for pancakes later.
The three of us were in MM's car, having parked MB's car in its new home, and drove to the closest DMV office. Oh yeah, did I mention that this was the last Friday of the month? Did I mention that everyone in the city of Birmingham had the same idea? Did I mention the heat?
After waiting in line for a bit, MB and MM decided to wait until a later date to register the car. I didn't go into the DMV with them. I decided to wait in the car. Besides I had a toy to play with. We had stopped to fill the car up, and I bought 2 packages of Fun Dip.
Fun Dip, for those uninitiated, is one of the greatest confections ever made. This particular incarnation had three flavored sugar pouches, and two pressed-sugar dipping sticks. The proper technique is to moisten the sugar stick, and dip it in the flavored sugar, and then lick the sugar off the sugar stick. Then the fun begins (hence the name, Fun Dip). A further description may be this: If you catch Pixy-Stix in the wild, and skin them, the meat would be Fun Dip.
The three flavors in this package were the obligatory cherry and grape, and then the magic flavor. I will refer to this as the magic flavor, because there really is no other way to describe it. It was blue in color, hinting a blueberry flavor. But, and here's where the magic comes in, when it became wet, it turned green, and tasted like green apples. Magic.
While the Monkeys were in the DMV, I was alone in the backseat of MM's VW Passat, and it was a little on the hot side. I was wondering about what affect, if any, the heat would have on the Fun Dip, so I had to investigate it. The packaging is the key here. The dipping sticks are packaged on the left side of the package, and the flavor pouches are packaged on the right. On the far right was the Magic flavor, so this was the one that I tried. And it was truly magical.
It is a good thing that I checked the magical confection, since after just a few dips, the dipping stick broke, and I was left with a slight dilemma. Should I use the remaining stick in the package, and risk breaking that one, or should I find an alternate method of mainlining the glucose into my bloodstream. I chose the alternate method. I chose my finger, to be precise.
Now the magic flavor was indeed magical. Inside the packet, the sweet powder was blue, and had a blueberryish scent. After meeting my saliva, it was transformed into a bright green implement of destruction. And the taste was amazingly similar to green apples. I enjoyed finishing the magic powder, and in no time at all, I was jittery, and quaking slightly. I could feel my eyeballs dancing about in their sockets. Step aside King Morpheus; I am a slave to pure glucose!
I was having such an enjoyable time that I nearly failed to notice the apparent drawback to using ones finger on the magic color. Well, the magic didn't stop at the sugar. Far from it in fact. I was now the reluctant owner of a bright green finger. No amount of licking, sucking or wiping would remove the gangrenous coloring of my favorite picking digit. (Self-explanatory)
The Monkeys returned to the car, and MB knew something was up right away. Of course me screaming about my finger being green caught his attention , but not after they both saw their car rocking with my hyperactive energy. After several minutes of convulsive laughter, including several snorts, we were on our way.
MB is a snorter. We all know a snorter, and one often delights in getting a snorter to ply his trade as often as possible.
After leaving the DMV, we drove MM over to her interview, getting there about 10 minutes early. We dropped her off, and wished her luck, and MB decided to show me around Birmingham really quick. Figuring on MM being in the interview for 15 or 20 minutes, we didn't do anything significant, like get pancakes. Honest.
We got back to the building where MM was having her interview, and it really looked like more of a compound than anything else. There were people coming and going, and a pretty good-sized campus, for lack of a better word. So there we were, me and MB, sitting in MM's car, not knowing how long she'd be at this interview. One of the seemingly neat features of MM's car, was an outside thermometer thingy, which, amazingly enough, lets you know how hot (or cold, but not applicable here) it is outside the car, while you are sitting in comfort inside your vehicle. It was a little after noon, and it was '99'. That's hot, did I mention that already?
Well MM's interview wasn't 15 minutes; it was closer to an hour and 15 minutes, which really screwed up our pancake plans. Plus, we had told the Weasel to expect us at around 4:00 or so. Now, we had no time to sit and eat, and would have to 'drive-thru', which pretty much ruled out pancakes at Perkins. MB, who was at the helm, decided that we had better get on the road, and on the way to Jackson, pretty quick, so that's what we did. We decided to hit a fast food place on the way. MM was feeling a little ill, more than likely because she hadn't eaten since before our journey began. And me waving my emerald digit in her face every few minutes, to the snorting delight of her husband, sure didn’t help.
After passing a few signs which didn't appeal to us (57 Waffle Houses and a thing called Pete's Pig Pit), we saw a sign for an Arby's at the exit for Bessemer, Alabama, ands decided that’s where we would stop.
Now, interstate driving as it is, one could easily assume that a sign for an eating establishment that was on the interstate, would mean that said eating establishment would be, oh, within view of the interstate, like them Waffle Houses are. However, we passed about 3 Waffle Houses on the way to find this Arby's. After about 8 miles, we found our oasis in the form of the orange on brown hat shaped sign.
We pulled into the drive thru, and placed our order, and patiently waited while they apparently called the guy who made the buns, and then the guy that last had the mayonnaise, to help them make our sandwiches. It sure seemed like a long, hot wait for our food, during which MM and I switched places. I was now riding shotgun, and MM was in the backseat. It was a hot day.
We got our food, and ate as we drove back to the interstate. Truth be told, we had finished our food by the time we trekked back to the highway, and had a pretty uneventful few minutes from that point on. Except that MM didn’t finish her sandwich, and decided to curl up around the previously aforementioned sandwich in the back seat of the car. Protecting her precious Roast Beef sandwich from the two heathens in the front seat: Greenfinger and Snort Boy.
We had no further adventures in the state of Alabama that day. We waited until we crossed into the state of Mississippi for our next one. We stopped at the first welcome area for MM to change out of her interview clothes (she was feeling a bit better), for MB to make a pee stop, as anyone who has ever driven on a long drive with him can attest to (get another bottle of water, and I'll kill you) and for me to try to un-green my finger.
We stepped out of the car, and it was hot. I know I mentioned this heat thing before, but trust me on this it was hot. Oh yeah, it was a bit on the humid side as well. The air was stagnant, and it was almost as though you had to machete your way through the air to get anywhere. It was a balmy 103 degrees, and apparently, a wind not blowing in any direction anywhere within the state. Except for the ‘vapors’ that southern people talk about, but that didn’t seem to help anything, except to alleviate pressure. But, I digress, as I always seem to do.
Anyway, we went to take care of what we needed to take care of. I went to use the little dispenser thing filled with the viscous pink liquid that only guys that worked in the restaurant business use. Guys never really wash after the use the urinal. I know I'm divulging a huge guy secret here, but it's true.
This pink liquid was apparently a test by the state Highway Department to see if they could supply this liquid just once. To use a narcotic term, the stuff was stepped on pretty heavily. It held its pinkness as doggedly as my finger held its greenness. No amount of the alleged soap-like product would get the green off on my finger. At this point, I resigned myself to the fact that I would be part green for the rest of my life. I did a good job on the greening as well. I got under the nail, and cuticle and everything. Talking serious greenage here.
Back on the road, MM feeling a bit more relaxed, MB felling relieved, and me feeling like a green fingered freak. MM was feeling so good; in fact, that she decided that she would get into the other package of the magical Fun Dip. She tried a stunt that is most definitely not for the uninitiated, in ‘shotgunning’ the Dip. Shotgunning is the process by which you spurn the little stick, tear open the package, and empty the entire contents into your mouth at once. Some veterans will chew the Fun Dip, but those are the hardcore Dippers. A valiant effort by MM, until she caught a glimpse out of the corner of her eye, of the look of absolute horror and panic on her husbands face as he witnessed this monumental act. She started to laugh.
Laughing, while trying to ingest anything can be dangerous, but when you’re ingesting a green/blue powder, with amazing staining power, well, the results can be devastating.
It was a quick cough. Almost a half a cough. Like a laughcough, if that's a word. For as soon as MM’s diaphragm contracted, and sent a quick spasm through her lungs, causing the cough, she realized how much of a mess would result. She tried to catch the cough, but she was a little too late. A slight green fog emanated from her mouth, and onto the upholstery. Now she was in trouble, because she started giggling. I will spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that now, I had a sister in the green body part fraternity. She had a green streak from her lip to just under her nose. MB shook his head for the next 40 miles. There was also a slight green hue on the back of the grey headrest on the driver's side.
It was now 3:30ish, and we had a half hour to meet the Weasel, who was an hour and a half away. We decided that we had better call him to let him know that we were on the way, but a little on the late side.
Using MB's cell phone, we called and spoke with the Weasel, and told him the situation. He asked where we were, and we told him that we had just gone over a bridge, and that there was some water below the bridge, and that MM wondered if there were alligators there. We didn't tell him about my finger, or MM’s lips, keeping it as a surprise. Of course, we called him while we were on a stretch of road with absolutely no signs to tell us where we were, just ones that reminded us that the bridge might freeze before the road did. That was a help. So he sort of grumbled and said to get there as soon as we could. What a novel idea.
We drove into a rainstorm. Three drops hit the car, and it cooled down to 102 degrees. Relief at last!
We passed a truck that said Dixie Trucking, so MB called the Weasel and told him that, to see if that gave him a better idea of where we were. It didn't.
An hour or so, and many alligator sighting musings later, we were in Jackson, Mississippi, 105 degrees and all. We pulled up in front of Weasel's house and MB called on the cell phone again. Weasel's mom answered, and MB told her to tell the Weasel that we would be there as soon as we fixed the flat tire. She did, and we could here Weasel cursing and yelling out at the curb.
We rang the bell, and the Weasel, phone in his hand looking to call someone and bless them out over something, opened the door.
He said he didn't think that was funny.
After being granted entry into the Weasel’s family domicile, there was a flurry of activity. There were people, caterers, and the biggest damn cat I have ever seen in my life. Now I had 2 cats that were kind of on the big side, but this cat could cover both of them easily. I don’t remember the exact weight that was given for the cat, but it was pretty big. The cat was holding court on top of the Igloo cooler. Laying on top of the cooler, she was watching the activity, occasionally swishing her tail at various times, and just hanging out. I guess hanging over is a better term. This cat was covering the lid, and the sides of the lid, and part of the way down all four sides of said cooler.
Big damn cat.
After visiting with the Weasel, and showing him the finger (not a metaphor), we decided that we should find our hotel, so we could get situated for the rehearsal, so off we went. The hotel was a few miles up the road from the Weasel’s, and as we were driving to the hotel, we saw a Shoney’s. My mind started again, thinking about doing some serious damage to their Breakfast Bar in the morning. I was resigned to the fact that I would have to wait for the luscious Perkin’s pancakes, which had been tempting me so. But then, I figured, the Breakfast Bar usually has pancakes, so that might be a temporary fix.
We got checked in, myself on the first floor, and the Monkey’s on the second. I showered and changed, opting for something a little more formal for the evening’s festivities. On the drive down, Monkey Boy and myself opted for comfort, rather than practical. We were both in shorts, and I was in an old t-shirt. Monkey Boy was also wearing an old shirt. Mrs. Monkey had changed from her interview clothes into something more sensible as well, joining the shorts and shirt brigade. Somehow, hers looked better than either Monkey Boys or mine.
Since I had a single room, and the Monkey’s were together in a double room, the Weasel was waiting in my room. The plan was for us to get ready, and then go the place where the wedding was to be for the rehearsal. Weasel and I talked for a bit, and I think he was understandably nervous. We thought back to Monkey Boy’s wedding. This may not have been the best thing, because I think the Weasel was a little afraid of what we had planned to make his celebration, well, interesting. Turns out, we didn’t have to do anything. We’ll get to that.
We were refreshed, and had changed into what we thought to be more appropriate dress, so we headed to picturesque Canton, Mississippi, where the ceremony was to be held. Canton is a quaint little town, and the town center square is very familiar, as they have filmed many movies there. On the way to Canton, along Interstate 55, we passed more of those funny signs, the ones that warn you that the bridge freezes before the road does. Of course, at 103 degrees, freezing bridges are the first things to pop into my mind. Like it freezes in lower Mississippi anyway.
The wedding was to be held in a beautiful old house, and it really was beautiful. There were several big, old trees on the front yard, and a swing, and central air conditioning. This becomes important, since it was a little hot.
We finally got a chance to meet the future Mrs. Weasel, and she was happy to finally meet us as well. We asked if she really knew what she was in for. She laughed, but we were serious. She was lucky, as were most of the participants, that one of our party, Boy Of Destiny, had to cancel on us.
We had devised a plan, which Boy Of Destiny was more than happy to follow through on. He worked at one of the entertainment themed restaurant chains in Nashville, and the idea was for us to ask the Weasel if he had heard about what happened to Boy Of Destiny. The story was to be that there was a hold up at the restaurant, and that the perpetrator fired a shotgun into the ceiling in the kitchen, but a little too close to Boy Of Destiny, and that his hearing was a little messed up. Nothing permanent, just a loud ringing, meaning that he couldn’t hear things too well, including his own voice.
Where this becomes entertaining, is in the fact that Boy Of Destiny could then shout out anything at indiscriminate times during our visit to the lovely city of Jackson, Mississippi.
“How was your drive down, Boy Of Destiny?”
“YES, THREE TYPES OF SYRUP, AND A CRISP CANDY COATING”
“Doesn’t the Weasel look happy?”
“I’LL SHOW YOU IF MY SEAT IS IN THE UPRIGHT POSITION”
“What time is it?”
“HAVE YOU TRIED THE PORK?”
We met the remainder of the bridal party, and we practiced as best as we could. The problem I have with wedding rehearsals is I never pay attention. Usually, I need the rehearsal more than anyone, and as is usually the case, I have to wing it.
At my friend KT’s wedding, where he was kind enough to ask me to be his best man (I scored very high on the essay), we joked and kidded all the way through the rehearsal. On the day of the wedding, I confided to KT that I had forgotten everything that the priest had said, and KT said that he, too, had forgotten everything the priest said. So we confessed to the priest, and the priest said that he would give us a subtle signal as to when to approach the altar. His subtle approach was a very blatant wave to us. He then mentioned our clowning around in his homily.
You’d think I’d learn this lesson, but NOOOOOOOOOOOO.
The Weasel’s rehearsal was fairly uneventful. Except for my forgetting everything again the following day. I put it down to too much Fun Dip, the powdered nectar of the Gods.
Following the rehearsal, we returned to the Weasel’s mom’s house, home of that huge, monstrous cat. Mrs. Monkey finally got to see an alligator, and even to touch one, albeit a very small one. I gave the Weasel one of his presents, and for the benefit of those that know the story only, it was a bottle of scrubbing bubbles. Those not familiar with the story will just have to wonder about that for a while.
The evening was filled with Memphis style Barbecue, beer, and stories. There were also mosquitoes that decided that Mrs. Monkey would be their main course. She was bitten around twenty times that I remember, but maybe more. The safest place was NOT next to the citronella lamp, but next to Mrs. Monkey. Any insect that would even consider biting anyone would jump at the chance to bite her instead.
Now, the barbecue and beer was good. It was refreshing. It was filling. But it wasn’t pancakes. And it damn sure wasn’t Perkins. On any other occasion, the barbecue might be considered to be enough. But not after enduring colorful digits across three states. Pancakes were now an obsession. More than an ordinary obsession. They were a quest. We wanted pancakes. (The we being Monkey Boy and myself). Not even a visit from Elvis, telling the “Honor” joke, could keep us (OK, me in this case) from thinking about those pancakes. I’m sure the King could empathize.
After spending an hour or so humiliating the Weasel in front of the future Mrs. Weasel, we decided that we would take the Weasel out for one last night on the town, so we went to IHOP. That's the International House of Pancakes. Granted, it wasn’t Perkins, but it was pancakes, by God.
Now I’ve got to tell you, after an afternoon of Fun Dip, followed by barbecue and beer, topped off by pancakes, well, you can get the picture. Suffice it to say that I was happy to have a room to myself at the hotel.
The next morning, I met up with the Monkeys; to go to the Shoney’s to do some serious damage to the breakfast bar. Apparently, everyone that lives within a hundred mile radius of Jackson, Mississippi does the same thing. There was a huge line of people who had the same idea that we did.
Now we were sort of on a makeshift schedule. Our original plan was to grab breakfast, and head over to the mall, which was just down the road from our hotel, to pick up our tuxedoes. Then we were going to meet the Weasel. Actually, the meeting time with the Weasel was a little fuzzy, but we were told to be at the wedding site (for lack of a more colorful term) by one o’clock. But this line at Shoney’s was looking a little intimidating. It was getting close to nine-thirty, and it looked like if we made it in, we might be limited to just six or seven trips to the bar. That just wouldn’t do.
Oh yeah, it was hot too.
We were feeling a little discouraged, and very hungry, (again, the we being me) and we decided that we should maybe head over to the IHOP once again. That’s when Mrs. Monkey said, “Why don’t we go to Perkins? I saw one by the interstate?”
We didn’t believe her (the we being me) until, son of a gun, there it was on the right as we sailed past it at seventy miles per hour. So we had to get off at the next exit, and retrace our route just a little bit. We exited by the IHOP, and made a u-turn and went back up to the Perkin’s exit, and were met with another impressive line, but, by God, it was Perkin’s. It was a sign. It was an omen. It was close to ten o’clock, and it was hot.
At the Perkin’s in Knoxville, I would get the “Tremendous Twelve”, which is as impressive as it sounds, but I’ll get to that later. I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to find it on the menu at this Perkin’s, but I was still able to get the sinfully delicious pancakes, which I had tasted vicariously during our entire adventure.
Monkey Boy also had the pancakes (my fault) but I don’t think Mrs. Monkey had the pancakes (her loss). They were excellent, as always, and almost worth the wait. If it were anyone else, they would say that it was definitely worth it, but they didn’t have to endure digit discoloration, followed by a sugar inspired psychosis during their wait.
And guess what, when we went to the car, we noticed something interesting.
It was hot.
The morning of your wedding can be a trying time for the groom. Being honest, a wedding ceremony is for the bride’s benefit. The groom has to show up, and that’s about it. The bride has to worry about make up, her dress, the vast amount of pictures, and the sedatives that they invariably wind up taking to help deal with the aforementioned. The groom, I this case anyway, just had to worry that Monkey Boy & me showed up. No problem, right?
When we last left the Weasel, the last thing that we remember was to make sure that we were at the wedding in time for the pictures, at one o’clock. Piece of cake. So we went out to breakfast. Admittedly, breakfast took a little bit longer than we anticipated, but this was Perkin’s for cryin’ out loud. It was well worth the wait.
Our original plan was to spend Friday night at a hotel, spend Saturday night at the Weasel’s house, and then drive back to Knoxville on Sunday, refreshed, and (hopefully) nourished with another batch of the sinfully delicious pancakes. Not that I’m obsessed or anything.
That being said, we needed to check out of the hotel Saturday morning, before the wedding. So after breakfast, that was what we did. We parked by the side entrance, and each went to our rooms, confident that we had plenty of time to run to the mall and pick up our tuxedoes, and then proceed to the wedding.
Since I was one, and the Monkeys were two, I was packed before they were, and made my way to the desk to check out. As I turned the corner, there was the Weasel, and he wasn’t a Happy Weasel.
“Where the hell were you guys?”
“Where the hell (a little poetic license here, he really didn’t say hell this time) were you guys?”
“We were having breakfast”
“Why didn’t you get your tuxedoes yet?”
“Because we were having breakfast”
With that, he grumbled, and he mumbled, and he cursed, and he stormed off down the hall, and I really didn’t know where he was going, but I followed him because I figured it was going to be good.
He speed walked down the hall, and I walked at a fairly leisurely pace. I heard the stairwell door fly open, and as I approached the elevator, which was opposite the stairwell door, the door flew back open again. It was the Weasel.
“What room are they in?”
I told the Weasel to remain calm, as the elevator doors opened, and led him in for the exciting sixteen-second ride to the second floor. The doors opened, and I could literally see the steam coming from his ears. When the doors opened to our destination, I led him out into the hall. We made a right, and proceeded down the hall. I decided to tell the Weasel about our morning.
“Hey, you should have been with us. We went to Perkins for breakfast. Man, I love Perkin’s pancakes. Have you ever had Perkin’s pancakes, well, you don’t know what your missing…”
The Weasel started that grumbling again.
“I usually get the ‘Tremendous Twelve’, and that is a feast. You get three eggs…”
I stop and turn and explain, “...any style...”
“Four pancakes, four pieces of meat, I usually get the sausage links, and hash browns. By God, those pancakes are just the best. Of course at the one here, they didn’t have the ‘Tremendous Twelve’, so I had to settle for just pancakes and sausage.”
I had finished my diatribe at the end of the hall, and then I tried to look like I was confused. There was one room left, and then another staircase. I looked around and finally I pointed to the room door, and nodded.
As the Weasel knocked, and I immediately ran for the stairwell door. The look on Weasel’s face was beautiful. A combination of fear, embarrassment, disappointment, betrayal, and fear again. It lasted for about two eye blinks. Then Monkey boy hollered out, in a high-pitched voice.
“Who is it?”
“Where the hell (again, poetic license) were you guys?”
“We were having breakfast.”
“Why didn’t you get your tuxedoes yet?”
“Because we were having breakfast.”
Yet again, the Weasel grumbled.
After getting all set at the hotel, and being thankful that the Weasel didn’t bring his gun into the hotel, no matter how tempted he may have been, we went to the mall to get our tuxes. The Weasel had to go and run some errands, and pleaded with us to be at the wedding by one o’clock. It was now eleven-thirty, so we thought we had plenty of time.
Now some of you have had experiences with tuxedo shops before. And with an out of town situation, you know the procedure. You get sent a post card, asking for your exact measurements, and you take the card to your local tuxedo shop, and they professionally take your exact measurements. They fill out the card, and you send it to its destination, where they take the exact measurements, professionally registered, and ignore them. Instead, they basically give you whatever they feel like giving you.
“Yes sir, I’m pretty sure I don’t wear a 28 short jacket. My left arm doesn’t even wear a 28 short.”
It is very important to try your tuxedo on before leaving the store. In this case, Monkey Boy’s tux was fine, and mine was almost prefect. It would have been perfect if I had an eighty-four inch waist, and was about thirty-two inches taller. We could have easily fit most of the Mississippi State Legislature into the first pair of pants that I was given. Whatever lawmakers were left, would have fit in the sleeves of the shirt. Of course, the jacket accentuated the gorilla sleeves, which was a size that I haven’t been since the Carter administration. It looked like it belonged to that guy that played Webster.
But, due to the quick reaction of the staff, they had me fixed up pretty quick, and we were ready to go. So we went.
We arrived at the wedding site at around noon, and were shown a room that we could use as our dressing room. So we used it as such. It is interesting to note that, despite all of the Weasel’s anger, and concern, we were, in fact, among the first people to arrive. We were in mid-change, with a chair propped against the door, because the room was right next to the bathroom and the door didn’t close properly, when the Weasel came in. Of course, he wasn’t dressed yet, not in his tuxedo, anyway. I mean, he didn’t show up buck naked, but, well, you know what I mean. So the three of us change into our tuxes, and we go into the main room, near the fireplace, for the wedding pictures. That’s when we saw the photographer.
The wedding photographer, and I don’t remember his name, so I’ll call him Jack, for a reason that you will soon discover. He was a very imposing figure. He stood around 6’6, and had a very distinctive feature. A feature so distinctive, that I don’t think I have ever heard of this before, let alone seen it before. And if you told me about it, I probably wouldn’t believe you anyway.
He was, to use an “Austin Powers” line, cycloptic. He had one eye. He was missing his right eye. Now, granted, I am by no means the perfect human specimen, but I accept my limitations. I mean, I won’t even look at Speedos when I’m shopping for swimwear. (You're welcome, American public) Even though I have what might be called a swimmer’s build. You have seen a manatee, haven’t you? And I’m sure that “Jack” is a great guy, and I’m sure he’s very good at what he does. However, before every picture, he had to ask us to take a step to the right. Every picture.
It was, and I may have mentioned this earlier, a little warm that day. So, as Monkey Boy and I were standing off to the side, watching the pictures being taken, I noticed a vent on the floor. I stood on the vent. I perhaps didn’t mention this before, but the trousers that I was wearing were a little big in the leg, so this was very refreshing, as the cold air was able to propel itself upward, as far as it would go, and I’ll let you use your imagination here. Needless to say, it was remarkably refreshing.
Monkey Boy noticed, so we shared a vent, alternating sides every few minutes, as we heard what would become ingrained into our minds that afternoon.
“Okay, now y’all take a step to the right.”
“Now, give us a big old Kentucky Fried Chicken smile.”
(Whatever the hell that means)
After we were done with our pictures, we repaired to the dressing room, stopping at a few vents along the way, to unleash our surprise on the Weasel:
Editor's note, I have pictures but will not post them without permission from the happy couple
On a trip to New York that April, I went by my favorite costume shop, and bought 4 fezzes, that we were going to wear at the wedding. We didn’t mention the fezzes to another living soul, so when we emerged from our dressing room, in our black tuxedoes (note it isn’t easy to not refer to our garb as ‘monkey suits’) and red fezzes with a yellow tassel, there was quite a reaction. Every one looked, and then laughed. Everyone, that is, except Jack.
“Okay, now y’all take a step to the right.”
“Now give us a big old Kentucky Fried Chicken smile.”
Of course, whenever there are fezzes involved, things seem to just happen. We posed for a few pictures with our fezzes, and then retired them for a while, as it was now time for the ‘outside’ pictures. This is when the Weasel got even with us for all of the things that we have put him through.
There we were, the three of us. One that weighed about eighty pounds, one that was in fairly good shape, and the Fun Dip, pancake eating fiend. Out in the warm Mississippi sun, wearing black tuxedoes. At that moment, I began to feel sorry for the guy that got the shirt after I was done. Needless to say, it was a little toasty out there. It was also then that I realized exactly why we were wearing full black tuxedoes in the mid-summer, Mississippi Delta heat. The Weasel probably couldn’t find fur for us to wear.
The ceremony began, and as I discussed earlier, I kept forgetting who I was supposed to escort to their seat. No biggie. We figured it out on the fly, after enduring the occasional, “Okay, y’all take a step to the right”. The ceremony was fairly uneventful, except for someone (not naming names here) saying that they were “all sweaty”. And then the Weasel’s were pronounced man and wife. It was reception time.
We un-retired the fezzes, and made our way to the food, and more importantly, the drink. The crowd was milling about, occasionally snapping pictures of the perspiration-soaked guys wearing fezzes.
“Now give us a big old Kentucky Fried Chicken smile”
Some of the braver souls would ask why we were wearing fezzes.
“Didn’t you get the memo?”
And then a little while later, as the Weasel, and his Weasel bride made their way to their car to go on their honeymoon, I was thankful that I was in attendance. I was thankful that I was able to contribute. And I was thankful that I got to see them make their exit, because I was able to hear, one last time…
“OK, y’all take a step to the right.”
All in all, it was a lovely ceremony...
Oh, we're still not done yet...
Now, since the Monkey’s were going to be moving to Birmingham the following Monday, we (they) decided that it would be best to just head for home after the wedding, instead of spending the night in Jackson, and driving home Sunday. This would give the Monkey’s a few more hours to pack, and make preparations, and stuff. We were, as I said earlier, in MM’s car, and she seemed to be a little apprehensive about letting the formerly green fingered guy drive her car, so MB drove.
Had we planned this just a little better, we would have had more to eat than just cocktail weenies and wine. A devastating combination for a car ride, but that’s what we had. We literally decided about fifteen minutes before we left that we would, in fact, not spend the night there.
OK, I stretched my rather large frame, with my knees bent under me, across the back seat of the Passat. My head was on the little molded armrest against the passenger side door. If you want to be able to feel every groove, rut, bump and pebble on a particular road, then rest your head on the armrest. Despite this, I was able to get a good twenty-second sleep. It reminded me of when I would sleep on the subway, while commuting to and from school. You never really enter the sleep mode, instead hovering in the mystical limbo between sleep and awake. It is like listening to a political round table.
We decided that we would wait to eat until we got to Birmingham, and gassed the car up. Well, we made it there, at around ten o’clock, and the couple of restaurants that we stopped at had long lines. And none of them was a Perkins.
MB was getting very tired, and very cranky, and after getting some very bad service at a filling station, he drove off in a huff, and mumbled under his breath the entire time. He was getting very tired, and decided to stop at the next exit on the interstate, and maybe get a room for the night, and start driving early in the morning. I suggested that I drive, and we decided that might work, but we also agreed that if I got tired, we would get a room, rather than take a chance on having a fatigue related accident.
We gassed up, and I bought the two essentials that are required for a long distance, late night drive, Gatorade and bubble gum. We got settled in the car, and MB asked if I wanted to listen to a CD as I drove, since he and MM would more than likely be asleep. He ran through his selection of music, and the only thing I found palatable was “The Marshall Tucker Bands Greatest Hits”. So that was what we listened to.
MB put the CD in the stereo, put the CD wallet between his right leg and the car door, and fell asleep. And fell into a very deep sleep, very quickly.
Now, I consider myself to be a fairly nice guy, and cognizant as I was of MB’s fatigue, I let him sleep. This meant I had to endure seven replays of the entire CD. I enjoy Marshall Tucker Band music. I appreciate their musicianship. I like their songs. I am a fan. Unfortunately, MM was not a real big fan of the band, and she kept waking up and hearing, “Heard It In A Love Song”, over and over again.
So that was how you could sum up the Weasel’s wedding.
“Heard It In A Love Song”
“Y’all take a step to the right”