skot AT izzlepfaff DOT com
Tuesday, 19 October
The Love Boat
Oh, maybe one more before I split town. (And incidentally, thanks to all of you out there in KC who offered to buy me drinks/dinner/hookers/etc. I've been way too busy to respond to everyone, but the reality is, between actual work and meeting a couple of, how you say, RL friends, I simply don't have the time. But thank you again, even the really crazy ones.)
Friday the wife and I rounded out our Year of Goddamn Weddings by attending the happy nuptials of our friends M. and R. Because apparently, nobody's wedding is really complete until I log on here to complain about it.
This time the thing was happening on a boat-cum-banquet facility called the Skansonia (the boat motif is, unsurprisingly, pretty common around Seattle). It was a lovely venue (the wife and I had briefly looked into it ourselves), but the name eats at me a little bit; I kept mentally thinking of it as the "Skanksonia," which you must admit would make anyone feel kind of skeevy about getting hitched. Especially if the bride was named Sonia. But never mind.
The invitations read 7:00, so of course we showed up a few minutes early, which turned out to be a mistake: there certainly were a lot of people sitting in their cars, fogging up the windows. I know weddings are emotionally frieghted affairs, but this was a little weird . . . but no, it just turns out that the invitations meant 7:00, by God. The ramp--gangway? Upgurgle? Mizzen-blat? Like I know from boats--up to the entrance had a firmly polite sign: No Early Admittance. So there was us and a few other people standing around in the cold, shivering with the ocean breeze coming off the water, feeling decidedly less charmed with each passing moment. I noticed another sign: No Smoking On The Dock.
Hanh? This was hopelessly absurd: Sailors hang around docks! Sailors smoke! We all know this. This is besides the fact that I was standing around in the outdoors. I dismissed the sign as the ludicrous work of someone in the grips of a killing fever and lit up. Klaxons failed to go off at this criminal act, thereby reinforcing my opinion that the sign was the work of someone dumb and bent.
Eventually, we were allowed in--I was really hoping that the vaguely hostile sign No Early Admittance would be turned around to reveal another message: I Guess You Can Go In, Fags, or something, but no. We gratefully trotted indoors.
It was a perfectly nice interior, and it was evident that it wasn't going to be a big, big wedding; there were chairs set about, around fifty maybe. I glanced to my right as I entered, noting the bar and another kinda-snotty sign. Bar is Closed. This despite a perfectly serviceable bartender standing right behind it. Bar is Closed? Jesus God. I wished I had some embossed business cards to whip out and present to the bartender: Skot is Sober. Maybe a medical alert bracelet. I'll have to look into getting something done. We sat down and waited.
I nervously stared at the minimilist setup for the ceremony: on the one hand, the Spartan setting--lectern--suggested short to me, as in duration. On the other hand, I also saw a guitar, which suggested to me gloppy balladry, and therefore menace. I fidgeted, waiting for the hammer to fall.
Presently, the ceremony began, and I noted that the music was being handled by a fellow off to the side, swiftly changing CDs in and out of a little Walkman unit. So he had to change the discs out for every change, creating inadvertant mini-theater on the side as everyone waited for him. I wondered why nobody had burned a master disc, or just used an iPod, for God's sake. The rotten part of me kind of hoped he'd blow a track selection and something like Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" would start up for the processional, forcing everyone to breakdance.
Actually, it was almost that terrible, at least for me: the processional began with the music, which was . . . Pachelbel's Canon in D. I closed my eyes and let the wine commercial experience wash over me in a sickly wave. Did nobody warn them? Good God. Someday I'm going to go to a wedding and they'll play something horrifying and janglingly awful, like "Fuck Like A Beast" or "Beaver Patrol," and I'll just weep with gratitude.
Finally, things got underway, and the JP or whatever she was began The Spiel, which everyone knows by now, about the joining of these two people FUH-EVAH and EVAH, and how they were vines twisted around one another, except then she talked about them reaching their hands out and finding true love, or something, and then all I could think about was horrid vine-creatures with misshapen human characteristics, but by then she was on about the threads in their beautiful tapestry, and so I dutifully imagined the vine-creatures suffocating horribly in a musty old woven blanket, while they beat plaintively at it with their horrible, vine-sprouted hands. She blithely continued to mix metaphors like this while I sat, sweating slightly, acutely cursing my continuing sobriety.
Finally, she wrapped up whatever horrific gibberish remained, and we got to the songs. The guitar was taken up, and I braced myself as one of the bridesmaids clutched a microphone, and she sang . . . a really pretty song! Whew. It was quite lovely, and she had a pleasingly waifish voice, and it was also charming when she kind of fucked it for a half-second by going into the chorus too soon, but the guitarist valiantly saved her ass. All this I did not see at all, because the groom is 6-foot five and has an impressive loom that blocked all view of the bridesmaids. Then the groom's mother got up--more singing!--and gave another quite lovely gospel-y hymn-y performance. I was perking up; the songs were pleasing and not long at all.
Then came another DANGER! DANGER! moment, as the JP (or whatever) announced that there would be a reading. Alarmingly, by her, whose public speaking skills were, in my mind, severely deficient. Things then got very bad. Remember: we had already endured one crime (the Pachelbel). We were about to experience another. Can you guess? Uh huh. Khalil Gibran. Or was it? Here the JP announced the reading of, I swear to God, "Cahill Gibran," which made me wonder if there was some terrible hillbilly schlockmeister poet of unknown renown. I waited to hear if marriage was like the perfume of bathtub gin or the ineffable beingness of webbed toes, but alas, it was some crap about how elm trees don't get along with walnut trees. Or something. I know there was some nonsense about trees, but I couldn't think very straight by now, because I had mentally dispatched patriot moonshiner/poet Cahill Gibran to do battle with the half-human vine-people. I clearly needed a drink.
After a little while--to be honest, the whole thing was of quite acceptable length, despite my snarking--I got my wish. They exchanged the rings, kissed, left, etc., etc. (though here the CD guy got all behind and fucked up, so everyone wandered off in a sort of embarrassed silence as he fussed), and there was a general charge towards the bar. People drank and ate--your standard cheese-and-quiche spread with some alarming-looking pasta that I detoured around--and danced and all that. Very nice.
That was our last wedding of this year, knock wood. Hopefully the rest of our friends will maintain the unmarriageable kind of horrible habits and defects of character that we have come to rely on. And if not, then lessons have been learned: always bring a flask.
I'm out for at least a week, so I'll see you again after I return from what I've taken to calling Kancer City, earning me glares from co-workers. Whatever. They don't have to contend with visions of Cahill vs. the Vine Things. I'm taking a flask.
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Be sure to stock up on vendor schwag. Upon your return next week, refuse to share the wealth. That really irritates the co-workers.
Um... I Guess You Can Go In Now, Fags is kind of offensive. The preferred phrasing would be I Guess You Can Go In Now, Sodomites.
Cahill Gibran's Impressive Loom.
Hey I was on the Saskaskonia (that's how I pictured the name, anyway) last week! However, I was there for a beer tasting. A "Trade Beer Tasting" the kind where they almost charge at you with huge pints of beer when you first arrive. There are some benefits to being the wine/beer buyer for a grocery store, I tell you.
"Here," they shout, "Drink and drink some more, for when you are drunk you may make a much larger purchase than you would might otherwise have done!"
It was a nice enough space, I guess, except for that unfortunate wooden runner that was at the end of the room on the right that I kept tripping over. Maybe it was the beer.
Perhaps to make things nicer for everyone, people should try to time their weddings for random beer and wine tastings?
I was going to invite you to my wedding but NOT ANYMORE!
Why are you rewarding Skot for this tripe? Punish him for not making us laugh longer louder and harder! Invite him to your wedding!
Welcome to lovely Kansas City. Lovely, well...um...there are several tallish buildings and um...
Ah hell, it's a cesspool of epic proportions. I hate it here.
In all sincerity, thank you for confirming my laziness in picking a reading for my best friend's wedding earlier this year. I received far too much praise for the Khalil Gibran. In fact, the combined elapsed time I spent smiling and deferring drunken admiration for my research skills likely overshadowed the 10minute Google search I did for the reading over my lunch hour.
I know the feeling. I brought a flask to my own wedding last week. Which, oddly, meant the wedding almost didn't happen.....
Actually, it was almost that terrible, at least for me: the processional began with the music, which was . . . Pachelbel's Canon in D.
Thanks to a long-running series of ads in DC, I now associate this music with rehab centers. Perhaps that's where Cahill can go to dry out.
SkotA likes monkeys.
I didn't even crack a smile at the flask comment, but felt myself leave my body, and someone deep inside me giving the screen a dead-cold, steely-eyed, firm-jawed, slight but unmistakable nod. Its possible that I have a multiple personality who is a very serious cowboy who once forgot his flask. I can find no other explanation for this comment's resonance. Nor can I yet smile nor unclench my jaw.
These are sobering times.
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