We all go to the church, introductions are made, as well as jokes about me being in a church and not having burst into flames yet, and we run through the whole production. The minister, or preacher or reverend or whatever the hell they're called in this particular sect was actually an alright guy. He didn't get right up my ass like most religious people do. Of course I was faking being a Christian so as to avoid unpleasantness, but usually the really holy ones seem to be able to see through that.
Or maybe that's just my paranoia and they give everyone as rough a time as me?
The only thing that made things a bit less pleasant than they had to be (and don't get me wrong, I had a good time apart from the baseline discomfort that churches give me) was that when we rehearsed the wedding we ran through it three times or so and everyone just sort of casually learned what they needed to do, except for Chuck. Every time there was an opportunity to read a prayer then by God he read a goddamn prayer. In it's entirety. Seriously, I think even the minister rolled his eyes after the second time through.
Overall though a good time was had there too.
This brings us to Scott though. Scott and his brother Mike are Brian's cousins and I've known the two of them almost as long as I've known Brian, which is just shy of 20 years now.
Yes, I'm old enough to have known someone that long and remember most of it.
We affectionately gave Scott the nickname 'Dumbass' because, well, he's a dumbass. I mean, he's a good guy, and a smart guy in his way, but he just can't seem to apply the smartness to everyday life. He's the one that I wrote about who made a left turn on a red light with all of us in the car and it took us an hour to explain to him why it's right turns you're allowed to make and left turns are colossally stupid.
His defense was that he thought it was OK because he saw an Ohio driver do it.
Listen to me here everyone. If you see an Ohio driver do it then it probably isn't a good idea.
Write that down.
So Scott (whom I'm STILL not sure understands the left turn thing) is off on this big adventure sans wife and kids and he's like a dog let off his leash at the park. He has three girls at home and his wife is currently pregnant with twins. I think they're trying for a boy.
Knowing fate the way I do I'm betting the twins are both girls.
We keep telling him that he doesn't have to keep having kids so we'll believe he's having sex.
Living in a house with four women has done something to Scott. Now when he manages to escape (actually she MAKES him leave on occasion) he's so happy to have someone that will listen to him that he doesn't shut up. Any thought that enters his head immediately exits it and slams you in the head. He also desperately wants to be in control of something, or have a good idea, or be validated on any level.
Living in a house full of women will do that to you.
So Scott has an opinion on everything and will try to sway you to his position even if you show him that it's unnecessary or excessive or just stupid.
I guess he has that in common with hardcore Christians.
Heh. Hardcore Christians calls to mind X-treme Christians! I can just see a bunch of Jackasses in Stryper T-shirts crucifying themselves to show how religion can me hip and cool.
I don't care about hip and cool, but people getting nailed to things always makes me smile. :D
So we're all in the back room of the church, having walked off in the course of practicing. Now there's people in front of me and Scott to the back and side of me, being as he stands behind me in the groomsmen line. The door opens, the people directly in front of me have not yet moved and I, despite my brush with the hereafter, have not developed the ability to walk through solid matter, but Scott places a hand on my back and starts to push me forward.
"Thanks Scott," I say "without you guiding me I would have just walked off in any random direction."
We were all pretty hard on Scott. I mean, we always are, but especially on this trip. Guys do that though. Within a group of men things are said that would make an outsider think the group members despised each other, but it's like Nate always said: “If I'm giving you a hard time it means I still like you enough to talk to you. If I didn't like you I wouldn't waste air insulting you.”
Within this dynamic the individual least capable of firing back gets dumped on the most.
In our group that person is Scott. The thing I said earlier about Scott being like a dog let off his leash is actually a damn good metaphor for him. He's like a pet. He doesn't really understand what's going on, but he's damn happy to be involved in whatever the fuck is going on and we - being sick, evil sadists - never get tired of fake-throwing the ball for him all day long.
I mention this now because it will come into play later.
But we make it through rehearsal without incident and headed downstairs for the rehearsal dinner. While standing in the buffet line behind Brian I, quite innocently, ask about the one member of the bridesmaids party that I hadn't yet met.
Brian says nothing to me. He just leans over to Andrea and starts whispering. That loud kind of whispering reserved for thinly veiled panic.
Andrea, looking shocked, turns to me and says “Don't you fucking dare! She's only 19!”
Now, two things here.
Number one, I hadn't said anything lecherous at all, I just said “Who is she? I haven't seen her before.”
Number two, if you're afraid I'm going to hit on someone telling me she's 19 isn't really a way to dissuade me.
I've never understood why, but this seems to be the reaction my friends have whenever I appear to be interested in anyone at any time. You can just see the subliminal staff-meeting going on behind their eyes.
“Ford has looked at a woman!”
“We must kill any chance he has at having meaningful dialog with her immediately!”
“Ford's Brother, you tell her the story about when Ford woke up in the morning and farted so loud they heard it out in the hallway!”
“Rich, you crank up the homosexual behavior at the most inopportune time possible!”
“I'm on it.”
“Rich, the pink tu-tu is a nice touch, but how did you know to wear it to the meeting?... Nevermind.”
“The rest of you do whatever you can. If she's good looking tell him he's set his sights too high. If she has any appearance deficiencies at all then make fun of him for going after an ugly chic. Leave him no middle ground! If Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Anniston are both in the room then Jolie is too good and Anniston is an ugly skank, YOU HEAR ME!”
And I loves me that Jennifer Anniston, but even in an alternate universe where I could be with her I'd still leave her for Angelina Jolie.
Angelina is psycho-hot. And I loves me the psycho chicks.
Turns out the cute 19-year-old is named Anna. Or Annie. I'm not really sure because there was one of each and every time I think I have the name right I get corrected. I think they're just trying to keep me confused to lessen the chances of anything happening. They really should save themselves the minimal effort it takes to confuse me though as even if I did have any intentions of trying to start anything romantic I simply couldn't at the moment as my body still looks like a mad scientist's failed experiment.
It's hard to exude confidence when most of your guts are sticking out through a hole in your abdomen.
I'm working on getting pictures of that for you guys. Really, you just can't get the true scope of my condition without seeing it.
But back to the 19-year-old. Apparently she's Andreas cousin or niece or something and she and Brian spent a decent chunk of the dinner conversation trying to insure that I never speak to her. They explain to me that she's kinda dark and brooding and gothy-like and she used to work in a mortuary.
The Wednesday Addams type.
Now, those of you reading this – never minding the fact that it's being read on a blog with the word 'graveyard' in the title – you know me well enough to know that these things wouldn't exactly turn me off.
In all fairness though anything short of the Ebola virus wouldn't really turn me off at this point.
What they actually did was make me want to talk to her even more than I already did. We're both dark and intellectual and introspective, though I wouldn't call myself 'brooding' anymore because of my new perspective on life (I'll get to that when I re-hash the 'medical incident' story in a future post). I mean, she worked in a mortuary and I've been dead. If that's not an interesting conversation I don't know what goddamn is.
Besides, I couldn't talk to any of the other bridesmaids as Scott's brother mike (having recently escaped the clutches of the Red Beast of Ohio) was making time with two of them, the one I was walking with was married and very pregnant and the other one? I asked about her the first night. It went something like this:
Me: “Hey, who's the chick with the nice cans?”
Everyone Else: “She looks like your sister."
Me: “You evil bastards.”
They could have said “She's seeing someone, HAPPILY, and she wouldn't be interested because of that.” But no, they go for “She looks like your sister”.
I'll quit harping on that now and let you, gentle readers, form your own opinions on the phenomenon.
But having played that card they left me only with Wednesday. Too bad I had no opportunity to even introduce myself at the rehearsal, but never underestimate the resolve of a depraved loser like me. My opportunity would come...
Not that night though.
No, that night. That night I had to organize a bachelor party in a town that I've barely spent any time in. A town in which they stop selling and serving alcohol at MIDNIGHT. A town where strip clubs are ILLEGAL. Oh, they have what they call strip clubs, but they have to wear panties and pasties and if I want to see almost naked women I'll just go to the mall and oggle the mannequins at Victoria's Secret like I normally do.
The nice thing about that is if you get a little friendly with a mannequin you don't get your head split open by a 300 lb bouncer like at the strip club.
All the alcohol we have is what was already in the house and it's illegal to pay a stripper to get totally naked so that kills the two conventions usually associated with a bachelor party. There was ONE other option though. See, a stripper was out of the question, but despite the draconian laws of the city of Harrisonburg it's still legal to get someone to take their clothes off voluntarily. This isn't as hard to accomplish as you might think either. Problem was, I didn't know my way around town well enough to find the bus station and nobody would take me there.
It was just as well I suppose as we didn't have enough alcohol to drink a 3 Am bus station patron to an acceptable appearance.
Thus, the night before the wedding passed pretty uneventfully.
Tune in whenever the hell I get around to it for the final part of the wedding trilogy.