Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A RingBearer Is Down

If you plan to utilize the services of a bagpiper in your wedding – I think you owe it to the crowd to prompt with a bit of warning; maybe even provide earplugs for the elderly or otherwise un-Scottish.

A sudden bagpiping can be extremely dangerous.

Don't get me wrong - I am definitely in favor of any instrument historically made from animal guts, but let's face it: nobody is really Scottish anymore, are they? Is Scotland still around? I feel like I don't hear much from over there.

Ireland - sure, they're still around and they're still hopping mad about something to do with religion, but not Scotland. When I think of Scotland I think of a 1973 Volkswagon Beetle with one of those weird European license plates on it and a bumper sticker that says "It's always tea time in Scotland!" There's a big hairy bagpiper behind the wheel and all he's pissed at is Ireland for not taking it easy.

A Bagpiper is like a cannon - if you're standing near one you definitely want to know when it's going to go off. I know when an ambitious bagpiper began soundly abusing his instrument 4 yards behind me at a wedding this Saturday – I was completely unprepared.

His first sonorous blast caught me full in the chest – knocking the program clean out of my hands and popping a brass button off my blazer ("I told you that button was loose" said an arched eyebrow, smugly, from my left). The Great British caterwauling that followed and my subsequent twitching sent Tyler’s left elbow firmly into my ribs – a move I've been told is intended to "comfort" and "soothe" me. “QUIT SQUIRMING” she hissed. “I CAN’T TAKE YOU ANYWHERE.”

Oooomph” I exhaled in assent.

Our hushed discourse completed, the now red-faced gentleman lately stomping around the back of the church left off punishing his bag - just in time to save my last remaining brass button, but not quickly enough to salvage my ribs.

I will grant you this though: a bagpipe may indeed produce a lovely, haunting sound. Dad said if you hear it played over a Scottish moor at sundown – it will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

I definitely believe him about the hairs on your neck because this guy Saturday made the hairs on my chest fairly bristle in fear every time he roared.

Aggressive bagpiping aside, the wedding, mother of the bride, and bride herself were all quite lovely and everything seemed to be in order. Then, about 8 minutes into the ceremony - after
- massive bagpipery
- the tolling of the hour
- the entrance of the wedding party
- the entrance of the bride
- two hymns
- several piano solos
- a violin solo
- a word from the father-of-the bride

but before
- the unity candles
- the 4 individual readings
- the bride and groom duet (yup, you heard me)
- the homily
- the exchanging of rings
- the processional
(they are quite firmly married from every angle – no doubt about it); the second of the ring-bearers - a dapper young man of about 7 - leaned calmly over mid-stage and quietly puked his ass off right square at the foot of the unity candles.

This was no stifled gag either - it was serious and deep. I saw a tennis shoe come flying out of this kid.

Nobody moved.

Then, everyone (bride, groom, wedding party, preacher, attendants, witnesses, Esau, Isaac and Jacob), just one time - in unison - violently squirmed.

Then: crickets.

For a brief second I thought it hadn’t happened. I remained in a state of disbelief and self-doubt until one of the more alert groomsmen lifted the offending puker bodily off the stage and deposited him behind the organ to heave and lurch in peace. I looked around and the entire crowd was staring straight ahead at the preacher as if nothing was at all amiss.

Except for the sniffles emanating from underneath the organ - you might not have known anything had happened at all.

My squirming and general gawking-about immediately precipitated the rapid return of The Elbow of Silence, but not before I was able to confirm with Will Gaither, Brother-in-Law, that the kid had indeed made a deposit onstage. Ladies and gentlemen – it happened, I saw it, and it has been confirmed.

Naturally, the tiny over-eater had aimed his outburst with the calm, unerring, vomitous precision of a public school cafeteria frequenter; giving the bride the option of:
1. Omitting the Unity Candle step and damning her union for all eternity.
2. Dragging her train through the chunky puddle.

I consider myself a practiced evaluator of a female set jaw and I could see by the Bride's that no power on earth would keep her from the lighting of that Unity Candle.

By God, she did it; but it wasn’t pretty.

My congratulations to the Groom: she might not walk through fire for you buddy, but we know one thing that won't stop her.

1 comment:

GAblog said...

If I do recall, the young man who disgorged his stomach contents had eaten somewhere in the vacinity of 11 or 12 cookies of various ingredients topped off with chips and salsa, and a splash of coke. There may have been a half a chicken nugget in there, but unsure as I was busy trying to convey my approval of these events to the audience (I was a groomsman)...