Big Billy – Goin’ to the chapel

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join this man and these uncomfortable dress-pants for at least an hour while he sits through a whole summer of wedded matrimony.

I swear to cripes, if people don’t stop gettin’ married, I’m never gonna see a Saturday ball Big BIllygame for the rest of the season. Here’s how I realize we’re gettin’ old – years ago, I remember a bunch of summers when it was the same go with weddings. There was one every weekend, but in them days, it was all our friends and people our own age gettin’ married. I remember one August about twenty-some-odd years ago, we had Murph’s wedding the first weekend, one of my cousin’s the second weekend, Cyril and Joan’s the third weekend, and then one of Minnie’s cousins the last weekend.

Then, oh, about five, six, seven years later, ya get a wedding invitation from one of the people whose wedding ya went to years ago.

Oh! Minnie says, openin’ the mail. Heather’s gettin’ married! It’s an invitation to her wedding!

Whuh? I’ll say. Her and Donny’s not together anymore?

No, she’ll say, not since she caught him runnin’ around with this old flame from Donkin.

So then you’re off to a second round of weddings. I remember for two of them, we even went into the court house in Sydney because some churches won’t marry ya again if ya get a divorce.

Anyways, them second-time-around marriages start to trickle in a bit, but then a few years later, that’s when ya know you’re really gettin’ old.

Minnie’ll be openin’ the mail and say somethin’ like – It’s a wedding invitation – from Evelyn.

Evelyn? I’ll say. Did she catch Roger with his pants down?

No, she’ll say. Their daughter Becky’s gettin’ married.

And the two of yis’ll sit there lookin’ at each other, wonderin’ how in the hell you’re old enough to have friends with a kid gettin’ married. So what happens is, ya go to these things not even really knowin’ the bride and groom, just to stuff your card with $20 bucks in it in with all the others. And if you’re lucky enough to survive the god-awful church part, and the cold-gravy supper part, then by the time the reception comes, you’re ready to let loose, tie one on and make a night of ‘er.

So, as I get ready for my sixth wedding of the summer next weekend, here’s a few tips I learned along the way:

1) Dress yourself. Now this seems obvious, but it isn’t. I dunno what it is with women and weddings, but if you own anything halfway dressy, they’re gonna try to make ya wear it. First wedding we went to this summer, Minnie made me squeeze into an old pair of dress pants that were so uncomfortable it felt like I had a bear trap on my crotch. Sure enough, some point during the reception when I was bustin’ out my moves, I didn’t even notice they split right up the back and I danced around with my arse hangin’ out for god knows how long. Instead, wear the most comfortable jeans ya got, and agree that takin’ off your ball cap is as dressy as you’re gonna get.

2) If you’re gonna sneak liquor in, be smart about it. Two weeks ago at a buddy’s daughter’s wedding we went with my buddy Murph and his wife Donna. Of course, Murph not only snuck a whole quart of captain Morgain in Donna’s purse, he spent the first half of the night goin’ up to the bar and orderin’ a big glass of just Coke. By then he was drinkin’ the rum and Coke half and half, so he was three sheets to the wind. And of course, it’s not easy to pour under the table when you got a big glass quart bottle. Best thing to do is take plastic pint bottles or little mickeys, and actually buy a real drink or two here or there. That way the bartender at the church hall don’t gotta worry about keepin’ an eye on ya.

3) If ya sit down to supper and there happens to be a bottle of wine in front of you at the table, chances are it’s actually for the whole table to share, and it just happens to be sittin’ in front of ya. If ya drink the whole thing before the food is even served, the wife’s not gonna be happy, and you’re gonna find the emcee’s jokes waaaaay too funny.

4) If you’re gonna ask the bride to dance, remember that her new husband and all her relatives are there and they could probably really hurt you. Thank cripes this isn’t one I did myself. We were at a wedding a few weeks ago, and of course, everybody has a dance with the bride. But this one young fella stumbles up to the bride for a slow dance and basically climbs on top of her like she’s a jungle gym. The best man and another groomsman were on him in a flash and opened hall door with his face.

5) Say how nice the bride looks. No matter what she looks like. Or at least, agree with your wife when she says how nice the bride looks. Don’t do what I did last week. The music starts and everybody stands and turns to look at the bride comin’ in and I say too loud – What in the hell has she got on? And Minnie’s elbow shot under my ribs and into my lungs in some kind of UFC move that damn near crippled me. But in my own defence, the bride was wearin’ some kind of purple dress with puffy black flowers and white sneakers like Little Bill wears in gym class.

Young ones today are different, Minnie said to me afterwards. You can say that again, bye.

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