16B -- Thlichigan Daily Weekenrgagazine - Thursday, Sept er 24 1998
* a w
E1 Weekend etc. Column
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THE DISMAL SOUND OF WEDDING BELLS
Several weeks ago, I had the distinction
of ing witness to one of the more
bizarre events of my life. A friend of mine
marched, or rather, lurched unsteadily to
the altar and said 'I do.' No, wait, I take
that back: I think he said, 'Yes,' in
response to the priest's questions, but in
either case the result is the same: He's
married. Very much married. And truth be
tokl I still haven't come to grips with the
implications of his newfound marital sta-
tus. I sat stupidly in the front pew during
the ceremony, listening with idiot ears as
my friend and his beautiful bride swore
the binding vows. I'm quite sure that the
videotape of the wedding will reveal a
look of stark disbelief on my face for the
duration of the wedding day. (Some of
you, after seeing the tape, might also sug-
gest that I'm naturally a mouthbreathing
goon with a poor sense of balance.
Whatever truth there might be in such
conclusions is irrel-
evant here, and I
would like politely
to invite those of
you inclined to such
judgments to pour
salt in your eyes.
Getting back to
the wedding, and
my lunatic behavior
thereat (my ac-
approach me as
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Chihuahua that has
they would a tem-
been drinking cof-
fee): It's not that being party to the mar-
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riage of a friend has caused me to feel
old, or some such banal clich6. Rather, it's
that I know too much about him, and
frankly the idea of him playing at being a
sible-citizen is impossible for me. Why?
An example: During our freshman year,
this friend and I were headed to the
Graduate Iibrary to do our Russian
homework. Because both of us have a
tendency towards laziness, we decided a
shortcut would be in our best interests.
This shortcut involved jumping a fairly
tall, wrought-iron fence, beyond which,
we were certain, lay our destination.
Despite being well-acquainted with the
purpose of fences -- that is, to keep
things in, or, as in our case, to keep things
out - we determined that our plan was a
good one. With wild abandon, we threw
our book-filled bags over the fence and
hauled ourselves after, expecting to find
the Grad a short distance away. Instead
we found ourselves crouching on a mani-
cured lawn: We had ignorantly infiltrated
the University President's back yard. One
of us moved, and the motion detector,
which had to have been invented by some
sort of vicious sadist, directed a thousand
watts of bright light at us, searing our
eyes. My friend, who is famous in our cir-
cle for his great eloquence, said: 'Wuh.' I
can think of no better way to describe our
position. We half-expected Bollinger to
storm out on to the back porch, dressed in
a flannel nightshirt and bearing a loaded
shotgun. (and Mr President, the land
mines were a nice touch.) Blind and
frightened, we ran for the fence.
Now, my friend is a pretty big guy,
more than six-foot-six-inches and on rare
occasions, he is inspired to perform great
feats of physical strength. This was one of
them. With a power born of animal panic,
grasped me by the collar of my shirt
and half-lifted, half-threw me over the
fence. This was unpleasant. The results of
my flight were reminiscent of the
I Iindenberg's final voyage. As I lay
moaning on the sidewalk just outside the
fence, my friend heaved our bags over
and gracelessly crawled after them. We
collected our broken selves and our
scuffed baggage and fled, barely escaping
with our trousers intact.
The next day, at my friend's sugges-
tion, we threw eggs on to the empty bas-
ketball court next to South Quad. We
were very pleased with ourselves.
But those days are past, now. And how-
ever strange it all seems to me, I must
admit that he is very happy. In fact, I can
say I've never seen him happier. He was
so happy, I don't mind telling you, that he
let himself go, and danced for hours at
the wedding reception. Now, I admit I'm
hardly an expert dancer myself, but com-
pared to my friend, I'm the L.ord of the
Dance. (On a scale of funkiness from
one to James Brown, my friend registers
somewhere near Wilson Phillips, only
he's a man. Really.)'lo the relief of every-
one attending, he did refrain from remov-
ing his clothing. I won't tell you exactly
how I reacted when I saw him Gyrating
Musically to 'Ice Ice Baby,' (I laughed so
hard I choked on my own spittle) because
he would come kill me, and I suspect that
none of you would raise a hand to prevent
him from doing so.
I'll use what little space I have remain-
ing to address my friend. To keep his iden-
tity secret, I'll call him oh, something dull
and ordinary, easily forgotten, like "Matt"
"Matt," if you're reading this, let me say
that I wish you success in all you do. May
your new family bring you nothing but
happiness and peace of mind.
Also, don't hit me after you read this.
I'll tell your wife.
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