CRIS COHEN, is staff humor columnist for Renaissance Magazine. His work is also published weekly in three California newspapers and four online humor magazines.
Sacred Ceremony Or Strip Show?
My wife, Michele, and I have to go to a wedding in a couple of weeks. It's at weddings that I am really overcome with the joy of being married. Not just because I'm really happy with Michele, but because as a married man I no longer have to line up with the single men for the garter toss, which for most guys is slightly less enjoyable than a lengthy rectal exam.
Personally, I just never saw how it fit into a wedding. One minute you're involved in a very solemn service and the next you're suddenly in the middle of the Tailhook convention. They never mention anything about that in the vows. "And do you, Tina, promise to let Stan shove his hands up your dress in front of your entire family?" It's the one part of the evening where you don't see the parents weeping with joy. And who would? It's difficult to get swept up in the celebration when your daughter is being publicly violated.
It's kind of like the tradition of the bride and groom shoving cake in each other's faces. As Michele has pointed out, whenever that happens there's usually some repressed anger being played out there. Take my friend Bryan, who got divorced a year after getting married. At his wedding the bride did things to him that you just shouldn't do to another human being with frosting. Thank God they didn't have any ceramic figurines on top of the cake. They would have had to remove those as part of a complicated surgical procedure.
Of course all of this is encouraged by the guests. The same people who scold their own children for having a food fight almost demand it from the newlyweds, despite the fact that one of them is wearing a dress worth more than the economic output of most South American countries. They figure that if they went to the trouble of buying you a toaster then they should be entitled to watch you maul each other with dessert toppings. At some of the really high-priced weddings they probably have the bride and groom wrestle livestock.
At our wedding when we fed each other cake and didn't smash it in each other's faces, I actually heard some people boo. They should have been glad though, because I told several people, including Michele, that if I got cake smashed on my face, EVERYONE was getting cake on his face. I didn't care if I went through two layers. My feeling is that if you are really vocal in encouraging a food fight, then you've nominated yourself as a target.
It's kind of how I believe that if you're at a football game and you yell insults at one of the players, then he should have the right to sack you. I don't care if you are surrounded by family members and holding a large container of hot nachos. If you're dumb enough to verbally abuse someone who could bench press your entire living room, then you deserve the punishment that goes along with that. What's this garbage about being off limits just because you're in the stands? If you say something disparaging about a player's mother, you just asked to play.
And think how much nicer the games would be. After about five people were taken away by paramedics, you would notice the crowd being a bit more on the quiet side. I don't care how much beer you've had to drink. If you knew that one wrong word would automatically nominate you as the new tackling dummy, you would have nothing but positive and encouraging things to say.
But getting back to the wedding, I didn't do the garter toss at our wedding. If only because my idea of a romantic evening didn't involve scenes taken from an instructional video about date rape. Also I know that guys absolutely hate standing up there for the toss. You can see it on their faces as they walk to the dance floor. It's as if the DJ said, "All right, guys! It's time to line up for the castrations!" Yet at wedding after wedding single guys are forced to be a part of this. I think the only way to solve the problem would be to institute my new rule. Thus any person who yelled for them to do the garter toss would be sacked by a professional football player.
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