Compleat Redneck

Commentary from the boondocks. If it makes any sense, it is just by chance.

Friday, August 08, 2003
Cletus here. BJB told you folks that I had a story about a wedding so here it is.

The Wedding

About thirty years ago, one of our more unusual fellers married one of our less than stable girls, but that is not the wedding I am going to tell you about. Those two went and had two children, a boy and a girl. The girl was a little wild growing up and one day accepted an email proposal of marriage from an old high school classmate who she had dated and didn’t remember all that well, but she was 22 and had blown four years of college on parties and good times and marriage looked like a good way to settle down. I guess you could say she was a email bride. That’s not the wedding I am talking about either. No this is the story of the boy’s wedding. The boy was born first and he always was a bright little thing, making the best grades in school and he grew up to be a good football player and got a few Division 1 scholarship offers, but turned them down because he had enough academic scholarships to turn a profit at a state college. He majored in Computer Science and was the top graduate of his class. He got a lot of job offers and started out making more money that most of us twice his age. The problem is he doesn’t have walking around sense. His wedding is the one I am telling about.

I think it all stated when he was born and his Daddy in a fit of religious fervor, named him Solomon. I guess he was looking for some wisdom for the boy because there surely wasn’t going to come by any from his folks. Of course, his name meant he took unmerciful teasing in school, but that stopped when he got to be bigger than the other boys. As I said, Solomon grew up big, book smart and strong, but he had less sense than anyone in his family which is saying something.

When Solomon got ready to go to college, his Grandma gave him his Grandpa’s 73 Cadillac convertible. It had been sitting in the garage since the old man died and was in fair condition so Solomon (who had decided he wanted to be call Sol) headed off to college in the Caddy. He made it about 50 miles when he noticed that the gas gauge was going down at an alarming rate. He stopped and filled the tank and started off only to see the gauge going down real fast again. He said that if he started off real hard, he could see the needle move. After the second tank of gas, he turned around and took the car home. His Grandma had already filled up the garage bay with her “collectibles” so he left the car with his folks and took his old Escort and headed off to school.

At school, Sol discovered bars and beer and spent a lot of time with the new friends he met there. Most of the new friends were fellow college students, but right away, his old friends noticed that he had the ability to pick the worst girlfriends in the world. If there were a hundred girls in a room, he had the knack for picking the one who was less stable than him. There were some truly wild times and his friends worked up a number of ways to break up the really bad pairings. Sol was smart enough to make the highest grades and as I said, he got the best job of any of the old gang when he graduated.

After he started to work and had money, the stream of nutty girlfriends got worse, if that is possible. There was the one he met in a bar in Huntsville who went home with him on Saturday night, moved her stuff into his house on Sunday and went out to a bar with another guy on Monday. It took Sol’s two best friends six months to get him to see that she was not really bride material. By that time, the girl had sold all of Sol’s furniture, so when he finally threw her out, he ended up sleeping on the floor. We heard stories like that from the friends for the next four years. Bubba started a pool on how long each girl would last and how much money Sol would lose before she left. It was truly a miracle the boy didn’t end up on the street.

Remember the Cadillac? It was sitting outside Sol’s parents house all this time and about four years ago, his Mama decided that it needed a paint job so she went down to the Sherwin-Williams store, bought a gallon of beige exterior latex and a great big old brush and painted it for him. She painted the chrome, the edges of the top and half the windows. As I said, the boy didn’t come from the most sensible family in town.

About two years ago, Sol showed up with a new type of woman. She was well educated and nothing like his usual type of woman. We all wondered what was going on and when he told on of the friends that he had learned that all the “exciting” women were not good for him and now he had found someone who was just a little boring and had decided to ask her to marry him, we thought that was a little strange, but it was better than what he had been doing. Bubba being the cynic he is, started a pool on the day the other shoe would drop and the true nature of Misty came out, Misty being the name of the new lady friend. About two months in to the affair, Sol stopped in and said that Misty wanted him to quit his job and for the two of them to travel around the country finding themselves. Sol said he didn’t want to do it because he had a lot of debts from his previous affairs and just couldn’t afford to find himself. Well, we started watching Misty and in no time, it became apparent that the seemingly normal girl was the strangest one he had ever brought home. It took her about three months to chase most of his friends away, the ones remaining being the boys from high School who had been getting rid of the earlier girls. His Mama cried every time someone said girlfriend and his Daddy was getting the shakes and as far as I know, he has never drunk a drop. His sister told him to never bring Misty near her since Misty had told her that anyone working at Walmart was an inferior human being and she didn’t care if she was a department manager, if she was any good she would quit and go back to school. Of course by that time, the email bridegroom had disappeared leaving her with a baby so quitting was not a right good idea. We started to worry that one of them would kill Misty or commit suicide if it got any worse.

Well, as luck would have it, Misty didn’t get hit by a truck, Sol never came to his senses and the next thing we knew, they has set the date, picked out a little wedding chapel that seats about 40, picked a reception hall that holds 30 and started planning a wedding with about twenty attendants. To save money, they decided to have the wedding party decorate the chapel and the reception hall. Bubba kept asking where on Earth Misty found ten friends to be bridesmaids and we all wondered who would be invited. Elroy went by the chapel on Coop business and reported back that he doubted more than thirty people would fit inside. He said that it looked like the old boy who owned it had taken one of his old chicken houses and chopped off the front twenty feet or so and built a “rustic” wedding chapel. He said it did have a good location in a pine thicket and he suspected it would be about 130 degrees inside on a July afternoon. The reception hall was an old converted barn with a few haybaler wheels piled around for ambience. According to Elroy, there didn’t appear to be any air-conditioning and only a couple of windows. We all started to hope we were not on the invite list.

Bubba oldest boy Mark got asked to be a groomsman him being one of the boys what had stuck with Sol through all the girlfriends so we were kept up to date on the whole thing. Mark started to worry that Sol might pick some strange color for the tuxedos but when he heard it was a basic black one, he relaxed. Sol said that he had looked high and low for a good, inexpensive tuxedo place. The one he found was Junior’s Tuxedo Rental, Bait Shop and Lawn More Repair. Junior is not a real good speller. Me and him were in school together and he just couldn’t get the knack for words, but he does right good on repairing lawn mowers. Mark called up to see about the measurements on his tuxedo but Junior said all he needed was some general “ideal” of how big Mark was since his tuxedos were adjustable. Mark asked him where someone with a 35 inch waist fit and Junior said he had pants for people with waists from 34 to 44 inches. Mark thought that was a pretty big range, but Junior is the expert so he said reserve him one of those.

Two days before the wedding, the boys went to get their tuxedos. Junior was really nervous. He said he had to really hunt to find eleven black tuxedos, but he had managed to do it and they all matched pretty good. Billy Wayne Smith was the best man. His tuxedo pants were a little long, but Junior pulled them up hard under his arms and said that they were a perfect fit. Billy Wayne had never worn a tuxedo before so he didn’t know how to wear the pants, but it did feel like he had a tight “wedgy”. He figured that he could stand it for an hour or two. Mark’s pants were 44 inches in the waist and there was no adjustment. He looked like he had clown pants on, but the coat kind of covered the excess so he figured he could make it through the wedding and he was already thinking about skipping the reception. The other boys had tuxedos that sort of fit and except for the smell of fish-bait, they were okay for a couple of hours. They left Junior smiling over the quick $1000.

The rehearsal was on Friday night and everyone showed up at the chapel with dates since Sol and Misty had invited everyone to their house for the rehearsal dinner. The minister turned out to be one of Misty’s old boyfriends who had sent off to Nashville for an ordination certificate in the Baptist Presbytery of the Middle Tennessee Church of the True Word and Second Coming. The ordination and Doctor of Divinity degree had cost him a hundred dollars and Misty said Sol would pay two hundred for the wedding so he was happy to do it. He was much happier that Sol was marrying Misty rather than him and would have done it for free, but figured that he might be on to a good way to earn easy money doing weddings. He and the “chapel” owner had made an agreement on discount weddings. The problem was, neither he nor Misty nor Sol had a clue how to do a wedding so they spent about two hours working it out. Meanwhile, the twenty attendants and their guests were sweating it out in the 30 person chapel and getting hungrier by the minute. The Maid of Honor said that maybe they needed to speed things up. Misty got mad and threw her out of the wedding party and told her she wasn’t welcome to attend. The Maid of Honor was dating one of the groomsmen and he left when she did and a couple more people had ridden over with them and they left and a few more left because it looked like as good a time as any to get out since Misty had spent most of her spare time insulting them. The wedding party was a bit lopsided, but the chapel was a lot less crowded.

They finally got through the rehearsal and headed over to Sol’s place for dinner. Sol had called the World Famous Pizza delivery place and ordered a bunch of pizzas delivered but he had asked for the delivery about two hours before they got to his house. He had paid in advance for twenty large pizzas and the delivery guy had left them and his breadsticks on the porch where a big old hound dog had eaten a little bit of ever last one of them so they had to order more. By the time the pizza was delivered, Misty had insulted a couple more bridesmaids and the wedding party was getting down to manageable size. Mark says he was even starting to think that there would be room in the chapel for some guests.

Saturday dawned dark and cloudy with just a tinge of possible rain. Sol called the groomsmen and said they needed to be at the reception hall two hours before the wedding. When they got there, he had a bunch of folding tables and chairs for them to set up. There was room inside for the BBQ and sides (from the BBQ Emporium cooked on wood from Cletus’ BBQ wood farm) and they set up tables out under the pines for the guests. By then it was about 90 and the boys were really sweating in those tuxedos. Billy Wayne had pulled his pants down so he could walk and rolled up the legs so he didn’t step on them. All the groomsmen were regretting that they had not been dating the ex-maid of honor so they would have been the one kicked out of the wedding.

Meanwhile over at the wedding chapel, Misty’s Mama was supervising the bridesmaids in decorating the chapel since she was a professional artist. There wasn’t a lot of love there either. Two hours before the wedding, Misty remembered that the former maid of honor had the wedding dress. She and Sol had been living together for two years and she could keep it in the house since he would see it so she had the MOH keep it and now no one knew where she was. Bubba’s wife was there and she made a few calls and found the dress and saved the day.

Remember the Cadillac from way back yonder at the top of this story? An hour before the wedding, Sol announced that he was going to drive his Cadillac from the chapel to the reception hall. He had talked his Mama into having it painted and he needed to pick it up at the paint shop. Mark drove him over there. Well, if you have ever seen a car painted with a brush, you know it tends to have a lot of brush marks and bristles in it. Mama had taken the car to one of those cheap paint shops who advertise a low price. Of course, the price doesn’t include any prep work. When they asked her if she wanted the brushed on latex removed, she asked how much and when she recovered from the shock, she told them to just paint over the old paint. Let me tell you, bright shiny paint over big wide brush marks and bristles is not a pretty sight. Sol wasn’t too happy, but they had just enough time to get to the chapel so he took the car. At the chapel, he lowered the top for the romantic getaway but it had been years since he had done it and he forgot you had to lower the rear window first so when the top started back, the window broke in a thousand pieces all over the backseat. It was a mess.

Everyone crowded into the chapel where it was wall to wall people and the attendants were scrunched up against the front wall and couldn’t see the bride and groom. It was about a hundred and ten by then, but the “minister” went through the ceremony in about two minutes and the bride and groom walked the twenty feet to the door and got in the wedding carriage. Misty took time to insult a few more people as they walked down the “aisle”.

Billy Wayne was the designated driver him being the Best Man and all and the plan had been for Sol and Misty to ride in the backseat but it was covered with glass so they all three piled on the front seat as rice and birdseed and few fair sized rocks rained down on the car. Mark caught one bridesmaid just before she hurled a ten-pound boulder at Misty. He said later, it was one of the hardest decisions he ever made.

Billy Wayne accelerated out of the parking lot just as the skies opened. By the time they drove the mile to the reception “hall” the Caddy was half full of water. Of course, the reception seating was outside. Most of the guests took one look and came on over to the BBQ Emporium for supper, but about thirty crowded into the “hall” for the reception dinner. Misty’s mother the artist yelled out that she had never seen so many yokels in her life and a big fight broke out. It was a mess. Billy Wayne and Mark suggested that Sol and Misty get going to their honeymoon before someone got really hurt. The groomsmen and bridesmaids who were left cleaned up the mess and loaded the rented tables on Bubba’s truck and everyone said how happy they were that it was over.

Bubba started a pool on how many weeks the marriage will last and another on how long it will be before someone kills the artist.

He took the tables and chairs back to Junior’s Rent-Everthing (remember, Junior is not big in the spelling department) where he ended up paying for it since Junior refused to unload it until he was paid and Bubba needed his truck to feed his cows. He says he just might kill Sol himself if the boy survives his honeymoon. Misty is sure to insult someone every ten minutes or so and sooner or later, it is bound to be the wrong person. On the other hand, Elroy says at the rate she is going she may have gotten everyone by now.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Cletus finally finished his wedding story and typed it out last night. I told him to do it in Word or something, but noooo, he did it in Blogger and lost it when something went wrong. He is now typing away and should have it done soon. He is a remarkably fast typist considering that he only uses one finger, so maybe tomorrow.

Cletus has been down in the dumps since he read Larry Anderson's post on his lunch with Mr. Possum. He says he knew all along that it wasn't really a possum who is writing all that stuff, but I'm not sure that is true. He says he has exciting stories about car and truck maintenance, older women and weddings so I'm sure it will worth the weight. Sorry, can't help the spelling when I'm looking at Cletus. If that boy was gold , we could all retire.