Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More weddings.

Anyone remember Ted, the traffic guy at CHEZ who did many of my stunts with me, looked just like me, and was constantly threatening to take my job? Well, he moved up to Timmins, where his experience with traffic and promo here in Ottawa translated into a job where he does traffic and promo and he's the website guy and the morning guy and the afternoon guy and the sales guy and the commercial writer and several other jobs. And now, he's married. I travelled to Ayton, Ontario to emcee his wedding to Heather, his long-time girlfriend. And by long-time I don't mean "more than six months" which is the cut-off I have used myself for many years. I mean, they have been together since they were six years old. Or something. Which does freak me out, I will admit, but there is still something terribly sweet and wholesome about the whole thing.

It took me a little more than six hours to get to Ayton, right after the show ended on Friday morning. Once I was there, I met up with the rest of the guys - Ted, Wes, Vern, and JR, who were already into the beer and a very intense game of ninja ball. (Which is also, from what I understand, called Newfie Horseshoes or Testicle Toss.) So I joined them in ninja ball. And drinking. And then we hit the local watering hole. In a town of 400 people, "local watering hole" really means "only watering hole". Delightfully small town, there were dozens of people in there participating in an underground poker game on the hush-hush. It was ten or eleven at night, and there was a six-year-old playing pool. There were some girls who looked to be thirteen serving bar patrons who looked to be fourteen. Every single person in the bar appeared to be an employee of the bar, going back in behind and serving themselves as the whim hit them. Awesome.

Then we hit the strip club (two towns over). This was, I found out, the fourth night in a row that these guys had been to this same place. And I didn't really understand that because for the fourth straight night, the same four strippers were working. The same four unpleasant butterface strippers. And they kept going back. It might have been for the combat juice, which is an amazing concoction that I guess is specific to the Ayton area that comes in a jug, gets you hammered very very fast, costs 30 bucks a jug (not just at the strip club but everywhere), and leaves no hangover. Amazing stuff. Anyone have a recipe for Combat Juice? I'd love to know what's in it. We had to leave the peelers when I stopped paying attention to one woman, and she became annoyed that no one was watching her, and as I had a conversation with one of the guys, she reached over and grabbed both of my nipples. As some of you know, I have a real nipple problem, where if someone suddenly grabs my nipples I break their arms or punch them or say, flip them over the table beside, say, a strip club stage. For example. Anyway, I ought never to go back. Although she seemed too out of it to be actually upset with me.

The wedding itself was small, quaint, and quick. For the second straight week, I attended a wedding where all the groomsmen and the groom dressed up in kilts. Only this time, they were all wearing converse shoes, and a few of them had chosen to go commando. After the wedding, we proceeded in a parade type fashion to the banquet hall, and along the way there were Ayton residents standing at the end of their driveways with beer bottles for both the bride and groom. Which was either some kind of Ayton tradition, or merely the manifestation of small-town values upon a small-town wedding. Either way, it brought a tear to my eye. The reception itself was very nice, although I felt like I did the worst wedding-emcee job I had ever done. I told the story of Ted's first-ever job in radio, where he had to hold a microphone near my junk while I was getting a brazilian wax done. And how I took the microphone from him in order to talk into it, and handed junk. And, not knowing what to do, as it was his first ever job, he held it until I handed him back the microphone. That was about the only laugh I got as emcee, but everyone said I did well. I think the nice thing about being a wedding emcee is that merely being comfortable with a microphone is enough, since all the other people who need to make speeches are usually terrified of the whole process.

I made it to my hotel (also two towns over), and couldn't call home. I had promised my girlfriend I would call her before I went to bed, and that I would make sure to do so from the motel, but I couldn't dial long distance. And there is no cell reception in any town within several miles of Ayton. So she was understandably angry when I finally contacted her the next day, as I was about to leave. The drive that had taken me a little over six hours on the way there took me eleven hours to come home. There was a major accident on the 401, and it was shut down both ways. I was in a traffic jam, barely moving, for four hours. I had intended to get home in time for supper and ask my girlfriend to marry me, what with all these weddings I have been attending wearing down my resistance and all, but that had to be postponed until Monday. More on that in the next post.

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