You know how it is at weddings: the only time people are not focused on filling up their drink cup at the bar is during the actual ceremony, when everybody is looking around to see who is crying, and during the short speeches a few people have been asked to give, because, as the success of reality television shows prove, people like nothing better than watching a fellow human being humiliate themselves in front of a crowd.
I published the little speech I read at Kitty and Hunky Z's wedding ahead of time so they could could give me the "go-ahead." My sister Sal read it too. They all said, "go ahead." Us Hockeys do not give a shit. Another member of the extended Hockey family read it before the wedding as well - Kyle, the guy who supplied the huge bag of weed to try and keep the guests from drinking too much and brawling. After he read it, aloud to his wife Stacy, the day before the wedding, he remarked, "Beer's not going to read this shit in front of everybody."
When I got to the wedding I thought maybe I should have brought a Plan B speech when I saw all the young children in attendance. But I did not have a Plan B. The response was split between laughs and gasps, like everybody was watching two or three especially limber comedians show them some sex positions they had never dreamed of, much less tried.
Kitty and Hunky Z's daughter Rita balanced out my bullshit with a heartfelt tearjerker of a speech about how much it has meant to her to have been brought up by such loving people. Apparently Hunky Z taught her, "All men are not assholes." I was real proud to see my niece show off her feelings in public.
The wedding was great, Stacy was the only guest to upchuck and she upchucked good all over the ladies' room and all the way home out the car window. She was drinking red wine so Kyle got himself a bright red flame painted down the side of his ride.
The bar ran out of scotch so I had the bartender pour me a big glass of Crown Royal. I did not drink much of the Crown Royal before I poured it off the hall's front steps into the muddy parking lot. Crown Royal is shit. I had to stick with the beer the rest of the night.
I was drinking Canadian; first time I had done so in years. I did not vomit, or perhaps I should say I did not vomit for a couple days, so I guess the Canadian went down pretty fucking good.
The disc jockey played the usual wedding crap and everybody danced like they were on American Bandstand. Shortly before Kitty and Hunky Z left the hall and headed to the airport and their honeymoon in Jamaica the deejay played Melanie's version of "(I'm Leaving) On a Jet Plane." I fucking near cried, the song is so beautiful and I had drank so much beer.
Here's to John Denver, he was one stoned motherfucker.