A Post By: Michael Gallo
This weekend my sister, Laura, married Brian. They were joined together in holy matrimony. In a beautiful ceremony they promised to love each other till the end of time. Did I cry? Sure, but in between the tears I laughed so hard I got some pretty nasty back spasms. Here are some of the highlights from the key events.
The rehearsal dinner was a great way to get the wedding activities underway. It was relaxing, very chill and devoid of any opportunities to destroy something. However, it was a buffet at Jack Stack which is combining two absolutely awesome things. Sort of like a topless bar (you know those great bars that don’t have roofs?). Jack Stack alone…awesome. Buffets alone…sort of good. Combine the two…divine. It presented me with the opportunity to answer that age old question, “How many servings of baked beans do I have to consume to end up in the hospital?”. The bride and groom also handed out the gifts to the bridesmaids and groomsmen. As I was a groomsmen (brother of the bride, ya heard?) I received one of these said gifts. It was an enormous bottle of strong beer, a sportula (a spatula with a Jayhawk on it) and a “yard glass” which is a giant glass that’s a yard tall. Pretty self explanatory. You’re supposed to put a yard’s worth of spirited libations in it, but my mother mistook it for a flower vase. Yes mom, I got a flower vase. Thanks Brian. Again, I believe with this new glassware the probability of my hospitalization was dramatically increased. Overall the rehearsal dinner went really well.
Next, we went to the church to do the actual rehearsal. It was tough work. The wedding planner used to be a director on Broadway. She made us practice the procession 56 times. The bull whip was also a trifle bit unnecessary. At one point, one of the bridesmaids passed out from dehydration. But in all reality the wedding planner was actually very quiet and didn’t really seem to know what she was doing which led to this awkward assuming on her part. Comments like, “but I’m sure you know how to do that”. Comments like that don’t go over well when most of the people DON’T know what the hell they’re doing.
After the rehearsal we went to the lobby of the hotel we were staying in to wait for the rest of the New Yorkers. We drank over priced drinks and I resisted the urge to take apart the lamp hanging above our seats. I could see the main screw holding the thing together and when I get even a little bit of alcohol in my system, I get an insatiable urge to destroy stuff. My sister kept me from taking the light fixture apart, and eventually all the New Yorkers arrived. We were locked and loaded. That night Bob Dylan came to me in a dream. He was dressed like Lady Gaga, and was selling lemons out of an illegal stand at Rockaway Beach. I asked to see his permit. He told me the sun never sets on constant happiness. He looked drunk. I woke up in a cold sweat, trying to figure out if the dream had any connection to the next day.
On the day of the wedding I went over to Brian’s apartment around 11 am to hang out with the rest of the groomsmen. We shot the shit and watched college football. Around noon, some asshole driving what appeared to be a replication of The Grave Digger monster truck parked directly in front of Brian’s door. Brian went down to tell him to move. The conversation went something like this (all of the following dialogue is factual):
Brian: Hey, how much longer are you going to be parked here?
Grave Digger Dude: I don’t know, probably a while.
Brian: Okay, well could you move, we have a limo coming soon?
Grave Digger Dude: Sure…are you going to prom?
Apparently this man just assumes that ANYONE in a tux…is going to prom. The rest of us put our tuxes on and then took a shot of 8 year old Bacardi.
The ceremony was beautiful, there were girls, there were guys, clowns wearing dog suits, dogs wearing clown suits…really awesome stuff. It was a beautiful Catholic wedding. I chose not to joke in this paragraph. It was nice watching my sister get married.
But AFTER the ceremony…stuff started getting nuts. A limo picked up the bride and groom, the bridesmaids, and all the groomsmen and drove us around to a few locations to take pictures. Inside the limo the groomsmen took care of half a bottle of Jack and finished the bottle of Bacardi (that was also half full). At one point, after having taken some beautiful shots (pictures) by a barn, a groomsmen named Jeff gave this toast:
“Brian and Laura, I hope you guys can look past the trivial stuff. Never sweat the petty things, and certainly don’t pet the sweaty things. Cheers” – Jeff, groomsmen extraordinaire. It was time for the reception.
I’m going to skip the sentimental stuff like the cake cutting and the first dance. It was beautiful, not funny.
But then stuff got out of control. My younger sister decided the best way to get the party started was to wrap the sash from her dress around her head, take a microphone from the DJ, and start rapping Ke$ha. It worked, everyone started dancing and before I knew it, the night was getting out of control. The only one to blame was the bartender Debbie AKA Daffney.
Debbie/Daffney was a 50+ woman with fake blond hair and penchant for story telling. It took her about 10 minutes minimum to make a single drink. In this time, she would move with the speed of a geriatric and tell you long, convoluted stories that ended with interested comments like, “and that’s why I can’t drink Gin anymore.” At multiple points, several guests saw her take handfuls of pills. She was about 5’5 and 100 pounds (max). But her best quality (and rightfully so) was how she made a drink. Her drink making technique went something like this…
-Fill glass with ice
-Get a single shot glass
-Fill shot glass
-Dump shot into glass
-Keep pouring the liquor until the glass is almost full
-Splash coke into it
My uncle ordered tequila on the rocks and got essentially a full glass of tequila with about 3 ice cubes in it. Someone ordered a rum and coke and they could see their hand through it. Her drinks were translucent. And you could tell they were having an effect on the innocent party goers.
People were getting wasted. My cousin Brian started by his seat. Then he could be spotted half way between his seat and the dance floor. Two drinks later he was standing on the edge of the dance floor joking with family and singing along to music. 8 drinks later he was ready. It was Bon Jovi or bust. He told the DJ to get Livin on a Prayer going and to turn it the fuck up. Brian grabbed the mic and went into one of the most powerful renditions of Livin on a Prayer I have ever seen. Bon Jovi would have shed a single tear if he saw the passion my cousin was performing his song with. Brian had a tie around his head, his shirt unbuttoned, and was singing like a choir of angels. He sang, he danced, he kicked, and then he got the real moves out. During the guitar solo he handed the microphone off to a friend and, with drink still in hand, fell to the floor and started spinning on his back, his drink spraying everywhere. Next he jumped up and started the air guitar. In the process he ran into someone carrying a full drink. This person went from holding a full drink to holding nothing at all. The glass shattered on the floor. The DJ turned up the lights a little hoping that someone mature and sensible would quickly pick up the glass and get it off the floor. Nope. Brian actually got a mini broom and dust pan from somewhere and incorporated it into the music now playing, like any artist would. As the Beastie Boy’s Intergalactic played, he did the robot sweeping up the glass (or trying to).
Then HE showed up. Because he is a teacher at a very respected Catholic college in Boston, I will use a different name…we shall call him Iago. He came, he saw, he conquered. Iago showed up with his Northeastern GQ style and had one idea in mind. To dominate all things dance floor. After a few Boulevards, Iago was breaking dancing on the floor, kicking in all directions, sliding around on his back and eventually bumping into random people we didn’t know from the groom’s side. Iago worked himself into a frenzy and danced like a man hooked up to a car battery. Much later, Iago crashed. He sat in a chair with his eyes closed trying to catch his breath. His brother and I picked him up by his arm pits and his ankles and carried him back to the dance floor. He protested the whole time. When we set him down in the middle of the dance floor he laid completely still for a full four seconds before going immediately into a complicated set of break dancing moves. I laughed until I cried. Behind me someone else broke another glass. I was laughing even harder at this point and because I hadn’t had water in almost a day and a half, I ended up acquiring some pretty serious back spasms.
At some point during night the DJ played New York, New York by Frank Sinatra. Everyone in the room went nuts. Everyone from New York sang along. In that moment I was truly happy. I knew what happiness was all about. The entire time I thought about how happy I was for my sister and her new husband.
I wish them the best of luck.
That night Bob Dylan returned to my dreams. He asked me why I went and got his lemon stand shut down. I told him, “hey, when life gives you lemons right?”
He said, “Yeah, I was trying to give them the fucking lemons!” I hadn’t thought about that. After an awkward silence, Dream Bob Dylan told me Laura and Brian were going to be very happy together. I believed him.