Sunday, July 09, 2006

So I had to stand up in a wedding this past weekend...

... and rather than forcefeed you greedy little work-dodgers all of the sordid details, I thought I'd try something new and have one of my very own, extra-lucky, partially literate cynickites engage in a pointless Q & A session with me.

KNOW-IT-ALL FANBOY: Um, pardon me, Mr. T.C.I., uh, I hate to nitpick, but, uh, "new?" Haven't you already used this "original" idea in one of your past blog entries?

T.C.I. (nervously shifting eyes): Uh, no, I... think I'd remember something like that. Now then, let's --

KNOW-IT-ALL FANBOY: No, no, really. I distinctly recall you exhausting this limited concept in an entry about zebrafish. I believe you can locate the article I'm referring to here.

T.C.I.: Ah.

(long uncomfortable pause)


T.C.I.: Ummmmm....... Fuck you?

KNOW-IT-ALL FANBOY: Good point. (Pushes up glasses, shoves handful of greasy chips into oral cavity, goes back to playing his Level 59 night elf priestess on World of Warcraft.)

Good. Now that we've got that sorted out, it's time to pick that "special" constituent of mine who gets to engage in a little rowdy Q & A with me...

... Which sounds far sexier than it really is. So let's see...

*scans Internet for people reading his blog*

Ah, yes. You. Yes, you there, the only person on the Web not currently looking at photoshopped pictures of nude celebrities, or sharing your political views on a message board filled with people who already feel exactly as you do, or composing a lameass, poorly-metered poem for your MySpace account about how hard it is to be a teenager even though you don't have to work for a living like the rest of us. You.

SGT. MELLORS (looks around, confused. Points at self): Me?

*rubbing temples* Oh, God. This is gonna be uphill all the way, isn't it? Here, just take these cards and read the questions I prepared beforehand. You can read, can't you?

SGT. MELLORS (taking cards, flustered): Uh, I, uh, I --

Damn it, Tim Crowley! Just read the fucking cards!

SGT. MELLORS: Don't tell people my real name!

Oh, dry your eyes, Niagra. Look at it this way: it'll add another search result when you google your name. From this point on, however, I will address you as "Q." And everything you say will magically appear in italics. In turn, you will address me as "A."

Q: What the heck is a "google?" Is that some newfangled drug you kids are hopped up on these days? And why do I have to be a consonant--

*A backhands Q*

Q: First question -- what did you wear for this auspicious event?

A: Oh, that's right. This blog entry was about a wedding. Well, since I stood up in the ceremony -- as an "attendant" on the bride's side (yes, yes, it was a union of liberals) -- I was required to rent a tux for the occasion. Not one of my choosing, mind you, but since I didn't have to foot the bill for it, hell, you can throw me in a Glad bag and cinch me off at the waist for all I care.

Well, actually, that's not entirely true...

Now, I have no beef with tuxudoes, per se. In fact, there is something mystical and otherworldly about a penguin suit's uncanny ability to transform almost any ape-descendant, no matter how knuckle-dragging, beetle-browed, or potbellied he may be, into a serviceable image of the protagonist of an Ian Fleming novel.* I don't know the exact mechanics of what exactly makes this possible, but it's true. Ask my wife.

*That would be James Bond, stupid.

What tends to detract from the overall effect of the debonair, dashing figure you cut in your nicely-pressed headwaiter's uniform, however, is when the vest and tie you are issued happen to be bright, soft, pastel yellow in color. Yellow. Like, Easter egg and Peep urine yellow. That yellow.

Okay, now, I am sure that there are marriage ceremonies in which grown men decked out in the color third from the top of a rainbow is perfectly acceptable. But these ceremonies generally take place in Vermont, have a disproportionate number of Judy Garland songs on the playlist, and don't have Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson in attendance. Which is fine, you know? As far as I'm concerned, send all the goddamned yellow tuxedo accoutrements straight to New England. Or Hawaii, wherever. As long as they are nowhere near me. Yeesh. I mean, the ladies are looking to oogle a suave George Lazenby* clone, not some dork who looks like he should be delivering singing telegrams.

*That would be James Bond, stupid.

Q: Speaking of "the ladies," how did they enjoy seeing -- Oh, God, do I really have to read this?

A: Yes.

Q: *sighs* How did they enjoy seeing T.C.I. in all his matrimonial finery?

A: They loved it. Each and every one of them. Regardless of race, creed, age, religion, lack of religion, position on the political spectrum, sexual preference, use of corrective eyewear, or aversion to the color yellow. Without exception. They all loved me. Unconditionally.

Q: You know, that doesn't even make sense. Your "matrimonial finery?" You weren't the guy getting married!

A: No one was looking at him.

Q: But the bride was --

A: Or her. Shut up and do the job that has been foisted upon you.

Q: Fine. Here's a question. What kind of person needs validation about his personal appearance from a faceless "mass" of web-surfers he will likely never meet in the real world?


A: Um... I, uh, I don't think -- I don't think you're reading from the cards there --

Q: Yes, yes, it says so right here on this card that I have no intention of showing you. Well?


A: I distinctly remember saying "no rhetorical questions." Moving on.

Q: So, did you meet any of the dreaded Babblers Three while at --

A: Six.

Q: Babblers Six while at the wedding?

A: Oh, Christ, am I glad you asked that question I prepared ahead of time. As a matter-of-fact, I met -- and grudgingly "conversed" with -- a large assortment of WYBMF's, Over-Explainers, and Captain Obviousi (my wife was there) whilst celebrating the revered sacrament of temporary holy matrimony. But the two most shameless and memorable verbal offenders were a textbook Narcissist (she's an opera singer turned theatre .......... person) and her mentally-unhinged (or at least very-poorly-fastened) best friend, the poster child for the International T.M.I. Girl Association.

Now, the Narcissist was a relative cakewalk. That is, if said mobile pastry also made it a point to deliver pseudo-intellectual toasts about Plato's Republic and drop theatrical names like so many buffalo nickels. Okay, so you're an actress (I think) who was an opera singer (or something) and are attending a prestigious Midwestern university (I seem to recall). But listen, theatre folks, here are two crucial rules one needs to keep in mind when talking to other people about the world of drama:

1.) If the person you are addressing is not associated with theatre, they don't care what you have to say about it.

2.) If the person you are addressing is associated with theatre, they don't care what you have to say about it.

I have never found this not to be the case. Theatre rivals will view your regaling them with a catalog of your successes as a means of pointing up their own failures and will respond defensively or not at all, and normal, well-adjusted human beings free of any massive egocentric neuroses will just wonder (in the case of a girl) when you'll get over this "cute little hobby" of yours, or (in the case of a guy) if perhaps you're gay.

Still, my natural and paradoxical anti-theatre bias aside, she was a charming and talented person overall. As opposed to her associate. And let's not get me going on that one...

Okay, let's.

Drunk, shrill, obnoxious, whiny, and attention-starved, by the end of the weekend T.M.I. Girl had: given my ear a brutal yank for no valid reason; broken her little foot on a rock and subsequently fallen into Lake Michigan; loudly accused my friend and I, in full hearing of the straitlaced in-laws, of a minor crime we, er, may or not have committed *coughcough*; and unloaded a steaming pile of T.M.I. concerning her unfortunate past -- which, for her sake and yours, I will refrain from relating in these pages. This is partially because I am not (as was previously supposed) composed of pure, unfiltered Evil, but mostly because I wasn't listening since I WAS AT A FRIGGIN' BAR.

However, I did give her a rib-crunching bear hug at one point, so I may have had some of that coming. Oops. Heh, heh.

Oh, and she also pointed out how impressive it was that a "man of my age" could maintain a flat stomach (uh, there was a pool party early on in the weekend, so this is not as weird an observation as you might initially think). Excuse me, excuse me, but... "man of my age?" I'm 30, as my profile will conclusively attest to. Thirty. Thirty years old. Gee, how utterly mind-blowing that a crook-backed old coot of my rapidly advancing years can manage to not be a walrus-shaped sack of blocked arteries. REWORKED CLICHE ALERT: I should also point out that a woman safely ensconced in a mansion of glass ought to strongly consider every other party game she can think of before suggesting a rock-throwing contest (i.e., I saw T.M. of T.M.I. Girl at the pool party, and there are just certain times when a one-piece works best for all parties involved).

Q: What crime did you commit?

A: Don't skip ahead. I was talking about how I looked in my swimsuit.

Q: Oh, give it up already.

A: But when it gets wet, you can see these little Chinese dragons appear!

Q: ...

A: Shut up. It's cool.

Q: So... What crime did you commit?

A: I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I'm not a complete idiot. Suffice it to say that "if" my buddy Ernie and I had "happened" to "borrow" a certain special "something" made of "wood" that only had one "boot" on from a place where people "sleep" and/or "consume a morning meal" while on "vacation (or "holiday" to my U.K. constituents, who must then, as logic would dictate, refer to their holidays as "vacations")," rest assured that I saw to it that that "something" was returned to its proper place of residence within mere "days." Along with its boot.

I'm sorry, I mean "boot."

You wouldn't think the monumentally venomous T.C.I. could possess such a guilt-ridden conscience, but then, you'd never think the English wouldn't know how to properly refer to a "vacation" in their own language, either.

Q: Well, thanks, that told me exactly squat. Anyway ... How hot was it at the weddi -- Oh, come on! Who the hell cares?

A: It was very hot during the wedding. Uber-hot. Like, Eva-Mendes-nude-in-a-steam-bath hot. But nowhere near that sexy and enjoyable. And, naturally, the sun's rays chose to focus their combined flesh-melting properties unto myself and Ernie, two large men standing outdoors in full fancy dress. Apparently, as one helpful guest pointed out to me, the color black absorbs heat. Fascinating. I'd never heard that fact ... less than fifty-eight thousand times throughout the course of my fucking life.

Well, at least it would be cooler once we moved indoors, right?

Wrong. Moron.

The reception took place in a "qualified historical building." Which basically means that while lead paint, asbestos, and centipedes the size of a man's fist are all perfectly acceptable, such crazy modern amenities as air conditioning, handicap-accessibility, and running water are completely out-of-the-question. In our unimaginative modern era, buildings of this type are referred to as "unlivable" and "condemned."

Of course, I was informed that two weeks after the event the building will be having central air installed. Gee, and just in time for that busy summer season, too!

Q: At least you had an hour and a half of open bar, right?

A: How the hell did you kn-- Oh. Right. The cards. Yes, the open bar was awesome...

... in spite of the fact that my pores immediately proceeded to sweat out my half dozen vodkas and scotches and just as many shots during dinner. Still, free liquor is free liquor, no matter how quickly it passes through your liver.

Interestingly, the bar was ordered to stop serving anything alcoholic one hour before the wedding was over. And you know what that means...

... Time for T.C.I. to finish out the night at his favorite local townie bar!

Which is exactly what he did. Hurray for the strong German and Irish influences throughout southeastern Wisconsin, without which I would invariably dry out long before 2 a.m. on any given weekend.

Q: Were there any particularly notable hot young women at -- All right, that's it. You know, I'm a married man, and so are you! Why must you insist on forever gawking at these poor young ladies and writing about it on the Internet like some lecherous old pervert? Control your libido, man. Jesus.

A: Yes, there was. One of the bride's nieces. Of such indescribable beauty that it is beyond even my extraordinary powers to describe it. But let's just say that this perfect young specimen owes it to the legions of heterosexual men and lesbians on this planet to go into modeling of some sort. Preferably the sort where clothing is optional and usually discouraged.

Q: Sick. Just sick. I hope you're proud of yourself.

A: I'm afraid you're going to have to phrase that in the form of a question.

Q: Okay, here's a question: How come it took you three weeks to pound out such a sorry blog entry?

A: You know what? Gimme those cards. You're fired. Give 'em to me. Give them to me! *yanks cards out of Q's hands* You turdnugget. *tears up cards, storms off grumbling*

Q: You know, I'm union, so I'm gonna need to be paid for a full day.

*door slams*



God, what an asshole.

Well, there you have it. Another entirely unsuccessful Q & A session featuring the ongoing shaggy dog joke that is my life. And as long as I continue not to receive any financial compensation for my "efforts," I really don't care whether you enjoyed yourself or not. So suck it sideways, chief.

On a "rare" to "threatened with extinction" heartfelt note from T.C.I., I'd just like to say that the entire wedding weekend affair was a blast overall. To my great friend Laura and my new friend Dan, may good things happen to you so often that it gets seriously annoying, and may bad things continue to stay right where they're supposed to stay: scattered throughout my life as ideas for future blog posts.

A T.C.I. cheers to the Qwests,* Party of Two. You guys deserve it.

*May contain deliberate spelling errors.

In closing, I have a rock-solid alibi for the night of Thursday, June 29, 2006.


A MAJOR T.C.I. ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FIELD OF SCIENCE AND BIOGENETICENGINEERINGOLOGY: Yes, my loyal cynickites, it has finally happened. All of my hard work and ability to feed flake food to small tropical fish twice daily has finally paid off. I have been ................... recognized.

You see, my buddy, Grubs, has recently been working as a "lab helper" (actual job title) for our lab's principal investigator (that would be a scientist, not a detective assigned to police high school administrators). Her reward for such intricate, precise, and virtually-incomprehensible work? Her name now appears -- in big, bold letters next to the principal investigator's name -- on a giant poster printout adorning the hallways of our institute outlining the groundbreaking research she and her supervisor have done in breeding and raising a rare albino strand of zebrafish. These findings were heralded at the Zebrafish Meeting in our very own state capital (that would be Madison, you other-staters, not Milwaukee) as being A Very Big Deal.

As mocking as I may sound, this is actually a very big deal. It shows those of us at the nadir of the totem pole that what we're doing really does matter to someone, somewhere, and Grubs especially will get a hell of a credit to add to her shamefully weak (I presume) resume.

So why am I, especially, as giddy as a Japanese schoolgirl about this? Well, in a small paragraph at the lower-right hand corner of the giant zebrafish study poster printout is a special thank you to the lab technicians for providing "exceptional fish care."

Yes, that's right. I kid you not. It's perfectly true. On a great, big piece of scientific literature hanging in the hallowed hallways of a major ichthyological institution is T.C.I.'s name, right there, big and black and bold and...........................

... misspelled.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to have provided you with such ripe material!

Love ya!


12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Matthew,
What can I say but WOW!!!. I truly feel honored that you have included me in your blog. I almost felt like I was there.

Are you sure that it was your name just mispelled or could there be someone there with a name very similiar to yours? Maybe your zebrafish-killing skills weren't as good as this other person who got the congrats. The world may never know.

Also, I didn't get what you were supposedly being accused of that you need a rock solid alibi. Could you explain it in english for the slow witted.

Sgt Mellors

5:17 PM  
Blogger The Fourth Earl of Excelor said...

Is it just me or did you get a sexy new picture? You salty dog you.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Quietly said...

I never read this one before...


*clears throat*


7:31 PM  

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