The cone of silence has descended over the better half of this site relating to our recent trip to the most South-Central of southern-fried states. Everyplace we went, everything we saw, every spoken word of the English language that was tortured and slain by the state’s denizens could be documented in blogform.* I fear that this taciturnity is the result of the fact that some of this trip cut a little too close to the quick for the Governess. The comical recounting of the weekend’s events has occurred within a small circle of friends and family and random bar attenednts. But putting them to “paper” (even anonymously) has left a feeling of unease. This mirror’s reflection has maybe glared back a little too intensely, resulting in only scant mention and single picture of barely digestible food.
But that’s her.
I won’t touch the wedding (very nice), the reception (ummm…), or the guests.
(Except this one guy. It seems when he went to get his tux he asked for everything that would make his different from any other tux ever rented. Long tales? Yes, please. Collarless shirt? Of course. Cummerbund or vest? How about a highly stylized black vest and I tuck it into my cummerbund? I’m sorry, is your name Jeffrey Sebelia? Because you are about to blow the fashion world up from the inside.)
But I feel the lengths we went to secure ourselves alcohol for our brief three days in the driest county in the South is fair game.
There is probably a legitimate argument about why the civic leaders of any county would institute a law forbidding the sale of alcohol. But in my limited drinking experience all those regulations have ever accomplished were to increase and enhance my drunk driving opportunities. At the hillbilly university (that’s “the 2006 NCAA 1-AA football champion hillbilly university” to you. And we beat UVA in basketball!) that the Duchess attended, the nearest source of alcohol was up (and then later dangerously down) a long mountainous road. In the “city” where our wedding was held, the surrounding counties were a checkerboard of dry vs wet and, for outsiders like us, it was a crap shoot about what interstate exit might shelter the liquor store with our delicious single malted liquor.
To put it plainly, we can’t have fun without booze. This makes me believe the amount of stressing in the weeks leading up to this wedding is probably a classic indicator of an family-wide alcohol problem. Investigations were made into flask design, Camelbak concealment, and reasonable explanations for my wild weight gain if we employed this. In the end we just decided to drink as much as we could in the day leading up to the blessed event and after the wedding we’d spike the punch at our cliquey family table.
After a fabulous catfish lunch in Memphis of Friday, we battled our way across state borders until we felt we were comfortably surrounded by a community of like-minded drunks. Unfortunately, the decades since college have dulled our Hemingway-senses and we struck out at our first gas station. However, they took pity on our shaky hands and kindly provided directions to the next wet town. Again unfortunately, my politeness and the cashier’s English speaking skills meant that we got rigorously lost. We only found the liquor store by accident and even though it had a drive-thru we decided we needed to no be in the car. While my parents-in-law bought 40s (seriously, check Flickr) I spent my time in there coveting this wall.
You know that kitten fell into an alligator’s mouth and died, right?
I’ve never had or heard of Seagram’s Canadian Hunter Mellow Sipping Whiskey but, damn, did I want some after this poster. My biggest regret of the entire trip was not asking to buy it. I really hope Mark Spitz was getting royalties. A similar but significantly less awesome version is up on Ebay for offensively high price of $40 + $20 shipping and handling. But screw that and its nice wood frame. In the end, though, I was too much of a scaredy kitten and we just took our cases and 40s and drove off.
Fast forward one day. Because we are drunks and pathetic, we consumed two days worth of beer in 16 hours. While the lady Pyggies crammed into the town’s only non-pickup to go shopping at Dillard’s (and ruin everyone’s Christmas by purchasing things for themselves that they told Santa they wanted and he’d already bought for them), the men drove across county lines to possibly the most appropriately named “town” in all the USA.
This whole post was just an excuse to say that I’ve been to Goobertown. And it would be teh sweetness to say I bought booze in this town of goobs but even though there is a drunk peanut on their store’s sign, we still weren’t across county lines. Fortunately, the building proprietor was able to grunt out direction to the nearest boozehouse.
This store’s employees were equally nice enough fellas, with their hunting waders and the way they demanded to know who was getting married before we could buy anything and their requests to come the wedding. And also their guns, which I assume were there to discourage shoplifting but also work at scarring little baby bloggers. Their selection of hard alcohol was impressive, considering the size of their establishment, but their beer collection was sparse. It went Beast, Beast Light, Natty Light, Natty Ice, then jumped up a level to Miller Light, Bud Light, MGD and finally maxed out at Red Dog (which I didn’t even know they made anymore and because of the whole Batman/Catwoman thing was too awesome for kids to handle.)
I bought beer. Dad-in-law bought gin and vodka. And you’d be impressed that we waited an entire wedding before we started drinking. It was quality brown bad, parking lot in our suits drinking and at first it was just the guys since the G’s entire lady relative collective were inside fighting. But once they heard the seal crack on the plastic gin bottle, they came a-runnin’.
Finally, we don’t know that it was actually illegal to possess liquor at the abandoned Laser Tag arena where the reception was held but it certainly felt wrong. Damn the moral majority and their minions in our nation’s musical fraternities. Good thing the G’s brother has long arms and can reach way under the table. Bad thing the punch ran out before we got there and they Laser Tag lady didn’t refill it until after I was forced to take several straight shots.
Wow. I said “forced” like I had no choice in the matter. It almost sounded like I could somehow handle my wife’s family without hard alcohol.
Anyblay. We all got a little Joe Namath drunk and I won $50 dollars from my mother-in-law because she bet me I couldn’t do a cartwheel. (How it escaped her notice that I won the silver Medal in the 1995 Virginia boys gymnastic championship, I’ll never know.) In the end, we all felt bad about ourselves and no amount of Airborne could mend the Crisco inflicted wounds to our immune systems.
Was it a backwoods wedding success? Indeed.