Monday, August 10, 2009

Is This Wedding Actually Legal? Marty Performs a Wedding.

A long time ago, back when I was in Florida getting all educated up so I could be a teacher, I spent almost all of my free time working as a columnist, illustrator, editor, and art director for a college newspaper. It was, I must stress, A college newspaper. Not THE college newspaper. The newspaper I worked for had its humble beginnings at the official school newspaper. It seems that several of the staff members of the official school newspaper were fired, en masse, for some offense so foul and egregious that I never found out what it was. I have my suspicions, but they are based solely on the machinations of my overactive imagination and have no basis in reality whatsoever. If they were even remotely true, the parties involved would most likely have been deported to another country–possibly another planet–rather than having been simply fired.

So these oppressed workers took matters into their own hands and founded their own paper. A paper devoted to the principal that anybody can make a newspaper.

It was shortly after this schism occurred that I became a staff member on the paper, penning my weekly question and answer column, Mad-Dog:Master of the Universe. the simple premise of my column was that people would write to me with some deep, profound question, like, say...

If Ivory Soap is 99 44/100% pure, what is the other 56/100%?

Or, Are there any foods I can eat or drinks I can drink that will allow me to have total control of the color of my urine?

I tackled these questions week after week with the diligence one would expect of someone who was working for free.

During one of our weekly newspaper meetings, which were held whenever Taco Bell had its Deal of the Week, Randy, one of the staff, let us know that he had recently been ordained as a reverend and offered his services to our blackened souls and those of our readers. We, of course, laughed until cheap Taco Bell burritos sprayed across the apartment (and still remain smeared across the wall to this day, I'm sure).

Upon further reflection, we decided that it may prove an invaluable service to our readers if we could absolve them of their sins. This being one of the myriad powers that Randy claimed to possess since his free, instant on-line ordination in the Universal Life Church. Other powers included officiating at weddings, providing funereal services, and condemning people's souls to eternal damnation. We actually never checked on the last one, but it seemed wisest not to push Randy too far. Thus was born Reverend Randy's Corner of Absolution.

I'm sad to report that the good Reverend never had a single sin submitted to him, the entire campus evidently too mired in goodness and purity to be in any need of his services.

My point in telling you all of this is that I was so awed by Randy's many powers that I, too heard the calling and by simply entering my name in the appropriate fields, became one of the millions of official, real-life reverends ordained by The Universal Life Church.

I had not used my powers for evil or for good until recently when my good friends Tim and Katie asked me to perform their wedding ceremony. I laughed until cheap Taco Bell burritos sprayed across the living room. Actually, not true. It was expensive homemade organic guacamole. My ordination might be connected to Mexican food in some cosmic way.

Once they convinced me that they were serious, I did my best to make them see the foolishness of their request. When that did not work, I actually agreed, hoping they would forget about it and come to their senses in time.

They did not.

They continued to assure me that their desire to have me do this was real and not some delusional fantasy brought on by too much spicy Mexican food or its liquid antidote.

With my options for escape nearly exhausted, I called the NH Secretary of State's office and asked if my online ordination was enough to make their wedding legal. The short answer was, "Yup." The long answer was, "Yup. It sure is. Just make sure you sign the license."

I was going to perform their wedding.

The reason this all worked out is that Tim and Katie are wonderful, laid-back people with, evidently, very low standards and dubious taste. I should qualify that. Very low standards and dubious taste regarding who performs their wedding ceremony. In all other matters, they seem very sane and stable. They did have the good sense to provide me with a script, thus eliminating the very real possibility that I would pepper my oratory with words like 'booger' and 'fart'.

The ceremony went beautifully. The reception was great fun. Now, as long as the Secretary of State doesn't call them on their honeymoon to discuss some "irregularities", they'll be all set.

1 comment:

Katie said...

I TOTALLY would have had you write the ceremony. It would have been far more fun that way. Of course I would have been too busy checking out the audience's reaction to actually pay attention to whatever I was supposed to be doing in the ceremony....

Not that you need one, but it's nice to know you have a fall back career.