The 4-year anniversary of my initial Jerks of the Week entry is coming up in four days. It all started when my date to my college roommate's wedding bailed on me because she was starting her new job that Tuesday and didn't want to miss a barbeque where she would meet her new co-workers. In other words, she didn't want to be seen at a wedding with a fat dude like me. Still though, when I used my first-ever Jerks entry to complain about barbeques, I never imagined that it would spawn one of the most prominent features on this Web site.
I guess it's only fitting that I'd use my 4-year anniversary entry on another dateless wedding story. And as I did with my roommate's wedding in a Live Wedding Retro Blog for the 1-year mark, I'll recount the May 18 wedding in a similar, chronological fashion.
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012: We begin this story at my friends Injured Reserve and Man-Eaters' wedding. I was talking to our mutual friend Pat during cocktail hour. The fact that he'd be getting married in five months came up in the conversation.
Pat: You'll be getting a wedding invitation soon.
Pat (pointing at Awesome Girl Who Loves Football): You can bring your date too.
Me: Thanks, but I don't think she'll be able to come.
Pat: Why not?
Me: Well, she'll be home from school in mid-May, and I don't think her dad will let her go because he hates my guts and kind of would enjoy shooting me with the gun he owns.
In other words, the beautiful Awesome Girl Who Loves Football didn't want to be seen at another wedding with a fat dude like me. That explains why I would ultimately be dateless at Pat's wedding.
Sometime in April 2013: I received Pat's wedding invitation in the mail. He still gave me the option of bringing a date, but things with Awesome Girl Who Loves Football's father have not improved. If he found out that I brought his daughter to this wedding, he'd kill me and bury me in the desert somewhere, and then there wouldn't be a fifth-year Jerks anniversary article.
I looked at the church and reception locations. I didn't recognize the former - in fact, I'm pretty sure I'll either burn or melt if I step inside a church - but my jaw dropped when I read where the reception would take place: The Brookside Manor - which is RIGHT across the street from my house.
This was fantastic news. I told everyone. I was so excited that I'd be able to get obliterated and not have to worry about driving home or throwing up all over a hotel room. If I'd be puking anywhere, it would be in my neighbor's backyard (not you, Gene!).
May 18, 11:50 a.m.: I woke up groggy and dehydrated. Injured Reserve, Man-Eaters, my friend Josh and I went out to a bar called Kenny's the night before. I'll have a story about that next week, but I'll say for now that I was pretty close to being hungover. I was functional, but being thirsty and having to drop a deuce three times in two hours made it somewhat difficult to gather myself.
The wedding ceremony was slated to begin at 2:30. Given that the church was 45 minutes away and that I still had some work to do for this Web site, I told Injured Reserve that I'd see him at the reception.
1:49 p.m.: I received the following picture and text from Injured Reserve's brother, The Reverend:
Look at the name of the church. Stannis Baratheon has a church. Whenever the congregation has to say responses I'm gonna say "The night is dark and full of terrors."
2:00 p.m.: The Reverend and I exchanged a series of texts.
Me: It's gonna be a fun night.
The Reverend: Our goal is to get you to dance.
Me: Dancing is the worst thing ever. I'd rather go to the dentist.
The Reverend: I hate the dentist. They always tell me to floss, and I'm like, b**** please, I don't need to do that.
Me: I used to not floss until my mom made me. Now I do it every night.
The Reverend: It's like I don't even know you anymore.
Me: Haha well, I'm just full of evil habits.
The Reverend: Habits? You probably don't even clean out the ice tray.
Me: What's an ice tray?
The Reverend: Ugh, it's not even worth explaining.
2:30 p.m.: I obviously wasn't there for this, but Injured Reserve and Man-Eaters later recounted what happened.
Man-Eaters: There was this lady there. She was wearing a gold jumpsuit. I'm not even kidding. It was a golden, silk jumpsuit, and her pants looked like pajamas. I normally wouldn't have had a problem with this, but when I walked by her in the church, she looked at me with such hatred in her eyes.
Injured Reserve: I saw that! I have no idea why she looked at you so hatefully!
5:15 p.m.: Injured Reserve, Man-Eaters, The Reverend and our friend Dead Rabbits, a police officer, stopped by to drink before the wedding. Because the reception was right across the street from my development, we planned to walk there from my house and then come back following the wedding for an after-party.
I poured myself one of my new favorite concoctions - whipped cream vodka and orange soda. It tastes exactly like a Creamsicle. It's pretty awesome. It's a bright color, so it looks like it might be a girly drink, but Man-Eaters brought up a good point about those.
Man-Eaters: I think I'm getting a vodka, sprite and cranberry juice. It's so good.
Injured Reserve: That does sound good, but it's a girly drink.
Man-Eaters: So what? Everyone loves girly drinks, but guys are just too scared to admit it.
This is true. There's an unwritten manhood rule that says any non-heterosexually challenged male must drink stuff that is black, clear, yellow or brown. It sucks, but that's the way society works.
5:45 p.m.: I was nearly done my drink and thought about pouring myself another one, but Injured Reserve and Man-Eaters told me that we absolutely had to be there on time.
Man-Eaters: We have to get there exactly at 6. There are 360 guests!
Injured Reserve: I'm concerned about standing in line for a long time for food and drinks.
A long line for food and drinks? How unbelievably horrifying, especially for someone as fat as myself. I chugged whatever I had left in my cup and raced upstairs to sign the wedding card.
5:55 p.m.: We drove over to Brookside Manor. This wasn't out of lethargy; it was raining, unfortunately, so no one wanted to get wet.
As we stepped out of the car, Man-Eaters decided that we should all have new identities for this evening. Here they were:
Man-Eaters became Jinnifer Mallory: Jinnifer - not "Jennifer," as she had been incorrectly called her entire life - trained penguins for a living. Penguins, she revealed, were one of two animals (giraffe) that couldn't express sadness because they didn't have vocal cords. However, Jinnifer, being the world's most renowned trainer of penguins, taught them how to express sadness.
Injured Reserve became Chaz Schilens: If you're a football fan, you know that the oft-injured Schilens is a former receiver for the Oakland Raiders and a three-time fantasy sleeper on this Web site despite accomplishing nothing in his career. His best year was 2009 when he caught 29 passes for 365 yards and two touchdowns. Schilens is black, while Injured Reserve is white, but that didn't seem to impact IR's decision to adopt this particular identity.
The Reverend became Walter Cherepinsky: You all know Walter, the fat guy who writes about football. Little do you know that Walter is also an aspiring Vegas dancer. That's what Walt told me at the wedding anyway.
Walter Cherepinsky became The Reverend: The Reverend works for the government. His job is being in charge of all helicopter sales in the continental United States (he's working on his Hawaiian license). Luckily, this requires almost zero work on his part because he has to wait for bureaucratic B.S. to pass through. As a consequence, The Reverend spends his entire workday - and your tax dollars - browsing through Reddit and reading Jerks of the Week articles. This is fine for The Reverend, as he's very content with doing as little work as possible.
Dead Rabbits became Rodney Charles-Stephenson: The product of two lesbians who couldn't decide on a last name, Rodney Charles-Stephenson was recently promoted to the assistant to the forklift operator at Wal-Mart. Rodney doesn't actually operate the forklift himself quite yet; he's the one who tells people to clear out of the way for the forklift operator.
Body Burner became Alan Rumstein: Alan Rumstein, Esq., is an awful lawyer. He has lost all 63 of his court cases in his career. His most recent legal adventures involved plea bargaining a 2-year prison sentence for his client, who was arrested for jaywalking.
Body Burner's girlfriend Jamie became Angel McDermott: Angel is an aspiring Broadway star, but she has yet to catch a big break (i.e. sleeping with some mega agent or producer). That's why she's in Philadelphia; she's performing in local musicals until she can move up in this world.
6:05 p.m.: We found our nametags and found the cocktails. There were initially just cheese and pepperonis on the table, but that was enough for me. I grabbed eight cheeses and four pepperonis and enclosed each pepperoni in between two cheeses to make a sandwich. I was already having the time of my life.
6:10 p.m.: Injured Reserve suggested ordering Seven and Sevens as drinks this evening. I heard of them, but never tried one before. I got one from the bar, and it was pretty awesome - despite being yellowish. No sissy girly drinks needed for me!
6:20 p.m.: I downed my Seven and Seven pretty quickly, so Rodney Charles-Stephenson ordered another one for me. By this time, I had consumed my four delicious sandwiches and I was still unbelievably hungry. I asked Angel to watch my drink as I went up for more food.
Unfortunately, there was a long line. I was concerned that I wasn't going to get any food. On the bright side, there was a hot Asian chick standing behind me. Now, I'm into Asian girls as much as the next white guy, but being the Reverend for the evening, I felt especially obligated to game her, given that the Reverend once had an Asian girlfriend.
I was trying to figure out something cool to say to her just as I reached for the cheese. I had the cheese in the pliers when I looked at her. I put them down on my plate, but I completely missed, and they fell onto my shoes.
Me: You didn't see that!
Hot Asian Chick: Nope, definitely didn't!
Me: Nope, never happened, but maybe I should kick the cheese under the table so no one suspects anything!
I realized that this was an "in" for me - except that I completely ruined the opportunity. I tried kicking the cheese under the table just as I was grabbing more cheese. The cheese on the floor wouldn't go anywhere, so I tried to kick it harder. And that's when I dropped my fork. And the new cheese.
Me: You didn't see that either!
Hot Asian Chick: Ha... yeah...
I was getting pretty desperate at this point. I really wanted to game an Asian chick as the Reverend...
Me: Did I tell you that I'm in charge of all helicopter sales in the continental U.S.?
Hot Asian Chick: No...
Me: Except for Hawaii! Getting my license for that soon!
Hot Asian Chick: Hmm... OK...
Oh well. The silver lining here is that when Hot Asian Chick asks the bride or groom, "Who was that weird government worker who sells helicopters, because he was creepily hitting on me?" it'll get traced back to the real Reverend. Ha!
6:22 p.m.: I quickly forgot about my failed attempt to game Hot Asian Chick when I discovered there were mozzarella sticks. Mozzarella sticks! Unfortunately, there were only 11 remaining - I counted - and there were tons of people behind me in line. So, even though I wanted to grab all 11, I decided to just take one because I didn't want to be a dick.
I was about to put the pliers down when a fat man with a mustache tapped me on the shoulder. "I'll take those - just want mozzarella sticks," he said, licking his lips.
The mustachioed fat man, who wasn't even in line to begin with, put three mozzarella sticks onto his plate and then went away.
What an a**hole. Seriously. It's one thing to hog all the mozzarella sticks when there are very few remaining; it's another to do so when you're not even in line!
6:25 p.m.: I sat down with the following on my plate: eight pieces of cheese - I decided to forgo the pepperoni this time because I felt like it was holding me back - two fried shrimp, two mini-pizzas, two Reuben sandwiches, three mini-hot dogs, and of course, the mozzarella stick. We were discussing our new identities when this bearded guy in his 20s overheard us. Jinnifer, Chaz and I decided that he should have a new identity as well.
Chaz: I feel like he has to be Swedish.
Bearded Guy: Yeah, I'm definitely up for that.
Chaz: How about Mark Magnuson?
Bearded Guy: Meh...
Me: How about Mark Bjoern?
Bearded Guy: I like that, but I'd rather be Peter Bjoern. Mark's my brother and he died.
Jinnifer: So what's his backstory? I feel like it should have to do with time travel.
Chaz: OK, he traveled here from the 1930s!
Me: Or maybe he was cryogenically frozen for the past 50 years.
Peter Bjoern: Being cryogenically frozen sounds awesome!
6:30-7:00 p.m.: I spent the next half hour drinking my Seven and Sevens and scarfing down food. I also paid close attention to the man posing to be Walter Cherepinsky. I wanted to act as the Reverend as best as possible, so I observed his mannerisms. The real-life Reverend is also pretty nonchalant about things as long as he doesn't have to do anything, so Angel was quite amused at the following exchange:
Angel: If the person you married had a doctorate, even in something weird, would you take her name?
Me: Meh, as long as I don't have to do anything, I don't really care.
7:05 p.m.: I'm pretty sure this was the time when we all sat down in the main reception hall. I sat next to Chaz and the fake Walter Cherepinsky's real-life parents - if you're super confused, I don't blame you - and because I didn't want to get out of character, I addressed them as "mom" and "dad" the entire evening.
7:10 p.m.: The toasts commenced.
7:15 p.m.: The same toast was still going on. I think. Our table was way in the back, so I could barely hear anything. The acoustics in the room were so bad that it made the toasters sound like the adults on Peanuts.
7:20 p.m.: The same toast was still going on. Someone at our table got up to see if the bar was open. He came back a couple of minutes later and informed us that they wouldn't serve drinks until the toasts were over. I wanted to cry.
7:25 p.m.: The first toast finished, but the second one began. I still couldn't hear anything.
7:30 p.m.: Suddenly, everyone raised their glasses. We all downed our champagne, and at that moment, everyone sprinted to the bar.
7:35 p.m.: The bar line still wasn't moving, and it didn't appear as though anyone received any drinks. That's when we discovered that there were still more toasts going on. No one was getting any alcohol until they were done - save for the fat, mustachioed man from before, who walked by us with three full glassesin his hands. He wasn't in the wedding party or anything, so I still have no idea how he managed to acquire those beverages.
7:43 p.m.: Everyone was now singing a wedding variation of the 12 Days of Christmas. No one was drinking, and many were grumpy. One of the older men in line decided to replace the final line in each verse with "and one oooopen baaaaar!"
7:50 p.m.: The song finished, but there was still more toasting going on. An old lady in her 70s standing behind us had enough at that point. "No more toasts! I want to drink!" she shouted.
7:55 p.m.: The toasts finally concluded, and it was time to drink! Huzzah! I ordered two Seven and Sevens just in case they decided to close the bar again.
8:05 p.m.: The moment I dreaded finally arrived. I was asked to dance. Normally, I'd just say no to anyone because I think dancing is the worst thing of all time, but being the Reverend tonight, I felt obligated because I didn't want to break character.
Jinnifer was the one who asked me to dance. She had to put my arms in the correct spots, and then we started moving. And by moving, I mean me stepping on her foot dozens of times.
Me: I'm not supposed to be stepping on your foot, right?
Jinnifer: No, definitely not. You shouldn't even try to lead.
Me: Lead? What's lead?
Jinnifer: The person who leads in the direction they're going to dance.
Me: But how do you know which direction you're supposed to go?
Jinnifer tried explaining it to me, but it was way too complicated for me to comprehend. I'm sorry, I haven't been in high school for a long time, so I don't remember what the hell I learned in physics and geometry.
8:15 p.m.: The dancing stopped because they started calling up tables for the buffet. We were table 21, so we had to wait a long time. The rain subsided, so we decided to drink outside. That's when Chaz and the Walter Cherepinsky doppelganger decided to have some fun at my expense.
Chaz: So, Walter Cherepinsky, who are your top fantasy quarterback rankings this year?
Fake Walter: I have Joe Flacco as my No. 1 quarterback.
I could see where this was going, but I was not breaking out of character.
Me: I don't even know who Joe Flacco is. All I know is Peyton Manning.
Fake Walter: Brett Favre is my No. 2 quarterback.
Me: I don't care, I'm just gonna go off some Web site's rankings while I do online shopping during the draft.
Fake Walter: Oh, and Chaz Schilens is going to be one of my sleepers this year!
Me: That doesn't surprise me. I don't even know who he is, but you always have him as a sleeper.
8:30 p.m.: We went inside to check which table they called for dinner. They were at Table 8 or 9, but we decided to just get food anyway. I piled tons of meat, potatoes, bread and cheese onto my plate. They didn't have any mozzarella sticks here, so I'm assuming the fat, mustachioed guy had already grabbed all of them. As a consolation prize, there was a pickle!
8:35 p.m.: I sat down next to the fake Walter, who was quite angry when he saw what I had on my plate.
Fake Walter: Where'd you get a pickle?
Me: Eh, I don't know, I just saw it and I took it.
Fake Walter: That's bulls***! But I'm not going back into the line for just a pickle.
Me: Meh, I'm a bit surprised though because I feel like Walter would do anything for delicious food.
Me 1, Fake Walter 0
8:45 p.m.: NOM, NOM, NOM, NOM!
8:55 p.m.: I was so focused on stuffing my face with food that I didn't even notice that the entire table was empty when I was finished. I found everyone outside smoking cigars in a gazebo. The two girls were making fun of me for not picking out my suit when I bought it when this unfamiliar guy with a beard came to talk to Rodney. I was pretty drunk at that point, so that would explain the following exclamation:
Me: OMG THAT'S MARK BJOERN, PETER BJOERN'S BROTHER!!!
Chaz: I think Mark Bjoern is dead.
Me: NO, EVERYONE THOUGHT HE WAS DEAD WHEN HE WAS CRYOGENICALLY FROZEN, BUT HE SURVIVED AND NOW HE'S A SOVIET SPY!!!
Chaz: But I actually think he is dead.
Me: NO, THAT TURNED OUT NOT TO BE TRUE! HE'S A TRAITOR TO THIS COUNTRY!!!
9:10 p.m.: I was thinking about more possibilities for Mark Bjoern when someone noticed that there was a fancier, better-lit gazebo across the lawn. We all wanted to go there, but there was some hesitancy because there was no path leading to it.
People were debating it when Rodney ultimately settled it. He broke character and pulled out his badge.
"Who's going to tell me we can't go there!? I'm an officer of the law, and I say we can go there!"
This was the one instance the entire night when I felt like it was justifiable to break character - especially considering that we all know the owner of the establishment to be a giant, cheap douche (we used to swim competitively there). We all crossed over to the other gazebo, but quickly discovered that looks can be deceiving. This gazebo was creaky and the floor was unstable. Oh well. At least we knew we weren't going to get arrested.
9:25 p.m.: We reentered the building just in time because they were serving dessert. Now, if they just gave out cake like they did at my cousin's wedding, I'm sure Jinnifer and I would have stolen many pieces again. However, this wedding had an impressive dessert tray. I piled a huge piece of chocolate cake, two sprinkled cookies and a brownie onto my plate. There was probably even better stuff available, but I'm sure the fat, mustachioed man got to it first. The man is my nemesis.
9:30 p.m.: NOM, NOM, NOM, NOM!
9:40 p.m.: I was in line yet again for drinks - I think I was on my ninth Seven and Seven at that point - when some guy my group was talking to earlier came to the bar with his fiancee. That's when Chaz had a moment like I experienced outside.
Chaz: THIS GUY'S NAME IS DONOVAN!
Guy in Bar Line: Donovan?
Chaz: Donovan... DONOVAN PETROVIC!
Donovan's fiancee ordered a beer for everyone, which was cool, so I suddenly had a Seven and Seven and a Miller Lite bottle in my hands.
9:45 p.m.: It was back to dancing. Had I been myself, I would have sat down and annoyed Awesome Girl Who Loves Football with some texts, but being the Reverend, I once again felt obligated to hit the dance floor. Plus, I was pretty drunk, so I didn't care too much about geometry and physics at that point.
Six interesting things happened on the dance floor:
1. Someone put random sunglasses on me at one point. Everything was dark with them on, which inexplicably made me feel like I had some swag for the first time in my life. I enjoyed dancing while I had the sunglasses on. I actually felt so confident that I pointed to Hot Asian Chick, who was talking to her friend at the table. Hot Asian Chick gave me a dirty look in return, and then someone snatched the sunglasses from me. So much for my swag.
2. The aforementioned woman in the gold jumpsuit walked by and scowled at Jinnifer again. Jinnifer looked at me and shouted, "What the hell did I do to piss her off!?" My guess is that Gold Jumpsuit Lady is just paranoid that everyone will want to steal her jumpsuit when no one's looking.
3. The Reverend - I mean, Fake Walter - shouted, "I want to try this!" and smashed the bottom of his beer bottle on the top of mine. Because I was still working on my Seven and Seven, my beer was full. The Reverend's actions caused my beer to spill out.
The dance floor might be ruined by the beer, but like I said, the owner of this place is a giant jackass, so I don't care. Also, I was happy to tell the Reverend that the real Walt would never do anything like that.
Me 2, Fake Walter 0
4. Peter Bjoern joined us on the dance floor. He was a pretty good dancer, and he seemed like he was in good spirits. Unfortunately, I depressed him with my news.
Me: I saw your brother Mark outside!
Peter Bjoern: My brother's dead, man...
Me: No! Mark Bjoern was cryogenically frozen like you, and now he's a Soviet spy!
Peter Bjoern: Oh man...
Peter Bjoern looked completely depressed. Chaz heard the entire exchange and addressed what just happened.
Chaz: Walt, I told you, his brother is dead in real life.
Me: Oh... I thought we meant Mark Bjoern was fake dead. Oh no...
5. A slow song came on. Fake Walter and I were both dateless, so he grabbed me, and we started slow dancing. I'm not going to lie. It was quite magical.
Fake Walter: I'm proud of you that you danced tonight.
Me: I'm you, so whatever. But I'm quite disappointed in you. Walter would never dance like you have tonight. Have you even texted Awesome Girl Who Loves Football?
Fake Walter: No...
Me: Ha! I win the identity-switching competition! I only annoyed Awesome Girl Who Loves Football with two texts, but I at least danced!
Me 3, Fake Walter 0
6. I was able to speak to the bride. She told me something cool.
"I was so stressed out this whole week while trying to get ready for this wedding. But I read your jerks of the week about staring at the girl's a** at Bottom Dollar, and it made me laugh. It actually relieved some of my stress, so thank you!"
I can now say that Jerks of the Week has saved one bride from wedding-week stress. That's a cool coincidence, given that I created this section because of a wedding.
10:45 p.m.: The dance-floor stuff spanned a good hour. As everyone was leaving, we tried to recruit as many people as possible for my after-party. Donovan Petrovic and his fiancee initially said yes, but they changed their minds. I asked Peter Bjoern if he'd like to come by as an olive branch, but he didn't look like he wanted to be associated with me at all. I asked Fake Walter if we should invite Hot Asian Chick and her friend, and he said, "Nah, it doesn't look like they're having it."
I can respect that answer. The real Walter would have said something like that.
Me 3, Fake Walter 1
A respectable comeback, but too little, too late.
11:00 p.m.: We decided that we'd switch back to our original identities as soon as we entered my house. On top of that, I decided that the Reverend and I needed to spin around in a circle amid flickering lights, just as Troy and Abed did in the Freaky Friday episode of Community.
Unfortunately, everyone in my group stopped watching Community, save for Rodney Charles-Stephenson - I mean Dead Rabbits. So, after everyone grabbed a beer, I accessed my DVR and put on that episode.
Halfway through, everyone fell asleep. Except for me, of course. Now, if I were still the Reverend, I would have passed out as well after a busy day of buying and selling helicopters in 49 states. But I was myself again - just a regular, old, fat Web site owner.