I went to my nephew DJ’s wedding last week, and I was in trouble soon after I checked into the hotel. My brother and his wife asked me for 2 conflicting favors.
For some strange reason, my sister-in-law was worried that I would get drunk at her son’s wedding and do something that would embarrass her. So she asked me to stay sober, or at least not get drunk.
Brother X wasn’t worried about me getting drunk. He was worried about the rest of the wedding guests being sober. There were several hours in between the 3 p.m. wedding and the 7 p.m. reception with no activities planned for the 20 rooms of out-of-town guests who were staying at the hotel. He told them that he would buy everyone drinks at the hotel bar, but the photographer said he would need him during those hours for pictures. So he turned to me and asked me if I would pinch hit for him at the bar. He gave me cash to cover the bar tab.
“No man can serve two masters.” I read that somewhere. I think it was in the Constitution. So I had to decide which conflicting favor I would do. It was a big decision. However, Bro Code is quite clear about where my loyalties should lie. Plus, Brother X was buying the drinks. So it turned out to be an easy decision. I would be at the bar for 3 hours buying drinks. I’m sure that Mrs. X would understand about Bro Code if I should get drunk.
But before the bar opened, there was the all-important wedding ceremony in Seaford, NY. Yes, I was going to walk into a church. No, I was not worried about being hit by lightning or the walls crumbling. I’ve figured it out that your God gives me a Mulligan when I’m in church watching someone get hatched, matched, or dispatched. It looked like He was even giving me some gambling advice. There was a big bulletin board in the front of the Church with numbers on it: 409, 532, 235, 448, and 557. I can recognize lucky lotto numbers when I see them, so I memorized them in case I should bump into a lotto machine during the weekend.
The wedding service followed the same general theme as all weddings, with one exception. When the pastor referred to DJ as Donald, it was probably the first time any of his friends had heard his real first name. After the service, his friends were outside the church chanting Donald…Donald…Donald. I was busy racing back to the hotel to perform my civic duties. By the time I got to the bar there was a thirsty throng of people impatiently waiting for their free drinks.
I chatted with Jennifer, the barmaid, and told her that I was covering the bar tab for everyone but the guy who was sitting in the corner getting hammered on Long Island Iced Teas. He was obviously a local, not a wedding guest.
The crowd began screaming out their drink orders.
“Johnny Walker Blue, straight up,” Fred said.
Johnny Walker Blue is about $75 a shot in a bar.
“He’s cut off,” I said to Jennifer. “I’ll have a pint of Coors Light.”
“Hey, when I’m home I usually drink Johnny Walker Blue,” Fred complained.
“Okay, I said. “Go home and have one. I’ll see you at the reception.”
“Okay, Okay. Johnny Walker Red straight up.”
“Okay,” I said to Jennifer. “Give him his drink.”
“What about your wife. What’s she drinking?”
“Johnny Walker Blue, straight up.”
“You’re cut off, again.”
“Okay, a Scotch Old Fashioned.”
“Okay,” I said to Jennifer. “Let him have his drink, but please draw my beer first.” I knew from the Bartender’s course I took last year, that it would take quite a while for her to remember and gather all the ingredients for a Scotch Old Fashioned.
She gave me my beer and I watched her build the complicated drink as the crowd of thirsty wedding goers grew anxious and thirstier.
To make an Old Fashioned you take a short glass, add a Maraschino Cherry, an orange slice, ½ tsp. sugar, and 4-5 dashes of Angostura Bitters. Then you muddle all that together with a muddle stick. Then you fill the glass with ice, add two ounces of whatever whiskey you’re using, add a splash of soda water, and stir.
When, after about 5 minutes, she was all finished making the drink, Fred took it and said, “Her sister will have a Scotch Old Fashioned, too.”
The people in line were already so dry-mouthed that they were spitting cotton, but again they had to wait while another exotic drink was built.
“Why didn’t you just tell her two Old Fashioneds when you ordered the first one?”
“You only asked what my wife was drinking,” he gloated.
If there was a horn busting contest going on, Fred was winning.
I turned to see what was on TV, while Jennifer, mix, poured, and muddled her way through all the drink orders. It was a golf match. I think watching golf is boring. I don’t understand what people see in golf, the same way they don’t understand what I see in Harness Racing.
“Please change the channel.”
“What do you want?”
“Anything but golf.”
She grabbed the clicker and started clicking. When she got to a channel showing horse races I yelled for her to stop.
Everyone complained, and Jennifer asked me if I wanted her to keep clicking.
“No. Leave it there.”
The TV Announcer was introducing the horses for the next race, and my Aunt Jane liked one of the names.
“Okay,” I said. “Put up a buck and I’ll put a buck on number 7. If your horse finishes in front of mine, you win.”
We bet again, and this time my cousins Debbie and Linda put in a buck too. A few minutes earlier, they were all complaining about watching Horse Racing. Now, half the bar was screaming encouragements to the jockeys on their horses. We almost missed the shuttle to the reception.
Naturally, I don’t remember too much from the reception, but I know I had a great time.
When I got on the train back to Lancaster, I remembered that I hadn’t played the Lotto numbers from the church. So I connected with the Amtrak Wifi and went looking to see if any of God’s numbers had come in. None of them did, but the Devil had a winner on Sunday. The NY lotto number was 666.
Congratulations to Stacy & DJ.
Peace & Love, and all of the above,