NOTE: I'm at the age when my friends marry. Deez Nupts are tales from weddings, but mostly the drinkin' that happens.
The last time most of these people saw me, I was pretty much dead. Literally. Almost a year later, I returned to the land that nearly killed me, and the friends who saved me. But absolutely none of this was about me. I didn't want tearful anniversaries, but instead a wedding and a lot of boozing.
So the planets aligned, and somehow MFNS found somebody to marry him: Sweeti. It was believed this would never happen, as MFNS is in his thirties. Now, he's not old by most marrying standards, but ancient considering some of our friends married before they could grow facial hair.
MFNS is one of my first, best, and closest college friends. He's like the older brother I never had. I even masqueraded as him to sneak into bars. He showed me the ropes of college, even though I didn't pay attention to his best advice. My favorite: "Only girls graduate in four years."
Since we're all white guys from the Midwest, to us, "dancing" means going to the bar and getting a bunch of drinks. After an 800-mile-long road trip through five states, I finally make it to beautiful Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Honestly, if you've ever watched that show on the History Channel, Life After People, that's pretty much downtown Sioux Falls. I've never seen more empty parking spots and barren streets.
When I arrive at MFNS's post-rehearsal dinner I spot his soon-to-be wife Sweeti. I walk up to give her a hug, but directly afterwards L-Hawk nearly form tackles me for a long, gracious hug. I suppose it's payback for nearly dying at her wedding to another of my best friends—Sterny—a year ago. Oops.
But now that I'm fully mobile, I smile, do a little dance and some head-nodding action to prove my once broken neck is now fixed. Sort of.
I see a couple of guys I haven't seen in about five or six years. We catch up, but I'm not taking the verbal abuse I'm used to. Generally we communicate through insults and swear words. I figure they're not ridiculing my hair, clothes, education or heritage because of my old neck injury. Then I hear a voice similar to one of Marge Simpson's twin sisters.
"KC, you stupid fucking idiot, I don't want you to fucking screw up my son's fucking wedding like you did at the last one." This can only be one person, MFNS's mom, who seems to run into me every time I'm nursing a wound—usually given to me by her son, like the time he dislocated my shoulder, or when he suckered me into snorting vodka. "Keep you're fucking head on straight and your fucking ducks in a fucking row you fucking moron." Ah, to be loved.
After this, everybody opens fire on me. If I pass a body of water, one of my smartass friends cracks a joke. "There's a pool in the hotel, but don't dive in it because there probably won't be naked chicks to save you." "Oh, check it out, a fountain! KC, just throw a nickel in it, don't jump in head first." "Waiter, could I get a glass of water please? (Looking at me) Don't dive into that." Since I deserve it, I just sit back and take it—as I'm sure I will until I do something even dumber that they can make fun of.
When we're finished with beers in the backyard, a handful of us head to the bars. Most of our friends don't join us for whatever reason. Some won't be in the area until tomorrow while others have kids. MFNS wants a solid night of sleep before his wedding, which is understandable since generally grooms in our weddings start drinking about eight in the morning until about two the next morning and then are expected to consummate the marriage. Getting hitched is a lot of work.
So L-Hawk, Sterny, Chainsaw, Anemic Dave and I hit the hotel bar. But after spending eight bucks for each Jameson on the rocks, we roll to the first other bar we see. I walk in only to see bartenders flipping mixers for martinis. We don't want to see a show or spend big bucks on cocktails—we're looking for lots of drinks for little prices. So we find the next bar, which is really shitty but also has karaoke. I pick up the next round, which is only $14, and then sign up four of us to sing George Thoroughgood. I think I'm the only one who enjoys the irony of four guys singing "I Drink Alone," but it's possible I'm the only person who understands the word "irony."
Later L-Hawk asks me why I don't have a girlfriend and my only answer is, "Kristen Bell probably forgot my phone number" (the Sarah Marshall star and I both attended NYU the same time). She pushed the question a little more. "I haven't even seen you in a year and I could have gotten you a date!" I just shrug my shoulders and say, "If I did bring a girl, I'd have to introduce her and all that crap, but all I want to do is hang out with my friends." She shakes her head and shrugs her shoulders.
In the meantime, Anemic Dave walks into the bathroom while two dudes are talking about the subtle difference between South Dakotan and Iowan prisons. The karaoke deejay cuts Chainsaw off from singing because he keeps walking up, grabbing the mic, and going "chicka chicka" during other people's songs. Sterny is learning that brandy makes you drunk.
Last call comes so we return to the hotel for more drinkin'. Sterny starts talking about when he and L-Hawk visited me in the hospital and watched me eat a salad. "It was the shittiest salad I've ever seen, but you ate it like it was sent from Heaven above." I guess I really enjoyed the greens, even though there's no recollection in my mind—morphine's a crazy drug. Chainsaw passes out on the floor and I hit the sack.
Since I've been drinking everything on the rocks, living at 5,400 feet, but now am at sea level I wake up feeling great. I do my morning exercises and wake Anemic Dave and L-Hawk for breakfast. Then we meet Poop, but L-Hawk decides her hangover is bad enough for a nap. So we menfolk hit the booze store, where we wonder which color liquor we'll throw up tonight.
Then it's naptime for me, but I'm awoken by Scooter and his wife. I tell them I'm back to Colorado, while they're back to being pregnant. Yay! Then I'm told it's time to get ready, so I pour a drink and jump in the shower—that's how I roll.
I'm dressed and dapper-looking so we head to the church. My friends are easily distinguishable since they're the ones drinking beers out of coolers from the trunks of their cars. Very fucking classy.
The wedding starts and I always wonder what the groom's dad tells him, if other people worry the bride will just run away, or how many bridesmaids are holding in farts. The preacher doesn't try to burn me at the stake, but instead talks for a very long time. Call me a weenie, but I'm a sucker for watching two people in love. So it was neat for me. Then they kiss and are husband and wife! Hooray! They leave but we don't throw rice at them—we're supposed to blow bubbles instead. I consider throwing the bottle of suds at them, but decide that's uncouth.
L-Hawk hands me the keys to Chainsaw's giant diesel truck and tells me to drive from the church to the hotel. Poop joins me and we laugh our asses off when we count three different types of bullets sitting on the floor of his pickup. We make it back to the hotel without killing anybody. Since Sterny is the best man and probably barfing his guts out from the ten hours of drinking he's already done, I walk to the reception with L-Hawk and we finally converse and catch up with each other—and ingest solid calories.
After eating, we start dancing. And since we're all white guys from the Midwest, to us, "dancing" means going to the bar and getting a bunch of drinks. After enough Miller Lites surge through our systems, some of us will actually go out there and cut the rug. Whether it's Poop's Michael Jackson dances or Chainsaw's "Guy with Parkinson's Disease Gets Struck By Lightning" routine, some bodies hit the dance floor.
I'm actually a decent dancer, but since there's a grand total of zero hot single chicks here, I save two dances for L-Hawk, since I missed her wedding and owe her double. As always, she laughs off my attempts to get her to split with her husband and elope with me—but hey, we've done the same thing for about ten weddings, so eventually it might work.
Later, Schwartz would punk my ass in a You Got Served dance competition, which surprised nobody but me. How was I supposed to know he took mambo classes?
Every wedding I've been to is similar, but a lot of these things are completely bizarre. I understand the flower bouquet throwing—that's pretty easy—but this garter tradition boggles me. As far as I gather—and there was about a quart of Polish vodka to help confuse me—the bachelors bid for the bride's garter by holding out money. I don't know why I'm supposed to want a lace garter (I still have two from prom), but I held out a twenty and somebody took it and that's pretty much all the sense I made of this tradition.
Of course, there was our "Piano Man" ritual, where we circle up, take off our pants (we all make conscious efforts to remember to wear underwear) and sing the Billy Joel song as loudly as possible. And no, women aren't allowed—this is a manly tradition. The circle was large this time, and we almost convinced MFNS's dad to join, but I think he decided he had a life.
When the music ends, we cruise back to the hotel for more binge drinking. This is another chance to bullshit with guys who knew me before I became an Internet sensation with nearly eight readers a month.
"So are you going to write about how boring and lame we've become again?" Schwartz asks me. It's true, we're getting older, moving farther away, and growing more different with each child, promotion, and election. But that doesn't mean we can't be friends. Because friends are just friends, no matter how different we really are.
Finally, with liquid courage, I brought up something that I feel very dear about.
"You know, MFNS is kind of the last one. The last of us to get married. I mean, there's still a few of us, but still. The only times we ever get together are for weddings and funerals, and I don't want to just see you guys when one of us dies. Now that we're out of weddings, how are we ever going to hang out again?"
"Well, you could always get married you stupid bastard," Sterny said, and then everybody laughed.
"Oh whatever. I'm living the life of Playboy—just as God intended."
"And how's that working out for you?"
"I'm supposed to get a naked celebrity DVD and Playmate of the Year Calendar with a two-year subscription."
Now arrives another wedding party made of mostly girls who've never been anorexic. This piques the interest of Anemic Dave and Chainsaw. I heard a guy talk about ordering pizza, so I stuck around. After gorging myself on cheeseburger pizza (you've got to hand it to the creativity of Midwestern pizza joints) I decide I don't feel like banging an unattractive girl—and by banging I mean taking off my clothes and passing out while the girl falls asleep from boredom. But I feel the desperate urge to call the newlyweds and tell them how I feel…at four in the morning
"Guys, I love that you're in love and I know it's late. And, geez I hope I don't cry, but I have a sappy love song I wanted to sing, but I drank too much and didn't remember to sing it to you until now. Here goes, the most romantic song I've ever heard:
Does whatever a spider can.
Spins some webs, any size.
Catches thieves, just like flies.
Here comes the Spider-Man!"
I wake up wondering how I ended up on a boat at sea during the middle of a hurricane, then I realize that's just my head and stomach rumbling. I stumble around trying to pack my stuff so I'd be out of the hotel before the noon checkout. Earlier, MFNS invited us over to watch wedding presents being opened over breakfast. I'm just happy for a glass of ice water and some air conditioning. I just happen to be in the room as they open my gift, which I'm amazed I remembered to give them without destroying. They stand up and hug and thank me.
But now it's time for me to leave my South Dakota friends for my Colorado friends. As I jet, Sweeti—MFNS's wife—calls out, "Thanks for not dying at our wedding!" And all I can do is smile.