There is nothing so unnatural as the phenomenon I am about to tell you about. It is as if the laws of nature turned a blind eye and allowed something to happen despite a crucial element being absent. I’ll lay out those elements for you now and then the full horror will be revealed.
A wedding reception. A celebration of the nuptials of two individuals brought together through love.
A hall filled with about one hundred guests, most of whom had never met one another. Aunties mixed with friends, neighbours sat next to workmates, acquaintances held sway with old schoolmates. A wedding is never an easy social gathering to mix up.
"Right, what do you want to drink?" asks Meeester.
"Glass of white wine. Hurry back....don’t leave me for long." I say nervously eying the sea of "friends I haven't met yet".
Minutes pass, when suddenly I see an ashen face drill a terrified stare at me as Meeester rushes forwards.
“Holy shit, there’s nothing. It’s ….it’s...”, Meeester frantically whispers.
“What is it? Calm down…tell me...”
“You’d better sit down and brace yourself. It’s a... DRY WEDDING!”
“Dry wedding…don’t understand…” I am genuinely confused.
“Dry wedding, no booze…no bar…nothing. There is nothing to drink.”
I stare at him blankly until it is apparent he is telling the truth.
“But how can there BE such a thing…? It isn’t ….I haven’t ever….whaaaaaa? Nothing? Not even sherry?”
“Nothing….absolutely nothing.” Meeester shakes his head.
Suddenly a voice calls out from the stage, “Ladies and Gentlemen, as the bride and groom will shortly be arriving, can you please find your seats. You’ll find your names and allocated tables on the board at the front of the hall”
“Right, let’s leave now…they’ll never notice. We don’t know anyone anyway. This is going to be shit,” I say.
“We can’t,” he nods in the direction of a wee lady in lilac, “ Mum.”
Meeester glances over at Meeesus M, his Mum, who we’ve accompanied. The groom is the Minister and family friend of the Martinis. He is also the man who married Meeester and I over a year ago, hence the reciprocal invite to his own wedding. Meeesus M doesn’t drink anyway and is as happy as a sober sandboy chatting to old church pals.
“Did you know about this?” already I start with the finger pointing.
“No! Keith drinks. Must be his wife’s lot. Well, look at them…” he looks over at some buttoned up sisters, a sour lemonesque mother, and a joyless defeated wizened father.
“Bloody Christians. Where in the Bible does it say anything about no booze. The whole book is booze soaked! Jesus drank wine, he wanted others to drink wine. He was practically forcing it down the disciples necks at the Last Supper. These people are DEFYING Jesus!” I say through gritted teeth, the full horror now sinking in.
But I am silenced before I can go on about the Second Coming happening tonight and Jesus being pissed off that there's no vino on offer to welcome him.
“Sshhhh! We’ll just have to get on with it.” Meeester is now at the acceptance stage, having heard the news two minutes earlier than me. I’m still firmly at “anger”.
“It’s unpatriotic. That’s what it is.” I've moved off blasphemy and onto jingoism.
“We’ll be fine” says Meeester ushering me towards our table, filled with six other people we don’t know. People who seem unperturbed by the dryness.
“It nullifies their vows. No toast, no marriage.” I am now belligerent and frankly annoyed at the deception, looking now, to the laws of the land, for justification.
“Maybe we’ll get a glass to toast them. That’s it…they’ll dole out booze for the toast.” Meeester has suddenly snapped back to the “denial stage”.
Two hours later, the toast has come and gone and no more than diluted orange cordial has passed anyone’s lips.
In the confusion that is the start of the “Strip the Willow” dance (which you need to be hammered to attempt, by Scottish Law- look it up), Meeester and I take the matter into our own hands and escape down Hope Street, on the pretense of “getting some more money out” (for what?) to the legendary Griffin Bar.
During this 30 minute
During our hiatus, we also gamble on the bandit, swear a lot, covet someone’s ass, think impure thoughts and take the Lord’s name in vain a couple of times.
Dry weddings- you heard it here first.
Be warned; they do exist.
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