Highlights of a Fraternity Wedding
Two weeks ago I was back in my hometown, St. Louis, for a fraternity brother’s wedding. If you are one of the unfortunate TFM readers to have graduated college then you know that a fraternity wedding ranks near the top of the list in terms of post-grad drinking events, right up there with tailgates, homecoming, bachelor parties, and “congratulations on getting a girl pregnant because you actually meant to” celebrations. Or at least that’s what I called it when I showed up blackout drunk to a baby shower with an armful of late 90s Playboys, an old baseball glove, and a handmade gift certificate for “one free prostitute” on the boy’s sixteenth birthday. I was lobbying for Godfather; still think I should have gotten it. Don’t blame me when he’s a tap dancing magician.
Regardless, post-grad drinking events are cherished days and nights because of how few and far between they tend to be, except for that one summer when you’ll have twelve weddings to attend. The best part about these things is that they usually don’t disappoint either, especially not the weddings. This one, as it turned out, was no different. What follows are a few highlights…
Showing Up to the Ceremony Drunk
Not a lot of the fraternity was invited to the wedding, only the groom’s closest friends. I don’t really blame him. The more of us you get together the more likely we are to ruin a special moment.
My pledge brother and I, being the oldest brothers in attendance and thus prone to the most awful hangovers, were still basically shit hammered from the night before. While most rehearsal dinners have open bars, this one went the extra mile with free margaritas. When you kick off your night with unlimited margaritas you’re infinitely more likely to fall asleep blacked in the back of a bar on a makeshift bed of napkins and romaine lettuce than you are to wake up sober in your own bed. We ended up staying out until about 3:00am, the wedding was at 11:00am. Boom, drunk at the ceremony.
The younger guys, meanwhile, were pre-gaming the wedding with tallboys. They showed up ten minutes late and had to be let in by the bride as she waited for her processional, because she and her father were the only ones near the door at that point.
Because I’m an eloquent son of a bitch I was asked to be a reader at the wedding. I’ve never had to concentrate so hard to read words on a page. Standing up on an altar, reading an Old Testament passage about love, and being so hungover that all you can think is, “don’t pass out, don’t pass out, don’t shart either,” probably would have caused a lesser man to be introspective. I didn’t have time for self reflection though, as I was too busy trying to force the letters to stay in focus while I tried not to gag on the smell of the previous night’s margaritas deflecting off the microphone and back into my face. I smelled like a filthy, neglected bar sink at Chili’s. Also I was foolishly excited to get some lunch drinks and watch James Franklin end up being more inaccurate than MSNBC. We should have beaten Florida by ten, Goddammit.
We also spent the ceremony adding our own commentary, and bickering via text and Twitter.
— BaconTFM (@BaconTFM) November 3, 2012
Discussing the Groom’s Questionable Sexual History…During the Father of the Bride’s Speech About Him
This one pretty much explains itself, but suffice it to say that long before the groom turned into a good husband he was ruining more virgins than an Aztec sacrificial priest. This was discussed at length.
And since the subject of hilariously swiped v-cards had come up, our table found out this beautiful bit of information. It’s literally the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard.
Just found out my fraternity brother lost his virginity at 13, in a movie theater, while the movie “Super Size Me” was playing.#incredible
— BaconTFM (@BaconTFM) November 3, 2012
Being the Only Table Singing Along to Sweet Caroline
At some point people gave up at being offended by how drunk we were and just decided to be amused instead. I think this was that point. While the rest of the guests at the reception were sipping wine or cocktails, having nice conversations, and waiting for dinner, we were shout-singing along to Neil Diamond’s masterpiece. I assume that once the song started playing most conversations at the reception went like this:
Guest 1: Oh that was such a lovely reception.
Guest 2: It really was. St. Francis Xavier is such a gorgeous church.
Guest 1: And the bride was absolutely glow…
Table Full of Drunks: BUH BUH BUH
Guest 1: (*looks over in disgust*) …ing. Don’t you…
Table Full of Drunks: SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD! WHY ISN’T ANYBODY ELSE SINGING!?!?!
Guest 1: …think?
Some Guy Thought I Was Selling Cocaine Because I Work For TFM
Although my fraternity brothers and I were pretty hammered, there was one guy in attendance far, far drunker than us. He was wearing a tuxedo, the only person not in the wedding party to be doing so, and his bow tie was undone. He looked exactly like the Rowdy Gentleman, minus the ability to hold his liquor.
He had several drinks taken from him, mostly because one of his eyes was closed and he couldn’t walk, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t keep going back up to the bar and getting another drink. I don’t know who impressed me more, the drunk, for his determination, or the bartenders, for dutifully serving a man who was so shitfaced that had he been operating an elevator it would have been a danger to others.
At one point the drunk guy approached me and the following conversation took place:
Drunk Guy: Heyyyyy. D’you…d’you got blow?
Bacon: Uh, no sorry bud.
Drunk Guy: I…I got a little bit…bit, but I need more…see?
(*pulls out container for contact lenses, unscrews cap, shows off his coke…two feet away from the dance floor*)
Bacon: Sweet. I don’t have any, unfortunately. But if you ask that guy over there (*points to random person on the dance floor who DEFINITELY does not have coke*) he’ll get you some. Dude’s been dealing all night.
(*Drunk Guy clumsily swivels his head around to see who is being pointed at*)
Drunk Guy: Him? He cool?
Bacon: Dude’s a one man blizzard. Did a few bumps with him earlier.
Drunk Guy: Niiiiiiiiiiice. Ima talk to him.
(*Groomsman walks up*)
Groomsman: What are you guys doing?
Bacon: Nothing, he was just leaving to go talk to that guy. (*points across the dance floor*)
Drunk Guy: (*to Groomsmen, about guy on the dance floor*) He got blow, right?
Groomsman: What? No. Chill the fuck out dude. (*to Bacon*) What the fuck is wrong with you?
Bacon: You RUINED it!
Drunk Guy: (*to Bacon*) So…so you don’t got any blow?
Bacon: No dude.
Drunk Guy: But…but…you’re Bacon? Right?
Bacon: No, that guy sucks. I hate that guy. Team Dorn.
People Working the Door Got Political
At the first bar we went to after the reception, Rooftop 360 at the Ballpark Hilton, one of my brothers who happens to be in the Army pulled out his military ID when he was carded. For whatever reason he asked if 360 had any military discounts. The girl carding at the door decided that this was the perfect time to get political, and started spouting off some bullshit about the bar not rewarding people for fighting in unjust wars. My brother cut her off, told her she was a bitch, and strolled inside. I’d like to add that if you’re a professional bouncer in St. Louis you should hate your life, not America. I only mention this incident to say that Rooftop 360, for that, you can blow me.
I Witnessed the Most Awkward Conclusion to a Fight That I’ve Ever Seen
By this point we were on Washington Avenue. It was nearly 2:00am. One of the guys was leaving the bar to go home and bang a bridesmaid. Good for him. He was on the street trying to hail a cab, but for whatever reason he wasn’t doing a great job. My pledge brother, who was out there smoking a cigarette, waved one down for the couple. As the two were getting into the cab an irate man in his mid-30’s stormed up and started screaming “No! No that’s MY cab!” My pledge brother semi-politely disagreed and told the irate man to go away.
As the couple started to get into the cab the irate man tried to pull them out, again claiming that this was his cab. He shouted, “I’ve been waiting here for twenty minutes! That’s not fair!” My pledge brother told the man that he was a dumbass and that this wasn’t how hailing a cab worked. He then told the man to fuck off. The man shoved my pledge brother. Being six feet, five inches of blackout drunk, my pledge brother didn’t take kindly to the shove and swung at the irate man, laying him out on the sidewalk. As the man staggered away my pledge brother walked over to some people he knew, who were laughing at what they had just watched.
A minute later the irate man, now much calmer, approached my pledge brother. This was their exchange:
Pledge Brother: What the fuck do you want?
Man: Listen, I’m sorry about earlier.
Pledge Brother: Whatever, go away.
Man: I’d like you to do me a favor.
Pledge Brother: No.
Man: I need you to meet my wife.
Pledge Brother: What!?!
Man: I need you to meet my wife.
Pledge Brother: No! Get the fuck out of here.
Man: (*deadly serious*) I’m serious, I need you to meet my wife.
Pledge Brother: (*after a moment*) Jesus, fine.
My pledge brother followed the man for about thirty feet before coming up to a decrepit woman with a pained look on her face and a cane in her hand. “This is my wife,” the man explained. “She has multiple sclerosis. We’ve been standing, standing, out here for twenty minutes trying to hail a cab. She’s in pain. I’m sorry I got so upset, I was just frustrated.”
“Listen asshole,” my pledge brother began to reply, “I’m sorry your wife is all fucked up, but that’s NOT HOW YOU TALK TO DRUNK STRANGERS.”
The man agreed and apologized profusely. My pledge brother, feeling slightly guilty, flagged down the nearest cab, gave the driver forty dollars, and told him to take the couple wherever they needed to go. The man tried to refuse my pledge brother’s charity, to which my pledge brother replied, “no, get the fuck in the cab and go home. I’m getting this for you, get out of here.”
The man thanked him sincerely and helped his wife into the cab. Just before he got in the man turned to my pledge brother and gave him a gracious nod, a gesture my pledge brother repaid with a firm middle finger. With that the man sank into the backseat and the cab drove away.
Fraternity weddings; they’re a “get so drunk you punch a guy for trying to help his handicapped wife” kind of night.
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