After five days of having my ass kicked morning, noon and night, I am finally a card-carrying member of the black belt club. I now know the secret handshake and the infamous “quart of blood technique”. I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you, trade secret and all. One would think that I would use the remaining three days of my vacation relaxing and drinking copious quantities of “liquid bread”, but as luck would have it I had to take part in an execution.
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That’s right, the bitterest critic of all things female south of the Mason-Dixon actually took part in the most unholy of rites. I was a groomsman. Mind you when my dear friend asked me to stand up with him as he threw away his chances for peace, happiness, and financial security I had to suppress a shudder. To tell the truth it was almost a scream, but I digress. Seeing how this man has been the closest thing to a brother that I’ve ever had I reluctantly agreed to dress up in a poofy “poet shirt” and doublet to take part in this Renaissance period affront to my better judgment, but the good news is I got to wear a blade during the ceremony. The better to fend off overly sentimental in-laws and emotionally charged bridesmaids, if you know what I mean.
Seeing as how this was my first time as a groomsman, I decided it would be bad form to not to take my duties with all due seriousness and gravity. I’m here to report no man, in the annals of time has ever tried so steadfastly to convince a man not to go down the aisle than yours truly. I begged, I pleaded, I told stories of marital horror that would frighten even the most happily married octogenarian, and I even paraded a plethora of scantily clad women before in hopes he would find a flavor that appealed to the more animal side of his nature. To my dismay, my friend would not be swayed, even after I raised his blood alcohol level to the point that he would qualify as a vegetable rather an animal in a game of twenty questions. His made was made up, he intended to give this woman
not only his last name, but the legal right to take half of everything he owns if he so much as looks at another issue of Playboy, can’t be taught the “correct” way to load a dishwasher or fold a towel, or even god forbid he fart in public. For those of you unschooled in the arts of divorce law, these things all fall under the column of “irreconcilable differences” which is a term invented by women to allow them to take a man to the proverbial cleaners when they grow tired of being tied down to a knuckle-dragging, emotionally-deficient caveman.
Here I am in the sweltering heat of the Lonestar state, in long sleeves and a velvet doublet, peace-bonded short sword at my hip, wondering what I’m going to do to stop this man from ending up locked in box in his cellar dressed in nothing but bondage gear and a face mask with a zipper over his mouth. If the name “the Gimp” means anything to you, you’ll understand where I’m coming from here. Mostly I just stood there sweating like a ten-cent hooker on nickel night, avoiding the stares I was getting from the unattached cousin of the bride serving as my female counterpart in the ritual sacrifice. It wasn’t until he dropped to one knee, sword in one hand, bride’s hand in the other as he recited his vows like some knight pledging his life to chivalry or some other “worthy” cause in the most revolting show of love induced insanity I’ve ever witnessed that I felt my late lunch threatening to make a reappearance. Does he not realize that in five years all of the courtly romance and passionate sex will be reduced to narrow stare in the hall on the way to the bathroom and a muttered “Fuck you”? Bear in mind, that scenario assumes that it lasts five years, which most marriages don’t.
I could have plunged that short sword point first through the base of his skull and ended his misery, while he was still blissfully ignorant of the years of pain and suffering he has coming. He wouldn’t have seen it coming, he would have died quick and left a reasonably good-looking corpse, and after all I’m trained for this sort of thing.
I’m sad to say, I just couldn’t do it. I’d miss the poor bastard too much, and I have an allergic reaction to tattooed, muscle bound, and lonely men called Ramon. I failed at my job, both as his friend and groomsman; I’m a poor, poor excuse for a man. So now when she takes all of his worldly goods, and he’s paying half his income in alimony and child support and his kids fondly refer to him as “the Bastard”, I’ll be there to call her names and but his beer.
But you know what makes me feel worst? When I did my obligatory spin around the dance floor with the monster that is likely to crush the very soul of my best friend, to the tune of some shit-kicker singing about how she’s every woman he’s ever known, I heard these words fall from my lips. “If he gives you too much trouble, give me a call and I’ll kneecap him.”
I’ve always been a sucker for a pretty girl dressed in white.
Smile if you're stupid,
laugh if you understand.