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6:06 a.m. - 2004-03-22

I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER FOR ME

Soooo ... this was the weekend of my little sister's wedding.

While the wedding itself was very nice and some would say "beautiful", there were a few hitches in the weekend.

Courtesy of me, naturally.

In an effort to save money, my sister asked for my assistance in videotaping the wedding and DJing the reception.

It was the least I could do.

But I reminded her that I was NOT a professional videographer and that she may want to reconsider that move.

She was insistant that a videographer cost several hundred dollars and she would rather put that money toward her honeymoon than a videographer.

Since me, Susie and my other sister and her family were seated in the second row of the church, I decided to videotape from that vantage point.

Everything went smooth at first.

You know.

Until the "Your battery is dying, you dumbass" light started flashing.

I had charged the battery all night the night before.

But I've learned that these batteries only last about a year before they're dead.

And this one that I've had for approximately a year was nearly dead ten minutes into the ceremony.

Way before hands were joined, tears were shed and vows were said.

So I did what comes natural.

I panicked.

Susie gave me a look that would kill when I leaned over and whispered "The battery is almost dead".

I ended up cutting one of the solos from my sister's friend and one of the prayers that the minister said.

I figure if you HAVE to cut something out of a wedding, you can at least cut those.

Right?

I mean...if it were YOUR wedding, would you rather have a solo and a prayer over your actual vows and the minister saying "I present to you, Mr and Mrs Clem Clodhopper!"???

I think not.

So I'm guessing I did the right thing there.


The reception was held outside in front of the church under the trees.

It may have seemed romantic to my sister at the time she chose that location.

But she probably chose that location when the weather wasn't 85 degrees outside.

Like it was on Saturday.

So we're all sweating up a storm outside waiting for my sister and her new husband to finish taking pictures inside.

I've got a nine year-old nephew named Ricky.

Ricky was bored to tears the entire weekend.

So, being the cool Uncle that I try to be, I asked Ricky if he'd be interested in helping me DJ the reception.

The kid's eyes lit up. He was more than happy to "help" me.

As it turns out, in Ricky's eyes, "helping" means "DJing the entire reception".

I showed him the basics of how the system worked and showed him how to fade from one song into the next.

He was a bit rough at it and had some dead air, but all in all, he did a good job.

Except ... the kid really really really wanted to scratch the songs with the scratch wheels.

Which is the best way I can put it. I've got these wheels that you can use like a turntable platter that makes the "scratching" sounds like a rap record would have.

Following me?

So I told him that a wedding reception is not the appropriate place for "scratching".

I set him up with two CDs and tell him he's on his own for a few minutes while I went to track down my family.

I get about 30 feet from the DJ table when I hear Lionel Richie's voice going "Wicky wicky wick wicky wicky wick wack".

I turn around and my nephew has a devilish grin on his face.

My sister, the bride, shot me a look that said "Get him away from the DJ equipment NOW".

I made the kid promise not to do it again until later on and he promised.

And once the crowd died down, he scratched his butt off.


Something I like to do when I'm forced to videotape weddings is get candid video from the guests at the wedding wishing the bride and groom good luck or telling a story about them or whatever.

So I set up the videocamera near the DJ equipment and made an announcement that I'd like to get everyone on tape before they left.

(I now had the camcorder plugged in so I no longer had to worry about the battery, in case you were wondering)

So people came over and graciously got in front of the camera to wish the couple well.

Some of my sister's co-workers all put on these novelty sunglasses and sang "I Say A Little Prayer" like it was sung in the movie "My Best Friend's Wedding".

My sick aunt, who practically raised us kids for a while, gave a nice little blessing to the new couple.

And about 30 other people gave their best wishes which was really nice.

Yeah.

So fast forward to yesterday when we got home from Georgia and I decided to watch the tape to see how it came out.

Well.

Between having to pick out the songs that were being played, chastising my nephew for scratching the discs, videotaping a slew of people and generally being frantic, I ... uhhhh ... I screwed up.

Apparently, at one point while videotaping, I thought I turned the camera off.

I didn't.

Soooo ... the camera kept rolling as I assembled my sister's co-workers in front of the church sign that congratulated my sister and her new husband.

The co-workers get in place on the tape.

You hear me count down "3,2,1".

And then I shut the camera off.

Completely missing their production of "I Say A Little Prayer".

The video starts rolling as soon as they're done and walking away, because while I thought I shut it off after their performance, I turned it back on.

This continues for the next three people.

Including our sick aunt and uncle.

And the friend of my sister who acted as the wedding planner.

While watching this at home, I'll admit ... I was cringing.

Susie was freaking out.

"How could you have done that?" she barked.

"It ... it was bright outside and I couldn't see in the picture window to tell if it was taping or not," I protested. "Plus, I was having to videotape and find songs to play at the same time and dealing with requests and our nephew screwing around and Andrew wanting me to hold him. I screwed up. I admit it."

But each time that camera shut off as I counted down "3,2,1" I felt sick to my stomach.

Finally, and I remember how it happened ... Susie worked the camera one time and she happened to check and saw that the tape was rolling when it shouldn't have been and shut it off, reversing the screw-up once and for all.

I told my sister to hire a professional.

I hope she doesn't freak out when she sees the tape and sees my butchering of it.


Finally, since this thing is already way long, I'm going to try to make a long story short.

Saturday night after the wedding, we went out to a nearby Sports bar for drinks.

There were about 14 of us. Susie and Andrew came but they went back to the hotel fairly early on.

I don't drink much at all anymore.

But being around my family causes me to drink.

Heavily.

So at one point, we're talking about the first time I got drunk when I was 15 and how my sister told on me.

My sister (not the bride ... my other sister) says "That's not all I told on you about."

....Meaning the time she smelled pot coming from my room and told my parents I was smoking pot which ultimately got me kicked out of the house.

Hell, I was 23 years old.

It was time I left the house anyway.

But still. She's a damned tattletale.

Soooo ... being a bit tipsy and having an audience of my parents, family and friends, I decided now was the time to tattle on her.

I said "Well, I wasn't the ONLY CHILD who smoked pot."

My sister's face went white.

That had been our little secret. She went through a period where she smoked pot with her husband about ten years ago.

So she tries to play it off.

"Oh Mom," she says. "I told you I smoked pot, right?"

Mom looks at her and says "You never told me that."

My sister insists she told Mom that.

But I think Mom, who tries to uphold an image of being a Saint and having a Saintly family in front of her family and friends, wanted the conversation to just drop right there.

Uh uh.

Her son and daughter were drunk and were going to continue this conversation to the delight of everyone (but my parents) in attendance.

My dad, who was sitting at the table next to us hadn't heard my sister's announcement.

So I told my sister to tell my Dad.

Since...when he found out that I was smoking pot 20 years ago, he almost killed me.

So she tells Dad "Dad, I've smoked pot".

And Dad, who's had a couple of beers, grins and shrugs his shoulders, saying "What am I supposed to do about it?"

I was aghast.

He almost killed me when I was caught.

And my sister gets a shrug of the shoulders.

So then, my sister says "I've got another secret on you!"

I'm panicking.

There's no telling what she knew about me.

But she held up two fingers and grinned.

It took me a minute to figure out what that meant.

And then finally, I blurted out "Mom, I had two threesomes back in the 80s."

And you know how sometimes in a movie or on TV someone makes an announcement and it's followed by the sound effect of a needle skipping across a record and then there's silence?

Bingo.

My sister bursts out laughing at me.

My Aunt and my parents' friends' jaws dropped.

My cousin beamed with pride.

My Mom said "Oh. My. God."

My Dad grinned and you could tell he wanted to say "That's my boy!"

In my drunken state, I thought their shock was based on not knowing if I was gay or not.

So I quickly added "It was with women. I'm not gay or anything."

...Which was kind of stupid because my mom's best friend who was sitting next to her at the time ... well ... her son's gay.

Meanwhile, my sister is guffawing and she finally chokes out "My secret was that you smoked pot twice after we caught you!"

Hence, the two fingers.

Now.

I'm not sure if you've ever divulged that you were a sexual deviant in front of your mother and her friends in a sports bar.

But I can assure you ... nothing kills a party quicker than doing such a thing.

Within five minutes after my announcement, my parents, my aunt and uncle and my parents' friends had all closed out their tabs and were gone.

Leaving me, my sister and her husband and my cousins and their spouses.

And my sister couldn't stop laughing at my stupidity.

There's a reason I don't drink like I used to.

And now, hopefully, you can understand why.

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