Congratulations to Sarah Champion and Wes Allen on their marriage last weekend!

How do I know this happened? Because I was there.

The first tricky part was actually getting to where the wedding was going to be. As you may recall, I’m out in Maryland for the summer, but Wes lives in Santa Claus, Indiana. It’s a good 11 hours or so by car, which largely eliminated that possibility (as I drive poorly when asleep). So the plan was to fly out to the nearest major airport — Louisville — and drive via rental car for an hour west.

Getting to Baltimore-Washington International (which is neither in Baltimore nor Washington) Friday evening was easy, thanks to one of my roommates. The flight was also fairly uneventful, aside from being an hour late due to the plane arriving an hour late from its previous trip. But the real fun was to be had in Louisville.

In a scene ripped from a Seinfeld episode, the rental car company didn’t actually have any rental cars available, despite my having reserved one well in advance. They pulled this stunt on the two people behind me in line at the counter too. What part of “reservation” don’t they understand? Bad Dollar! No link for you!

Fortunately Avis did have a few cars still available, unlike apparently every other rental car company at the airport. And in their defense, Dollar claims it will reimburse me for the difference in price. But that was still a good 45 minutes at the airport that didn’t need to be spent.

So finally, around midnight or so, I had a rental car and an hour of driving down I-64 ahead of me. It was the first time I’ve ever had the occasion to use high beams on an interstate highway, which I guess is worth something. The roads were intermittently foggy, which made the last part of the drive a bit tricky. Finding a turn-off on a state highway when it’s too dark to distinguish a ball field from an ordinary field and too foggy to read street signs has a good chance of inducing a U-turn.

But I did finally arive safely at, um, a little after midnight. Thank you, time zone change. Luckily I didn’t have to shell out for a hotel room down there, since Kevin generously offered to let me, as well as fellow Fools Ashley and Benji, stay at his parents’ place down there. After an hour or so of watching them enjoy The Suffering, I went to bed sleeping-bag-type-thing-on-floor after 21 hours’ uptime.

Saturday afternoon was the wedding, held at Santa Claus United Methodist Church, the same site — indeed, the same room — as our improv show back in April. Now, I was raised as a Catholic, so in my youth I got to experience the sheer endlessness of a Catholic wedding ceremony. Thankfully, Methodists don’t insist on doing their marriages within the context of an entire mass, so the wedding itself was of quite a manageable length. Another ingenious innovation was taking all the wedding photos during the reception — which was itself held at the same location — instead of doing it beforehand. No making everyone wait for hours while a photographer records every single possible subset of the wedding party!

I did have the foresight to buy a wedding gift before moving out east, since I knew it’d be tricky to bring it with me on the plane (since I avoid checking bags whenever possible, for obvious reasons. I didn’t, however, remember to buy a card to go along with the gift, a fact that I only realized shortly before heading off to SCUM. So they got a card hand-made from two parts humor, one part obligatory sappy sentimental well-wishing, and one part leftover wrapping paper. Helpful tip: if you do this, put your card-nee-wrapping-paper on a table before writing on it; don’t use the gift itself, since it’ll show on the wrapping paper on it.

Oh yeah, at one point during the ceremony, Wes and Sarah interrupted the proceedings to publicly thank their respective parents for everything. So they go out into the crowd (is that the right word? anyway) to hug their parents. Wes goes to his parents’ table, hugs his mom, walks a few steps away, exclaims “Oh right! Dad!” and goes back to hug him. I nod and say, “Yep, that’s Wes.”

To show what dorks a lot of us can be, during the reception the wedding party sneaked out to decorate the new couple’s car. Among these decorations, the word “PWNZD!!1!” was written across the drivers’ side. Those of us who are dorks laughed, and everyone else stared at it, trying to figure out what it meant.

Also, on the back of the wedding program was the “easter egg,” which had a few paragraphs about where Wes and Sarah would be taking their honeymoon, thanking those who attended, and, to fill up the remaining space, some 3-D tic-tac-toe boards. The wedding invitations themselves, instead of being traditionally styled, had a photo of Wes and Sarah making goofy faces on the front. Yep, that’s Wes.

The reception lasted a few hours and involved dancing of various skill levels. On the one hand you had a trio of (presumably) brothers who had clearly choreographed a dance to one of the songs, and on the other hand you had people like Kevin and I who shuffled through the obligatory dances — witnessing Kevin’s sheer bafflement at the Chicken Dance was priceless — and then got off the floor before embarassing themselves further.

After the reception, Chuck took a bunch of us out to tool around on their pontoon boat on Christmas Lake. After everyone had run out of swimmingness and fuel for the boat, we ambled over to la casa de Allen, whereat a lot of (presumably) relatives were partying; we helped them finish off the leftovers from the rehearsal dinner. All of which, especially the banana pudding, was delicious.

After all that, the four of us returned to Kevin’s place and watched Team America: World Police, which was better than I had expected. Some of the songs were particularly inspired, especially the Pearl Harbor song and the montage song (though it was clearly derivative of the montage song from the ski-resort-80′s-movie-parody episode of South Park).

Now, I know I’ve made fun of the inescapable permeation of Christmas thoughout Santa Claus, but I will give the town this: from my experience, the people who live there are so incredibly generous that it makes people like me look like jerks. Both times I’ve been down there, I’ve been able to crash at a friend’s parent’s place, and not only do they gladly do it, they’ll even cook meals for you and everything!

Sunday morning was breakfast, and then the drive back to Louisville to wait for my flight back. I discovered that the airport does have wireless, but they want $10 for you to use it. Yeah, we’re not doing that. So I hacked a bit on what will hopefully be a nifty new feature for Rhythmbox Applet before going back to attacking Why People Believe Weird Things. (Editor’s note: “Attack” it in the sense of reading chapter after chapter rather than, say, coming at it like a chain saw-wielding maniac allowed through customs.)

I wish I could also attend former Fool Josh’s wedding later this month, but alas, I have neither the time nor money to pull off another of these weekend trips to Indiana anytime soon.

One Response

  1. As I read this post, numerous times I said to myself “Yep, that’s Wes” before I read it. I’m really sorry I missed it, but I can’t wait to get back to improv.

    “PWNZD!!1!”, indeed

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