Monday, April 23, 2007
It Will Come Back to Bite You!
Sixteen years ago I attended the wedding reception of Jim Cambell to his beautiful bride Emma. We were not invited to the service as they chose to elope to the cheesiest place on earth. They wanted it to be as campy as possible and I imagine that they did not want witnesses who truly knew them in attendance, as maybe we would forever judge them on the powder blue ruffled tux,the Elvis minister or the corny promises made in some Temple of Love. But this is want Emma desperately wanted,so Jim aimed to please.
Jim, wanted to marry. Emma could have done with out it. She knew she loved Jim and she knew they were building a wonderful life together. Emma never envisioned the bridal party dream of silks and satin, she knew her heart was true and her love; her quirky love for Jim would last forever. But Emma also knew that her Jim desperately wanted to have a reception a few weeks after their elopement, after the honeymoon, and so she relented to a lavish 'Jim themed' reception to please her true love. The elopement was her gift to her shy self and the reception would be her gift to Jim to share with their friends.
But Jim, also happens to be the cheapest man on earth. He is not frugal but cheap.I would say he finds the word frugal to be too dear of a word for what he is and how he lives. He had notions of how money should be spent and how it can be saved. His notion of a wedding was having everyone together; ambiance, atmosphere and food were really inconsequential.
So with his frugality or with his firm insight as to what he wanted from his wedding reception, he chose to have his reception in a downtown food court, in a mall, on a Sunday, when all stores would be closed.
I had a second guess at the invitation and the location. I can honestly say I have never been to a food court wedding before...and I probably will go through my entire life without attending another. But there was not a mistake and a memory of a food court with orange trays will be molded in with the couple for their entire lives together. I doubt any of us will remember the food, the drink or what the couple wore. I know I will not remember any of the speeches but I think I can safely say,no one will ever forget attending the food court wedding of Jim and Emma.
Jim was so proud with the money saved on the venue and the food. He boasted at how affordable his wedding was.He even had extra money for a karaoke machine. He did not want dancing. He wanted singing.
Now, Jim did not really size up who would be attending his wedding.He did not think of all the comic book artists, and animators and their solitary lives. He could not envision that his friends would not be smitten with the notion of having of karaoke machine. He did not factor in that most of his friends were shy and reserved. He did not think of the uptight, high fashion house colleagues of Emma would not unwind on weekends with a few tunes. He could not fathom anyone not having a secret desire to belt out a few Barbra Streisand or Elvis Presley tunes.
He did not have a back up in case his plans fell a rye. His entire reception was based on the machine and he truly did not take into account of his strictly conservative, self conscious, crowd who were in attendance. No one had a secret longing to be a Broadway singer or a rock star.
But Jim did not see this at first. Jim was giggling in anticipation of all the songs his friends might sing. He had a few up his sleeve as well. He could not wait to sing a few of his songs. He was like a kid. He truly believed everyone had a song. And he was so keen on his ultimate party favour.
After the speeches he could not contain himself. He leapt up and sang a few of his songs he obviously had practiced before the fateful day. He thought his machine would have line ups. He thought there would be people clamouring to sing duets. And to his surprise everyone went out of their way to avoid the the foreboding machine. And with certainty everyone avoided eye contact with the groom as he belted out 'That's Amore' to his beautiful bride.
Everyone kept to their food court tables. No one had any desire to give their best shower song for the echoing sound of the mall and her crowds.
And since there was no entertainment, my husband and I had our table balancing spoons on our noses. And taking up challenges, from our fellow table companions of who could keep their spoon balanced on the edge of their nose the longest.
Jim tried to make eye contact with us but we firmly avoided his looks by concentrating on our spoons.
We watched as Jim began scrambling.
Jim went to a few tables where people were looking like they needed entertainment of a song but none took the bait. They were really into basking into the ambiance of the food court.
He finally made it to our table where we were all giggling at how clever we were to have spoons balanced on our noses. He grabbed my husband who dropped his spoon from his nose.
He pleaded with BoyWonder. 'Come on ya gatta have a tune you have always wanted ta saaaaang?'
A BoyWonder just answered 'Weeeellll? No!'and began to lick his spoon again.
'Comme onnn...I am begging ya here...'
Jim fell down on his knees for dramatic effect clasping his hands in prayer with the microphone and looked pathetically up at my spoon clad husband.
My husband relented. 'All right then, and you owe me BIG time!'
BoyWonder grabbed the mike from Jim who sighed a big sigh of relief and walked over to the machine to cue up the first song. My husband remained seated at our table and began to sing. Boy Wonder started off meekly, he started to sing slightly off key. But he slowly started to get a groove happening as no one seemed to be in want of the machine. And our spoon table was cheering him on.
And through just a bit of encouragement, my husband started to get a groove happening. He was living some deep, dark, dream of becoming a lead singer... He started to get a groove, he sang his best Frank Sinatra.
And then, ohhh, and then; he started to experiment with his voice, he started to impersonations, he tried a Scottish accent to 'Whole Lotta Love' by Led Zeppelin, followed by an East Indian accent to The Beatles 'Drive My Car'...and then topped with a Maritimer accent to 'She shook me all night long'...
I was horrified... There was no getting him off the machine. People were coming over to our table with requests.. Each enjoying the next song more that the last... I could not decide if my husband was a Ethel Merman,Tony Bennett, Don Knotts or Paul Lynde.
They, this wedding group who I hoped I would never see again became his adoring public. Swooning with laughter and in song as my husband sang through out the night. And saving Jim and Emma's food court wedding.
I was looking at him and telling him this was going to come back and bite him.
These are typical stories of living with BoyWonder. He is quick to laugh and has no problem mocking himself and all around him.
Recently I was with my daughter at a dental appointment. We had waited months and months to have an appointment with this particular dentist.He is looked upon as the best dentist in the city for children and his affiliation as the lead dentist for a world re known children;'s hospital has put me at ease as I have a fear of dentistry. I had been told that he had excellent bedside manner and this is definitely what I was looking for in my kid's dentist.
We entered the office and were greeted by our dentist. And he put the two of us at ease. He had a a great sense of humour and had my daughter in a fit of giggles through out the examination. He examined her mouth and shared her love of Ringo and suggested maybe 'branching out' and watching a few Elvis films.
And then he did it.
He started to sing. He started to sing songs that were vaguely familiar... He started to sing and it jostled somehing in my very core. it gave me shivers. I had heard these songs 16 years ago.He started to sing, and of all things, seemed to impersonate my husband while cleaning my daughter's teeth.
He couldn't have been there... How would he know Jim and Emma?
But he kept on singing sounding more and more like my husband sixteen years ago.
I looked at him. And certainly could not believe my ears.
I decided to gulp down my pride and take the strange plunge of six degrees of separation.
'Do you know Jim Cambell? ' I ask.
And with that the singing stopped. My dentist turned to look at me.
'Do I know Jim Cambell? Do I know Jim Cambell? Well, Heck! Yeah!!!' and then he laughs. 'Great guy! Cheap. But great guy...'
'Were you? Were you, at Jim and Emma's wedding?'
'Yeah.. You know Jim and Emma? They are a great, great couple... Gawd that was along time ago!'
'Yeah they are great. Haven't seen them in a while...' I retort.
Haaaa! Do you remember that CRAZY guy at the wedding? he laughs.
'What crazy guy are we talking here?' I ask hoping 'it' will just go away.
And then he got up from his chair and pulled off his mask and began to impersonate my husband, hand movements, body gestures, eyebrow moves and all. My daughter held captive in the dental chair and me sitting next to her watching and gasping in disbelief.
As the dentist was giggling and singing 'Drive My Car'.
I could feel my face turn various shades of red.
'You remember that guy? Gawd... I have been impersonating him for years!' he snorts.
'Really! Well, that guy, that guy, is my husband...'
'He's your husband? Really? You're joking! He's your dad?' Pointing to Scooter in the chair. 'That guy is 'a classic.' I have been singing his versions of songs for years!'
And with that, the dentist turned to my daughter and said 'Your dad is a genius...Sheer genius'
So sixteen years later, it has come home to bite ME. As there is no living with him.
The dentist is dying to have us over. He, no doubt has a karaoke machine and we are in for an evening of sheer entertainment as BoyWonder is in the house.