I#039;m on a need-to-know basis

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 10, 2003

Ahhhhh, marriage … I remember it well. My bride's uncles all lined up at the back of the church. Their shotguns at port arms. Operation Shock and Awe on the wedding night. And then five years of … words fail me.

This weekend, my son gets married and it's going to be an event to remember.

The other night, father and son had another man-to-man talk and it went something like this:

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Tell me about your bachelor party last weekend, Son? Was it fun? Did you use protection?

Yes, Papa. Knee-pads and helmet.

Wow! Times have really changed. Are you getting nervous? Saturday is the big day.

You know it. I can't wait.

No, Son. I mean that's when the wedding takes place. I wasn't talking about the honeymoon. Have you finished marriage counseling?

Yep. All 30 sessions.

Thirty sessions? That's incredible. Some marriages don't last that long.

That's the point, Popster: To know what you're getting into.

I never thought you had to go to school to get married, Boy. Nowadays, it's a lot like having a roommate. And couples know how to make babies. Taking care of them is the problem.

What's the matter, Pop? You seem a little distracted or something.

I was just thinking, Son, we won't be able to hang out anymore. No more horsin' around, watching ball games, 'rassling, brunch at Sportt's, cruising through the car lots on Sunday morning, studying the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Nothing like that.

Get a life, Dad. It's time for you to grow up.

Wait a minute. Isn't that supposed to be my advice to you?

Besides, Pop, you're gaining a daughter-in-law.

You're right and a wonderful woman she is. What did you say her name was?

Bad joke. Everybody is going to be here this weekend. Mom, Sara, your grandchildren, relatives, friends, the works.

Better they get together for a wedding than somebody's funeral, Son.

You know what time you're supposed to be at the church, right?

Yes, but I may have to leave early Saturday night. It's the annual Mower County dairy princess banquet at Adams. I wouldn't want to miss that.

So, what advice do you have for me, Old Man?

Let's put it this way, Soon-to-Be Joe-the-Ex-bachelor: This ain't no TV show. Be prepared to compromise. There are specific conditions to be met and terms to be obeyed. You'll have to be on good behavior, check in frequently and you may be asked to give random urine samples. One false move, one step out of line and you'll …. wait a minute. I was confused. Those are conditions for probation. You're getting married.

Shall I call St . Mark's, Dad? Tell them to reserve a room?

No. Let's plan some fun at the wedding. A little song, a little dance, itching powder in the pants. I'm guessing Eliot, Scott, Todd and Ben will want to kidnap Melissa on her wedding night. Carry her right out of the church over their shoulders. It'll be wild.

No. She won't allow it.

Oh … well how about water balloons? I can get the grandchildren to toss a few at the wedding party when they leave the church.


OK. Can I paint the words "HELP ME" on the bottoms of your shoes, so when you kneel at the altar everybody will see it and laugh out loud?

No. Can't do that either.

How about gag gifts? Maybe some colored lingerie from Victoria's Secret in a box marked toaster oven so when they open gifts and hold it up everybody will be embarrassed?

You must be out of your mind. No way, Jose.

I could pay a friend, Son, to raise a hand when the preacher asks if there is anybody who thinks the wedding shouldn't take place?

Not on your life, Old Man.

Not even shaving cream on your car, firecrackers under the hood, a few tin cans tied to the rear bumper and 'Just Married" on the back window?

No, no, no and no again, Pop.

Wait a minute, Son. What's going on here? Where are you getting married?

I can't tell you. It's a secret. You'll know when we drop you there.

I don't know. Better tell me now, Son. I may have been banned there.

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at :mailto:lee.bonorden@austindailyherald.com