I Am the BEST Man.

22 Apr

A few months ago, I got a call from my friend Lanny.

“Hey man, I was wondering if you’d want to be in my wedding.”

“Groom?” I ask. I can hear the ambient hum of the road on the other end of the line.

“…No, that’s me. I’m the groom.”

“Congratulations!” I say. The hum again.

“All right,” Lanny responds, then asks “Do you want to be my best man?”

I’m elated. “I am the best man. I–” Nipping a convoluted, painfully obvious joke series in the bud, Lanny cuts me off.

“No. The best man. Emphasis on the neither word. Don’t say best man or best man. You’re not the best male in the world, don’t say it. Just stop right here. We’re having a nice moment. You are the lead groomsman. That’s what you are.”

“So, in the wedding, I come behind you but before the rest of the groomsmen?”

“Um, yes.”

“So I came in second place in the wedding. That’s fantastic.”

“You what?”

“I almost won…” I say wistfully. I quietly vow to myself to win the next wedding.

“That’s right. Nothing wrong with second place. See you, dude.”

And that’s how the conversation ended. The weeks to come are filled with hundreds of wedding-themed tweets and facebook statuses. Lots of ideas getting tossed around. Everybody seems pretty stressed out by the entire thing. I decide that it’s about time, as best man, that I try to help in the planning.

“No,” Angela, the bride to be, replies flatly.

“Really, though. I have some great ideas!”

“No. We hired a wedding planner to plan the wedding. Thank you for everything, though.”

“Can I j–” tears well up in my eyes. My lip begins to shake. My hand slowly creeps to my butt and pulls out a wedgie.

“God, okay Kyle. Okay. What’re your ideas?”

I tell her of the many Irion family traditions I’d like to see employed–my favorite being this: the elder of the family goes out to the chicken coop. All great men have chicken coops. The elder of the family takes the chicken that most resembles the bride from the coop and brings it to the wedding party, who has amassed in a great, open field.

“Do you love this woman?” the elder asks.

“I do,” the groom says.

“Then you also love this chicken.” Nobody quite understands what the elder means by this. The elder slips the bride’s wedding ring onto a small chain then ties the chain around the chicken’s neck. He then drops the chicken to the ground. “Now go,” he says. “Go and grab my chicken.” Some suspect that this last line was lost in translation from its German origin.

I finish my summary of the idea. Angela seems pained. She scratches her head.

How long has this been a tradition, did you say?” she asks.

“I think it just happened once–or not at all. Anyway, I was thinking that maybe I could work some magic in at the altar when I hand Lanny the ring.”

“No,” she says sternly. She pauses, takes a step closer, and points directly into my face. “I swear to all the Gods that have ever been and ever will be–if you dare pull any of your stupid, ‘Hey everybody! I’m IronKyle! Look how funny I am! Whiskey!’ bull shit with that ring, I will peel the skin from your bones and use it as a table cloth at the reception. Do you understand me?”

Twelve ounces of urine escape my body. I nod quietly. Angela takes a look at my now wet crotch and scoffs, disgusted.

I stand, humbled. I get out my laptop and begin liveblogging the entire wedding.

Be ready.

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