I wanted to talk to you this week about a new sport I've discovered. It's not one that draws millions of fans every year nor does it have a multi-billion dollar television contract. Actually, it's a sport the participants aren't even aware they're involved in.
It's the sport of getting a friend married.
I went to Panama City, FL last week to see my best friend Paul marry Stacy, his fiancée of God only knows how long. I drove down on a Wednesday and returned on Sunday getting a total of, say, 45 minutes of sleep.
That's not exactly true, but the whole trip did turn into a big four-day game; while both families were extremely friendly to each other, natural competition is bound to arise as food is prepared, bands are hired and parties are planned and taken to absurd levels by the bride's and groom's teammates.
Once the game is started, it's full tilt boogie until the final whistle, pal--no halftimes and no substitutions. I have to say that this one came to a draw. I've never had this much fun at a wedding before, not even my own sister's. But like I said, once you're in, there's no coming out to sit the bench and you don't have a trainer coming out on the field to bandage you up.
Case in point: one hour before I was to arrive at the wedding and I was getting dressed for my duties as a groomsman, I'm suiting up in my gear when I realize the zipper on my tuxedo trousers is busted. The formal shop is already closed and my fly is a gaping hole waiting to show my polka-dotted boxers to the grandmothers in the front row. I was able to get a hold of a safety pin, but one good belly-laugh and I could have been waving a white flag at my best friend's mother-in-law.
In the end though, no one was flashed and the two were hitched and on their way without embarrassment. Final score: Loyd-1, Zipper-0.
Paul and Stacy; congratulations! I hope you will be happy for many years to come!