A messy wedding and a short marriage
I promised Teddy I wouldn’t tell this story until he had been married for 20 years. He reached the double-decade mark last winter; it only took him three wives to do it.
Teddy, at the age of 22, was the first in our circle of friends to get married. We’d been friends since grade school, and I considered it my duty to talk him out of it. It wasn’t that I didn’t like his fiancee. Quite the contrary – she was wonderful, and Teddy was the freak.
My friend was lazy, irresponsible and fun. Everyone loved Teddy, even those to whom he owed money. His soon-to-be wife, Cathy, was his high school sweetheart and the prettiest girl in town. Her father was a state cop and could not stand the sight of his soon-to-be son-in-law.
Most of us were convinced that our friend’s engagement was a mistake. Few who knew him felt Teddy possessed the wherewithal to keep a marriage together. Teddy figured, after flunking out of college and getting fired from his last three jobs, his luck was bound to change.
“How hard can marriage be?” Teddy reasoned, “My parents have been together for 25 years and they can’t stand each other.”
The story in question begins the night before Teddy’s wedding. I flew home a week early to help plan his bachelor party and to try to talk him out of it.
The night before his wedding I finally gave up.
With her usual long suffering patience, Cathy said she didn’t care how much Teddy partied the night before as long as he showed up to the church on time.
The plan was, Teddy, a few friends and I would go into to the city and tie one on to celebrate Teddy’s last night of bachelorhood.
We enlisted our buddy, Dickey, as designated driver and headed out. Teddy was the last one we picked up. He walked out of his trailer wearing his wedding tuxedo. When questioned, he told us that by wearing his tux all night he’d eliminate one post-wedding step, thus assuring his on-time arrival. We were all impressed by his foresight.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the events of the evening. The night was filled with loud talk, cheap whiskey and near misses. We were all in our twenties with more hair than good sense.
To Teddy’s credit he kept his tuxedo immaculate. We ended the night at 4 a.m. in an all-night Chinese restaurant where Teddy ate an entire poo-poo platter for four all by himself. He shared a bed with me at my parents’ house that night.
I woke up at noon. Lying next to me, still wearing his tux, looking and smelling like a dead penguin, was Teddy. I bolted upright and started screaming.
“Teddy, for God’s sakes, get up!” I said, “It’s after 11 and you’re getting married in less than an hour.”
I grabbed him a beer out of the fridge, spooned him into my dad’s car and sped toward the church.
Perhaps it was the magnitude of what he was about to do sinking in, or maybe it was the poo-poo platter, but Teddy didn’t look so good. His face was pale and sweaty and his stomach gurgled louder than the radio. He told me to stop at the nearest bathroom.
We drove another half mile and he said, “Pull over, quick.”
He got out of the car and began sprinting toward the roadside woods while undoing his belt.
The recent rain had left a couple inches of mud on the ground; Teddy was ankle deep in it. He got halfway to the woods and froze, I assumed to save his tux. I yelled for him to roll up his pants and continue into the woods; I told him we could clean his shoes when he got to the church.
“It’s too late” he said, “I’ve had an accident.”
Teddy was frozen in place, afraid to move, and not only because of the mud.
With time getting short Teddy was stuck. He couldn’t move without causing further damage. If he tried to change his cloths where he stood he’d get them muddy. If he headed up to the highway where it was dry he’d have no privacy.
We decided the best course of action was to cut off his boxer shorts. The only sharp object my dad had in his car was a hacksaw in his trunk. I handed it to my buddy and walked up to the road to let him perform his garment surgery in privacy.
When the cop pulled up behind me, I was laughing too hard to be scared. He put on his flashers, and asked, “What’s the problem here?” I pointed at Teddy and said, “He’s getting married in 20 minutes.”
I followed the policeman’s eyes as he looked down into the woods to see my friend wearing a tuxedo standing in ankle deep mud, trying to cut off his underwear with a hacksaw.
“We need a police escort.” I said. The cop, through his tears of amusement said, “OK.”
Teddy and Cathy were married for about three years. Twenty years later, they are still friends. I attended both of Teddy’s subsequent wedding ceremonies.
In neither did he wear rental clothing.
Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of “Biff America,” can be seen on RSN television, heard on KOA radio, and read in
several mountain publications.
He lives in Breckenridge.
His e-mail address is
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