Chris, Joel, and Dennis Reunite

… even though you probably never knew they were united to begin with.

The story behind this column is embarrassingly straightforward. There were three of us. We were in college. We sat around and talked about things and made fun of each other’s moms. And made puns. Oh, the puns. Originally it was just a silly little thing intended mostly to fill up space in our campus magazine.

Yet the people loved it. None of us have figured out why.

After we graduated, there was a great time of absence. If nothing we are slackers, after all. But it happened that the three of us were invited to the same wedding, and somehow the idea arrived in our heads to do this again. Because in a strange way, we loved it too.

There still are three of us. We aren’t in college anymore. But we still sit around and talk about things and make fun of each other’s moms.

This time we talk about weddings. Maybe you will like it too.

Caveat lector: None of us are married, so as usual we have very little idea about what we’re talking about.

The Guest List

Joel: You really seem to find out who your friends are (or aren’t) when the invitations start coming out.

Chris: I never thought about it, but it does get nasty, on both sides of things. If you’re invited but some of your other friends aren’t, it suddenly becomes a stealthy operation.

Joel: I think it’s kind of like when you get picked for sports teams in elementary school —

Chris: — You end up crying in a corner?

Joel: — Because the bride and groom are both picking a squad of friends, and someone is going to be cut in the end … and yes, the crying part.

Dennis: But it didn’t cost mad amounts of money to be on the kickball team.

Chris: But kickball is different. There aren’t really wedding skills per se you need to be a good member of a wedding.

Joel: Exactly. This is where economics and friendship clash in discordance.

Dennis: Don’t forget politics, my friends.

Joel: Ah, politics, our old arch-enemy …

Chris: Really, I think arena-style weddings would solve a lot of problems.

Dennis: How would that work?

Joel: I’m picturing something with stadium seating and Jumbotrons.

Chris: Throw in a couple starving lions, and you’ve got some real entertainment.

Joel: The thing of it is, though, is it’s not for the actual wedding that the list needs to be cut. It’s for the reception.

Chris: Well, that’s the second part of my grand unified wedding theory. Instead of a boring reception, there should a gigantic free-for-all at local fast food establishments. Hand out some small firearms and let the guests go to town.

Dennis: No, leave fast food out of this.

Joel: Once corporations get involved in the sanctity of the union between man and woman, it’s all over.

Dennis: Klimas, you’re saying all this because you are a bitter, loveless man.

Chris: It’s true, it’s true.

Wedding Gifts

Joel: Frankly, I suck at purchasing them.

Chris: What’s so hard? You go to the magic registry computer and choose something that fits your price range.

Dennis: You can’t go wrong with a wok, my friends.

Joel: But I feel obligated to get people something off of their list … and sometimes people make pretty lousy lists. I mean, I understand that they want these things, but I feel pretty lame getting them a cutting board for their joyful day.

Dennis: Let me explain to our readers: Klimas and Joel bought the same gifts for the lucky couple.

Joel: And genius Dennis got them a wok and cookbook, thus multiplying his friendship factor by 19.

Dennis: It’s true.

Chris: Well, I do admit that a wok is a pretty damn nice gift. So many things you can do with it … you can even protect your homestead from burglars with it.

Dennis: I’ve actually been invited to the consummation of the marriage.

Joel: Man, that’s the real money invite.

Dennis: That’s what I thought.

Chris: So that’s what I’ve been missing all this time …

The Wedding Party

Joel: Speaking of behind the scenes things —

Dennis: — You mean the bachelor party?

Joel: — Have either of you ever been in the groom’s party?

Chris: No. I bet it would be really cool.

Joel: In my experience, it’s kind of bland. I was an usher at my sister’s wedding, and all you really do is stand, and escort the bridesmaids down the aisle when told.

Dennis: When do the strippers come in?

Joel: Now, see, if the strippers had come down the aisle, that would have been interesting.

Chris: How do you know for sure that none of the bridal party were strippers on the side?

Joel: I guess I really can’t be.

Dennis: Or the stoic Unitarian minister?

Chris: Strippers everywhere, Joel. You missed out on a chance of a lifetime.

Joel: I know there’s a church joke in there somewhere … but it’s probably best left unsaid.

The Ol’ Ball and Chain

Dennis: So here’s my pressing issue with weddings: how can any man refuse to stand up when the priest asks if there is a reason why these two should not be married?

Joel: Are you saying men should be against letting a brother be bonded?

Dennis: Hell yeah.

Joel: Or that he wants to do it with the bride?

Dennis: Back in the hood, we had a saying —

Joel: “Stop touching my mom?”

Dennis: — “Bros before hoes.”

Joel: Word, yo.

Chris: Actually, I have been hearing that a lot lately, too. It’s hard not to disagree …

Dennis: At the very least, no one should get married until age 30.

Chris: Why 30? So you can skip to the old, cold, and bitter part right off the bat?

Joel: So you know that the proper organ is making you do it?

Chris: I hate it when my spleen does my thinking for me.

Joel: Or, you can afford to pay for it?

Dennis: See, at that time, you’re past your sexual peak. That’s when true love really appears. Why do you think old people have been married for so long?

Joel: Well, old couples may be a thing of the past, thanks to America’s 50-percent divorce rate.

Chris: I think that whole thing is bogus, though. Half of marriages fail, maybe, but it seems like there are plenty of happy married people out there.

Dennis: Like your mom?

Chris: Well, I guess you’d know better than I would, Dennis — See? By pre-empting you insulting my mom, I win … I think.

Joel: Why does everything have to be a competition with you? Is this what your marriage is going to be like?

Chris: I’m a goals-driven individual. Just read my résumé.

Dennis: Yeah, remember Klimas at the wedding reception —

Joel: When he shoved over everyone to catch the bouquet? He was an animal.

Chris: What can I say? My biological clock’s ticking here.

Dennis: And when he said he could scarf down more chocolate mice than we could?

Joel: That’s because he’s also heartless. Heartless and cold.

Chris: That’s also on my résumé.

Our Ideal Weddings

Joel: My ideal wedding will involve entertaining the audience. Sure, it’s supposed to be the bride’s day, but that’s no reason to bore people. I’m picturing sword fights and rope-swinging action … the only thing people will be crying about at my wedding is crying for more.

Chris: Ah, Joel, always the exhibitionist.

Dennis: I’m going to get married on Halloween. Everyone will dress up in costume, and there will be hot spiced cider. Instead of a limo there will be a hearse … ladies, write me at dennis.wilson@washcoll.edu.

Joel: Think of the comic shenanigans when you lean over to unmask the bride after exchanging vows … and slowly remove her mask, only to discover it’s —

Joel: Klimas’ mom — Chris: Mrs. Haddock?!

Joel: Hah. Beat you to it.

Chris: Sigh …

Dennis: Thanks for ruining my nuptial reverie, you bastards.

Joel: Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll be the least of the things ruining it. Your crippling syphilis will probably be a more pressing problem.

(A slightly embarrassed silence ensues.)

Chris: Anyway, my ideal wedding first of all takes place in a tree.

Joel: You and the tree again …

Dennis: Geez, give it up, Klimas.

Chris: See, but I’ve finally found someone who was into the tree concept as well.

Dennis: Is her name Jane?

Chris: — The only thing in my way is figuring out how to seduce her. I’ve been reading a lot of books about it.

Dennis: First of all, nothing you read in a book can help you. What I’m saying is, rent videos. Lots of them …

Joel: Well, Klimas, sounds like you’ll be going out on a limb for your wedding … though you better not leaf your bride at the altar.

Dennis: Yes, well, this humor better not branch out too far.

Chris: I was wondering when we were going to fulfill the pun quota this time through.

Joel: Don’t worry, I’ll stick to the root issues.

Dennis: Were you rooting for us?

Chris: I’ve never really been a … fern … of your work. See, I’m terrible at these things.

Joel: Heh, it’s the thought that counts. Closing thoughts, gentlemen?

Chris: It’s probably a good thing, after all, that women plan weddings and not us.

Dennis: Weddings are a bad idea, unless you really do love someone and won’t run away with a toll booth operator.

Joel: I think that, beyond the party and the decorations, the real beauty of any wedding is watching the bridesmaids get drunk and grow jealous of their newly-married friend.

Chris: See, we’re all bitter old men at heart.

Article © 2002 by Chris Klimas