Weddings are a time for joy and laughter, but not all laughter is created equal. Some jokes are funnier than others, even when the humor is unintended. A recent groom was bald, save for what appeared at first glance to be an unsightly pink rash. One look at his wife's lips and a second glance at his head revealed the "rash" to be a perfect set of lip-prints, earned no doubt during preparations for the final part of the ceremony.
I've never been a fan of ventriloquism. It's a skill, certainly, but not one whose practice I find amusing. Imagine my reaction then as I returned from performing a wedding to see someone in the lobby dressed up nicely and balancing a dummy on his knee. The dummy had a plastic head with painted-on red hair, looking like a creepy toddler. I hoped against hope that the gentleman in question was not a groom who would want the dummy to recite his vows.
As luck would have it, he was a witness for a couple who, it seemed, found his interest quirky and charming and not distracting or attention-hogging. I called the couple's names and the party came forward, the witness with the dummy cradled in his arm. I was steadfast in my resolve; I would not engage it at all - not talk to it or even acknowledge its presence. A cry for attention requires an ear. That ear would not be mine.
The wedding went smoothly, with no contributions from any inanimate objects.
When a ceremony is complete, the witnesses must sign the license. Miss Janet's mentioned plenty of signature shenanigans - misspelled names, misplaced signatures, leaky pens - and I've had my share. Never before have I had a witness turn to the babylike toy in his arms and say "Why don't you hold this for me while I sign?", and then place a tiny plastic hand on the top of the certificate to secure it while he signed.
When I dropped off the finished paperwork with the couple, the dummy was in a carrying bag. Thus ever so, as far as I'm concerned.