Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I'm No Dummy

Original post date: July 31, 2014

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.

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