Fear and Loathing in Lancaster, Part One: Puck at His Very, Very Worst
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Have you ever had a day that was so chock-a-block with experiences that you could write a week's worth of posts about it? Me too! Saturday was one of those days.
Excuse me while I lift my shirt, expose my navel, and regard it fondly.
Chapter 1: Tale of the Worst Faerie of All Time
When my daughter The Heir drew as her college roommate a home-schooled Christian girl who had spent a "gap year" after high school doing missionary work in Bosnia, we all figured it was gonna be a long, tough freshman year. Happily, The Heir got along splendidly with this young lady. Heir doesn't smoke, drink, cuss (in front of certain people), or screw. So, while not religious in the Christian vein, Heir does meet certain universal moral standards.
One of the reasons Heir and her roommate got along so splendidly was that the roommate spent plenty of time with a boyfriend who became her fiance in January. Roomie was gone as much as she was at school. And returned after winter break with a diamond.
January engagement, July nuptials. He's 22, she's 20.
We must be talking about a couple who were "waiting until after the wedding." Yep. Absolutely.
Heir agreed to take care of the guest book at the event. It took place under extremely threatening skies at 8:00 p.m. Saturday night in the midst of the Lancaster County countryside. This was an outdoor wedding with a late start time. So of course the thunder began to rumble before the electric piano player had tickled the first ivory.
Heir and I had been present at the wedding rehearsal. It was then I learned that communion would be served as part of the ceremony. I've seen this at Roman Catholic weddings, I believe (memory does not serve), but never at a Protestant wedding.
So as the protracted bridal march began, observed by a nonchalant groom and a preacher who looked like he'd just gotten out of middle school, a steady plop plop of rain began to fall. When all the many bridesmaids had gathered, and the bride descended in an unflattering gown, the preacher immediately petitioned God to hold off the rain until they could get these vows done.
(I asked the bored gods to keep a grip on the rain until communion time, because I didn't want to be a hypocrite and take communion, and I didn't want to be a pariah and not take communion. Trust me, readers, these people were straight outta the Assembly of God.)
Well! Bored gods to the rescue! Vows were pronounced, couple introduced as "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe." (I friggin hate that, I tell ya. I hate it! I've never stopped being Anne Johnson. Anne Johnson is my maiden name.)
Communion was expediently overlooked. Everyone ran for the tent as a serious rain began.
I found myself at a wedding where I knew only two people -- my daughter and the bride. And I only knew the bride ever-so-slightly. And there were 150 people there.
Naturally I gravitated to the side of the Heir. She was well turned out in an outfit created entirely by practical magic. (Later this week I'll tell you how to do it.)
All of a sudden, up comes this bossy lady to the Heir. Boss lady says, "Heir! We need you to take this chocolate up to the house (500 yards up a steep hill) and microwave it until it's liquid, and bring it back down. The caterers don't know how to work the chocolate fountains!"
There was three pounds of white chocolate and three pounds of dark chocolate. The dark chocolate was in a bowl with cling wrap over the top.
Heir and I were both dressed to the nines.
I took the dark chocolate, and she took the white chocolate. We hobbled up the hill through the rain in our strappy sandals and bothered the lady of the house to microwave the chocolate. While the l. of the h. was struggling to do that in a small microwave, I said to the Heir: "I'm not going to watch you carry liquid chocolate down a steep hill in a brand new dress. Let me go to the car and change, and you go back to the party, and I'll bring down the chocolate."
I ran to the car, slipped out of my silk dress, and put on my khakis, camp shirt, and sensible sandals.
That's when Puck joined me.
Back I went to the kitchen. Heir had taken down the white chocolate. I took down the dark chocolate and began fumbling with the white chocolate fondue fountain (I don't know how those things work either, but I'm not a caterer). Finally got the white chocolate working. To me, that was in and of itself a miracle.
Then Puck and I turned to the dark chocolate fondue fountain, which was larger. Outside the tent it was dark and drizzling, and I couldn't see the machine's controls very well, but I pushed the button to where it said "churn and warm"....
And the entire reception was plunged into darkness.
Bad Puck! Bad, bad, BAD! Worst faerie of all time! How dare he cause a fuse to blow amidst a wedding reception full of perfect strangers, with a thunderstorm bearing down! So what if Heir and I were called upon to join the catering crew? So what if it was a cheap, hasty wedding, done by amateurs? This is NO REASON for a faerie to misbehave!
Needless to say there was some confusion. But you know how it is with men. Men live for mishaps like this, because it gives them a chance to show other men how much they know about electricity. I would say it took no more than ten minutes to get the lights and sound up again. By which time Puck and I had slunk to a chair at the far end of the tent.
Some people tell me that I should rein Puck in a bit, not let him run amok getting into mischief. And I agree to a point. But when a bossy church lady turns my daughter into a sous-chef on a pitch-dark evening in the rain, and we had driven 100 miles to get there, and we were suitably attired to be guests at the wedding and not staff, I'd say Puck was well within his bounds to express his dudgeon.
This is only one of the many exciting adventures Heir and I had in Lancaster, PA and its environs. Stay tuned for more fear and loathing in the heart of Amish Paradise!