Into thin air! Without a trace! Quicker than you can say Jack Robinson or Bob's your uncle or Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi!
Even though we're only third-person-plural-limited narrators, and not omniscient by any stretch of the imagination, it didn't take us long to track down the almost newlywed couple. How many 1965 Buick Rivieras could there be in the greater Medford-Townsville area?*
Feeling liberated as only runaway brides and grooms can feel, they fled to Anywhere, Howard pushing the Riviera's 425 cubic-inch, 340-horsepower, V-8 engine to 7 mph over the speed limit.
But that hopped up symbol of the driver's alleged testosteronicity only got 12 miles per gallon, so they soon pulled off the interstate for what Tally pretentiously called "petro."
|1965 Buick Riviera's badass interior|
This gave the couple the moment they needed to determine a destination.
"How about Destin?" Howard asked.
"You always say the first word that pops into your head, Howard," Tally said or uttered or exclaimed. "How about this: Why don't we go to someone else's wedding to help us think this thing through more maturely, by, you know looking it right in the face, mano e mano!"
"You mean tete-a-tete."
"Whatever. Anyway, I remember some wisdom I got from my AP Welding teacher, Dr. Lysistrata. God, that man was so proud of his Ph.D. In about every class he would brag about his dissertation -- 'Hot and Bright: Advanced Avoidance of Ocular, Corporeal and Carnal Injurization Due to Spark and Spatter as it Relates to Slag and Flux' -- and never failed to correct us if we 'slipped up' and called him Mr.
"He'd be all, 'Helllloooooo! I didn't spend three years writing "Hot and Bright: Advanced Avoidance of Ocular, Corporeal and Carnal Injurization Due to Spark and Spatter as it Relates to Slag and Flux" just to be called Mr.!'"
Tally had hoped to delay her next action till their honeymoon, but, what the hell, she couldn't wait that long, so she proceeded to light up a Marlboro Menthol Light 100 to "help [her] get to the bottom of this thing"" and remember Dr. Lysistrata's wisdom nugget.
"Okay, Howard, it's coming back to me. Dr. Lysistrata said at most weddings the officiants (or the Welders of Love, as he called them) will invite married guests to revisit their own vows, and to consider the current state of their marital bliss and how that bliss relates to the ability of their original sacred promises to cling to them like so many Bougainvillea vines.
"'Consider your marriage a chalice,' Dr. Lysistrata said the officiant might say, 'and he would point to the one shining forth on whatever the altar table is called. Has your chalice been marred by neglect, exchanging its Light (and Heat, too, probably) for the slag and patina of corrosion?
"'Have you put forth the effort on a daily basis to the upkeep every successful marriage requires, laboring tirelessly to retain the effortless bliss your original love or infatuation ignited in you? Or have you merely placed this Sacred Container in the window sill next to the kitchen sink where it is daily splattered by the detergent suds of life?
"'So, my brothers and sisters in Christ,' Dr. Lysistrata said the officiant might say, 'take the opportunity this day, in the presence of these witnesses and God His Own Self, to renew those vows, and thus keep your chalice emanating the welding Sparks of Love, now and forever, world without end.'
"Dr. Lysistrata, who, now that I think of it, is single and lives with his mother, said he was pretty sure that's what the officiants tend to say at almost all weddings, except maybe not Quaker weddings."
Howard tapped his fingers on the Riviera's steering wheel. "You've convinced me. Let's do it. Let's go to the first wedding we can find and experience it in the flesh, a la carte."
"You mean con carne, or en la carne, maybe."
"Yes! One of those! First, I'm gonna run inside and grab some moon pies, pork rinds, a honeybun, some Slim Jim dried sausages, and two pickled eggs. You want anything?"
"I think I'm gonna need another pack of Marlboro Menthol Light 100s just to calm my nerves."
As the Riviera idled, Tally asked herself idly, "Will there even be a honeymoon?" She tapped the horn to get Howard's attention.
"Better make it a carton, big guy."
*Just a few miles east of Cottageville