Easy… Riders… Marriage.

June 1, 2009

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Chevy Chase rose from his seat near the podium and cursed the pernicious myths of our culture that any wedding ritual promoted. As he gripped the microphone, it did not break, but he spoke into it as if it had, as if only his hands were keeping both the device and the cruel sanctity of the moment intact.

“Good evening, everyone!” he shouted, bracing instantly on hearing his own voice, as the debutante might after her first ingestion of alcohol. He was thrown off, and the “uh” that issued next from his throat came out several tones higher than normal. He regrouped and started again. “Wow. What a day. My little girl. Doing… this. Getting married.” He glanced down the table at his daughter, who threw her spoon down on the tablecloth and crossed her arms slowly, perhaps resigned to the ruin her father’s speech seemed to promise. “It’s… it’s weird,” he continued. “Seems like very, uh, soon, or not long ago, that she was born. And now it seems, or I guess she definitely is, getting married.” Fear built in his throat, and he could feel shame seeping into that toxic potion. “It’s funny. It is. You know, I look at these two kids, Clara and Christopher, and it’s two people starting a life together. And that works, sometimes, and then other times, maybe you get a few years into it, and you’re like, ‘Can you maybe get your own motorcycle? Do you need to be in my sidecar, riding down the old, uh, road? Uh, road of… life?'” The air rang with a complete absence of courteous applause. “But, what’s important is that you, uh, try riding with, uh, someone for a while. And then, if you want to ride alone again, then you can, and you just part ways at the next truckstop. I know Clara could do that, if she wanted. So, good luck, you… Easy… Riders… marriage.”

Polite applause as Chevy Chase left the podium and tripped over a cord, stumbling off the lip of the stage. Laughter ensued at a seemingly immaculate gag that was nevertheless entirely accidental. “Just like on the show!” someone exclaimed. Looking up at the ceiling, Chevy Chase opened his mouth and screamed, which was not like the show at all.

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