This was the first official article ever to appear on the dinky little site that was to become Eville Online. It came complete with pictures and everything to prove that I wasn't lying, but some family members caught wind of it and asked me to take it down, for fear that it would be found by the people in the story. So the pictures were taken off, and the article was never put on the site after we got this domain name. It occurred to me recently that not only are there some pretty funny additions to the story after this holiday season, but also I don't care if they find it. They're idiots. And so, without further introduction, I present to you, our legions of loving fans, the return of...
There is a black sheep in every family. This is what happened when the black sheep of mine (my cousin Cletus) married his ex-wife (Lurleen). He met her at Whataburger, had a kid with her, married her, divorced her, she had a kid with another guy, then had another kid with my cousin, and remarried. I suppose this story could be worse, but not much. Here’s the true story of my day in hell. I can not stress enough that I am not stretching the truth. What you're about to read is honestly what happened, without exaggeration. (In the midst of her laughter, my mother was kind enough to point out a few things that I had neglected to mention in the original article, so this version will be even more complete than the previous one.)
Let’s start at the beginning. (Good place to start, wouldn’t you say?) I had been out very late on a Friday night and came home to pass out on the couch. I was jolted awake by the noises of my mother bright and early on Saturday morning. “Are you ready for Lurleen and Cletus's wedding this afternoon?” she chirped. No, I was not ready. I was extremely hung over, I felt sick, and I wanted to sleep, but a wedding is a wedding and I suppose I owed it to them to be there. So, I trodded into my bedroom and thoughtlessly picked out clothes to wear. “This black sweater looks like a good choice, I think I’ll wear this,” I stupidly thought to myself. We piled in the car and were on our way.
After an hour of driving, we arrived at 3:30pm for the wedding scheduled at 4. It was in a part of town that we don't frequent, so we likely would have missed the turn had it not been for the classy sign posted on the roadside to guide us along the way. It was a 6 inch, white styrofoam plate with a magic marker arrow on it. No cursive writing, no wedding bells, nothing but an arrow. I suppose I wouldn't have wanted to put my name on it either if that was the best sign I could come up with. As we approached the address on the invitation, the dread started to sink in... there was a run down trailer home, a tarp set up with three rows of metal folding chairs in the front yard, and...nothing. That’s it. The instant I stepped out of the car, I realized the enormity of my error in wearing a sweater. The sun was blazing down on us as hard as it could. I think my deodorant hailed a cab and took off for home or just plain went on strike, because it sure as hell wasn't doing its job. I sat down on one of the wobbly metal chairs and began to melt. The drops of sweat were pouring down my entire body at an alarming rate and being fought over by the individual blades of grass, that looked like they hadn't seen water in months. It kind of reminded me of Seymore feeding blood to Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors. Our family sat down to suffer quietly under what little shade there was. We wondered where the OTHER side of the family was, and it took a few minutes to realize they were all inside the trailer home...in the air conditioning. Meanwhile, we were suffering from one giant collective heatstroke without so much as a cup of water offered to us, let alone air conditioning... or a bathroom. There were two tiny fans set up blowing in our general direction, which I alternated standing in front of (and getting yelled at for hogging the air) and sitting down to avoid passing out. There was a 12 inch round thermometer hanging nearby, which I think may have been there strictly for the purpose of mocking us all. It had a faded picture of a deer on it and the arrow was bouncing just past the 100 degree mark.
My cousin Laura (the groom's little sister) walked up to my uncle Ike and said “My daddy (uncle Joe, the groom's father) wants you to go to the car and get the cooler with the sodas out.” My ears perked up. "What’s this I hear?! SODAS?!" I tagged along-side Ike in hopes of getting the first pick. I had visions of myself as a football coach getting a cooler full of liquid poured on me. We popped the trunk open looking for said sodas, but it was empty. Puzzled, we walked around to the back seat: also empty. We looked on the floor by the front seat and almost fainted. There was a TINY one-person cooler hiding in the shadows. The kind that kids take their lunch to school in. I felt like one of those guys on TV that's lost in the desert and sees the mirage. He dives headfirst into what he thinks is the tropical paradise lagoon, only to realize he is swimming in nothing more than sand. I opened the cooler and it had THREE sodas in it. Count them: 1, 2, 3. Rather than murdering Joe for not bringing more, I decided to steal one of the sodas for myself. (They were obviously intended for he and his two daughters.) I don’t even like sprite, but this particular one tasted better than any I have ever had.
The time was now
4:30pm. There was no sign of the bride. No sign of the PREACHER. The bride’s
14 year old brother Jethro tried desperately to entertain us but he didn't do
a very good job of it. He started by telling Aggie jokes. This was a very bad
move. A.) My grandfather is a proud graduate of Texas A&M. He was a geologist
for an oil company, he is incredibly smart, and he has a retirement fund bigger
than any amount of money Jethro's family will ever see. B.) The irony in the
situation was almost too much to take. For someone as stupid as this 14 year
old pissant to be insulting the intelligence of such a smart man was blasphemous.
C.) When we didn’t laugh at the un-funny jokes, he kept saying “oh, yawl don’t
git it, do ya?” We began getting so sick of hearing the cliched sayings, we
decided to try and make him feel stupid. (a difficult thing to do, I know, but
bear with me) Here is a sample of conversation:
Jethro: If a chikkin, naw, wait a minnit. If a rewster is sittin’ on the rewf of a hayowse, and it’s facin’ south, which way do yew think thuh egg would fawl?
Se7ven: Um, roosters don’t lay eggs.
Jethro: Aw, yew hurd that wun b’fore!
Se7ven: Uh, no I haven’t.
Jethro: owe-kay, here’s anuther’n. Knock knock
Granny: Who’s there?
Granny: Orange who?
Jethro: Knock Knock
Granny: (sighh) Who’s there?
Jethro: banana, uh....*silence* .... uh, wait, I messed up...
(Just to clear this up, he was trying to tell the old "Orange you glad I didn't say banana" joke, but failed miserably.)
Then, as if to conclude his stand-up act, he grabbed his chair, turned it around, and sat down facing backwards. His pants ripped wide open at the crotch seam. This is not a lie added in for better story line. His pants split.
At 4:45pm, the preacher showed up and everyone finally started making their way over to the chairs where the ceremony was to be held. By then, the sun had gone down far enough that it was shining slant-ways down on the chairs that were supposed to be shaded underneath the tarp. The chairs, being metal, were approximately three degrees cooler than melting point. Rather than getting second degree burns on our asses, we opted to haul over the chairs that we had been sitting on already and put them under the shade of a tree off to the side a little. My uncle Joe (the one with the tiny cooler) set up the video camera on its tripod, started it rolling, and we sat and waited. The stereo started blasting a love-song by Journey (how romantic) and the people began walking down the “aisle” (yard). Lurleen emerged from the front door of the trailer and almost stumbled on the crooked steps. (Have you seen the episode of the Simpsons where Homer makes a spice rack? I think he was also commissioned to make this staircase.) Her dress looked like she bought it at the Bargain Basement Discount Dress Outlet. It was ribbed stretch knit, unintentionally see-through, and her underwear was a size too big so it bunched up in all the wrong places, creating a big bundle of cloth. With the dress, she wore brown loafers.
We were muttering about the heat, we were muttering about how trashy of the bride’s side of the family was, we were muttering about the fact that they set up the chairs five feet away from a tree where they had a smelly dog chained. (I was debating on whether or not to leave this part out of the story for gross-ness sake, but what the hell: The dog had just taken a big dump and no one bothered to clean it up before the ceremony began. Lurleen’s mother narrowly missed stepping in it.) We had been muttering and snickering this whole time, and then suddenly it hit me.... the video camera was rolling, not one foot from where we were, recording our every word. We all gasped and a hush fell over us.
The preacher was just starting the ceremony, and the next-door neighbor decided she had to leave. So she emerged from her house, got into her car with no muffler, warmed up the engine for a few seconds, and slowly rumbled out of the driveway that was directly behind the preacher. This was a short service, and I think we missed about half of it due to her loud ass car. We also had difficulty breathing for a while because the car on the dirt road stirred up a dust cloud the size of Milwaukee. Keeping in mind that Lurleen’s family disowns anyone with less than 2 children by the age of 20, there were kids a’plenty whimpering and running around. When one got done crying, another would take over. (I think they may have been working in shifts.) One woman's kid was running away so she got up to retrieve her and she tripped in a hole in the yard. She plummeted to the ground with a big thud and angrily pounded her fist on the grass. (I think she may have yelled "Dammit!" but I couldn't really tell because the neighbors car was still making a racket.) She pissed-offedly went back to her seat. The time came for the rings, and Lurleen held up the wrong hand. They finally said I do, they kissed, and then grumpily walked back to the trailer. Lurleen had left her bouquet on one of the seats and her mother called out to her not to forget it. She huffed "Oh mother, I just want to get this over with!! I'll deal with that stuff later!" They decided to change from their frumpy formals into their frumpy frumpies. If I recall correctly, Cletus, Lurleen, and her father all came back wearing Wrestlemania t-shirts. No wait... the father had been wearing a button down shirt and just ripped it open, exposing his belly to all.
We sat back down and waited. ...and waited..... The food was brought out a long, long while later. Well, on second thought, maybe "food" is too strong of a word. It was far from the veritable smorgasbord of scrumptious selections I had been looking forward to. There was potato salad, a vegetable plate and Brisket. I am a vegetarian so the brisket was a definite NO, and I don’t like potato salad, That leaves the vegetable plate. There were dirty looking carrots, radishes, and celery. So I ate celery. I was hung over in 100 degree heat with nothing to eat but CELERY. There was no ice. There were no drinks. I was looking for the cake, which wasn’t outside yet. I saw the Bride and Groom cake topper still in the box with the price tag on it, but no cake. They finally brought it out, and one of the layers was slopped to the side with a big dent in it. They blamed it on the cake makers at Albertsons. Yeah. Right. I pictured them running into the grocery store at 2pm that afternoon yelling "Dammit! They're out of Betty Crocker cake mix!" and the cake-making department manager coming to the rescue by saying "Well, the new guy fucked up a cake this morning. We already threw it away so it'll be a little dented, but you can have it cheap."
So they did the champagne bit. They had two brand new (also still bearing the price tag) champagne glasses and tiny plastic Dixie cups for everyone else. The bride’s father chugged 4 dixie cups in a row before he decided to leave some for everyone else. There was only one bottle, so I passed, deciding that Lurleen's dad probably needed it more than I did.
We were trying to plan our getaway, but the chairs we brought with us from home were still occupied by other guests. I was bugging my mom about leaving and she was getting mad at me for pestering her. I went inside the trailer to sit on the couch and cry quietly, since crying loudly outdoors wasn't doing the trick. By this point, I had little hope I would ever see home again.
I went back outside just in time to see my mom driving off, thinking I had gotten a ride home with my uncle Ike. I ran out of the trailer flailing my arms like a mad woman. I felt like a unicorn as my mother sailed away in her ark, leaving me to drown in a sea of trashy relatives. I suppose God decided I had gone though enough for one day, and mom saw me waving in the rear view mirror in time to stop the car and let me in. It was the longest day I have ever had in my entire life.
Update (Xmas 2000): Since this article was written, I've left my mother's house, and therefore have been somewhat out of the loop as far as family news goes. But this holiday season I was house-sitting for her and there was an absolutely hilarious message on her answering machine. "Hey, aunt Shirley, this is Cletus. Merry Christmas. I was just wondering if you knew anybody who was selling any appliances... or furniture. Gimme a call."
Cletus and Lurleen showed up at Christmas dinner with their 2 kids in tow and Lurleen as big as a house. She's expecting again. They've found out that it's going to be a girl and they have a name picked out already. (If you've never read the Misanthropic Bitch's article about baby names, this would be a good time to do it, lest ye not understand why this is so funny.) This is great. You guys are going to love this. SERENITY NYKOLE. First of all, serenity is the last thing this child is going to being to their lives, considering they have a hard enough time taking care of themselves and their current children. Second, Serenity is the name of a porn actress, which is where I suspect Cletus got it from. Third, don't even get me started on how retarded it is to misspell Nicole just for the sake of being different. I was telling a friend of mine about the name selection and he replied, "Serenity Nyquil? They're naming their kid after a brand of undergarment and some cough syrup?" During one of my cruel insult sessions, I jokingly suggested that the family take up a collection and pitch in to get Cletus a vasectomy. I'm not sure how it traveled down the line of family members, but it's no longer a joke. I think we may be planning an intervention of sorts.
Updated update (Fall 2002): Cletus Jr. is now 6 years old and is entering the first grade. They couldn't afford to live in the trailer where they were living in Houston, so they moved into the trailer that Lurleen's parents now own in MiddleOfNowhere, TX. This two bedroom, NON-double-wide trailer is home to the following people: Cletus, Lurleen, their 3 kids, Lurleen's parents, Jethro, Lurleen's sister, her boyfriend and their child. Yes, that makes eleven. I can't wait to see them again this Christmas.