The Wedding Night

This is the story of the wedding night of two of my closest friends in Utah, PongMaster and Daisy.

At the time I wasn’t nearly as close with them.  In fact, I wasn’t invited to the wedding.  I wasn’t even invited to the reception.  I was, however, invited to the post-reception reception.  (PongMaster and Daisy are both from Mormon families, and so the drinking festivities usually associated with a wedding had to be delayed until after their families had gone home.)

I was in the midst of hosting a big three day track meet, so I couldn’t be my normal drunken belligerent self.  But I still wanted to make an appearance to say hi and congratulations.  So I headed out to the bar around 10 and found most everyone thoroughly wasted.

I limited myself to one 25 oz mug of Utah beer (amazing restraint on my part if I do say so myself!) and was enjoying a chill evening with good people.

Now, I don’t know how all the mayhem started, but at some point PongMaster got into an argument with three dudes.  Don’t know who started it, what it was about, anything.  Except that these three dudes decided they wanted to fight.  And PongMaster, being sufficiently drunk to lack common sense, thought taking on three guys by himself was a swell idea.

Calmer heads eventually seemed to prevail, everyone got separated, and the three dudes (pretty sure they were frat boys) left.  I thought that was the end of it.

But it wasn’t.  While I was in the bathroom one of our mutual friends texted me, “Those guys are outside waiting to jump PongMaster.  Don’t let him go outside.”

I zipped up and dashed out the door just as PongMaster was storming past me on his way out the door.  Apparently he had heard the guys were waiting to fight and, hopped up on adrenaline and alcohol, he was determined to take them on.

I really didn’t know PongMaster that well back then (I was more friends with Daisy originally) but I called his name as he stormed by, then I kind of put my arm around his shoulder like we were old pals and said, “Hey, did you find Daisy?  She was just lookin’ for you.”

His wild, angry eyes softened and he seemed to forget about the guys waiting to jump him.  He said something like, “Let’s go get her then,” and we turned away from the door and headed back into the bar.

The problem now, though, was that I had no idea where Daisy actually was.  I hadn’t seen her in probably 20 minutes. So I took a gamble that she was up on the smoking deck, and when she wasn’t there I gave a “She was just here!” and we kept searching the bar.

Eventually we found his wife and all was right again.  PongMaster was still pissed, he kept talking about beating the guys’ asses, but Daisy made it very clear she did not want any fighting on her wedding night.

Not too much later our mutual friend returned and assured us the guys had left and it was safe to go home.

But now another problem presented itself.  Still full of piss and vinegar and booze and adrenaline, PongMaster was absolutely certain he was ok to drive back to their wedding suite.  We all tried to talk him out of it, I literally begged him to let me drive home.  (The cops in Utah don’t have any real crime to worry about, so they spend most of their time staking out the bars in small towns looking for non-Mormons to arrest. I’ve been pulled over countless times for nothing more than being parked too close to a bar.)

But try as we might, no one could convince PongMaster not to drive.  Finally someone suggested I should follow them back to their hotel to make sure they made it safe.  This was the height of stupidity; me following them wasn’t going to stop any police from pulling him over.  All it might do is get me arrested too if I tried in any way to prevent him getting busted.  But it was clear that PongMaster’s blood was up and nothing was going to prevent him from driving, so I grudgingly agreed.

I was parked on the street about a block from the bar and about half a block from the parking lot where PongMaster was parked.  I jogged to my car, hopped in, and was just pulling out when I saw a cop car down at the end of the street coming our way.


Even worse, PongMaster had already pulled out of his parking space and was just about to pull the wrong way out of the lot onto the street!

Double shit.

Thank the lord I was sober as can be.  I gunned the engine, raced the hundred feet or so to the parking lot and pulled in, blocking PongMaster from pulling out.  The cop, of course, saw me do this and immediately hit his lights and pulled in behind me.

But my play had worked, because the cop was only paying attention to me.  He didn’t even notice PongMaster back up back into a parking space, get out of the car and literally throw his keys off into the distance.

The cop introduced himself to me by saying, “I saw you pull out just a little ways back. Usually when people try to avoid me like you did there’s a reason.”

By now a crowd of about 15 of PongMaster and Daisy’s friends had gathered around the scene, so I muttered an excuse about just picking up my friends. The cop wasn’t buying it though and made me go through the entire gambit of field sobriety tests, which I passed with ease.  Eventually he gave up, but being the Mormon morality policeman that he was, he had to end with the admonition: “You’ve clearly had some to drink tonight. I’d suggest finding another way home.”  (Remember, I’d had one big beer in two-plus hours.  If my BAC was .01 I’d be surprised.  And Mormon cops never give heathens the benefit of the doubt, if I’d been even close he would have arrested me.)

After he’d left we all had a good laugh in the parking lot.  PongMaster had sobered up real quick and was now willing to accept a ride back to their nuptual suite.  And I, ignoring the cop’s warning, drove myself home.

And, of course, I managed to drive right by the same cop on my way home.  He followed me for about 8 blocks, either looking for a reason to pull me over or just trying to scare me.  Who knows with the fake rent-a-cops of End Of The World, UT.*

That night is still one of my proudest moments.  I prevented a couple’s wedding night from being ruined, saved a guy from a night in jail, and made two great friends all in the same evening.

Maybe I should try not drinking more often…


*For the record, I have the utmost respect for most law enforcement officers. I’m not one of those people who think cops are corrupt or on a power trip or out to get decent, law-abiding citizens. However, in a 90% Mormon town with no crime like End Of The World, UT, unfortunately that’s exactly what they are. There are about two good cops in the whole town (I know them both, I drink with them both), the rest are just sheltered Mormons convinced it’s their duty to the church to bust every heathen they can find.


1 Comment

  1. Funny how often I have done shit like that, being the designated driver and all 😉

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