I roll into Longview early morning and pull into a gas station. I walk into the place and find an ex-girlfriend working the register and Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" blaring over the store's speakers. Ahh it's good to be back.
Longview is a working class town where for many mullets never went out of style and Bon Jovi is the aesthetic equivalent of Bach. It's strange to me to think I grew up in a place where I never fit in, yet I had friends who surprisingly put up with me. I had a wedding to attend that day and making the 2 1/2 hour drive would be worth it.
After I checked into the hotel I made my way to Commerce street to have lunch at the Country Folks Deli. To my surprise the street was closed to traffic as they had some Autumn festival going on. I walked past the booths selling soap, art, and other odds and ends to find there was a car show going on in the street.
To give you a better idea of how important car shows are to the residents of the town it's really the cultural highlight of the year. I mean old men and their hot rods are serious business. Cars were lined up, polished to the hilt, and proudly displayed by their geriatric owners. Nervous wives hovered over the cars making sure kids didn't put their hands on the precious item.
Some old gent with an Impala tried to make conversation with me about his rig. I smiled and said I was going to get some lunch. He didn't care obviously as he kept telling the story about his vehicle. I just walked on.
I killed some time in my ghetto hotel, which stank of cigarettes and death, watching Tim Russert before the wedding. I finally change into my suit and head to Lake Sacajawea to an outdoor wedding...in Washington...in October. Yes the wind was blowing as we sat under a tent, but thankfully it didn't rain. The ceremony was short and sweet and before I caught hypothermia we made our way to the ballroom of the Monticello Hotel.
The bride and groom are big fans of butt rock, so they had each and every table decorated with a band from the 80s. I sat at the Guns and Roses table, but apparently no one else was a fan and I found myself sitting by my lonesome. The groom made me sit at the Def Leppard table with some of his employees and their dates and I'm glad I did.
After funny chit chat with the people there a girl announced she went to Catholic school. I told her I did the same, but she added she was kicked out after a couple of months. After telling her my stories of being in trouble for kid stuff she told the tale of what made the Christians boot her out of the school. Apparently this girl was caught by the priest having sex with another girl on top of the altar in the church.
Wow. I've heard a lot of good Catholic school stories, but that is hands down the coolest ever. It also helped that the girl was kind of hot too. She stated that the priest just walked in and said "holy mother of god" and walked out. She also confessed that she was fine with knowing that some priest out there was spending a lot of quality time alone to her.
The reception went on with the usual formalities of throwing the bouquet and cutting of the cake, but then the real kicker came up. Ron, the groom, hired a karaoke guy to bring fine entertainment to the reception. Yes they had karaoke. I flagged down the waitress and asked her to keep the drinks coming. She complied.
After hearing Ron 'Jovi' sang the ever Longview crowd pleasing tune of 'Living on a Prayer" I realized I had consumed about enough alcohol that would normally kill a horse. Songs were being butchered, people were dancing to awful renditions of 'Love Shack', and the more I experienced the more I drank.
People kept asking me to sing. Finally in my inebriated state I thought fuck it. If I had to be subjected to this nonsense I might as well dish out the pain. Yes my judgement is poor when my brain is lubricated with 14 martinis. So I opened the book and looked up a song. Wow they had it. Cool.
I walked up to the karaoke DJ and handed him the slip. He looked at me and smiled. He announced to everyone that I was to sing. I grabbed the mic and told the crowd that this song was not for anyone with a sensitive constitution. The first chord chimed in and I belted out the lyrics to "The Ballad of Chasey Lain."
Yes the old Bloodhound Gang's ode to a porn star was being sung by a drunken Wiwille at a wedding reception. The under 30 crowd was singing along enjoying the dirty lyrics and sense of fun. Wiwille had his moment to shine and shine I did.
How'd the over 30 crowd feel about the music I subjected them to? Well they didn't exactly warm up to me afterwards.
Ron and Amy did make a happy couple and I've never seen them smile so much. Given the karaoke and cold weather I was happy to attend their wedding, cause sometimes I need days like those to make me believe in love again.
"In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find, grounds for marriage." - Robert Anderson