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A Labor Day Weekend of Love

This past weekend, I was honored to be a groomsman in the wedding of Jim and Genevieve.  I suspect that I was chosen in part because my height came reasonably close to matching that of the bridesmaid with whom I was paired, but I can accept that.  It was, without doubt, one of the most interesting wedding events I’ve ever experienced.

Not because of the actual wedding itself—no, that was a fairly normal affair, complete with a quick relocation indoors due to a thunderstorm that arrived precisely on time.  It was more punctual than some of the guests, actually.  Similarly, there was the expected folderol with the photographer, who was stressed out and stressed out everyone else in her attempts to get The Absolute Best Bridal Party Pictures Ever.  Nothing unusual there.  We even had the requisite confusion about who was escorting whom, and in what order, to their seats at the very beginning of the processional, despite having rehearsed it twice the night before.

Things actually got interesting a few weeks back, when the bachelor party started with an afternoon of paintball.  That was before the more normal dinner and then visits to a series of, er, gentlemen’s clubs.  (Sadly, I missed that last part since we only had a babysitter until eleven, and Kat was at the bachelorette party being held the same night.  We drew straws, and I was the one who got to come back home early.)  But paintball?  Who starts off a bachelor party with a bunch of guys running around shooting paint pellets at each other?  The last of my bruises finally vanished a few days ago, in fact.  I mean, it was fun and all, modulo the stinging impacts and aches of course.  It just seemed very, very odd.  Especially that we didn’t all gang up on the groom and paste him head to toe in paint.  And bruises.

Then, the night before the wedding, things got more interesting.  At the rehearsal dinner, Jim presented us with our groomsman gifts, something he’d been saying for a couple of weeks he was really stoked about, all while rightly refusing to say what he’d gotten.  All of them were obviously the same thing, and felt through the wrapping paper like a set of Craftsman wrenches or something similar.  Turns out he got us all Victor II paintball guns (excuse me, “markers”).  Seriously.

I mean, I’ve heard of shotgun weddings before, but this is something else altogether.

Apparently, there will be more paintball in our futures.  Kat was really excited, announcing in front of everyone that she hoped there’d be monthly paintball, because she wants me out of the house.  Really, that’s how she phrased it.  I felt so very loved.

Then there was the night after the wedding.  After a well-attended and very tasty barbeque on the shore of Lake Erie, a bunch of us deliberately went to play Whirlyball.  “What’s that?” you ask.  It’s sort of like lacrosse, except the competitors drive around the playing arena in bumper cars.  Seriously.  Go check out the site if you don’t believe me.  I can wait.

Now for the part many of you may not believe: Whirlyball is actually a lot of fun.  Besides the sheer joy of driving around bumper cars for fifteen minutes straight, you’re involved in a game that actually lends itself to some sophisticated strategy and tactics, if you pay attention and have teammates who do the same.  There’s just one thing I really want to know.  Why Whirlyball?  There’s really no whirling in the game unless you get confused by the car’s steering mechanism and start driving in a circle… or, as happened to one player, get the steering mechanism slammed into your groin, causing him to slump over and drive in a small circle for a while, feebly waving his scoop in the air whenever the referee asked if he was okay.  I guess that’s why they tell you to buckle the seat belt low and tight across your lap.

Frankly, more weddings should be as fun as theirs.

Eight Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Mon 6 Sep 2004
    • 2310
    RobbyB wrote in to say...

    As best man at a recent wedding, I organized the exact same type of bachelor party; paintball in the afternoon, followed by dinner, gambling (we stayed at a casino), and a fine gentleman’s establishment, and more gambling. We even had the groom run the “gauntlet.” He had welts right up until the wedding, four weeks later. It was quite the night of manliness.

    Monthly paintball sounds fun, but the bruises and welts could be painful.

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Tue 7 Sep 2004
    • 0915
    Randy Peterman wrote in to say...

    I had a paintball party as my bachelor party and that was great fun:

    • I shot my future father-in-law at point blank in the back
    • My brother in law blindfired and hit me in the leg inches from my honeymoon anatomy.
    • I was heavily bruised for my honeymoon

    In the end it rocked… paintballing is a very good idea for the bach party ;) Just make sure the groom wears an athletic cup.

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Tue 7 Sep 2004
    • 0936
    Mike Pirnat wrote in to say...

    My evening of manly festivities also began with paintball–as a surprise. Four years later, I still hurt from where I took two hits within a quarter inch of each other, at the end of my ribcage on my left side. Nothing says goodwill and best wishes for a successful marriage quite like permanent injury! :-)

    Glad you had fun, though. It was great to see you and Kat this weekend.

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Tue 7 Sep 2004
    • 1050
    Keith Burgin wrote in to say...

    Sounds like you had a great time. Got introduced to a couple of activities you hadn’t tried before – always worthwhile.

    And feel free to say “gun”. Guuuunn… just kinda rolls of your tongue. Because remember: Paintball guns don’t kill people. Eating the paintballs does. They’re enthylene glycol. Guuuun.

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Tue 7 Sep 2004
    • 1100
    Mark Bradbourne wrote in to say...

    Ouch…

    My “Manly Event” was a little tamer.

    Dinner followed by betting on horse racing.. followed by some female nekkidness.. followed by beer at home and some really bad pornos..

    memories…

    Anyway, WhirlyBall rules!! I played it up in Ann Arbor a couple of years ago. If you guys ever go again, call me!

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Tue 7 Sep 2004
    • 1516
    Jack Brewster wrote in to say...

    If Kat wants you out of the house that badly, get into LAN gaming. Unlike paintball, you can even do it from the comfort of your own home! Gives a whole different dimension to computer-widow.

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Tue 7 Sep 2004
    • 1558
    Jim Kilmer wrote in to say...

    For the record, you were NOT chosen as a groomsman because of your height, however it was the prime determinant in your bridesmaid pairing after the fact…

    I’m honored and very very glad you stood w/ me, and am even more glad that everyone seemed to have so much fun. We have to do this again sometime!!

    Uh… wait. Sorry G. ;)

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Wed 18 Oct 2006
    • 1015
    unlikelymoose.com/blog wrote in to say...

    i came across this page doing a google search for whirlyball strategies. I have a company outing coming up. I need to dominate. Please share your whirlyball strategies. Diagrams are preferred, but not necessary.

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