Thursday, March 20, 2008
The other day I received what may well be the white trashiest wedding invitation in the entire world. If it didn't have so much personal information on it I swear I would have scanned it in, but that would also be a little on the hateful side, so I will just do my best to recreate it for you.

My cousin Shandy, whom I've never met, is finally getting married to her baby daddy, which is ultimately, when all is said and done, the right thing to do, and I commend this. Let it officially be known that I am very happy they are getting married even though I've never met either of them.

Shandy is 22 and my Uncle Gargle's oldest daughter. They live in a trailer outside of Millpond. "They" includes Uncle Gargle, his wife Tammy, Shandy, her baby daddy Russ, their baby who is four, Savannah Rae, and Uncle Gargle and Aunt Tammy's youngest daughter Sheree, who is 16 and from her MySpace page looks like a professional Rugby player, although she isn't. That is a damn lot of people to cram into a single wide, but I suppose when you've got a mess of people who are firmly committed to not working, then they're willing to make a few sacrifices for a life of sitting home watching Maury on a 27 year old black and white TV all day long.

Uncle Gargle is my mom's younger brother, not to be confused with Uncle Bull who is the famous grass roots political activist who has been on TV and had lots of articles written about him. Uncle G was dropped on his head as a child and, according to my mom, has never been right. I guess if he were a kid now he'd be one of those kids who has a million diagnoses like ADHD EH and QRS, and he'd be on all kinds of medications, in special classes and possibly wearing a helmet, but since he grew up in the 60s and they didn't have all that stuff then, people just called him stupid and crazy, since that was how he acted most of the time. He also had a speech impediment, which is how he got the name Gargle. As a child he made a strange gargling sound when he tried to speak. I know, it's all very Southern Gothic. As Uncle G. got older he got crazier. I've often wondered if he might not be a tad schizophrenic. Illegal drugs didn't help. He od'd on hallucinogens in his late teens and ended up on the roof of Memere Marie's house playing electric guitar and saying he was the Second Coming. I didn't know him as a child because he was in a mental institution for most of my formative years.

I could kill my mom and Aunt Kiki for this, but I distinctly remember them explaining the situation to me, when I was very little, as that Uncle Gargle had to go live in a hospital because he ate some bad mushrooms on a pizza. This scared the ever loving crap out of me and I swear I wouldn't touch a mushroom until I was in my early 20s because I thought if I got a bad one I'd have to go live in a hospital too. I didn't know Uncle G. was in the loony bin. I thought he was in a coma. The lesson here is this: People, tell your kids the damn truth so they can enjoy their pizza.

When Uncle G. got out of the mental hospital he got engaged. To a woman whom he met IN the mental hospital, which is very romantic, except that she was a Sloane. The Sloane are the absolute most white trash family in all of Millpond and no one likes them because they're all dirty, violent, dishonest, alcoholic drug addicts and they're also extremely ugly. The name Sloane is so associated with the abject that in Millpond their name has become its own adjective. To this day if anyone in my family sees a nasty person we call them a "Sloane." If we disapprove of someone's lifestyle we say they're living like "Sloanes." If someone has a filthy house we say it looks like the "Sloane Camp" because the Sloanes live on a sort of camp-like area all together, way out in the middle of nowhere, where everyone assumes they all inbreed and cook meth together and come up with illegal scams and two-bit cons. I once heard that they were ousted Irish Travelers, so you know they're bad. If you're so bad that even the Irish Travelers don't want you around, then you are seriously troubled.

You can imagine how everyone felt when Uncle G announced his engagement to Tammy Sloane. Tammy was, by the way, in the mental ward as one of her scams, which she is still running to this very day ALLEGEDLY. Ahem. Supposedly, Tammy isn't crazy at all, but she and her seven or eight sisters all came up with this brilliant idea to act completely bat-shit every few months so they can get sent to the state hospital for a spell, which thus gets them out of work and qualifies them for disability from the government, proving that they are too nuts to work. Then they get a free check. When it runs out they just start acting bat-shit again and go back. No big deal. The mental hospital's nice anyway. They don't have to cook or clean or pay rent. They just have to go to group therapy and make spin art. They also get free pills. Hell, that's a dang vacation spa. But again, I have no idea if this is actually true. Ahem.

Uncle G got married and immediately Tammy got pregnant with Shandy and Uncle G went through about sixteen different jobs because he didn't want to work and he didn't like people telling him what to do and he knew better than anyone else how jobs ought to be done and no one would listen to his expertise. My grandfather tried to hire him to drive trucks with him, but even that didn't work out. Then, by the grace of the Good Lord, Uncle G had a terrible accident and got hit in the face with a rim from the wheel of a semi, the force of which broke his neck and caused him a world of other problems. I'm not going to make too much light of this because it was very scary and for a long time we thought he might not make it. It was a legitimately bad accident and not a Sloane scam of any type.

The accident left Uncle G never able to work ever again. It also left him even crazier than he had been before and got him on permanent disability, which also meant that Tammy would never ever leave him. They even had a second child and she acted bat-shit a few more times so they could get more free money from the government and now they could even go on welfare. It was wonderful. For her anyway.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this Uncle Gargle found the Lord Our Savior Jesus Christ and became a Pentecostal. Pentecostals are the ones who speak in tongues and throw themselves all over the floor in fits during their services. Uncle Gargle does this, but on a slightly smaller scale because he is severely disabled. I'm not exactly sure if he's really speaking in tongues though. I think maybe the Pentecostals mistook his speech impediment for the language of prophecy and declared him speaking in tongues when what he was actually trying to say was that he had to pee or something and could someone wheel him over to the men's room. In any event, Uncle G is now regarded as some kind of prophet in the Millpond Pentecostal Church of Jesus Loves You All.

Shandy grew up in the Pentecostal church, where people made the mistake of telling her that she could sing. Then she started singing at different local events such as the Chicken Festival, the Soybean and Sorghum Exposition, the Millpond Fair and the annual weeklong event known as Horseshoe Crab Days. This all made Shandy think she was famous.

Poor Cousin Fallon and Shandy are close in age and had to go to high school together. Fallon didn't want anyone knowing they were related because Shandy was already getting a reputation for being a wee bit "touched." Then she got pregnant by Russ when she was in her senior year of high school, and it must be said here that Russ had already been with not only Fallon, but also Fallon's sister Alexis, so Russ has definitely had a good sampling of our family. Fallon hates Shandy and will not be going to the wedding.

Russ moved into the trailer with Shandy and the rest and they had a little girl, Savannah Rae. Shandy worked at the Wal-Mart for a little while before finally deciding to just give that crap up and go crazy too so she could get free money, which worked quite well.

For the past few years Shandy has been telling everyone that she and Russ were getting married. No one believed her because she is apparently dramatic and says all sorts of things that aren't true, and jeez, who gets married anymore anyway?

Well, lo and behold, here comes a wedding invitation the other day, so I guess this time it must be true, which is a good thing for little Savannah Rae. Ok, maybe the whole situation isn't exactly what one might call good, but at least it's a little bit better.

The invitation itself was pretty and homemade. Shandy and her mom must have reallt learned a lot about arts and crafts in the mental ward, because they did a good job on the invites. It was the wording I had an issue with.

"Savannah Rae requests the honor of your presence at the wedding of her Mama and Daddy-Pop, Shandy and Russ..."

Then it goes on to give the pertinent info - Fire Hall, potluck, BYOB, please try not to wear jeans, etc. This is all ok. These are poor people. I get that. I'm glad they are at least getting married, but really, did the invitation have to come from their four year old? Is that a little tacky, y'all? A teeny bit?

21 comments:

John C. Welch said...

Once again, Carlin provides guidance on such important things like "Letting a 4 year old have complete creative control over a wedding invitation":

"HIre the handicapped, but don't let them take your rectal temperature."

Corianne said...

*snork*

And i'm sure the four year old really knows what a wedding is.

I dunno....I think you might just have to go to the wedding- it would be great material for your stories. :)

EvylFashionista said...

Oh honey, that is waaaaaaaaaaaaay more than a teeny bit tacky. That's a whole lot of tacky.

Have you ever been to www.etiquettehell.com? They would have field day with this one.

Grrrr. I hate hearing about people who abuse the system. Some of my friends genuinely need that help and it's people like the Sloanes that paint all people on welfare as lazy slackers. It makes me, and my friends, mad enough to spit nails.

Amy said...

Oh my god you must go the the wedding then tell us all about it or we will DIE! Just fall down and die.

Curlatini, Esq. said...

No, the tacky part is the "try not to wear jeans" instruction. After your complimentary comments on the artistry of the invite, I really want to see it!

JTN said...

I think you can read subtext as "Now that Savannah is old enough to carry firearms, she's decided to hold a shotgun wedding for her biological contributors."

MP said...

:-)
So the post is over and my eyes are as big as saucers..and my hand is covering my laugh..I'm already watching basketball..I don't need to start rolling hysterically too..

God Love and Keep Millpond in it's prayers.

BYOB..the pentecostal's will allow alchol?

Nanci said...

At least it didn't include: "Make sure you bring your swim suit for the mud wrestling pit at the reception to follow the ceremony. The directions to the ceremony will be: Turn left at the large oak tree in back of the trailor park then hang a right by the old tire pile." That could have been a whole lot worse. But, since we all know that Fallon is not going to the wedding, you must go and take pictures and post some stories. Hope that all is well on the home-front.

Jennifer said...

This is all just beautiful, in a horrific sort of way.

Of course, you know "try not to wear jeans" will mean that nobody will wear anything else but jeans.

Dave said...

Potluck?
BYOB?
If I got that invitation I'd stay home where I could eat my own food and drink my own booze. I might drive by the trailer and drop off four new cinderblocks for under one of the yard cars as a gift.

Architect Critic said...

Oh man, that is hilarious in a sad sort of way. We have plenty of meth addicts around here who do anything to scam the system and have some wacky people in my family, but that takes it all. It's amazing that people like them and someone like you can be related, but it happens so often.

Speaking of wedding invitations, my wife and I are headed to Los Angeles in a couple weeks for one of her cousins' wedding. He's in some kind of metal or goth band, she's one of those good-looking goth girls. The invitations were on blood red stock with black writing. It should be very interesting with some of the older stuffy folk there. I can't wait.

Wide Lawns said...

I guess I should have mentioned that alas, I won't be able to attend this wedding because of prior engagements, and Lord knows I am not flying all the way to Millpond to have to bring a dish to a wedding reception. However, I'd like to just say that if I WERE going, I would take Dave because of his gift idea, which is perfect and I wish I'd thought of it myself. I love Dave. You all should read his blog.

Anonymous said...

Please. Please go to this wedding. I MUST hear about it and see pictures.

~Lauren

Anonymous said...

My inlaws are Pentacostal. Let me assure you that alcohol is right up there with murder and saying "shit" when you stub your toe. They don't allow the women to cut their hair, either. The preachers go to school to learn how to say "Jesus" and make it into three syllables. Notice that there's always an "ahhhhh" at the end.

About 15 years ago it was a hell worthy sin to own a TV set. All that changed somewhere along the line and now it's just fine and dandy. I mentioned this to my brother in law and pondered that there must be some very pissed off Pentacostals smoking turds in Hell right now just because they owned a TV. If they had only waited a few years before they kicked off.

Long winded, sorry. I have lots of Pentacostal stories.

~Mo~

Wide Lawns said...

I love Pentecostal stories. I should have clarified in the story that Shandy and Russ are not themselves Pentecostal. They're getting married at the regular non-denom. Christian church in town. I mean, they do have a kid already and live in sin. Uncle Gargle is solo in the whole Pentecostal business and goes alone. Aunt Tammy wants no part of it either. He doesn't drink and there will be alchohol at the wedding if the guests bring it. I think he's really laid back about all that stuff though.

Sinclair said...

It could have been tackier if Savanah Rae would have "colored" the invitation herself.

And they could have stated "come as you are" in the invitation. Then everybody would look like the Beverly Hillbillies http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2648743424/tt0055662

E said...

Damn... Savannah Rae doesn't even have a chance, does she?
I bet there will be every variety of pretzel salad imaginable at this shindig!!

Daniel said...

if you can't attend, at least get someone to send you the eventual menu with all the recipes.

You can fill years of nasty assed food postings.

Magpie said...

Lordy. Where is the flowchart?

UmmFarouq said...

Wiping the tears from my face... Good grief, you can tell a story.

morrigoon said...

Oh man, we're going to miss out on all the precious casserole photographs you could have gotten!

Actually, the invitation didn't sound *so* bad until "BYOB" and "try not to wear blue jeans". I've heard that some groups (methodists, maybe?) traditionally do potluck for weddings (though if rumor holds true it gets the slightly better "covered dish" moniker). And I know enough mommyblogger types to believe that they'd have their kid on the invite (though the implications of that are on the tact level of an obviously pregnant bride). Oh wait, but the NAMES she "called" her parents by on the invite, hoo hoo!

Okay, I give up, I can't justify it. I wanted to, but I can't...

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