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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cottonwood Hollow

My ex and I get along sometimes. And I always got along great with her family. So I got invited to the wedding of her niece. It was a strange situation all around .. let me set up the scene first. The story is totally dependant on the scene and the characters so you will enjoy the set up as much as the punch line.

1. the Wedding is an Outer Limits Affair.
This neice was a small town girl and she was marrying a small farming community boy. The reception was at a little community called 'Cottonwood Hollow' located about 25 miles east of 'Warm Lake' which is just the other side of the end of the earth. Cottonwood Hollow is not really a town. It has no store, just a community hall and a church. It is a very tight knit (translation "inbred" group of farmers).

Also part of this senario is the fact that I grew up in a small town (about 200 times bigger than Cottonwood Hollow - "Canadaville" population 10,000) about 100 miles to the south. Due to my church background, 40 years ago, I had known 'everyone' in Cottonwood Hollow. I mean everyone! So while I was related to the bride, I was all but related to the grooms family too. (Woulda been, if Ruby M. had caught me on the hay ride many years ago. ) This was gonna be a Canadian Appalacian wedding!!!

2. The Wedding is a Homey Affair.
So the wedding progressed. The master of ceremonies at these things is no expert and this one couldnt tell jokes without insulting people. The father of the groom cried inconsolably. The mother of the bride (my ex sis in law) was 6 months divorced. The Father of the bride had brought his new wife. The reverend was a brother of my sisters childhood friend twice removed and three times fattened up for market. The matron saint in charge of the food was the only sane element in this super friendly event of a lifetime. I had always liked her cause she made the best potato salad in the world and she could organize the important stuff at a function like this.

3. The Family I was with is a bit strange (present tense used on purpose)
Now a bit more of the color here. My ex sister in law, the one who is recently divorced, the one who is the mother of the bride, is feeling pretty down at having to look at her ex husband and his new wife. (The father met his new wife met on the internet before he left my sister-in-law.) My S-i-L foresaw this so she "brung her own cavalier." This 'cavalier' was a rather stiff 50 year ol bachelor accountant. He's Ichabod Crane incarnate and hes totally out of his element. Nice guy that he is, hes trying to fit in, but he wants to talk about balanced books and insurance. We all treat him like family. And so do the familys at the wedding. The Cottonwood Hollow Clan is nothing if its not hospitable. He was having a great time with all these new but strange friends.

4. The dance is old-time-informal
After the meal they cleared out the middle of the room and brought in the band: "The Wailing Henrys". YeeeeeeeeeeeeeHawwwwwwwwww it was going to be a wild knee slapping dance. And it was .. and it was fun. Great fun. Like we had when I was a kid.

Now the Story:
So now here we are. A wedding dance just over the boundary of civilization. Having a great time .. 5 polkas, 3 walzes and two Beatles into the evening, when someone calls for the "funky chicken dance". This is kinda like the macarena .. but not. .. kinda like the butterfly .. but not... or maybe the conga .. nope not really that either. .. anyway its where we all line up, usually male female order, and glide/slide around the dance floor flapping our elbows and flying with our hands out wide .. super fun. My ex is behind me and my ex sister in law is in front with her 'accountant friend' in front of her.

We are doing the funky chicken when my ex leans forward and tells me that her sister is feeling low. "Let's get her mind off her problems".

(My antenna went up at that .. wondering what are you trying to get me into now?) ..

"Goose her!!" says my ex.

The dance is moving .. I was thinking .. okay .. lets see where this goes. So I goosed her. (pinched her butt for the uninitiated.) .. She jumped .. and turned to scowl at me. Thinking quickly, I looked back innocently and replied " What???? .. dont you guys do that down south?" ...

She didnt say a word but just kept funking. I reached forward and goosed her again. She turned around ready for battle.

I looked at her innocently and said "You're supposed to pass it on!!"

She looked at me a bit confused.

"Pass it on!!" I encouraged her indicating her cavalier/escort/accountant friend.

When she leaned forward and goosed him I almost laughed.

He turned around and looked at her funny-like. surprised.. flattered... confused .. not knowing what to think or do.

She whispered to him in a voice loud enough that I could hear it. "It's what they do here!!! .. You're supposed to pass it on. " ..

He smiled a big willing smile and turned around and immeadiately pinched the ass of the lady in front of him. ... .

They still tell the story in Cottonwood Hollow of how big Ellen Hatch knocked out the skinny accountant at the wedding, with just one blow.

I crumpled to the floor beside him, laughing so hard my legs gave out.

This story is mostly true .. I was there .. :)


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