Friday, September 02, 2005

Horror Story

With all due respect to those living a horror story of their own in Louisiana and Mississippi...

The following story is completely, entirely true. You may not believe parts of it, it is so incredible and mind blowing, that you will sit looking at the screen, shaking your head, and asking yourself how can some people who have been through so much still function as regular human beings.

And yet, before you read this and worry, I will tell you that we all survived, and lived to tell the tale.

This is a story complete with places called Big Bone Lick and Louisville, Ky.

It has been told many times, but never with as much distance as I am afforded today. For over a year, I carried a picture taken from the scene in my T'fillin bag, as a reminder to what happened. But now I'm getting ahead of myself.

It was two yaers ago this weekend. Labor Day, 2003. After dating 163 girls, Micha (Name not changed) finally found the magical girl. Leslie, from Kentucky. In the two years that have passed we have found that she likes dogs the size of horses, and for some strange reason, is not a big fan of many of the people in this story. Or at least, not a big fan of some of the things we do.

The wedding was to be held in her hometown, in Louisville. The home of the Lousiville Slugger was going to play a pivotal role in our lives. Some might say this was the weekend we graduated from boys to men, and forever, Lousiville will hold a place in my heart as one of those defining moments of overcoming the odds, facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge, and rising to meet that challenge.

In the days leading up to the wedding, rumors abounded. There was one that was continually popping up, one that shook us to the core of our essence. Micha, one of the founding members of the MNFBBQ, a group dedicated to the pursuit of meat and enjoyment of football, was going to havea dairy wedding.

I had never heard of a dairy wedding, so naturally, I ignored the rumors. At first. But they persisted, and what started as a whisper turned into a roar. I confronted Micha a week before the wedding, and he admitted that, indeed, the wedding was going to be dairy.

It was Shabbos of Labor Day weekend, and there was a kiddush. Maybe it was the Auf Ruf, but for some reason memory reminds me that the Auf Ruf was the previous week. The boys and I were talking about surviving this most horrific of circumstances, a dairy wedding, on a national holiday, Labor Day, a day created by Unions for the sole purpose of BBQing.

There was no formal meeting, just frantic back room whisperings, and while we ate our CHulent, we decided to have a BBQ at the wedding. The news spread quickly, and everyone was in. Even the Rabbi.

And here is where we had our first lapse of good judgment. We had decided it would be a low-key BBQ, so as not to offend the family or people of Kentucky, and decided that we would have a small Hot Dog BBQ. Aaron was in charge of the Buns. He is a reliable fellow, and even though he does not have an earlobe obsession, he was the character behind the attorney in the Ear Lobe story I wrote a few weeks back. I was in charge of bringing the grill. Again, a solid choice. There were plenty of people who could have brought the hot dogs. Good people. Reliable people. People who know when they commit to bringing hot dogs that they are ersponsible for the hot dogs. But the Rabbi volunteered to bring them. And so we assigned him the hot dog bringer.

Some people drove to Kentucky on Sunday for the Monday wedding, but the Rabbi and I were driving together, along with the rabbi's wife, Jay, Avy, and Randy. I should mention that of the six of us in the minivan, Randy and I were by far the largest, but that is part of the story we won't get into today. That is all about the ride home and the post wedding disaster.

The Rabbi brought a TV with a DVD player in the car, and we brought some movies. We had been driving for quite some time, and passed the sign for Big Bone Lick National Park when the Rabbi innocently asked how I brought the hot dogs, since he did not see a cooler next to the grill.

Excuse me, I said, but you were in charge of the hot dogs.

I couldn't see his face, but I imagine dark clouds of memory started to cover his face. I have always believed that he knew he was supposed to bring the dogs. And I have also believed, without any evidence, just speculation on my part, that as he went to get the hot dogs from the store, his wife asked him if he was crazy. She probably went on to say that we were just kidding around. No one brings a BBQ to a wedding, even if it is dairy, even if it is on labor day, even if the groom is a member of a BBQ club that is dedicated to the pursuit of meat. And so he caved. I have no evidence of this, again, but in my heart, I have always felt that this is what transpired on that day.

We pulled over near Columbus, trying to find the kocher store with meat, as we had been told that there was no kosher meat in Kentucky, but as we drove aimlessly around Columbus, we gave up. The rabbi needed to get to the wedding to officiate. Avy needed to get to the wedding to sing under the Chuppah.

There was dispair and gloom in the car as we drove toward Louisville. We called Gil, our man on the ground in Kentucky, to appraise him of the situation. He was distraught, and I thinka part of him almost died that night as the prospect of a dairy wedding stared him in the face.

There was nothing that could lift us from our despondent mood. Sadly, we prepared ourselves for the dairy wedding that was to come.

We got to the hotel with some time to spare, and watched some baseball, whispering among ourselves how dumb it was to trust the rabbi with such an important job.

The wedding got off to an interesting start. The Rabbi spoke under the Chuppah, and said that when Adam and Eve were created, they were created as one person, connected, but then after the sin of the forbidden fruit, they were ripped apart. He went on. When you have two halves of a bagel and you tear them apart, you can never get them to go back together exactly right. In fact, he asked, how do you get the two halves of a bagel back together. With cream cheese, was his answer (I am not making this up). You spread cream cheese all over the bagels, and that brings them together. And the love between the Chasson and Kallah is like cream cheese.

We went from the ceremony to the Shmorg, tables filled with cheese, and quite mysteriously, Pareve cream cheese.

It was a long way to drive for cheese, especially fake cheese, and witha long drive home planned for that evening, we were not about to get wasted.

We were at the lowest of lows. I don't know if there was a way we collectively could have felt any lower. But when you are at the point of despair, there is always salvation, and in this case, it was the rabbi who provided the salvation. Directions to a grocery store, and the keys to his car, and a guarantee that we would find meat in Louisville.

Jay, Aaron and I ran to the car, drove to the store, and the BBQ was saved. Labor Day was saved. The wedding was saved.

There were many more miracles that took place that day, including dealing with a security guard and an open flame in a parking garage, and the Chasson's brother, father and niece joiing us for hotddogs and hamburgers. But perhaps those stories are for another time.

To comemmorate the miracle of that day, last Labor day we went to Micha's house, while he was not there, and BBQed. When he and his wife got home in the middle, we gave them a bagel with cream cheese to enjoy.

As we made plans for this year's comemmorative BBQ, we were warned that Leslie was not pleased with the previous year's comemmorative BBQ, so keep this one quiet. Which is exactly what we will do.

You can read about the BBQ, written from only a few week's perspective, by clicking here. Most people recommend reading the story first, and then going back through the commentary after.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. how do you know that aaron doesnt have an earlobe fetish?

2. the man you voted in as rabbi strikes again! cant the guy get something as simple as picking up some dogs straight?

September 04, 2005 4:44 AM  
Anonymous noahdaddy said...

For the record:

1. The rabbi who made the sppech about bagels and cream cheese was not "the rabbi", but a local rabbi from Louisville.

2. I do not have an earlobe fetish....that I know of.

September 04, 2005 9:24 AM  
Blogger SportPsych Detroit said...

Brilliant. Only a few facts appear to have been distorted by the passage of time:
1. It was Cincinatti (not Columbus).
2. The other Rabbi said you have to shmear the cream cheese around to get the bagel to fit (I'm not making that up).
3. The food was not only dairy, it was borderline.
4. There was a lot of meat at the wedding.
5. The original cast was to be Air, Jay, and Avy. The Rabbi asked to join so that there would be company in the car (not sure why he did not want to spend 5 & 1/2 hours on the road with his wife). Against our better judgment, we agreed.

September 04, 2005 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh noahdaddy,
when will come out of the closet?
be proud of who you are!

September 05, 2005 2:37 AM  
Blogger SportPsych Detroit said...

Dear Anonymous,
Speaking of coming out of the might be interested in identiying yourself. It's easy to send in zingers from across the pond :)

September 05, 2005 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...who on this blog has ided himself?

September 06, 2005 6:13 AM  
Blogger Veev said...

Air, it's time you put this story to rest... I, for one, am a little sick of its redundance.

September 06, 2005 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my dearest veev resurfaces!

September 07, 2005 3:15 AM  
Anonymous noahdaddy said...

I believe that only those who suffered through the traumatic events of the Labor Day 2003 wedding can understand the longstanding effect on an individual's psyche.

September 07, 2005 11:24 AM  
Blogger macabee said...


This story needs to be told again and again. It gets better with age.

SportsPsych is correct, the Rabbi did say that you have to shmear the cream cheese around to get the bagel to fit. It was one of the strangest wedding speeches ever delivered under the Chuppah.

I also remember that you were nearly arrested by the security guard for your bbq.

And to Anonymous I say, how is our Fulbright doing? Keeping those Zionists away?

September 07, 2005 1:30 PM  
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March 06, 2007 8:14 AM  

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