Written by Joe Janes
134 of 365
Father Haptenstahl, 60s
(Lights up on Elliot and Jenny standing at the alter with Father Haptenstahl presiding.)
FATHERJenny…Elliot…We gather today to bare witness to your holy matrimony. The union of two souls before our heavenly father is a sacred moment. One we should all cherish. (A cell phone rings) … It is a commitment not to be taken lightly… (Cell phone rings, again)
(Lars gets up from the front row and walks down the aisle a few steps)
FATHER… One that requires all of us to bring to bear our full attention…
LARS (waving them off with his hand)Aw, Bunny, you’re not that lost. When you see the gas station, make a right. Look for the dinky church on the left. Don’t sweat it, I’ll stay on… (Lars notices the wedding party looking at him.) Hey, chop-chop. I don’t hear any hitching going on, Padre.
FATHERVery well… Eliot, Jenny, please hold hands. These rings are a symbol of your love and devotion to one another. Your promise to always be there for one another. Your promise-
LARSWhat’s that, Bunny? You’re breaking up. (He moves closer to the couple.)... Yeah, yeah. It’s an open bar. No need to pick anything up. Hey, you wearing that hot little black dress? You are going to be the hottest babe at the reception. (He howls, notices his daughter glaring at him.) Next to my daughter, that is. You look hot, too, Jenny. C’mon, Padre. Keep it moving, we’re not catholic.
JENNYDad. You’re embarrassing me.
LARSAw, Jenny. I’m just trying to help Bunny make it to your first wedding. She might be your newest mom, some day. If she plays her cards, right. Right, Elliot? (He nudges, Eliot.)
FATHERMr. Peterson. Please turn off your cell phone and please return to your seat. This is a house of God-
LARSMore like the house of God Damn! As in, Goddamn I’m spending a lot of money on my daughter’s nuptials. You’re on your own for the next one, Jenny.
JENNYThis will be my only one, Dad.
LARSSure. Sure it will, baby. (He nudges Elliot, again. Elliot rubs his arm.) You hang on to her, Elliot. Hang on tight. Don’t let go until she files for a restraining order. And maybe not even then. What’s that, Bunny?... No, sweet cheeks. I said left at the gas station, now I don’t know where the hell you are. (He starts to walk down the aisle and out the door). Tell you what; just go back to the motel. I’ll swing by the reception, grab us up some booze and wedding cake, and we’ll have our own dance party. You leave that dress on, you hear. That dress don’t come off until I say it comes off. See you back at the Red Roof.
(He has exited. Jenny is tearing up.)
FATHERNow, Jenny. You are surrounded, now, by very devoted loved ones. Am I right, everyone? We are not here just for a good time. We are here to support you and Elliot. Not only are the two of you making a commitment to one another, but we are making a solemn promise to you. We are here to help the two of you through the tough times. To share your joy as well as your pain. We are you friends and family. Now, look into the eyes of this man here that loves you so deeply.
(Jenny does and she cheers up.)
FATHERNow, then. Elliot, do you swear to love and cherish this woman with all your heart-
(A cell phone rings. Moe stands in the front row, picking it up.)
MOENo, Rocko. I said to stay in the Jacuzzi and leave the champagne on ice!... (To Elliot) It’s your new dad.