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In Defense Of Big Shitty Weddings

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If you asked couples who have been married for 10 years, if they had it over again, would they rather just take some family and close friends on a vacation and get married (Hawaii, Caribbean, etc) and pocket the rest of the cash, what % of husbands would say yes? Wives? I mean everyone wants to stick it to BIG WEDDING in hindsight, right?


I’m probably in the minority but I think I’d keep everything the way it was. Trust me, everyone planning a wedding already knows that it’s too expensive, too stressful, too obnoxious, and too much of a hassle for virtually every involved. They are an ostentatious, dated ritual rendered near obscene in these desperate times. And yet, people still like to throw big weddings anyway, because (in theory) you only get married once, so making a big deal of it is appropriate, and, in the long run, worth the memories.

I really did enjoy my wedding (this is in part because being a groom is infinitely less stressful than being a bride), and I still enjoy flipping through our wedding album every now and again. OMG LOOK HOW YOUNG WE LOOK! AND LOOK AT ALL THE PEOPLE WE INVITED THAT I LITERALLY HAVEN’T BOTHERED TO SEE SINCE THAT DAY! I even remember the food. There was a sausage-and-bean dish at the buffet and I ate my weight in it. I have spent years trying to re-engineer that salad, only to fail. Also, the wedding band played “Shout.” Did we crouch down to the floor during the “a little bit softer now” part? You know we did. That’s just good white person-ing.


If you do the hard math, obviously a big wedding isn’t worth it. But that’s true of a lot of human experiences. You could save money by not having a wedding, and not having kids, and never traveling, and then you’d be left with…a bunch of money. Sometimes, it’s all right to overpay. It’s worth fussing. It’s worth being inconvenienced. You truly cannot put a price on a memory, and BIG WEDDING knows this. That’s how they keep people coming back. I also secretly enjoy going to weddings, too. Everyone gets wedding fatigue right around age 28, but after that run, a wedding is rare and welcome event. I may grouse about traveling, but sometimes I need to be forced to go places, because I’d otherwise end up going nowhere at all. Plus I get to drink and gossip about the bride and groom all I want. The experience is indelible, I tell you.

I’m a middle-aged dude who hates spending more than five bucks on anything. Hence, we only only take road trips for vacations, and my wife and I rarely get each other Christmas gifts or any of that shit because we wanna save for college and because our kids are still relatively young and it’s too tiring to make virtually any effort beyond the efforts we already have to make for work and parenting. I’m very good at finding excuses to keep everything low-key: too expensive, foul weather, too much traveling, etc. But you can’t do that forever or else you end up in a rut. You gotta motivate and give in to the Industrial Complex and admit that sometimes, life needs EVENTS, and that you gotta pony up to make those events happen. That’s why I swear I’m gonna bite the bullet this year and take the family—or maybe just the wife!—somewhere special. Maybe London! Maybe Paris! MAYBE AUSTRALIA! Yeah! Let’s have a second honeymoon in Australia, honey!


[checks Expedia]

Maybe not. I mean… we can always watch a documentary ABOUT Australia. That’s nearly as good!



In the 1994's Little Giants, each time the ball is snapped throughout the film the kids yell “go!” instead of “hike.” Why is this? Was “hike” intellectual property of the NFL, or was the director just maybe afraid of powerful litigation from Paul Tagliabue? I’ve been thinking about this all day.


No, some teams out there use GO instead of hike. It’s at the discretion of the coaches and sometimes the quarterback. Listen to Cam Newton’s cadence. If you can discern what word he’s saying to get the ball snapped, you got better ears than I do. “WHUDDUYUH!!!” I remember our team would go on HUT and not HIKE. The QB never said “hike.” The snap count would be anywhere from one to three (but never four, that would be too crazy). Or, to really fuck with a defense, we would go on SET. The QB would tell us “Wing Right 87 Pitch on set” and the whole huddle would gasp. “Oh wow, we’re going on set! They’ll never see it coming!” Then I would false start.

It turns out HUT comes from drill sergeants screaming ATTEN-HUT during training marches. And “Atten-hut” comes from a bastardized form of “Attention.” I should have known that any given football ritual has military roots. I’m surprised PEW PEW PEW isn’t also a snap count variation as well.



What’s happening if you find out that the Kim Jung Un pushes the button and your city is the target? Let’s assume that phone lines are jammed. What are you doing?


Oh I’m fleeing. I know it would be fruitless and my family would be vaporized within minutes, but I’d still try to get the fuck away from here. I wouldn’t accept death. I wouldn’t stay home and hope the drywall somehow magically repels the pulse blast. And I’m NOT going into a fallout shelter. I don’t know anyone with a shelter-eeny, and even if I did, I would never voluntarily bury myself alive anyway. When I was in sixth grade, they used to hand out little reading packets at school. Instead of books, we would read these eight-page pamphlets that had lessons and stories in them. One of the stories was called SHELTER SKELTER, about a dude who locks himself in a fallout shelter, goes mad, and then never comes out. Totally fucked me up. I’m not going down there, no matter how many cans of salt pork there may be.

I would throw everyone into the car and hit the road, and follow any emergency radio broadcasts like a sheep, and then get stuck in traffic right away, and then abandon the minivan and hoof it, and then get tired, and then huddle in an abandoned carport, and then we would all die. Or worse, I would LIVE, only to have the fallout poison me and grow 500 different tumors inside my body, and then I would die in agony. But at least I did my best to get away. At least I showed GRIT. If I’m going down, I’m going down on my terms: by running like a coward.


The most likely nuclear targets in the U.S. include remote areas where we have our nuclear stockpiles, including the states of Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, and even North Dakota. So there are somewhat decent odds that a highly-populated city center would not be targeted. WHAT A RELIEF. Instead of being blown to bits, I may have a chance to live through a mass exodus from the American mainland and subsequent nuclear exchanges that wipe out a huge portion of the world population, poison the very air we breathe, and send mankind into its final, agonizing tailspin, wherein there are no nations or cities, just roving tribes of scavengers at constant war over fuel and clean water. And even THEN, the Jets still won’t be able to find a decent quarterback.


Is “crap” a curse word?

“Crap” is not listed among George Carlin’s fabled seven dirty words, which broadcast networks usually bleep out in order to avoid FCC scrutiny. To me, CRAP is a starter curse word. You say “crap” when you wanna be crass, but you aren’t quite old enough or skilled enough to go full bore and say “shit.” Like my kids will sometimes say CRAP or SUCKS (wonder who they learned that from), and that is because they are still learning remedial profanity. As they get older, we’ll ramp it up and move onto allowing the occasional “Holy shit” or “goddammit.” Then, when high school comes, we can take the governor off and let f-bombs flow freely around the house. It’s been an effective system so far. My oldest kid has started in on “freakin’” and I’m not quite sure if I should let it slide or not.


I think “crap” is actually a fun word when you deploy it strategically. It’s always fun to hang out with your MEATBROS and announce that you gotta go take a shit. But sometimes, I like to mix it up and announce that I gotta take a big ol’ crap. That lets everyone know I won’t be coming out for a while. This one’s gonna be an ordeal.


Since when did society become so prevalent with fans in order to sleep at night? Personally, when I was a kid (1990s), I begged my Mom to get a fan for me to sleep, but I seemed to be an outlier. Most people I knew didn’t mind sleeping in silence. Now though, it seems that literally all of my friends and family need a fan to sleep at night. Why do you think this is? Is this BIG FAN seeping into society to profit off our silence sleeping anxiety (a diagnosis I just invented)? Are we all sheep now?


I think it’s the logical next step in human beings demanding to live in perfect climate conditions at all times. There’s a Bill Bryson book that details how comfort is a relatively new facet of the human condition. Tens of thousands of years ago, you slept on the ground in a cave and spent all day being chased by wolves and that was that. But now millions of people in the developed world not only have access to luxuries such as beds, and sofas, and interior heat, they’ve also gotten used to them to the point where they are considered the mere BASE of comfort. Yes, it’s lovely to have it be 70 degrees inside while it’s -12 outside, but I ALSO enjoy a light breeze, and I would like that breeze to pivot across the room so that no one spot of my body gets too chilly, if that’s not too much trouble. Hence, fans.

I’m just as guilty of being spoiled as everyone else. I have definitely put on the heat AND a fan at the same time, because I’m a gigantic baby. The idea of still air is ruinous to me. “My God, it’s like I’m suffocating in here! DID NO ONE THINK TO PASS OUT FANS IN THIS WEDDING CHAPEL?!”



I’m grilling chicken at the moment and, as usual, have ZERO idea how much propane is left in the tank. Pray for me.


Lift the tank! Propane is heavy as shit. If you can pick it up easily, you’re in trouble. If not, BLAST AWAY. I have had my gas die out while grilling. You go to lift the lid, expecting all the meats to be fully cooked to a golden, luscious brown. You are ready for triumph. Then you open the grill and there’s a gray salmonella buffet sitting on the grates. Pretty much any grilling fiasco can be salvaged simply by tossing shit in the oven, but that’s still a real moment of defeat.

I would tell you to keep an extra tank handy, but that’s expensive. I would also tell you to do some kind of tank exchange program, where they bring a new tank to your door when the old one gets kicked. But I am the classic lazy man who works twice as hard, and so I will usually wait until the tank has died mid-cooking, then throw it in the back of the car while it’s still covered in grease and spiderwebs, and then go hunting for the nearest Blue Rhino distributor. By the time I’ve gotten around to doing this, it’s a month later and the grill has grown five different strains of amoxicillin. Don’t be like me. Be a better smokeboy.




First, the bad news. There’s an all-knowing wizard/alien/whatever who convinces you that mankind on Earth as we know it will be wiped out. The good news is that a select few people will merely be sent back to the Stone Age to give Earthlings another stab at it instead of being vaporized by Fire and Fury. You get to choose who these lucky survivors are, but the limitation is that they must all have attended a live performance by the same band or musician. So you’re basically picking the musical fanbase that will most efficiently, sensibly, and effectively repopulate the planet and get technology and society back on track. Everyone transports Terminator-style - naked and unencumbered, but with all their own knowledge, abilities, and physical attributes, and into the same general location as where they started. Who do you pick? I’m picking Iron Maiden.


Okay, well I’m not picking U2 or Springsteen because I don’t want Earth 2.0 to be populated entirely by sportswriters. If you pick some Dad Rock band, you’ll just end up with the exact same awful world we currently we live in, with the same shitbags in charge of everything. In fact, there was a story on Kotaku this summer about suburban residents in Grand Theft Auto complaining about crime in their area. An area that is not real. Which exists only in fucking GRAND THEFT AUTO, the game you play specifically so you can do crimes. In other words, when presented with a virtual opportunity to create a new society, people arranged it so that it was just like the real world. That’s what would happen if you sent me and every Metallica fan back to the Stone Age.

So I’m not gonna pick one of my favorite bands because I tend to look exactly like every other fan of my favorite bands. And I’m not gonna pick some nerd band like fucking Devo or Rush just in the hopes that their fanbase includes lots of electrical engineers. And I’m not gonna pick Coldplay. I think you’d have to pick the largest fanbase with the most even gender ratio—or more female fans than male fans, at least—so that Mankind 2.0 could properly fuck its way back to prominence. And you’d want it to skew young so that there’s no risk of bringing too many old fogies back to Eden with us. So I think I’m picking Rihanna. That seems like a good pick upon which to build a younger, sexier Utopia. My apologies to the Beyhive for leaving them behind in the Time Rapture.



I was sitting at the bar with my buddy, and the guy next to us orders wings, but requests only drummettes. The bartender definitely raises an eyebrow over the request, but let’s him do it! Total bullshit, right? My buddy’s wings show up with a skewed wing to drum ratio, which we blame entirely on the greedy bastard next to us.


I can’t hate on the guy for having the balls to ask for what he wanted. It’s amazing how accommodating people can be if you simply ask politely for what you want, instead of keeping your mouth shut and yearning for things like Kevin Arnold, or some other meek-ass loser. Please note that I am not advocating you become the kind of person who has 57 different modifications to any restaurant order. Everyone hates those people and so do I. But if you think your request is relatively easy for the place to accommodate, there’s no harm in asking, especially if you don’t want to find your order indirectly affected by another, bolder diner.

I say you should learn from this craven opportunist. Normally I would expect your local Hooters to tell you to get fucked if you asked for all drumettes. Can’t abide too much orange grease getting under your fingers, eh softboy?! But this guy got what he wanted and opened up all new horizons. I never even considered asking for drumettes only (mostly because I like both wing parts), but now I’m wide awake. I’m going right to Five Guys and asking for a burger made entirely of bacon strips. What’s the worst that happen, apart from them kicking me out and everyone thinking I’m a true weirdo? WORTH THE RISK, BROTHER.



I was doing some research and discovered that in the most recent NCAA D1 Track & Field Championships, the same guy won the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter race. His 5,000m time was 13:25 (roughly 4:19/mile pace) and his 10,000m time was 29:09 (roughly 4:42/mile). My question - could I beat this guy in either of those races if I’m using a Razor scooter? I’m talking the ones from the late 90s. Manual, not electric. Let’s assume the course is level with no hills, and is well-paved. I’m in my mid 20s and in decent shape. I think I could beat him.


I think you could beat him on a flat, well-paved course. If it’s a regular running track that’s made of little chewed-up rubber bits, that’s rough going. But fresh asphalt? You can make those little fuckers fly on blacktop.

The only hangup I’d have about your chances—apart from fatigue—is that the weight limit on a child’s Razor scooter is not designed to handle grownups. Take it from me. One time I stepped on my kid’s Razor and the thing nearly snapped in two. I could hear it groan, like a ship trapped in ice. Really hurt my self-esteem. You might end up having the platform scrape along the road, in which case Marathon Boy would able to overtake you. After all, pushing a scooter does take effort. If you’re out of shape—as I am—you get winded after three minutes of virtually any unusual physical activity. There are muscle groups in my body that haven’t been used since 1996.



I spent the last week in the hospital and was diagnosed with Acute Pancreatitis. If you aren’t familiar- this is one of the most painful things that can happen to a person. It sucked complete ass, and I thought I was going to die several times last week. I am 29 years old, love to eat like shit, and drink a lot of booze. I live in Wisconsin to add to this mess. I was told last week (by several different doctors) I should never consume alcohol again or I will scar my pancreas for life… which can lead to cancer and most certainly a painful death. My question, what in the hell am I supposed to do now? I go to Packer games and drink heavy. I go to the lake and drink heavy. Hell, pretty much everything I do involves drinking. How would you deal with this? And am I going to go crazy?


Well obviously, you’re gonna have to quit drinking. Sorry, man. And if the prospect of death isn’t enough to dissuade you, then that means you’re probably gonna help quitting in the form of AA or some other form of rehab. I know that’s not the most appealing thing in the world. But there IS life after booze. I once quit for eight months (I also started up again after those eight months, but let’s ignore that fact for the sake of this exercise), and you will find that it feels pretty good to wake up every day not feeling like shit. I also found that it got easier to abstain the longer I did it. It’s a life adjustment. It sounds daunting and scary because you’re used to shit the way it is now, but then you get used to the new way of doing things, and then life turns out okay. I promise you it’s worth the effort to stop boozing so that you can, you know, not die. It also helps to find a friend who’s also quitting so you can do it together.

You could also switch to weed. Do you know how long I’ve been meaning to switch from booze to weed full time? I could solve a whole lotta problems by doing that. Sure, I would probably just get stoned, forgot that I was no longer drinking, and then drink. But in THEORY, I could drop some pounds and add a couple DECADES to my life expectancy. But weed’s not legal in my state, and awkward things happen when I—a dad—ask people if they like to party. I should make the effort at some point, though. You can always trade vices, and there’s life beyond alcohol, probably a very nice one.



I think last night was the first time I actually sat and watched the opening MNF theme song. Is this possibly the most embarrassing thing professional sports has to offer?


No, I think the SNF theme is even worse. I mean, I always hated Hank, but at least that song has a hook, you know? I don’t even know what the fuck that SNF theme is. To me, it’s really weird that you would open any football game with a cheesy-ass musical number. This isn’t the Emmys. IT’S FOOTBAW! Just make it like old times and play some manly music and show me two helmets bashing into each other and exploding. That sets the proper tone better than some asshole CMT video.


Would you trade a lifetime of Trump as your favorite team’s owner in order to save America from enduring a Trump presidency?


Oh sure. Plenty of teams out there have won titles even though the owner is cheap, or clueless, or a complete criminal. Look at Dan Gilbert in Cleveland. Or look at the owner of my favorite team, who is a literal criminal and was still fawned over by Sean McDonough last night for all the “great things” he’s done for the Vikings, even though all he’s done is bilk taxpayers for money they don’t have under the threat of moving the team. Trump is a unique animal in a lot of ways, but in other ways no different from any other billionaire megalomaniac. I think it’s worth having him ruin your favorite team to avoid nuclear annihilation.

Email of the week!


Back in March 2015, I went to Minnie Minoso’s wake in Chicago. As a White Sox fan I thought it would be nice to pay my respects. It was a standard wake, and a few weeks later I received a standard Thank You card in the mail because I signed the guest book. All is normal.

Just a few weeks ago, I receive a letter from Minnie’s widow. It begins by thanking me again, but then quickly transitioned in to solicitation for her Real Estate business! It even included an invite to a party at yacht club. Should I be offended by this? Or is using a wake Guest Book the natural next frontier in BIG REALTOR’s endless pursuit of business?


I respect the hustle.

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About the author

Drew Magary

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.