A Comedy of Repairs – The Wedding Essay (Part 2 of 2)
By: Leo N. Ardo
“I’ll be right there. Have Max dress for chores. This is an opportunity to teach a good lesson,” Sawyer said, attempting to hide the frustration with his boy. Cora knew by Sawyer’s tenor that it was best to let him use this teaching moment. Besides, she had a bride to dress.
On the drive home, Sawyer recalled the ring story. After the proposal, his father had made weekly payments for five months to purchase the ring through layaway. The county justice of the peace married them a week later. The ring never left her hand until Jill announced her engagement.
Max and Cora met Sawyer at the door. Cora provided the abridged version of the incident: Max was told to get the ring out of the cleaner and dry it off but, instead, put the wet ring on his thumb, and it slipped off into the heater vent. “Just take care of this. I have to fix Jill’s hair and make-up,” she lectured while walking away.
Sawyer and Max used a mirror and flashlight to look inside the heater tube. They did not find the ring. Jill shot Max a look of disgust as they went downstairs. Sawyer and Max searched the basement floor under the homemade vent reducer. Sawyer handled the flashlight while Max looked under the washer, dryer, hot water heater, and utility sink. No ring.
Sawyer told Max they had to look farther into the vent tubing. Carefully, they would take the tube apart to keep the ring from falling into the furnace. Sawyer stood on the sewer pipe to inspect the vent tube before disassembly. He was about to step off the pipe when the top collapsed.
Max pinched his nose and said, “Ewww.” He was instructed to get a piece of cardboard and roll of duct tape from the garage.
Sawyer climbed the stairs and began telling the girls the bathroom was off limits the rest of today. His announcement was greeted by a few stares. Stares he knew were a substitute for a single word: “Men!”
He went to Ike and Silvia’s next door to ask if the girls could borrow their bathroom for an hour. Sawyer returned to inform the girls that Ike and Silvia made their bathroom available. Jill’s maid of honor and a bridesmaid headed for the door. For a few seconds, they imitated the Chip and Dale chipmunk cartoons with their “no, after you” routine. Cora and Sawyer exchanged smiles.
Max returned to the basement with the supplies. Sawyer shaped the cardboard over the hole in the pipe. He instructed Max to hold it in place while he secured it with duct tape. Sawyer pulled off a long strip of tape and wrapped it around the pipe and cardboard. He told Max, “Grandpa installed this sewer pipe before I married your mother in this house. It was a dirt basement back then. Grandma had insisted they have indoor plumbing because she was embarrassed to have our guests go to the outhouse.”
Max was struggling with the odor and asked, “Dad, can you tell me the sewer story later?”
Sawyer pulled another strip of tape and wrapped it around the pipe. While Max was still holding the cardboard, Sawyer talked to him about: being responsible, the right time to play, the right time to be dependable, consequences for letting people down, and he needed to start being aware of the differences.
Sawyer pulled several tape strips and secured the cardboard. When he was satisfied the wedding and reception was safe from any distasteful odor, a mini scaffold was constructed over the patch.
Max provided the tools as requested while Sawyer disassembled the vent tube. There it was, one foot past the homemade reducer. The dust that had collected while sliding down the vent was blown off, and the ring was handed to Max to wipe off with his shirt. Max slid the ring into his pants pocket. The vent was reassembled.
After Max dressed for his ring bearer responsibilities, Sawyer and Max went to Buffalo Hills. Before they went inside Sawyer asked, “Are you being responsible?” Max retrieved the ring from the inside jacket pocket and said, “I am keeping it close to my heart for luck.”
Sawyer offered Max a cup of coffee so he could be one of the guys. Bill brought over a half cup of coffee for Max. Max checked the surrounding cups and said, “I thought guys only drank black coffee.” Everyone laughed. Thomas asked Bill if he would bring another cup of black coffee to everyone. Thomas offered a toast, “To jitters.” “To jitters” was repeated as the new cups were raised in the air.
At 10:40 the guys returned to the house for the wedding. The minister arrived at 10:55. Cora and Sawyer wheeled Grandma Gina in her adjustable bed into the dining room turned wedding chapel. The family took their positions in the “chapel,” and Cora closed the new pocket doors. The loud click started the cassette tape of wedding music. The minister cleared his throat. As the pocket doors were opened they fell off the rail and were stuck. While Sawyer tried to repair the doors, the right door swung on the outside roller and the sharp corner cut through the re-routed electrical wire. The chandelier went dark.
Cora was holding back her tears. Sawyer heard the familiar sniffling. He was about to break out in laughter but decided it would increase the number of sniffling girls, one of which might be Jill. In his best I-am-in-charge voice he instructed the minister to begin. The minister started, “Let us pray.” Sawyer’s body jiggled as he attempted to control the giggling. Jill and Thomas were also trying to control their giggling.
Thomas placed Grandma’s ring on Jill’s finger as she said I do. Grandma Gina cried.
When the minster said, “I now pronounce you man and wife,” the right pocket door fell off the rail. Several laughs could be heard in the “chapel.”
The afternoon was filled with food, conversation, gifts, invited guests coming and going, wishes, and dishes. Amy and Max washed and dried dishes until the dirty saucers and cups stopped coming.
Jill and Thomas left the reception about 4:00 p.m. to begin their life together.
Max asked if he could move into Jill’s room now. Sawyer told him he could move when Jill had removed her stuff.
At 9:00 Amy and Max were sound asleep on the sofa. Cora and Sawyer carried them to bed. Cora found a handwritten story titled “The Wedding Assay” on Amy’s desk and took it to read to Sawyer.
My sister got marred today and it were a disaster. My bubdling brother dropped the wedding ring in the vent. My dad had to use the sewer pipe as a stool to reach the heater vent tube. It broke so we could not use the toilet. The new pocket door broke. When it broke it burned out the new dining room shandalear. My sister said “I Do” behind the broken door. My grandma broke her back and she cried when the preacher said I pronouns you man and wife. Mom cried. She does not like Tomass because he is not a doctor or a attormoney. We had lunch. I washed hundreds of plates. They ate cake. I washed hundreds of saucers. Jill and Tomass lived happliy ever after. I put lotion on my hands.
Part One: Comedy of Repairs – The Assignment
Part Two: Comedy of Repairs – The Wedding Essay
Leo N. Ardo: – I am a thirty-five year veteran of small business, and author of the Jon Hersey – Industrial Spy series. I enjoy photography, fly fishing, biking, and embellishing our travel experiences in journals titled Exaggerated Tales of an Ordinary Man.
We call Utah and Wyoming home.
Visit our website www.LeonardoStories.com
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Hoping life blesses you with good stories!