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School was ending for the summer, and my roommates and I were all preparing to go our separate ways. Jim was getting married, so we all made plans to meet again at his and Michelle’s wedding.

Bruce suggested that we all pool our money and buy one bigger gift. He said he would be in charge of purchasing it. Curious as to what he had in mind, we gave him our money, totaling about $75.

As we all said our final goodbyes, Jim left us with a threat. “If any of you do anything to decorate my car, so help me, you will regret it!”

“Why?” Steve asked.

“Because I don’t plan to drive around like an idiot with a decorated car, that’s why!”

When the day came, I made the 80 mile trek. The first thing I did was to see if I could find out what Bruce bought with all of our money. However, the only thing I saw on the gift table was an unopened envelope that had all of our names on it.

I waited in line to visit with the happy couple, and when it was finally my turn, I asked Jim if he knew what Bruce had purchased. Jim laughed. “Didn’t you read the note on the back of the envelope? It said, ‘With the way Michelle cooks, you might need these.’ Bruce used all $75 to buy McDonald’s coupons.”

Michelle smiled. “Bruce thinks he’s so funny. Well, at least he got something useful.”

After eating a little cake, I went outside to find out where my roommates had disappeared to. I found them at Jim’s car, with Bruce directing the work. I reminded them of what Jim had said. “Oh, we’re not exactly decorating it,” Bruce replied. “We are connecting lots of cans and other things to drag behind it. That is not decorating, now, is it?”

I suggested that Jim would just cut them off. Bruce laughed. “I doubt it. We are using heavy duty rebar wire from my construction job. He will need a few hours with a hacksaw and a cutting torch to get them off.” Bruce handed me some oversize pliers. “Make yourself useful.”

While Jim’s brother worked on writing “Just Married” in whipped cream and Oreo cookies on the windows, we attached paint cans and other large objects to the wire, which was about 30 yards long and five feet wide. It then took everyone tugging, bending, and shoving to stuff it all under the car where Jim wouldn’t see it.

After the wedding, when Jim came out, he was annoyed. “I thought I told you guys not to decorate my car,” he said as he started wiping off the whipped cream and Oreo cookies. “There is no way I am going to drive around making a fool of myself.”

“Oh, we didn’t do that,” Bruce replied.

“Yeah, right,” Jim said, not believing one word of it. Before they could leave, he insisted the car had to be clean, reiterating that he absolutely did not plan to drive around with annoying things on it. He got some paper towels and worked to wipe off all of the whipped cream and cookies. People stood around taking pictures, not helping at all, and that annoyed him even more. But he was a good sport and tried to smile for all of the cameras. He finally had it all cleaned off, and he and Michelle packed up the last few things and climbed in.

When they drove away, the chain of wire and cans stretched out from underneath and started rattling their way down the street behind them, as we all yelled, “Happy wedding day!”

I wonder if Jim was annoyed.

Daris Howard
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Daris Howard

Daris and his wife, Donna, have ten children and were foster parents for several years. He has also worked in scouting and cub scouts, at one time having 18 boys in his scout troop. His plays, musicals, and books build on the characters of those he has associated with, along with his many experiences. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer