Monday, April 30, 2007

talk about the weather, making plans together

One of my goals in writing this blog is to avoid repeating stories that I have told on the radio. I have to make an exception in this case for the benefit of the relatives I saw at my cousin's wedding on Saturday. I know they don't hear the show but I hope they do read the blog.

After the wedding reception, we continued visiting with relatives in the lobby of one of Richmond's finest hotels. During our conversation, I noticed several brides and grooms arriving for the first night of their honeymoon, still dressed in wedding gowns and tuxedos. As one couple gave their overnight bags to the bellman, I heard a metallic clanking sound and started to become curious.

There was a little bit of a newlywed traffic jam in the lobby. Three couples were checking in at the front desk. Each couple's luggage was loaded onto a separate cart parked near the one working elevator. At the same time, my mother and grandmother were getting ready to go up to their rooms. My wife went with Mom and Grandma to help. The three of them ended up in the same elevator as the couple whose arrival was marked with the metallic clank.

It would be several minutes before my wife returned to the lobby. My son and I waited for her along with one of my mother's cousins. The four of us were going to walk together to our cheaper hotel a block away. While we waited, we saw the luggage carts near the elevator. One of them held some overnight bags and a heavy duty metal chain that must have been the source of the clanking noise I heard earlier. This wasn't just a bicycle chain. It was a Marley's Ghost type of chain. A cowbell sat on top of it.

My mother's cousin is a delightful woman with a great sense of humor. She asked what I thought the chains and cowbell were for. I replied that the possibilities were endless. The bellman took one of the luggage carts into the elevator after checking a hanging tag for the room number. The cart with the chains was still waiting to go up. As a joke I walked over to look at the room number and I told my son and my mother's cousin that we should just ask the couple how they planned to use the chain and cowbell on their wedding night.

I thought my mother's cousin was changing the subject when she started talking about a nearby room full of old style pay phones. She lead us over to see the room, which also had a bank of house phones. Taking the hint, I picked up a house phone and dialed 7 plus the room number. "Hello?" said a man's voice. "Are you the guy with the chain and cowbell?" I asked. When he said that he was, I told him that I had to know what he planned to do with the hardware. He said the bell and chain was actually part of an odd tradition in his family. His groomsmen wrapped him in the chain during the reception. I pictured his Houdini-like escape as I hung up the phone. I've seen the episode of "The Beverly Hillbillies" about a wedding night shivaree, but the old bell and chain is new to me.

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Blogger D.O.M. Dan said...

That is a funny story, and an odd tradition. I once used a chain that thick to pull a tree out of the ground. It didn't work and I pulled the bumper off my truck instead.

Anonymous Lindsey said...

The picture made the story even better.

I loved your actual "tale" of the events though. Classic.

Blogger Chairman_B. said...

Ha! "Chains of Love"! Do I get bonus points for recognizing the lyrics in the headline BEFORE reading the story?


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