Before last Friday, I assumed the state of Delaware was comprised of nothing more than a bridge, a college with a 5-to-1 girl-to-guy ratio and a bunch of empty buildings that were just there to serve as tax shelters for corporations.
I crossed into Delaware that Friday evening, and I was amazed. There was way more than a bridge, a college full of drunken chicks and some buildings. There were all sorts of wonders. For instance, I immediately saw a Sunoco gas station. Right after that, there was a Methodist church. Then, there was a Boston Market***, a restaurant I'm a huge fan of. And then, another gas station - this time, a BP!
***Side note: You might be thinking, "So, you saw a Boston Market - big whoop." No, it is a big whoop. The closest Boston Market to my house is like 15 minutes away. That's simply too far because I don't like driving anywhere. This makes me sad because Boston Market is a wonderful place with all sorts of yummy food. It's so good that I forgave them for changing their name from Boston Chicken to Boston Market - though I did hold a grudge for many years.
Delaware also has a hotel called the Waterfall, which is where my cousin Polina got married. The name of this hotel was very appropriate that night, as there was a downpour. I parked my car and ran inside by myself - my girlfriend couldn't make it, unfortunately - but I was so drenched when I entered the building that it looked like I crawled out of the ocean. Nearly everyone I saw commented, "A little wet there, buddy?" or "Wow, you're soaked" or "Hey, your suit is wet."
This annoyed me for some reason. It's like, yeah, it's freaking raining outside and there's no valet parking. So, of course I'm wet. I don't know. Maybe I was grumpy because all I had to eat all day was cereal, a Pop Tart, a cheese sandwich, a bag of barbeque chips, two oranges, an apple, two bananas, a chocolate bar, a slice of frozen pizza, two Oreos and a bag of Skittles. I tend to get very agitated when I barely eat anything.
I was also very annoyed because I couldn't find the bathroom. No one knew where it was. I asked my friends first, but they had no clue. I then approached the Asian coat lady, and all she had to say was, "Go twue door, go twue door." I went "twue" the door she pointed to, but there was no bathroom.
I eventually found the bathroom after wandering around for five minutes. I went back to where I came from and saw that everyone was already seated, so I went to the empty chair next to my friend Body Burner.
The ceremony was great. It was sweet and very short, which is a good thing because sitting still in anticipation of eating and drinking is agonizing. They even played Disney music, which put me in a happy mood. Hearing the crab from Little Mermaid sing Kiss the Girl is perfect for a wedding. Not that there's anything wrong with a guy liking that song.
My only issue with the ceremony is that Polina's brother Lev, who was listed in the program as a bridesmaid for some strange reason, didn't walk down the aisle with a groomsman. Lev deemed this too heterosexually challenged, and while he was right, it would have been amusing to see two men walk together with their arms locked.
I was delighted to see that there was a table full of cheese cubes, Italian meats I can't spell correctly and bread in the hotel lobby following the ceremony. I stuffed myself with so many cheese cubes that I felt sick. I then ate some more. After that, I figured it was a good time to start drinking. Per Body Burner's suggestion, I asked the bartender for a Manhattan. Several alcoholic beverages later, I found plenty of jerks to write about...
1. Byron Leftwich
For those of you who don't know much about football, Byron Leftwich is a backup quarterback on the Pittsburgh Steelers. You can see what he looks like here.
So, why is Leftwich a Jerk of My Cousin's Wedding? Because he was one of the servers there. No, I'm not kidding. The server who brought Caesar salad to my table was a tall, chubby black guy with a round face and a noticeable limp (or perhaps I was just drunk and imagined that last part). I wasn't the only one who observed the resemblance. Several people commented on it. Body Burner even said, "I actually think that's Byron Leftwich."
I normally would just make a brief comment about this, but Leftwich was my nemesis throughout the night. It all started as I was finishing up my delicious Caesar salad. I still had a fork in my hand, when Leftwich came to the table and reached for my salad to take it away. I freaked out.
"NO, I'M NOT DONE MY DAMN SALAD YET!!!" I shrieked.
Everyone who heard this laughed. My friend Man-Eaters, one of the bridesmaids who recently got married herself, nearly spit out her drink. Leftwich, completely taken aback, almost tripped over his feet as he walked away from the table. I complained about this to Man-Eaters, and as you'll be able to tell by the conversation, I had one too many to drink already.
Me: I can't believe that a**hole tried to take my salad away when I clearly wasn't finished!
Man-Eaters: You have like four pieces of lettuce left!
Me: Umm... no, there are eight pieces of lettuce on my plate, as well as two croutons!
Man-Eaters: OK, those eight pieces are super small, so it's like four, and those croutons are tiny specks. I can't believe you yelled at the poor server like that.
Me: Well, maybe next time Byron Leftwich will know not to take my salad away!
Man-Eaters: Byron Leftwich?
Me: Yeah, he's Byron Leftwich. He lost against the Ravens this year, and now he's trying to steal salads!
Man-Eaters: He's not Byron Leftwich. OK, maybe it looks like him, but he's not Byron Leftwich.
Me: I disagree. That's clearly Byron Leftwich. The season's over, so he needs a second job, so he took this job to steal salads, and he's going to be in Jerks of the Week for trying to steal my salad!
Man-Eaters: He's not Byron Leftwich. The real Byron Leftwich is in his 30s, I think? That guy is not a day over 25.
Me: Well, let's ask his age. If he says he's 32 or 33, we'll know it's Byron Leftwich. If he says 22 or 23, we'll pull out a smartphone and show him his NFL.com page so that we catch him in a lie.
Man-Eaters didn't think this was a good idea. In fact, she said it was flat-out mean, and that by doing so, I'd be the real jerk in this story. Man-Eaters also said that I'm the actual jerk in 95 percent of my entries.
I don't understand this. How can I be a jerk? So, I didn't help up an old lady who fell a few weeks ago. Does this make me a bad person? Like, who's worse, a guy who doesn't assist an old woman or a backup NFL quarterback who steals salads? That's a rhetorical question; don't answer it.
I noted earlier that Leftwich was my nemesis throughout the night. When he brought out the main course, he gave Man-Eaters her dinner and then put down another plate where my friend Val was sitting. He then went around the table, giving everyone their dinner before doing so for me even though there were several empty seats at the table. He finally put my chicken down on the table while giving me an evil glare.
I was perplexed by my dinner. It looked like this (I apologize for the camera on my phone sucking):
I understood that there was a chicken and some potatoes on my plate, but there were some things I wasn't familiar with. I asked Man-Eaters for her assistance.
Me: I need help identifying some of the things on this plate.
Man-Eaters: Why am I not surprised?
Me: What's this yellow thing on the chicken?
Man-Eaters: It's cheese.
Me: Oh, I like cheese. It's healthy. What's this orange line?
Man-Eaters: That's a carrot.
Me: OK, and this green flower thing? Is it broccoli?
Me: Broccoli is terrible. It's disgusting and unhealthy. Now, this brown sauce surrounding the chicken... what is it?
Man-Eaters: Some sort of gravy. Try it. It's good.
Me: OK, and one more question.
Man-Eaters: Only one?
Me: The green thing on top of the chicken... is that broccoli too?
Man-Eaters: No, it's asparagus. Try it, you'll love it!
I took Man-Eaters' advice - and it was very good! The chicken and cheese were awesome, as expected, but this mysterious vegetable added a positive quality to it - which shocked me because green things usually don't taste good.
As I was eating my chicken, I got to thinking - where did this strange vegetable come from? How could one purchase such a strange thing?
Me: Where can I buy this exparagus thing?
Man-Eaters: It's asparagus; not exparagus. And what do you mean where can you buy it?
Me: Like can you buy it in the store?
Man-Eaters: Yeah. You know how you can go into a supermarket and there's a cold section?
Me: Oh, yeah! Like where they have the milk and the cheese and the orange juice.
Man-Eaters: Umm... no. The section with the healthy stuff?
Me: Milk, cheese and orange juice sound healthy to me. I was just at the supermarket on Wednesday and...
Man-Eaters: Hey Val, did you hear that? Walt was at the supermarket on Wednesday!
Val: Wow! I can't believe it!
Man-Eaters: OK, go on Walt.
Me: I bought healthy stuff on Wednesday like milk, cheese, orange juice, Oreos and Cocoa Pebbles.
Man-Eaters: Only one thing you mentioned there is healthy.
Me: Cocoa Pebbles?
Man-Eaters: No! Orange juice! How are Cocoa Pebbles possibly healthy?
Me: Fred Flintstone is on the box!
Man-Eaters nearly spit out her drink again. She countered with the point that Fred Flintstone being on a box actually meant that it was unhealthy, since cavemen usually lived until they were only 40 years old.
This made me quite sad. I've been eating Cocoa Pebbles almost every morning for the past two years, thinking it was both nutritious and delicious. And now I learn that Cocoa Pebbles aren't good for you. But what about exparagus?
Me: Is exparagus good for you?
Man-Eaters: It's asparagus. And yes, but I wouldn't recommend buying it in the winter because it's expensive.
Me: Really? How much does it cost, like 10 bucks?
Man-Eaters: No, you'd probably have to pay $3 for 25 of them this time of year.
Twenty-five exparaguses? Why would anyone purchase 25 exparaguses? I'd think one or two would be enough.
3. Cake Thieves
I have no idea how Man-Eaters and I transitioned from discussing exparaguses to Game of Thrones, but I revealed my theory to her about how the Game of Thrones universe can possibly exist.
Me: Look, they can genetically engineer stuff now, right? So why can't they genetically engineer dragons?
Man-Eaters: Out of what? Birds?
Me: I'm not a scientist, so I don't know, but I feel like they could somehow genetically engineer dragons.
Man-Eaters: OK, let's assume that you're right. How would that mean the Game of Thrones universe exist?
Me: Well, they could take the dragons, put them on a spaceship and then fly to a planet and...
Man-Eaters: A planet?
Me: Yeah, a planet.
Man-Eaters: A planet? What planet?
Me: A planet currently set in medieval times right now.
Man-Eaters: Where are they going to find a planet with people, let alone one that's in the medieval ages?
Me: I don't know. Well, it doesn't have to be a planet. It can be a moon too.
Man-Eaters: Oh, a moon!
Me: Yeah, so they fly to this planet or moon, find a crazy blonde woman who feels like she deserves to be queen and put the dragons on her doorstep. Boom! Game of Thrones universe!
I feel like Man-Eaters would have just got up and left upon hearing my nonsensical ideas, but she had five rum and Cokes and two Long Island Iced Teas. She was pretty gone.
I was about to mention my Game of Thrones theory to my cousin Steve, who was sitting across the table, when Byron Leftwich brought over two pieces of cake to me and Man-Eaters.
Me: What's this white and black stuff in the middle?
Man-Eaters: That's Oreo filling.
Me: OREO FILLING HOLY CRAP OREO FILLING NOM NOM NOM NOM!!!
The Oreo cake was one of the best things I've ever eaten in my life - and that's saying a lot because I consider myself a bit of a food connoisseur.
I finished the Oreo cake rather quickly. Too quickly. I spied another piece where Val was sitting. She was off dancing or something, but Man-Eaters noticed what I was looking at and had similar ideas.
Man-Eaters: Let's steal it and split it.
Man-Eaters reached for Val's piece of Oreo cake, and we split it, though she took most of the Oreo filling for herself, which angered me.
Me: THAT'S NOT FAIR! YOU HAD ALL OF THE OREO FILLING!
Man-Eaters: So, we'll just steal another piece of cake.
And that we did. We took another piece from across the table. I gobbled it down quickly, but I still wanted more.
Me: This sucks. There's no more cake to steal at this table.
Man-Eaters: Look! Look at the next table! It's a goldmine!
Sure enough, there were several pieces of cake sitting on the table, uneaten because people were dancing. Those fools.
Man-Eaters: Let's steal them!
Me: How though? People will see.
Man-Eaters: I'll distract. You steal.
Man-Eaters approached some of the people sitting at the table and hugged them. She then took some pictures with them, making sure they were facing away from the pieces of cake. I sneaked over, nabbed the cake and brought it back to our table. My cousin Steve was the only one who saw this.
Steve: Walt, what are you doing?
Me: I SWEAR, I DID NOT STEAL THIS CAKE!
Steve: I just saw you take it from that table.
Me: NO, IT WAS MINE! I CARRIED IT OVER, I SWEAR! I DID NOT STEAL THIS CAKE!
Man-Eaters came back from taking pictures and noticed that I was in a pickle.
Man-Eaters: WE DID NOT STEAL THIS CAKE, STEVE!
Me: YEAH, WHY WOULD I EVER STEAL CAKE!?
Steve: OK, I'm sorry for accusing you.
Me: DUDE, I SWEAR I DIDN'T STEAL THIS CAKE!
Man-Eaters: I DIDN'T DISTRACT ANYONE SO IT COULD BE STOLEN EITHER!
We stuffed the delicious Oreo cake into our mouths. It was glorious. But when we were finished, it still wasn't enough. Man-Eaters and I decided to stroll around the room in search of stray pieces of cake. Unfortunately, most of the people already ate theirs. How completely selfish of them.
The rest of the night was a blur. I recall vehemently defending my cake-stealing activities to both Polina and Body Burner. I also remember one final conversation with Man-Eaters that night just as I was about to leave.
Man-Eaters: See what I mean? You're gonna go home and write about this story for Jerks of the Week, yet you, I mean we, are going to be the jerks.
Man-Eaters: We stole people's cake and then walked around looking for more cake!
Me: But... but... it had Oreo filling.
So, am I a jerk for eating approximately six pieces of Oreo cake that didn't belong to me? If so, then I'll volunteer to be a jerk every single week - because that cake was awesome. My only regret is that I didn't steal more pieces.