WEEKEND BRIEFING
Invitation to a Mystery

Jun. 20 - The DMB and I have spent most of our free time this week trying to get our wedding arrangements in order. The wedding is scheduled for August 9, but we still haven't sent out the invitations. We were waiting for a few final details to fall into place before printing and mailing them. Just little things, really—like the time and place of our wedding.

We don't know when or where we're going to get married because we haven't been able to book a place yet.

We haven't been able to because you need to have your marriage license in hand when you make those reservations and we don't yet have our license.

We don't have our license yet because the Danish government won't issue us a license until they're satisfied that the papers from my 1997 divorce are in order. And, as the DMB learned from a telephone call to the appropriate bureaucrats this week, the woman responsible for making the necessary inquiries only works part-time. Also she's been sick, she explained, which has slowed things a little further.

She told the DMB that everything did appear to be in order, though, and that we could expect our license to be approved "in about ten days."

That puts us within about five weeks of the wedding. It's a little nerve-wracking. But it also means we have to mail out our invitations without any idea where or when the wedding itself is going to take place.

We tried to design a semi-traditional invitation, but it's hard to look traditional, even semi- so, with so much ambiguity. "This Moron and the DMB would be honored by your presence at their wedding, hopefully occuring on Saturday, August 9, somewhere in the greater Copenhagen area, probably mid- to late-afternoon."

That's not the actual text, but it's a pretty close paraphrase. To try to make it a little more palatable we explained that, in fact, we're glad to have our wedding plans so up-in-the-air. Mysteries are always intriguing, whereas most weddings are annoyingly predictable.

The wedding is in fact going to be a little mysterious to both of us—to me for obvious reasons (not speaking the language in which it will be conducted not least among them), but to the DMB because, having lived in the states the last ten years, she doesn't know much about Danish wedding traditions.

I'm envisioning a scenario where our Danish guests exact their revenge for our ambiguous invitation by inventing Danish wedding traditions all night. "And now the groom must walk across these hot coals! And now the groom must swallow this live mackerel!..."

Since some of our Danish guests apparently look at my website from time to time, however, I should probably drop the subject....

Quickies

On June 20, 1793, Eli Whitney applied for a patent on his Cotton Gin. More affordable than gin distilled from grain alcohol and juniper berries, Cotton Gin quickly became the drink of choice among America's rural poor. This led to widespread outbreaks of Cotton Mouth and eventually caused the Civil War.

Summer begins on June 21 in the northern hemisphere (which happens to be The Almanac's favorite hemisphere, with the possible exception of the southern one). Summer is the period between the June solstice and the September equinox, and its broad appeal should therefore come as no surprise. Twenty-five percent of all winning lottery tickets are issued in summer.

On June 22, 1933, German chancellor Adolf Hitler banned every political party except his own Evil Nazi Bastards from winning elections. The Evil Nazi Bastards swept the next elections, demonstrating the public's strong support for this measure.

Birthdays and Holidays

Director Billy Wilder was born on the first full day of summer, June 22, in 1906. Not surprisingly, Mr. Wilder would go on to produce Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, all of whom frolicked giddily on the beach in bikinis. Mr. Wilder, you see, was comfortable in his season. Not like some people. Some people had to force it. Some people had to prove something. Some people were like Brian Wilson, who was born the day before summer (June 20) in 1942, and subsequently became a "Beach Boy" and produced an album called Endless Summer.

Mr. Wilder shares his birthday with Freddie Prinze (1954), Meryl Streep (1949), Joseph Papp (1921), and Giacomo Puccini (1858).

Mr. Wilson shares his birthday with John Goodman (1952), Danny Aiello (1933), Martin Landau (1931), Audie Murphy (1924), and Errol Flynn (1909).

Some people are born right on the cusp, June 21, a day that's part spring and part summer. It's easy if you're born with a silver spoon, like Prince William of England (1982), but look what it did to poor Jean-Paul Sartre (1905).

They share their birthday with Nicole Kidman (1967), Maureen Stapleton (1925), and Jane Russell (1921).

June 20 is Martyr's Day in Eritrea and, less disturbingly, West Virginia Day in West Virginia. June 21 is the Pagan holiday of Letha and it's Flag Day in that part of Denmark frequently referred to as "Greenland." June 22 is Anti-Fascist Struggle Day in Croatia.

Enjoy the weekend!

2003, The Moron's Almanac™

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