The ceremony was supposed to begin twenty minutes ago. I look at my watch to make sure I'm not crazy. Incredible. I've been sitting here for almost half an hour and there's been no sign of the bride or groom. Knowing my cousin, he's probably still trying to squeeze his fat ass into a pair of slacks.
I told you we should've grabbed a bite to eat before we got here, I whisper to my fianc, Liz.
She hands me a piece of sugar-free gum. I need food, not fresh breath, I tell her as my stomach continues to growl.
Don't complain to me, this is your family's wedding, she snaps.
Well, do you have any of those crackers from the other night?
I don't know, look, she says handing me the ridiculously expensive leather Coach clutch I bought for her birthday, or anniversary, or Valentine's Day, who really remembers anymore. I search inside in hopes of finding anything of sustenance. Cell phone, tampons, hair clips, but no crackers. How can one little bag hold so much junk? I throw the bag back on her lap.
The combination of not eating and listening to this awful violinist play the same song over and over is making me nauseous. Just as I'm about to step outside, I spot my uncle. I do a double take when I see who's sitting next to him.
See that older guy back there? I discreetly point him out to my fianc. The one with the terrible comb over? she asks. That's my uncle, I tell her. Surprised, she turns around to get another look.
That's your uncle, the one that won the lottery?
My Uncle Rich won the lottery two years ago. I believe it was something like $85 million. I know what you must be thinking is his name really Rich? No, it's Richard to be exact, but everyone calls him Rich. The clever ones call him Richy Rich. I just call him Dick. Out of all the people in the world, winning the lottery couldn't have happened to a bigger prick.
To be blunt, my uncle has always been a selfish, alcoholic loser. He often looked down on other members of the family despite the fact that he was a middle-aged man with no job, no wife, and no hair. No matter how much he would belittle us, my Father always rushed to his defense. They were best friends until Dad met my Mom almost 30 years ago. Since then, whether it was jealousy or self-pity, Uncle Rich transformed into the ginormous assclown I've grown to hate. Still, Dad would go out of his way to help get Uncle Rich back on his feet. Whether it was setting him up with job interviews, or simply giving him money, he made it a priority to get the brother he loved back to normal.
Since you see how I feel, it doesn't take a Mensa candidate to know it never worked out. Uncle Rich just blew the money on booze and broads and became more of an old curmudgeon through the years. But the turning point was when my Dad passed away from a long battle with cancer. Good ol' Uncle Rich never made it to the funeral. We never got a call, card, text, tweet not a single offer of remorse. Only six months later he stumbled ass backwards into the Mega Millions Jackpot. I believe it was a $1 scratch off he bought along with a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20. Life's funny that way, I guess. My Dad loses his battle with cancer; my Uncle wins $85 million.
Suddenly Uncle Rich is schmoozing with the family. He's spotted at all the gatherings, but with a little more hair and a lot more money. And shockingly, the rest of the family has forgotten just what a jerk he is. Now, whether it's Thanksgiving or Passover, everyone stands in line to kiss moneybag's big fat ass. Need another Scotch on the rocks, Uncle Rich?' Love the new threads Uncle Rich.' And my favorite, You look great; workin' out Richy boy?' Sniveling fucks.
Some of the more opportunistic members of my family have already crowded around my uncle. The blond, buxom woman sitting next to him also gets a taste of my family's world class brown-nosing and I can only wonder what in the world she is doing here, and if anyone else recognizes her from the other night.
The vultures reluctantly return to their seats as the wedding is finally about to begin. We'll catch up later. You're new wife is simply lovely, I hear my great-aunt whisper as she uses her walker to hobble back to her seat.
I start snickering to myself.
What's so funny? wonders Liz.
You'll never guess who
Okay, tell me later. Liz cuts me off as the wedding finally begins.
As the familiar wedding march begins to play, I smile thinking about what I've just discovered. Liz turns to me and flashes a loving smile back my way and rests her head on my shoulder.
And just like that, he does and she does and I'm off to the buffet.
Aren't you going to introduce me to your uncle, Liz asks staring into his general direction but trying very badly to look discrete. I know it's tough seeing as he's been such a bastard to you and your mother, but you have to suck it up.
I'm hungry. Besides, I told you I rather not talk to him, I explain.
I fill my plate with breads, cheeses, meats, and seafood and find a table away from everyone else. My fianc comes back with a few grapes and a piece of cantaloupe. That's all you're gonna eat?
I feel fat, she says rubbing her size 0 waist.
You feel fat? I stare around in amazement. Look at the lard filling this room. It looks like a Richard Simmons Sweatin' to the Oldies' video in here and you think you look fat?
Well look at your Uncle Rich's wife. She's so skinny,
Skinny is about the only nice thing you can say about my uncle's new wife. The first thing I thought of when I saw them together was the movie Pretty Woman. Of course, I am not comparing her to Julie Roberts in any fashion; I'm thinking more along the lines of the whole hooker falls for a rich guy story. And let me state for the record, there's no way in hell I'm comparing uncle Richard to Richard Gere either.
As I'm devouring my peeled shrimp, I see Uncle Rich and his new wife approach my table. Oh boy, here we go.
Scott, don't you say hello to your favorite uncle?
I thought Uncle Alan couldn't make it, I say still looking down at my plate of food.
Ahh, that's a good one, Scotty, my uncle says with an uneasy look on his face.
We all know I'm your favorite uncle, if you know what's good for you, he says through a clenched smile. Anyway, I'd like to introduce you to my ravishing new wife, Jewel. You know, like the diamond.
Jewel, who's wearing an especially tight red dress with clear plastic heels, is busy gulping down a glass of white wine. Honey, this is my nephew Scotty, he tells her. She finishes the entire glass of wine in one shot and wipes her mouth before uttering an apathetic hello.
Lovely to meet you, I tell her holding back my laughter.
Honey money, I need another glass of wine, I'll be right back. She stumbles towards the bar in the far corner of the room.
Hell of a woman, huh Scotty? My uncle gives me a hearty slap on the back and runs his fat sweaty fingers through my hair. And who is this lovely thing?
This is my fiance, Liz. You would have met her had you come to the engagement party my mom threw for us. Rich ignores the quip.
I've heard so much about you, Liz offers him her hand. Uncle Dick pays no attention to the gesture.
Did he tell you I was loaded?
Yes, I heard, congat
Dick cuts her off. So what do you do sweety?
Liz looks at me for a quick second in disbelief and I just shrug.
I'm a teacher, she offers.
How lovely. My Jewel is a big ad exec, maybe she can help get you a better job, says Uncle Rich.
Excuse me, but I enjoy I cut Liz off and give her a look that says it's not worth it. She goes back to staring at her plate of grapes.
So Uncle Rich, where'd you meet your charming new wife?
Umm, I met her, um, at whatcha call it, one night.
Fascinating story, I say.
Just then, some of my relatives come over and grab Uncle Dick away from my table. Everyone is asking him about his new car, his new yacht, and his new 350-acre mansion on the lake, his new head of hair. Basically they want to know what they're going to get when the fat bastard keels over.
My Aunt Diana notices the look of disgust on my face and comes over. Don't look so angry Scott, she tells me. We all know that your uncle isn't the greatest man alive, but it's very important that the money stays in our family when your uncle is gone, she pinches my cheek, and gives Liz a warm smile. Think of the wonderful life the money could provide for the two of you. You young kids are just starting out; you don't realize how important it will be.
Aunt Diana, I begin. We will be fine on our own. And if you think for a second that Uncle Rich is going to leave us anything, than your hearing aid is screwed in too tight. She doesn't laugh at the joke and I quickly apologize.
Now, no no no, she rambles. Your uncle has changed. He's been here over an hour and he's not even drunk yet. And, look at the fine woman he's with. The money has brought him new perspective in life. I stare at her in disbelief at that comment.
No. Fucking. Way!
Liz turns red at my response and tries to apologize for me but my aunt quickly chimes in. I won't hear another word. Go up and talk to your uncle, she says as she pulls out her box of Slims and heads outdoors for another smoke.
About half of the room is gathered around Uncle Rich like he is some kind of powerful deity. Even wedding guests who don't know the man are intrigued by his presence. Of course, once they get to know him, no one will ever tell the man that he is a complete jackass and risk even the slightest chance of being banished from the will. Meanwhile, hardly anyone is paying attention to my cousin Jason and his new bride, who sit alone in the center of the large banquet hall looking rather bored.
Jason's groomsmen are eyeing Jewel who's at the bar drinking yet another glass of white wine. They are whispering back and fourth to each other and I notice Jason shake his head and hear him plead with them to keep quiet.
Seeing barely anyone in the family talk to my cousin, I decide to go up and give him his gift.
Congratulations Jason, I offer.
Thanks. I think you're the only one in the family that has acknowledged me so far, he tells me. I just can't believe no one sees through that whore he's with. Together, we simultaneously turn around and stare at her. I wish someone had the guts to tell him the truth, he says.
Well, this is your wedding day; you and your new wife should be the center of attention. Why don't you stand up for yourself and say something to him for once? I don't know, he quips. It's not worth the drama.
You know everyone looks past his personality and straight towards his wallet, I tell him while staring directly at the man himself. Maybe, just maybe, if they knew the truth about how he really spends the money they all think they're going to inherit, they'll finally stop kissing his ass, I triumphantly tell him. So? What about it?
Jason contemplates my motivating speech, looks at his wife and says, Nuts to that! I'm not risking losing out on a huge cash gift! He rapidly stuffs the envelope with my gift in his back pocket, grabs his new bride and makes a beeline into the direction of the other vultures to kiss a little ass.
After dinner, my uncle stumbles by, drunk off his ass.
Scotty! I haven't seens you around. Whatsamatta, you don't wa-waaaant any m-m-money? The question is followed by a thick, wet belch that smells like vodka and some sort of rancid Indian dish, which is strange considering this was a kosher wedding.
I don't need your money, I say defiantly. And with your new wife over there, you're going to need all the money in the world to keep her happy, I tell him.
Yeah, she sure is a fine piece of ass, isn't she? He turns and gives her a creepy smile and then belches in my face, once again the smell of vodka hitting me like a Grey Goose bottle to the head.
Yup, just your type, I say trying to move out of the direction of his fat face.
She's an amazing woman that's so good with the bed. I am a lucky lucky My uncle pauses and laughs out loud and staggers away.
Charming man, Liz says.
In the corner of the bar I watch as Jewel flirts with the young Mexican bartender. She's showing him a neat little trick involving her tongue and a maraschino cherry.
That woman is a hot shot advertising executive? Liz asks.
Yeah, and I'm the new pope.
I'm just shocked that man is related to you, questions Liz. You father was nothing like that I hope? The question stings, and Liz immediately registers my reaction to that statement. I'm sorry Scott. I take her hand in mine. Don't worry, I wish you could have met him. Dad was a great man, the complete opposite of that prick. He would have really loved you.
The memory of my Dad stirs something in me. Happiness, sadness and anger flow in waves and I have just about had enough of this charade. I think there's a way to show my family that this man hasn't changed a bit.
I approach the DJ and ask him if he'd play a song. He's wearing a light blue suit with ruffles and I don't think the man realizes it's the 21st century. Do you have any Warrant or Motley Crue, I shout over the blasting bass line of the disco song I can't quite recall.
I motion to him to take off his extremely large headphones. I said do you have any Warrant or Motley Crue? This is a wedding, not a strip bar, he tells me.
Please, do me a favor and play one Motley Crue song, I beg him. Hey pal, I can't play that kind of music here, it'll upset the old folks. I take out my wallet. I'll give you a twenty. He stares at the folded bill in my hand inquisitively; studying it like an archaeologist would study prehistoric bones. Finally he snatches it out of my hand. What song do you want?
As soon as Motley Crue's Girls, Girls, Girls penetrates the speakers, my Uncle's wife slinks towards the center of the room with the bartender in hand. He looks confused, but not as confused as the rest of the room witnessing this spectacle. People stare in shock and exchange snide remarks. Almost everyone turns to see the reaction on Uncle Dick's face. He looks like a lost puppy caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck.
Jewel slowly but surely gets into the spirit of the song. She throws the Mexican bartender to the ground and begins running her hands over her breasts. My cousin's new wife looks like she's going to cry. Jason looks like he wants to hide in a corner. His best man is like a kid on Christmas.
Suddenly, Jewel pulls down her gown. Next, she rips off her bra, and tosses it onto a table of seniors. The DJ gives me a big thumbs up, grinning ear to ear.
Oh boy boobies! My 10-year-old cousin yells out from the back of the room. Finally, someone shuts the record off and it takes Jewel a few seconds to realize that the music has stopped. She looks around the room, giggles, and lets out a loud Whoo!!! before passing out on top of the fully erect Mexican bartender.
That's it Richard, get out, yells Jason's new fianc. And bring your whore with you.
My family stares in disbelief at her boldness and you can tell they are wondering if she just committed financial suicide by daring to confront Uncle Rich. Sensing what everyone is thinking, she grabs the microphone and addresses my family directly.
You all need to stop kissing this man's ass. None of you are in the will! You're out, we're all out. She turns to Jason, giving him a look like you would a puppy that just shit on the rug. Jason, I'm sorry. I didn't want to talk about this on our wedding day, but your uncle's new, umm, lady friend, told me Rich just changed the will to leave her everything.
My family is freaking out. Everyone is asking Rich is this is true, and how can he do this to them. Rich just sways in place, not saying a word. Slowly but surely, other members of my family start telling good ol' Dick to get lost. Their voices are soft at first, but grow loud and angry as more of my family finally stands up to him. Before you know it, everyone is letting him have it. They are letting out the frustrations they have been selfishly bottling up the past couple of years.
Bu, bu bu, is not my fault she's a slut, he manages to say incoherently.
We're sick of the way you treat our family and if this is the only kind of person you can respect, then to hell with you and your money, says one of my relatives.
Dick grabs Jewel by the arm and heads for the door. If any of you think you, um, you ever see any of my, my money, he loses his train of thought and stares at the ground. No money for you fuckers, he finally says as he exits the room with his topless wife.
The vibe in the room is surprisingly calm and my family seems to feel good about being able to be themselves for the first time in years. The promise of money he's been dangling over everyone's head is no longer weighing them down.
How did you know she was going to do that? Liz gives me a cold hard stare.
Because I saw her dance to that song at Jason's bachelor party last night, I say laughing and savoring every spoonful of my Bananas Foster.