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A "Squirrelly" Wedding

When I played the accordion at my friend and former employee Samantha Prust’s wedding, my accordion worked just fine.


It was one of the only things that worked just fine.


The wedding reception was held in my back yard, and after eight hours of arranging flowers, setting up tables, fixing centerpieces, and putting the tiers of wedding cake into the cake stand provided by the baker, I ran upstairs to rest for ten minutes before I dressed for the wedding.


That’s when I heard a string of, well, not the nicest language in the world coming from the back yard. It was my husband, and clearly, he was not happy.


I raced downstairs. “A squirrel got into the wedding cake!” my husband fumed.


“No…” I said, unable to process this little fact.


But, yes, it had. This  audacious squirrel had stuck his nose into the cake, in several places, and evidently quite enjoyed it. There was a round hole two inches wide and two inches deep on one side of the cake where the squirrel had feasted, evidently after his attack on the back of the cake, where an area five inches wide and three inches high was mangled.


Because the cake had black dots on it as part of the decoration, there were also black footprints all over the white tablecloth, and frosting was smeared all over the umbrella pole where the squirrel had scrambled to escape my husband. I looked at the disaster, and all I could do was laugh.


Then I got to work. I cut out all the squirrel-attacked areas of the cake, stole spider mums from bouquets, and stuck them into the holes in the cake. I pulled globs of frosting from hidden areas, trying to cover up sliced up sections of cake. I arranged napkins artfully (I hoped) over the squirrel footprints. I tried not to think about my brother, an epidemiologist who is always telling me about the dangers of diseases spread by animals. (I did try hard to remove any trace of cake touched by the squirrel.)


Then my husband and I had to take turns guarding the cake so that the squirrel, who was lurking hungrily nearby, didn’t attack again. I finally reached the nearby park where the wedding was to be held, said hello to the guitarist and the guy running the sound, and we started our 20-minute pre-wedding set.


We played through our twenty minutes of music as people arrived and sat in the blazing sun (over 100 degrees), melting. Then the minister mentioned “problems” and told us to play longer. We started over. It turned out that the maid of honor had left her dress in a town twenty minutes away. Someone had gone to fetch it, but there was a power outage, and all the traffic lights were off, snarling traffic. She was not going to be back for at least 45 minutes.


Finally, as the minister pointed out that people were going to start passing out after another 45 minutes in the sun,  one of the bridesmaids mentioned that she had brought along an extra black cocktail dress. The maid of honor tried it on, and it fit. Someone else looked at her flip-flops and kicked off her heels, saying, “Here, try these.” They fit. (The maid of honor, like Samantha, is one of those people who can wear just about anything and look great.)


Finally, I got my signal to start the processional. The bride looked beautiful. The maid of honor looked beautiful. The attendants and the flower girl looked beautiful. All got in their places.


And then the minister’s microphone stopped working. Nobody could hear a darn thing.


I figured things had to go better at the wedding reception. However, there was no DJ providing dance music. He had fallen down and broken both arms the day before and couldn’t make it.


Despite it all, we all had a lot of fun, and it was certainly a wedding that people will remember! (And, luckily, no one came down with any squirrel-borne diseases, to my vast relief.)

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