A Brush Fire, See-Through Yoga Pants, And A Wedding.

Rome wasn't burnt in a day.

It’s a nice day for a white wedding.

Apparently there was some big fire around these parts.  That explains the apocalyptic atmosphere.  I thought is was because my buddy was getting married.  If you knew what kind of guy Greg used to be, you’d think it was the end of the world, too.  The fact that somebody chose to have me in their wedding party was another sign.  Signs and wonders.  I’m telling you.

Anyway, I hadn’t paid too much attention to the fact we were surrounded by flames.  I was too concerned about this deal with the see-through yoga pants.  Have you heard about this?  Powerhouse yoga pant purveyor, Lululemon Athletica, had to recall what appeared to be perfectly puritanical…yoga pants…because they…showed too much.

Well hi-ho camel toe, this is treachery of the highest order!

Some young lady dons a pair of what she believes to be modest…yoga pants, let’s say, for church.  She can’t deduce anything from the fact that the material is as sheer as pantyhose.  She does not look at herself in the mirror before leaving–to notice she is wearing invisible pants.  Why should she?  Yoga pants are traditionally a conservative choice of apparel.

After the service, cruel fate has her clacking around in her high heels at the dairy department of her local market, where she bends over for the Greek yogurt.  Va-vow!  Mobile cameras start flashing.  Carts crash into stacked cans.  Teenage boys whimper.  She has no idea she’s performing a floor show to rival that of the dirtiest border-town whorehouse.

Absolutely no idea.

No warning label either.

That these yoga pants would be…so revealing.

What a betrayal of trust.

The manufacturers themselves have been betrayed– by physics.  It seems that as a woman bends over to squat thrust in tight yoga pants, the material can stretch thin enough to reveal a gauzy pattern of skin beneath.  This pattern can now be matrixed in the mind of some nearby deviant doing dumb-bell curls, into a holographic whole.  Basically, the same neuro-optical effect that makes TV possible, also gives men the power of x-ray vision through these pants.

Of course, the more sheer the material, the less strain on the brain to connect the dots.

And hence the firestorm of controversy.

And nobody saw this coming.

Well the executives over at Lululemon did.  They handed out bonuses to help parachute themselves to safety.  Right before leaving legions of pretending-to-be clueless women, walking around in see-through pants.

Dear God.  What a monstrous turn of events.  Where’s the justice?  The humanity?

There’s just so many terrible things going on in the world today.  It’s easy to lose hope.  Good thing we have attorneys to sort it all out for us.  Somehow, they’ll see us through.  Yes, even this.

Oh yeah.  The wedding.  Almost forgot.  I got to be a groomsman at my friend’s wedding.  My first time being one.  His first time getting married.  So we were both a little nervous, but mostly about one of our pals getting drunk for the 14th millionth time.  He recently went out after a year sober and has been having a hard time staying in the saddle ever since.

We had to make it clear to him that he was not to drink during the wedding or the reception.  No matter what.  Not so much to protect his sobriety, as to protect the safety of the other guests.  Dude is from my tribe of crap-shoot crazies.  In fact, I see a lot of my younger self in him.  Free-spirited mischief-maker.  Adventurous and bold.  A romantic dreamer with a roguish charm.  And sliding-scale standards.  An outside-of-any-box thinker.  An iconoclast, if you will.  Gets his best ideas after a few libations.

Yeah.  That’s no fucking good…at all.

So I brought along my old zapper from my bouncing days.  La Chicharra.

Before the wedding, as we were getting dressed at Greg’s house, I zapped a few sparks into the air.  A little demonstration for our prone-to-relapse friend.  To show how transgressions of The Law will be dealt with.

He’s really scared of electricity so he’s backing up in the bathroom, while I feint and stab at him with crackling blue fire.

“See that?  That’s for you, buddy!”

“Get that fucking thing away from me!”

“Greg has assigned me to oversee your well-being.  Now I’m not telling you not to drink, only that if you choose to, there will be consequences.  One of which will be me coming up behind you, placing this on your neck, and then delivering the wrath of Thor!”  I pushed the button to let a few lightning bolts arc between the terminals and waved it at him.

KZZZZZZRRRRK!  KRAKTAKAZZZZZZ!   ZZZZRRRRT!

“You like that?”

He jumped back, and was now standing up on the toilet, laugh-crying hysterically.

“Seriously, bro.  Cut that shit out!”

“After I electrify the piss in your bladder, I will carry off your limp body from the dance floor and drag it outside, where you will spend the rest of the wedding, handcuffed in my Suzuki Esteem…

…with NO FUCKING CIGARETTES, BITCH!”

He heard me.  Gave me a big yes.  Then a no.  Whichever one I wanted.

When common sense fails, La Chicharra.

When common sense fails, La Chicharra.

I concede my methods are not those generally recommended by most 12-step recovery programs.  I just figured if an electric shock can dissuade a lab rat from his Swiss cheese, the threat of one could dissuade our thirsty, but lovable, loose-cannon from his booze.  At least long enough for the wedding to go off–without any sudden eruptions of chaos–from one of the groomsmen.

Worked like a charm.

They got hitched without a hitch.  The shindig was at the historic Camarillo Ranch House.  It was a perfect day for it.  Brush fires burning the hills around us.  The filtered sun bathing everything in a muted orange light.  Sprinkles of white ash gently snowing.  The beautiful bride and her handsome groom uniting in matrimony, while towering clouds of smoke climbed into a baby pink, blood orange, lapis blue, charcoal black, off-white, and coalmine canary yellow sky.

One of the guests later told me that as the couple exchanged vows, the smoke clouds behind them had turned from black to white, surrounding them in a celestial cumulus cloud.  I took that as a very good omen.  That no matter what goes on around them, together, they will find sanctuary.

I hope so.  They’re great kids.  Genuinely good souls.  Fun-loving and funny.  But responsible too.  And both survivors.  Winners in the war.  Fine examples of the regenerative power of love.

So yeah, I really want to see them make it.  If they stay loving, no matter what, they’ll make it.  No matter what.

It turned out our parched friend didn’t make it.  Shortly after I left the reception, my trusty Tesla torture taser in tow, he started in on the beers, and who knows what else.  Whatever other booze he had stashed about his person.

You know how we do.

I used to have to walk like Frankenstein into concerts because my boots were so packed with plastic miniatures of tequila that I had to balance on my toes.  Seriously.  I figured out you could get an extra in each boot if you put one under your arch.  The only problem was that now you had to walk on your tip-toes.  And still look cool.

It was a small price to pay though.  For those extra two.  Those two–could be the last two.  And then won’t you be glad you had them.

So I understand the madness.  I’m not any better than my friend.  I don’t know exactly why I’ve been able to clock some years and he hasn’t.  I have my suspicions, but there’s a time to present them.  When somebody is really willing to listen.  If it ain’t that time, save the mouth gas.

I’ve given a lot of  futile sobriety pep talks over the years.  At least they seemed futile.  Especially when the person goes right out and gets shit-hammered legless.  You can’t help but wonder if all your eloquent oratory just got pissed out onto a gas station wall.  Who knows?   Maybe it only seems futile, and something does sink in, but later.  Like much.

In the meantime, you let them know you’re available, and that you love them, no matter what.  Then you just hope they encounter something that does sink in.  Like the hood of a cop car into the bridge of their nose.  Or two terminal prongs connected to a high-voltage stun gun.  Right where the cerebral cortex connects.

CHICHARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAH!

Sometimes it’s just the look in a loved one’s eyes.  Something that really hurts.

Hey.  We see the light, when we see the light.

Just make sure it’s not shining through your yoga pants.

That would just be the worst.

I hope your week was good.

Barnyard bouncer and sentinel of sobriety.

Barnyard bouncer and sentinel of sobriety.

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