Some of y’all are asking about the ritual with the scotch, so HERE IS A STORY THAT SPANS SEVERAL GENERATIONS OF SHENNANIGANS.
So my dad’s side of the family is a bunch of rowdy farm boys with a dark sense of humor. My oldest uncle Tim was the first to get married and the rest of them orchestrated this complicated, almost medieval style dance routine on the dance floor where they would switch dance partners mid-song and slowly danced the bride towards the door, swept her up, put her in the back of the pickup truck, and took her away.
Tim doesn’t notice until the song ends. This was in the 70′s, way before cell phones. The front desk of the hotel gets a call, it’s one of my uncles. “We have your wife. The price is one bottle of scotch.”
He’s like ‘what is this shit?’ And he figures they can’t hold out too long. They have to come back sometime. No. They are literally driving her around the block several times, stopping at pay phones to check in to see if he’s gotten the ransom. This goes on for about an hour.
So he goes out and gets a bottle of scotch, puts it by the door as they drive by and everyone returns.
All the boys got married in the order of their birth and let me just say… they’re not above petty payback. Next one up is Jay who just… seems to forget entirely that his brothers are complete jackasses. Also, he was kind of the ringleader at the last one so there’s no way they could do it to him!
Haha… ha…. haaaaaaaa… oh, uncle Jay. You sweet summer child… who is also several decades older than me.
Bride gets kidnapped, almost in the same manner as Tim’s. The price, as always, is a bottle of scotch. But Jay… oh… Jay…
Jay just HAD to get his ass married on a Sunday and this is Indiana, buck-o. There ain’t no alcohol sales on Sundays. No liquor stores, no grocery stores, no convenience stores. Nowhere. But there WAS a bar at the Marriott holding the reception. So he had to pay the front desk $75 for a bottle of scotch maybe worth $20 so he could get his wife back.
A pattern emerges.
My uncle Moe was next in line. They…. eloped for reasons, but for the purposes of this story we will say that he avoided a situation where his brothers could steal his wife. It’s kind of a personality thing with him, we’ve noticed. Just… ‘oh! Let me avoid this conflict entirely.’
Next up is my dad, who is a fun-loving dude who had his reception at a bowling alley and he was NOT, I repeat: NOT- going to have this night ruined by larceny when there is IMPORTANT BOWLING TO BE DONE. Buys a bottle of scotch and and presents it to his brothers with a big audience just so no one can claim that he didn’t. Everyone has fun.
Moe’s first marriage falls through, and I’m not saying that there’s superstitious reasons for this but I’m just saying- he most certainly DID NOT present a bottle of scotch as an offering at the reception so we must reasonably assume that this had something to do with it. He gets married again and you better believe that there was a bottle of scotch waiting for his brothers at their table.
So this tradition carried on into the next generation. No one actually expects that the four of them are up to kidnapping anyone when they’re well into their 50′s, but no one is about to risk it. There is a bottle of scotch at the table where the brothers sit at every wedding.
But my cousin Julia is a perfectionist and if there is any detail that might go wrong, she is going to obsess over it. Because of this, she has a tendency to overcompensate to make sure that NOTHING goes wrong. NOTHING.
She plans her big moment TO THE MINUTE and a week before the wedding she has this revelation… she has heard… stories.
Around the same time, my grandma is moving out of her old house and she’s inviting family members to rifle through her old things before she gives them to Goodwill. Me, my dad, Tim, and Jay are all there. We’re about to leave when Moe comes up the drive way with a BIG BOX.
And Gran is like ‘I don’t need more stuff… I don’t need more stuff.. what the fresh hell have you brought to me this time, son of mine?’
He sets it on the floor and it clinks.
“Julia has ordered me to bring this as a preemptive offer to ensure that there will be no need for a ransom.”
He has brought 24 bottles of scotch. Each brother, including himself, can have six bottles. Whatever debt might have been incurred from his first marriage has been paid off. Her children, and her children’s children, and her children’s children’s children… will no longer need to live in fear of kidnapping on their wedding night.
This is a sharp contrast to my sister-in-law, who learned of this tradition a week before her wedding, went out and bought a bottle of scotch, slammed it down on their table, and told them to fight for it.