Tuesday, June 23, 2009
If you have not done so, the correct way to do this is to read part 1 first. See below.. I was discussing the heat and the fact I was in a suit. 95 degrees may not seem like that big a problem to those not trying to live in it. Take my word, it is HOT, especially when dressed for much cooler weather and spending time in a building with no A/C. My son and I arrived with the portable A/Cs about 3:00 as planned. I had asked said son to stop and pick up two plug adapters due to the fact that I did not remember seeing ground plug holes on the outlets when we inspected the building earlier in the week. Of course, he did not. So we arrived at the chapel and unloaded the A/Cs and saw - the plugs would not work. He headed for the store and I started to place and prepare the A/Cs. It is now 3:45, my son is not back, the A/Cs are placed but have not been checked, airflow aimed, or even verified to work as I have no way to plug them in. A quick call determines he is almost back. A few moments later, after application of the plug adapters we have one A/C functioning - backwards. Without a way of testing the air flow, what I had assumed to be the exhaust was actually the cold air outlet which was blowing the cooled air out the window. We quickly changed plans, relocated the units, ran the tubing in the proper directions and fired them up. Now, remember my other job - transporting my daughter (the bride) to the chapel. As we were to walk down the aisle together, that made perfect sense. The service would not start without either of us (or the Groom, or the preacher - more in a moment). So, I sent a quick text telling her I should make it, but it would be tight. The A/Cs were blowing, the flowers were in the chapel, cousins were there doing preparation - it was AFTER 4:00!! I had to go. Remember I said the chapel was located in a park about 15 to 20 minutes away from my home. I was, appearance wise, as you would expect a man to be after working with two large appliances in an un-airconditioned building. A shower was definitely in order. So, we headed home to clean flowing water, shampoo, and soap; as well as fresh clothing. It was now 4:15 - remember, we were scheduled to walk at 5:00. No problem - for Superman or the Flash. Now, I will admit - I was out of contact with the female masses. I am sure they had their own gremlins to battle. I do not know what exactly was occurring in their part of the preparations, I only know that later it was all done and they were all at the chapel on time. I cannot write that side of the story. Here is the continuation of mine. We made it home about 4:30. The mother of the bride (my wife), her mom, one of my daughters and her husband, and another daughter were loading up and heading to the chapel. They told me that my daughter - bride to be, had headed out with another sister to the chapel; unwilling to wait for me. I, looking like a refugee from a shipwreck passed them at a gallop for the shower. Avoiding the details, I was back out the door, in my suit, at 4:45 or so. No gremlins had attacked in my preparation. Weird! Nice, but weird. I was now headed back to the chapel. Remember, it is a 15 to 20 minute trip and I had to start the walk in less than 15 minutes. No problem. Being a responsible driver and a stickler for safety, I obeyed all traffic laws. No, really! OK, most traffic laws. OK, some traffic laws. But, I digress. Did I mention that the park has a parking/use fee. Now as part of the use of the chapel we were to avoid the parking fee. There is a little gate with a retired Nazi SS officer in it just outside the area I needed to be. I just knew I was going to have a problem as I did not have my wallet, nor invitation, nor parking pass. I figured when I got to the gate, Fritz would have a gremlin on his shoulder and a machine gun in his hand. Amazingly, he let me through without so much as a "Heil Hitler". Little did I know the gremlins had all massed at the chapel. They were doing nothing but leading me into their trap. I got a call from a daughter that was attending to my nearly hysterical daughter/bride to be asking where I was - as it was now 5:01. I told her I was on the road to the chapel and would arrive in two minutes or less. She said good, but the preacher was not there. Now my time-addled brain did not register the seriousness of that statement. As I said above - the ceremony would not start without the bride, the groom, me, and THE PREACHER; three out of four would not work. In fact, legally - I was the only one of the four that could miss it. So, I continued on towards the chapel with a faint gremlin laugh echoing in my ears. One of my requirements in dress for this wedding was to wear an orange tie. Now being a responsible adult, I did not own an orange tie. My bride to be daughter was to get me one. I had asked on the previously mentioned phone call if she had it. She did, and I grabbed it as I rode by and headed to park and apply said orange tie. I noticed as I went by that the doors to the chapel were open, and numerous people were milling about. Huh! After application of the orange neckwear, I walked up towards the chapel. I then noticed with my keen powers of observation that the people that were milling looked a bit wilted. Some looked downright wet! I now heard a full fledged gremlin cackle. As I approached I was told that the preacher was not here yet, and the A/C had quit. People were sitting in this chapel with the windows closed, no A/C and it was 95+ degrees. It seemed that shortly after we left the chapel, the fuse/circuit breaker that was designed for an historic building with no A/C had tripped. This took out the lights, ceiling fans, and the portable A/Cs. It was about 500 degrees in the chapel give or take 100 degrees. I suggested they open the windows. As I glanced in some windows it was like looking through the portholes of a sinking ship. I have never seen such widespread despair. All hairdos were wilted. All the attendees were coated with a sheen of sweat like a race horse after a good run. Some appeared to have showered, with their clothes on. My bride to be daughter was being attended to by another daughter. She was nearly hysterical. About that time the preacher called again and said he needed another hour. Now, it was about 5:10 and the preacher needed another hour. NOT GOOD! The gremlins were cheering and laughing so loud I could not hear myself think. If the drowned rats in the chapel and milling about in the yard had heard the call, they would have mutinied. As it turned out, one of the attendees husbands was a minister fully licensed in NC. After being asked he graciously agreed to do the ceremony. Other than being as hot as an oven, it was a lovely service. As I stated at the beginning, my daughter is legally married and all is well. After some fluid replacement for most of the attendees - they were all well too. I will end now with a tip of the hat to the gremlins - well played.