Like a child on Christmas morning, he had vast expectations. But, alas, he didn't know those dreams were destined to be dashed to pieces on the curb of disappointment.
The wedding was a modest affair, held on a public beach with a small handful of people present. The young couple was excited to be officially beginning their life together, and the agenda was very relaxed. All that created the perfect opportunity for a wedding crasher to drop in. And that is what he did.
He showed up at first with some small talk and was probably more than a little under the influence already. We were preoccupied and did not notice the persistent hovering in the distance as the brief ceremony progressed. When the eleven of us gathered around the picnic table for sandwiches, the crasher made his move.
He invited himself to some cake, which was yet to be iced or cut. We offered him real food, but he declined. Once the cake was cut, someone took him a slice, and that was to be the end of it. Except it was not the end of it. A few minutes later, he returned and said, in so many words, that we had breached a hospitality protocol.
It turned out that the poor man was parched!
As we recognized our faux pas, my dear wife reached for the two pitchers and offered the fellow a drink of his choice. And that's where his expectations got shattered.
Evidently, earlier in the morning, his imbibing had been interrupted by the local beat officer who made him pour out his “drink.” It turns out that certain spirits are not permitted on the public beach, either by local ordinance, or park code, or something.
So the poor man, recognizing he was dangerously close to sobriety, spotted a wedding going down. He took prompt action and it might have actually worked, except for one problem. We had only water and lemonade.
When offered those choices, his amicable antics dissolved. Coldly refusing either choice, he stalked off. He looked as offended as a ten-year-old unwrapping a corncob at Christmas.
I don't know if there is a moral to this story, but the irony certainly had a high amusement value to me.