Since as long as 2 000 years ago, when a great man turned gallons of water into wine, the issue of beverages at marriage ceremonies has always fascinated philosophers like Bacchus.
You see the two do not co-exist peacefully all the time. Yet they go well together. It’s like the two people who are getting married –– they cannot live with each other, as the days to come might show, yet they cannot live without each other too.
At the end of the day it is safe to say that, over the centuries, the wise waters have earned their place at wedding ceremonies, despite the occasional friction they cause. It is quite unfortunate that they did not have video in the old days I tell you. The things we would see.
This is why Bacchus does not attend weddings if the invitation card says there will be no beer. And believe me I have received many of those in recent years. To anyone who has ever invited me to such a wedding, now you know why I did not come.
Anyway, I digress.
Be it in Europe, Asia or Africa, add a little beer to the nuptials and things are bound to get interesting.
If it’s not one issue, it’s the other.
Sometimes there’s not enough beer –– usually due to the perennial problem of gatecrashers. Other times there’s too much beer and guests end up crossing the lines of acceptable social mores.
This reminds me of how one couple tried to solve the problem of managing beer at their wedding.
The groom thought it would be a good idea to lock all the alcohol up in one of the storerooms at the venue. He would then hand over keys to this room to his trusted nephew, who he always counted on for errands around town.
Because this nephew did not drink, the groom told his bride-to-be, he could be trusted to man the vault. The plan was he would release the beer for guests, a few crates each time, at agreed intervals throughout the ceremony.
Upon being told that his services were needed, the young man was rather pleased and gave assurances he was be up to the task.
The big day came and things kicked off according to plan. The first round of beers reached guests just as the food was being served. More drinks were coming, they were told by a confident master of ceremonies.
Sure enough, after about 30 minutes, some more drinks did the rounds.
What happened after this is something which makes Bacchus angry every time he recalls the incident.
When a call was made for the third round of drinks, there was no answer.
The storeroom door was locked and the watchman nowhere to be seen.
With no drinks to accompany the music, guests became restless and the MC could be heard pleading for patience.
As throats became parched, guests started to leave one by one, with some threatening not to hand over the gifts they had brought for the wedding couple.
An uncle to the groom decided he had had enough of the waiting and proposed they break down the door. An axe was quickly found and put to use.
When the door yielded, lo and behold, the hitherto teetotaller was sprawled out on the floor. Drunk as a skunk, as the Americans would say.
It took 10 men to hold the groom back as he tried to “wake the young man up”.