Sunday, June 14, 2009

14 JUN 09: There Go the Newlyweds

"I thought June was the month of brides," a local pastor said during a worship service last weekend. "But now President Obama says it's Gay Pride Month." The minister clearly was against that proclamation - and I don't really think it's simply because the Bible warns against proud looks.

That pastor may be pleased to learn an old-fashioned June event occurred Saturday at the Columbus Botanical Gardens. There was a wedding - except there actually were 20 couples married, not simply one. And no, Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church was NOT scheduled to be present.

All 20 couples in this ceremony were connected with Fort Benning's Third Brigade. For some, it was an official first marriage. For others, it was a reaffirmation of their vows. But there's no word about whether any members of the Army Marksmanship Team were involved, for "shotgun weddings."

Several businesses went out of their way to make this mass marriage marvelous. The Miami dressmaker Alfred Angelo donated 20 wedding gowns to the brides, complete with veils. Veils?! Is that a way of preparing soldiers for duty in Afghanistan?

The Georgia chapter of "Operation Homefront" organized other details of this wedding. Rivertown School of Beauty provided hair and makeup preparation for the brides. But I really don't think that mixed martial arts card at the Civic Center was a Friday night "bachelor party" for the soldiers.

(Really now, ladies -- would you want your potential husband to watch mixed martial arts on the eve of your wedding? It might be a preview of mixed MARITAL arts, months after the wedding.)

After Saturday's ceremony, the 20 couples were treated to a reception at the Botanical Gardens -- with refreshments provided by Hooters. I'm assuming that's all Hooters provided. No servers in halter tops, which might give the grooms second thoughts....

Saturday's mass marriage was one of many signs in Columbus that the Third Brigade is about to head off to battle again. Various salutes are being held around the area, such as "Hammer Night" Saturday at the Columbus Lions game. In most cities, "Hammer Night" would be a fund-raiser for Habitat for Humanity.

(The Columbus USO chapter hosted a tailgate party before the game, with free refreshments for soldiers. It probably would be in poor taste right now to give afghans to all the military wives....)

This blog broke the news four years ago that Aflac Chairman Dan Amos had remarried [5 Feb 05]. That required sorting through marriage license applications at the Government Center - and I marveled at how many of them early that year involved Fort Benning soldiers. They took a vow of love, before going to a place where "love conquers all" probably makes extremists laugh.

-> Many online poker players are unhappy with the federal government right now. Learn why at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <--

BLOG UPDATE: The Big Switch came and The Big Switch went, yet my next-door neighbor was baffled. "I can pick up every TV station except Channel 9," he said Friday afternoon. This older man seemed like a very unlikely viewer of "One Life to Live."

The neighbor and I were in the same boat. We were near downtown Columbus, unable to watch WTVM at all -- and I still couldn't Saturday night. I followed the expert's advice, too. I'd "scan, scan and scan some more" - but "General Hospital" was out the door.

An announcement explaining the situation aired during WXTX "News at Ten" Saturday night. It said WTVM is "in transition to complete our DTV site.... and maximize our coverage area." But give the engineers some credit -- they spent so much time preparing viewers for The Big Switch that they may have forgotten to prepare themselves.

It's not clear when the DTV transition will be complete. But I'm sure plenty of basketball fans want it finished in time for tonight's Game 5 of the N.B.A. Finals. Orlando fans probably will tune to WEAM-AM 1580 anyway, so they don't have to see one more last-minute choke.

WLGA has moved into the digital channel position that WTVM used to have. When I turned on my HDTV set Friday afternoon and saw the God's House of Prayer service from Auburn, I actually considered it a step up from "All My Children."

The Big Switch affected things I never expected. At midday Friday I went to my laundromat, and found the numbers had changed on all the clothes driers....

No, really! The coin laundry owner swapped out a few big driers for "double-decker" models, then changed the numbers on all of them. This mattered to me, because one of the driers tends to run longer than the rest - and once ran 45 minutes on one quarter. If only I had kept track of which state's quarter I put in....

After doing a little math, I figured one which drier I wanted. The old #8 is now #11. But now I need a new rhyme to replace the one I borrowed from WLTZ: "The clothes are just great when they're put in drier eight."

Before I flip the last switch to go to bed, let's check other weekend headlines:

+ Which Columbus church is taking time during each week's service to pray for another congregation in town? And surprisingly, it is NOT praying for the congregation to collapse so it can recruit all the best softball players....

+ More than 1,400 people went to the Columbus Career Center, hoping for jobs with the new NCR plant. The business only has about 800 openings - so I hope the remaining 600 applicants don't get angry and steal more ATM's.

+ An Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight from Columbus made an emergency landing in Atlanta, because the landing gear malfunctioned. This is why pilots and copilots need martial arts training - so they can kick the door open with the precise amount of force.

+ WRBL reported Webster County High School has canceled its upcoming football season. Fewer than 20 students are on the team. The rest are too busy working on farms, so the local economy doesn't collapse completely.

+ The Atlanta Falcons released quarterback Michael Vick. Were there odds in Las Vegas on this - whether the team would release him before the federal guards did?

+ Instant Message to all NASCAR fans: Please don't be confused. Yes, today is Flag Day - but it does NOT mean you should set green or yellow flags outside your house, depending on the status of the race.

The number of unique visitors to our blog is up more than 12.5 percent so far this year! To advertise to them, offer a story tip, make a PayPal donation or comment on this blog, write me - but be warned, I may post your e-mail comment and offer a reply.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.

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