My Mom always said, if your nose itches, start a fight or kiss a fool. I always thought that was silly, I mean, who in the world would start a fight just because their nose was itchy? Then, one day last summer, I met Jeremiah.
Nothing like his biblical namesake, Jeremiah was wild and ready for anything. He couldn’t care less about consequences resulting from his actions.
We worked together at the Gibbons Ranch in San Antonio. A beautiful resort and popular wedding venue. It gets hot here in the summers and we used to leave out spray bottles with a fine mist for guests to spray their faces or arms to cool down. One time, Jerry put a couple drops of red food coloring in one of the spray bottles. The Bride did not think that was funny at all. It cost the venue a ton of money having to refund the newly wed Mr. and Mrs. Collins after her face and top of her gown were stained. It made for very red pictures. Jerry’s response? “They’ll never forget their wedding day!”
I should have ratted him out then and there. It would have saved a lot of trouble that summer. He pulled pranks at every wedding. The Roberts ended up with their cake on the floor because Jerry sawed into one of the table legs. It toppled over just as the couple was about to cut the first slice. And it fell on the bride.
The Sedwick’s wedding ended with the grooms mother going to the hospital with a broken arm. Jerry made sure to wax the dance floor a little extra in one spot and the woman’s feet went right out from under her. He’s lucky she didn’t break her neck.
At the Zeigler’s wedding, Jerry had more fun with food coloring when he dyed the horses' manes and tails. Instead of two perfectly white steeds pulling the clear pumpkin carriage, one had a neon pink mane and tail, while the other was neon green.
The piece de resistance however, happened on the final day.
I guess Jerry wanted to make sure he wouldn’t be welcomed back to the Ranch.
August 29th, was the day of the Miller wedding. Beautiful blue skies with just a touch of puffy white clouds. The absolute perfect day for a wedding. They even got lucky with a mild 74 degree temperature. Everything seemed to be going well for once, but the manager was on the lookout. Who could blame her? Not one wedding had been spared all summer from a mishap. Although a few had seemed like actual accidents, I never did tell anyone that Jerry had been behind it all. I had hoped he’d stop, but by the 4th prank, I figured I’d be in trouble for not saying something from the git. And Jerry just seemed too excited for there not to be something big planned.
“Ok Carla, go double check the place settings,” Mrs. Garrison, the manager dictated. “Steven, make sure the cart for the cake is nice and sturdy. Amelia, spot check the floor, the party will be arriving at the tent any moment, we don’t want anyone falling and injuring themselves. Jeremiah and Kate, stand by the tent flaps to make sure they stay open while the guests enter the tent.”
Jerry and I walked over to the tent flaps to man our station. “You look way too happy, Jere,” I whispered. “I hope you haven’t planned something terrible today.”
Jerry smiled, “No ma’am. It’s my last day here. I just can’t wait for it to be over.”
“I hope that’s it,” I say. “I’d like to git home before 5am this time. I’m heading back to USC tomorrah and I don’ wanna be so exhausted I forgit somethin’ important.”
“Chill Kate,” he said with a glint in his eye. “Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing.”
I would have retorted, but the guests started to enter the tent. We waited patiently, smiling as the guests walked by and found their seats. Once everyone was inside, the DJ started to announce the bridal party. Just as the maid of honor and best man were about to be introduced, Jerry wrinkled his nose, then scratched at it. His eyes got big, I could practically see the gears turning in his head. Suddenly, he dashed in front of the best man, almost knocked over the maid of honor and planted a kiss smack on my lips. With a smile he said, “You’re a fool for not turning me in at the beginning of the summer Kate.”
Then with a wink, he turned his attention to the best man whose face was bright red. The man’s jaw was clenched, his broad muscular shoulders widened, and after taking a deep breath he demanded an apology for the maid of honor.
“That’s all you want my brother?” Jerry mocked. “Sorry there little lady, hope I didn’t scuff up your shoes.” Jerry laughed as the big man pulled his fist back and let loose in Jerry’s direction.
Anticipating the punch, Jerry dodged and the man lost his footing ending up on the ground. That didn’t last long though, the man was up in seconds and the two men scuffled something fierce until security pulled them apart.
Another wedding ruined, and I didn’t get home until 9:00am the next day as I had to go down to the police station for a statement after my shift.
I’ll never forget that summer, that stupid phrase, or Jeremiah.