Jun 252024

In an early Newspaper Days blog post titled Shortchanged, I mentioned an advertising salesman who worked for me at my paper in Grays Harbor, Washington. Steve was a very good salesman, but also cheap and always looking for a way to get something over on me. I had no doubt he inflated his expense account whenever he thought he could get away with it, but he routinely brought in double the sales of any of my other salespeople.

Besides being an advertising salesman, Steve also happened to be a minister. He did not have his own church but regularly filled in at area churches when their pastors were sick or otherwise not able to be there.

One evening Steve got a call from the pastor at a local church, asking if he could help him out. He was scheduled to perform an outdoor wedding ceremony in a local park the next afternoon, but a family emergency came up and he had to leave town.

Steve said of course, and quickly jotted down the details. But he had forgotten that we had an appointment the next afternoon with a large real estate developer who wanted to place some advertising with us at his office in Long Beach, Washington, 75 long, twisting miles south of us on U.S. Highway 101.

As it turned out, we would be able to do the wedding and then drive down to Long Beach. We got to the park and Steve introduced himself to the couple and their parents and explained the situation and why he was there. Then he made a quick trip across the park to the restroom to relieve himself.

I’m not sure exactly what happened next, maybe it was a missed communication in the schedule, or maybe the Little League kids who had just finished their game were all in line ahead of him. But at any rate, Steve was about halfway through his business when he heard the Wedding March playing over the PA system. Now, I’m not sure there is a delicate way to put this, but a man cannot just “stop the flow” on demand. Though I’ll give Steve credit, he tried.

The bride’s father had already walked her down the aisle to her waiting groom, and there was no minister there. Everyone looked confused until we heard a shout of “Hold on, I’m coming!” and a breathless Steve came flying across the park and joined the happy couple at the front of the assembled guests.

Yes, it was a wonderful wedding. The bride was radiant in her hand-sewn gown, the groom was handsome in his rented tuxedo, and everyone tried not to notice the big wet stain in the crotch of the minister’s light gray suit, and the fact that his zipper had apparently broken and was gaping open.

As soon as Steve pronounced the couple man and wife, we made a beeline for my car, rushed to his house so he could change clothes, and then sped south to our appointment. Neither of us said a word for the first few miles, and then Steve said, “Well, that was awkward.”

I’m glad that there was not a police officer following me that day, because we were laughing so hard I’m sure I strayed over the centerline and then onto the shoulder a time or two before we got it out of our systems.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us, courtesy of Rick Devoy.

Thought For The Day – Preschool and bar rules are the same. You pee your pants and you go home.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  One Response to “Newspaper Days – That Was Awkward”

  1. Great story.

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