My sister, Julie, is married now. It was a high church wedding at the Episcopal church my folks have attended since 1967. Julie was regal in her white dress and my grandmother's veil. Randy, my new brother-in-law, looked handsome with his black tuxedo and lily boutonniere.
The funniest part of the wedding was when the officiant dropped the rings. The bittersweet part of the wedding was seating my Grandmother, who has a short-term memory appropriate for a ninety-six year old. The most ironic part (for me as someone who is organizing Unitarian Universalistic Pagans, anyway) was reading 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and 1 John 4:7-21. It was also (for me) the most self-restrained part because I had to refrain from reading the lessons as if I were William Shatner or the Bishop from The Princess Bride. I suppose it says something about the readings because many people who heard them -- not knowing they were coming out of the mouth of a neo-pagan -- were moved (or at least complimentary).
Arthur fed us his Cheerios as Julie and Randy were exchanging their vows -- and he really likes my cousin, Jane, because he fed her a piece of highly coveted cheese. The most medical part of the wedding was watching Jane sing The Lord's Prayer and seeing how her uvula and soft palate produce sound (this was before the cheese feeding). The Baby Bach moment of the wedding was when the string quartet played especially for Arthur as folks were exiting the church (I think the viola player might have gotten some cheese earlier if she had been close enough). The 'Be Prepared' moment of the wedding was when Mark loaned a tie to someone at the reception who, um, 'forgot' his.
Mark won the Father of the Year award for watching Arthur all of the day so I could play host at the reception and other Big Brother Jobs. My Dad won the Martha Stewart Award for being unable to sleep the morning of the wedding and getting up at 2 AM to work on boutonnieres. I'm sure my Mom gets an award, too, but I can't figure out what it should be.
Arthur has a cold. And possibly a new molar. Luckily, this all manifested after the wedding was over, so all of the 2,000 wedding guests think Arthur is the cutest, most well behaved baby ever. I try to remember all their kind words when Arthur wakes up screaming at midnight (OK, Mark will point out he had a little help waking up), or when he uses my pants as a Kleenex.
For the wedding, Mark purchased An Infernal Machine. For Arthur. He described it as a lawnmower that would help Arthur learn to walk. In reality, I think it's a cross between a monster truck and a Mardi Gras float... with a shopping cart handle attached at the end. It's a "Learning Band Walker." I don't mind (much) that it plays trumpet solos. I don't mind (really) that it has volume and on/off switches that Arthur can reach and manipulate.
What makes this, this thing, An Infernal Machine is that it has a woman singing. And not just any woman -- if it were Cher or Yma Sumac it would be fine. It's Her -- the same woman from the LeapFrog Writing Desk. In fact, when I said, "Augh! It's the same woman!" Mark said, "Oh yeah, it's the same company; LeapFrog."
It's bad enough that natural selection has provided the world with a person who can make the phrase "one, two, three, four, five" sound like a ultra-perky description of saccharin-sprinkled pink bunnies and unicorns frolicking in the woods. But presumably a toy executive decided that they needed to hold auditions to find such a person and pay them to keep doing it.
I hate the LeapFrog Writing Desk Woman. I hate Her so much -- and I don't normally do this sort of thing -- that when Arthur's asleep I think up ways to fool the LeapFrog Writing Desk into saying curse words. There's a lot you can do with a well placed X or homophone.
I did a quick Google Search, but I didn't find a hack page for the LeapFrog Learning Band Walker. Then I did another Google Search, but I still don't seem to be able find any instructions for replacing The Anti-Diva's voice with my own.
Why don't they hire someone like Annie Lennox or Alanis Morissette to be the voice for these toys? Or even my cousin, Jane; kids could learn all about uvulas that way.
Ah well... back to scraping paint off of the house.