A Shocking Ecumenical Story of Wreather Madness!
This is me: Pastor Chiu Johnson, 28, of the little happy town of Nenie, Washington state. Who would have thought that just 3 months ago I was sitting happily in church without a care in the world – and now I’m in the middle of an armed shoot-out with the FBI!
My story began in late July. I was sitting in the drugstore, drinking a vanilla malt and working on my sermon for Sunday when in came Pastor Brad Malboneto. I knew him from the next town over – he had a reputation as a bad boy, but my was he manly! He sat down in my booth without so much as a by-your-leave, and I knew I should ask him to go, but I just couldn’t!
“Hey there,” he said gruffly. “Nice robes.”
I blushed, and turned back to my notes.
“What do you want, Brad?” I asked.
“I was just wondering if I could buy you another milkshake,” he said smoothly. I wanted to say no, but I realised that in my agitation I’d finished my drink. He snapped his fingers at the waitress, and she brought me another. “Hard day in church?” He asked.
“Same as any other,” I said, sipping my new drink.
“Say,” he said. “Would you be willing to help me with something? Something religious, I mean…”
He smiled at me, those cruel blue eyes twinkling.
“What sort of thing?” I said cautiously. His grin grew wider.
“A wedding,” he said. “…you like weddings, right?”
“I love them!” I said. “Binding together two loving souls in the eyes of God is the greatest fun! I even…” I paused, trembling to make my confession to the older priest. He arched his eyebrows. “…I even like going to non-church weddings. The thought of two people, even… even atheists… committing to spending their lives together as an expression of faithful love and devotion – it’s just so romantic!”
He grabbed my hand.
“Come with me,” he told me. I couldn’t resist.
We drove his ‘vette to his church, and ran inside. The beautiful stained windows made it seem so godly, so right, but I was in for a surprise when we got to the altar. There were two grooms waiting!
“Ready for some marrying?” Brad asked.
“A double marriage!” I smiled. “This is even better than I expected!”
Brad laughed, and the two grooms laughed with him, as did the congregation. What had I said? And in front of Brad! I wished the ground would open and swallow me up!
“This isn’t a double marriage,” Brad told me, still laughing. “We’re here to marry these two men. This is Juan – and this is George. They’re in love.”
“But… but they can’t get married,” I protested. “THEY’RE BOTH MEN!”
“Marriage between a man and a woman only?” Brad laughed. “That’s straight out of squaresville! I thought you were cool, Chiu, but I guess you’re like all the other silly evangelicals. I thought you liked to have fun!”
“I do like to have fun,” I said. “I just… this is wrong, Brad!”
“So wrong that it’s right…” He told me. I melted under his gaze.
So help me God, I tried to resist, but I just couldn’t. At first I was scared, but seeing how happy Juan and George were, and how supportive their friends and families were, I gave in. That’s right – I married them! It felt naughty, but also good! I got a buzz out of their gratitude, and it was like flying.
The next day I tried to pretend it hadn’t happened, but I couldn’t. I gave my sermon in church, I spoke at the burial of one of my parishioners, but all the time I was thinking to myself – I must marry some more gays! I tried to go about my daily business, but it wasn’t long before I was phoning up Brad.
“What’s up?” He asked.
“Listen. I’ve got to marry some more gays,” I told him. “Please, just one more marriage.”
“There might not be any more couples,” he told me. “People just don’t want to have gay marriages every day, you know.”
“There must be someone!” I cried. Brad laughed.
“Don’t worry your pretty little head,” he told me. “Brad’ll hook you up. I know a couple of lesbians who’ve been together for four years and are thinking of tying the knot. I’ll put them in touch with you.”
The problem was, though, that Brad was right. THE MORE I MARRIED GAY COUPLES, THE MORE I WANTED TO MARRY GAY COUPLES! I had a few bad trips, of course – one couple split up only 3 weeks after they got married – but I figured that happened to everyone, right? I mean I’d heard of straight marriages in Vegas that didn’t even last the weekend. Little trip-ups like that just made me want to marry more and more, and pretty soon I realised that I just wasn’t getting the thrill out of gay weddings that I’d used to. I needed something stronger.
The answer was obvious. One day, while coming out of a gay bar where I’d been soliciting for committed couples a short weasely-looking man approached me.
“Hey, I hear you’re looking for something a little harder to marry,” he said, in a thick accent that I recognised as FOREIGN. I was scared, but my urge to marry was so strong I knew I couldn’t afford not to hear him out.
“What do you have in mind?” I asked him.
“Come with me,” he said. I followed him to an abandoned warehouse in the dingy side of town. He led me into an office, where I found a young girl in a white dress standing by a filthy desk. On the desk was a wreathe and a stolen wedding register.
“How old are you?” I asked the girl.
“Eight,” she told me.
“I… I can’t,” I told the weasel-faced man.
“Charlie’s very grown up for her age,” he replied. “Charlie, you want to marry me, don’t you? So that I can give your dad the money he needs for his medicine?”
Charlie nodded, a bit unsure.
“See? She consents.”
That was good enough for me – unable to wait a moment longer to pronounce someone married, I did the deed. The rush was intense!
When I came round, Weasel-face and his new bride were standing over me.
“I need more…” I croaked.
“I knew you would,” he laughed. “Here’s my friend – he wants to marry a horse!”
Within the week I was knee-deep in marriages. I married a man to a swan. I married a woman to a toddler. I couldn’t go half a day without marrying something to something else – one day I got locked out of my house and had to marry my porch to a plastic garden flamingo. I was living in a daze, and it showed! I couldn’t concentrate in church and pretty soon a delegation of my parishioners asked me to leave. I didn’t care!
“Damn you, SQUARES!” I shouted at them. “I’LL SHOW YOU – I’LL MARRY A TREE TO A POWER-STATION!”
I was raving, but fortunately they simply thought I’d gone mad. They didn’t know that I’d already drawn up the vows!
Finally one day I was crouched in the gutter behind the convenience store, marrying a local wino to a broken microwave when a voice called across to me.
“Chiu? Chiu, is that you?” It was Brad. I didn’t want him to see me this way, but it was too late. He walked over and asked me what I was doing.
“I’m marrying a wino to a microwave, Brad, JUST LIKE YOU TAUGHT ME TO!”
“I taught you to marry same-sex couples,” he said, amazed, “not alcoholic-appliance couples!”
“It’s all the same, though, isn’t it? Same sex couples, women and giraffes, teenagers and anime characters – where do you draw the line, Brad?”
He stared at me, amazed.
“Chiu, what the fuck? I thought you understood – over the last hundred years there’s been a clear trend towards increased freedom to marry and the breaking down of artificial barriers to legal marriages. People who weren’t free to marry because of caste, class, or racial barriers are now free to marry in almost all countries. But all of those barriers were within a very clearly defined group of people eligible for marriage: adult humans. Preventing the marriage of same-sex couples is the last of these barriers, a clear exception to a general rule. If you have to ask where the line gets drawn, the answer you give is to ask at what age a person becomes a human adult. Different nations disagree on precisely when that is, but they all agree that at some reasonable time after puberty a person is considered a grown-up, and at that point they are free to marry. No-one can marry a child because it hasn’t become an adult, and no-one can marry an animal or an inanimate object because it can’t become a human. To think otherwise, to claim that there is no qualitative difference between two guys marrying and a man marrying a bear-cub, is straight-up moronic! Stop marrying anything to anything else and go back to simple straight and gay marriages.”
I looked in his bright blue eyes, but then had to look away in shame.
“Seriously, man,” he told me. “You’ve got to cut it out.”
So I did.
Oh, I guess you want to know how come I’m in a shoot-out with the FBI now. Well, it turns out that the church has been claiming tax breaks that it wasn’t entitled to. God-damn G-men, using church money to promote evolution in churches! Those suit-wearing m****r-f****rs can pry the cash out of my cold dead hands. I’ll die before I let them give God’s dollars to the trilateral commission…
…AND ALL BECAUSE I MARRIED TWO MEN!
(well… not really).