Slouch to Bethlehem - part 3
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woohooligan Mar 19, 2017
woohooligan NEW! Check out our best laughs from 2016!
Man, pappy just can't catch a break! He's just trying to help... granted that he doesn't yet know that Amity thinks she's carrying the antichrist. "I know your first baby is scary." You have no idea.

I've been kind of a mess today. I nearly missed a friend's wedding. I thought for sure I'd set myself multiple reminders, but then my phone beeped at 3:00 to inform me that I had 30 minutes. At the time I was working, which is to say I was sitting on my bed in my sweat-pants, preparing to publish this comic. So I stowed the computer, leapt out of bed, rushed into what few nice "dress clothes" I own (not many, all of them bought at thrift-stores and none of which fit properly), flew to the car and arrived at the church thirty minutes late.

Fortunately for me, the ceremony was still in progress, so while I didn't see Rob and Ruth walk in, I did see them recite their vows. The ceremony, while beautiful was also an opportunity for me to exercise my flimsy self-censorship skills. Much of the minister's speech centered on a particular bible passage (Ephesians 5:22-33) which I personally feel is irredeemably sexist, stating that wives must "submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord." As far as I'm concerned, there's no room in any relationship (marriage or otherwise), for either partner to be treated as a god, much less for that to be based on their gender. What do gay couples do then? Is the top god? What if they're bull-dykes? But as offensive as I find that passage, I couldn't say that to Rob or Ruth because I would never want to tarnish the memory of their wedding. Today wasn't about me, it was about them. Rainy though it was, I could tell it was a good day and I'm happy for them.

But like I said, I was a mess. We were asked to exit the chapel and take a bottle of bubbles (as opposed to throwing rice). As I stepped out of the chapel, I saw our friend Tom, who was one of the groomsmen and one of only about five people I knew at the wedding (including Rob and Ruth) and said hi... and immediately began by telling him how awkward I felt because of my dress-clothes situation. Tom told me I looked fine and I realize it's probably true that nobody noticed (or cared), and he was just trying to help me feel better... but when he said it I suddenly realized how painfully on-display my autism and social awkwardness were at that moment... and it got worse. :P

We stepped to the other side of the room and another guy appeared suddenly from the other side of a doorway, holding a basket and asked "Bubbles?!" He was really excited! I looked down into the basket like a deer in headlights, then panicked, feeling pressured for a response and said "uh, no thanks." Then realized as he handed a vial to Tom and moved past that I had just turned down the rice-alternative, which, I hadn't intended to do. I think Tom had taken two of the vials and handed me one and said "here, go blow bubbles." We stepped out the front door where Rob's car was waiting for them and stood on either side, waiting for the couple, to blow bubbles at them. I started blowing bubbles as they came out the door and got a face-full of them. I apparently hadn't noticed that there was a slight wind and I was standing on the wrong side of the aisle. :P

I drove straight from the church to the reception, having not noticed the hour between them, and arrived early... People were slowly trickling in, but I didn't know any of them. So I did the only thing I could think to do: I started chugging cup after cup of coffee. The venue had a number of digital picture frames hanging in the hall. All the pictures were black and white, and while about four of them were pictures of Rob and Ruth, about eight of them were pictures either of knocked over trolley cars or old-timey people weathering a flood. It seemed to give their wedding reception and odd kind of depression-era disaster-film theme.

After a few self-conscious cups of coffee I found myself feeling painfully autistic. Most days it's not an issue, but once in a while, at times like these, surrounded by a crowd of people I don't know, not knowing how to talk to them, the isolation becomes momentarily unbearable. I started crying... and that's the last thing you want at a friend's wedding reception. I was afraid that if I didn't get a hold of myself, I would end up spoiling it for the people around me, maybe even for Rob and Ruth. So to distract myself from my pity-party, I texted Tiffany who wasn't feeling well and had stayed home -- having met Rob and Ruth only once briefly. Then I sat at the reserved table where Tom and his wife Sophia were listed and played Mahjong on my phone. I hoped that maybe having at least those two friends nearby would help me feel more normal.

After a bit, our friend Scot arrived and found me at the table. He also apparently didn't know anybody at the wedding, except for myself, Tom and Sophia and the bride and groom. The four of us (not including Ruth), have been gaming buddies for a couple of years, instead of being introduced through work or family like the rest of the wedding party. (Though Tom and Rob were college roommates.) Scot brought his son Knox who I believe is two - I met Scot just before he was born. And although it was nice to have Scot there, and I probably made a better impression than I think, I still felt pretty out-of-place... but didn't want to bring it up again, because I didn't want Scot or any of the others to feel bad.

So I stayed through the speeches and the dances and the cake. I didn't have any of the cake, but Tiff had asked if I could bring a piece home. At first I thought I'd missed the cake when I got to the table and it was empty, but then I saw the caterers bringing another tray... and that was all gone in the time it took me to cross the room to grab a box to put it in. :P So I stood at the table and waited for the next wave of cake, which came a few minutes later... and even standing at the table as the cake arrived, I almost didn't get any. It was like a scene from the Mummy where the scarabs run out and engulf people and if they touch any part of you it's already too late. :P

I made sure to stop and say goodbye to Rob and Ruth, Scot, Tom and Sophia and I drove home to cake my wife. So here I am with a well-caked wife, finally publishing my latest comic page. :D

How was your St Patrick's day? Drunk, I hope?

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