Evidence My Life is a Bit Odd, In a Good Way

I just passed on a Guest of Honor opportunity at an excellent convention in 2009, because I’m already scheduled that weekend to officiate a wedding.

Yes, I officiate weddings. No, not in Klingon or Elvish. Stop that.

52 Comments on “Evidence My Life is a Bit Odd, In a Good Way”

  1. Ron asked it for me. Also, if you didn’t know Klingon, would you be willing to learn it as part of your official officiating duties?

  2. If the wedding couple really wanted it in Klingon, it could be done. NB, however, I usually only officiate at weddings of friends, and most of my friends, while often Star Trek fans, probably wouldn’t want to go that route.

  3. I notice that wasn’t a complete denial that you do indeed know how to speak Klingon.

    Excellent. I’ll begin saving. Keep brushing up on your Klingon. I’m only 10 or so years off.

  4. Mawwidge. Mawwidge… is what bwings us togethar… today.

    Just once I want to see an officiant do Princess Bride. I didn’t think I’d be able to talk mine into it.

    Triple dog dare ya.

  5. JulieW:

    I had a wedding where the bride and groom considered it, but then realized their parents would kill them.

  6. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang's got a telegraph

    I have to ask is this a fan wedding or friends or family?

  7. Please tell me that the 2009 convention you just turned down wasn’t in Western Australia? I’ll not throw myself on any flames if we’ve missed out on seeing you, but I would like to express my significant disappointment if that’s the case. In a totally rational, sane, non-threatening, no-need-for-lawyers way.

    Nah, screw that. Come to sunny Perth. Join Us. We Love You.

  8. Stephbg:

    No, it wasn’t in Western Australia.

    And I’d love to come to Perth. Apparently, I sell well there.

  9. Dude, you’ll do anything to promote a book:

    “You may kiss the bride…and don’t forget to buy The Last Castle.”

  10. Jimbo:

    I’m not likely to come on a weekend lark, because, well, it’s two hemispheres away. But I would like to visit Australia. If I’m invited to be a GoH, I’d definitely consider it. Same with New Zealand. Hint, hint.

  11. @Doug

    I’ve always said that I’m going to get married in Vegas by an Elvis impersonator. I live in Australia (like apparently everyone commenting here…, except Doug)

    And there is a wedding chapel called “Graceland Chapel”, in Vegas.

    (And yes, I have a partner, of about 14 years, who is prepared to be involved in the union, “thankyouverymuch”)

  12. juliew, I officiated at the wedding of two friends a couple of years back, and I had to resist that temptation very hard. The couple probably wouldn’t have minded (I put in a few jokes, and they liked them), but the humour of it would probably have missed 80% of the audience. I probably shoulda done it anyway…

  13. We had two weddings: One where we spent five grand of her dad’s money on booze and a really bad DJ. (How can you not have “I Hate Everything About You”? It was supposed to be our first dance!) The second in Starfleet uniforms.

    Next time, I’m just taking the new Mrs. to Vegas to be married by Elvis.

    BTW, John, would you dress up as Elvis to officiate?

  14. Don’t you have to have some sort of official certification to officiate at weddings, from either the state or a religious organization? I could be wrong. Having never been married and quite distant from anything church-related, the gap in my knowledge is large. So what are your credentials, Scalzi? Sounds like there’s a story there. . . .

  15. I officiated at my sister’s wedding years ago. It was in Alaska, which still has an old law on the books from the pioneer days: anyone can officiate at a wedding once — all you have to do is fill in the form.

    That was seriously fun, and a great role to have in her wedding.

  16. I have actually seen an officiant do a fair imitation of the Princess Bride service. There were only a couple of problems – 1) he wasn’t doing it deliberately and 2) most of the observers wouldn’t have understood the reference even if it were brought up. So my husband and I were left, slowly strangling and turning bright red in the back as the Archbishop (and he actually was an Archbishop), wended his way through the mawwidge service.

  17. Hey, cons are a great excuse to visit Australia — just make the con weekend part of a longer vacation. I got down there for WorldCon in ’99, had a good couple of weeks, and got in a few days in New Zealand on my way home. I’d definitely do that again. Perth in ’09? Woot!

  18. We put the “Mawwiage is what bwings us togethar today” line in our ceremony, but the officiant didn’t feel right doing the accent when she was going to read the rest of it normally. We also had her add “Do you? Do you? Good, you’re married, kiss her” at the end.

  19. I offered to do “Mawwiage…” when I officiated at my brother’s wedding, but he and his bride said no. Can’t imagine why.

  20. It also means I got off my ass and finally set a date, so that was brilliant!

    (For those who asked – no Klingons, no Elvis, and no book hawking, but I have heard from at least one guest that John may be asked to sign a book.)

  21. “Sign here, to legalize the marriage.”

    “Okay, now sign here, because one of my husband’s best friends loves your novels.”

    OR, we set up a receiving line that’s people bringing their stuff to you to get signed. I think maybe Michael and I would get first dibs on getting the marriage certificate signed. Ha.

  22. John… how totally cool! How did you become licensed to do weddings? It is one of those Cali things or in your hometown area?

    Is it non-denominational or under a particular faith? If you don’t mind me asking…

    be well,
    Dawn

  23. Since I’ve become a deacon at my church, I’ve been asked to do a lot of odd things. Marriages. Ambush baptisms. Exorcisms.

    I’ve declined. I don’t want to blow all my mana points.

  24. Dawn:

    Licensing varies from place to place. I usually check with the city I’m doing the wedding in.

    I’m a ULC minister.

  25. Okay, I think you may have a topic for another Whatever entry, Mr. Scalzi. Just how did you become a wedding officiant? What is your official title? And what sort of certification do you have?

  26. In California, at least, you need not even be a minister, ULC or otherwise. County Clerks can deputize you as a deputy commissioner under Cal. Fam. Code Sec 401(b), to perform a wedding. That deputization was good for one day or one marriage. It cost me $20 or $25 or some such, if I recall, for the priviledge.

  27. I don’t think the Obin do the marrage thing. Unless the author didn’t tell us that they are gay in addition to being hermaphrodite. I know, I know if they have both sets of plumbing how could thet be gay.
    You must post photo’s. Do you wear the collar?
    A friend used the CHiPs theme for when the wedding party arrived at the reception.
    I think wedding licences should be like felonies, three strikes and you’re out. My cousin just had his 6th divorce.

  28. Stock tips: check. Klingonese: possibly probably. Princess Bride: check, though will refrain lest resulting Wrath of Parents spoil the occasion.

    John, you are a man of many and subtle talents.

    But what I really wanna know is: can you do a creditable Dick Van Patten as well?

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