Home & Shop Companion #0084
How To Get Out of Weddings
by Stephen Bishop of Shelby, NC
Weddings, ugh – a sentiment shared by men everywhere. For some reason, uncomfortable dress clothes, sappy songs, and awkward small talk appeal to otherwise rational women, my wife included. She actually smiles when an envelope brings tidings of forthcoming nuptials. Of course, the invitation inside also requests the honor of our presence, by which it really means her presence. I know the bride-to-be just put my name on the invitation to be polite. And sometimes they don’t even waste the gold-foil ink printing my name – they just put Mr. and Mrs. Natalie Bishop.
Hence, the best reason I know to own cows is to get out of weddings. I hate to spill the beans, but cattle prices have been a little lacking in recent years. I mean, it hasn’t gotten to the point where you need to report a robbery after you leave the sale barn, but it’s gotten pretty close. Currently, the main advantage that I see to keeping cows is that a farmer can accidentally leave a gate open. Thus, an hour before the union of two dear friends (really slight acquaintances if we’re being honest) a prized heifer can get loose and need wrangling. If you get the fugitive cow spooked enough, you’ll miss the whole ceremony, plus get your month’s quota of exercise while chasing it through the countryside.
Although loose cow emergencies trump attendance at weddings, don’t overplay the loose cow card or else your significant other will suspect something’s up and ask you to repair the pasture fence. Repairing fences is tedious work best procrastinated. I hate to say it, but you’d likely be better off going to the wedding, at least if it involves a full course steak dinner.
Notably, many bridal magazines have advised readers to get hitched in barns to lure back the missing demographic that plays hooky by scheduling cow emergencies. Recently, I took the bait and attended one of these barn weddings; here is my report: Still, ugh.
First, it was definitely not a working barn. I never caught the slightest waft of manure or saw the first mouse. Second, there were no wasp nests anywhere or yellow jackets hiding in old hay bales. Third, the barn was absent dust-filled cobwebs and, in fact, dust. The barn was spotless. It had fluorescent lights and stainless-steel fixtures. It was the first barn I’ve seen that could double as an operating room. Sadly, that bride probably spent a fortune hoping for a true-to-life barn experience and left with a white dress unsoiled. In a real barn, nothing attracts grease, oil, or grime faster than white clothes.
Brides, if you’re seeking an authentic barn wedding, please feel free to contact me to tour our venue featuring an old barn built in 1940 and many dilapidated out-buildings. For a meager upcharge, you can meet the raccoon living in the hayloft. For a small intimate wedding, the old smokehouse accommodates eight people and a hundred mice.
Right now, I have widespread availability, though this is liable to change once word gets out about the affordability of my authentic venue. In fact, you could probably rent our whole facility for a fraction of those fancy barn venues, so long as you remember to feed the cows and empty the mouse traps.
Stephen Bishop is an SFJ contributor and writes about agrarian antics from Shelby, NC. You can find more of his farming misadventures at www.misfitfarmer.com or follow him on Twitter @themisfitfarmer.
William Castle is taking a break. Thank you very much to Stephen for sharing!