My Daughter’s Marrying a Tree, Should I Attend the Wedding?

by Joe Bissonnette (April 2015)

A few months ago Nancy went vegetarian. I loves British beef and there was no bloody way I was givin’ it up, but Nancy pointed to Sir Elton and made him out to be the cousin of every cow or pig or chicken we’d eaten and I didn’t know what to say. There’s no way me own dad would’ve stood for it, he’d have sent me flyin’ across the room. But with thousands of cameras everywhere, I’d have to be named Mohamed and she’d have to be wearing a burka for me to get away with that. Anyway, even poor Sir Elton was reduced to vegetarian dog food, and that didn’t go well. When I’d slip that baggy over my hand and pick up his poop it didn’t have the texture and temperature of a good bowel movement. It was runny, and Sir Elton wasn’t. He was losing his zip. Too much whimper, not enough bark – why if I were him…but me therapist says I can’t allow myself too far down that path.

Anyway, I talked it over with Reggie at the dog park and he set me straight. Me and Reggie used to share a pint at the pub before it shut down because it was too close to the new mosque, and also because sharing a pint with the lads lost out in the old cost-benefit analysis when compared with internet porn. But we still meet up for the sake of the fury children. I told him about the vegetarian dog food and Reggie was furious. Reggie’s baby is a Pug named Winston which he insists is a British Bulldog. He pointed to the canine incisors meant for tearing flesh (it was kind of funny because Pugs have those crooked English teeth). He said it was unnatural. I felt flushed with excitement.

Nancy had eaten the roast with as much vigor as the rest of us, but without touching her potatoes, peas and carrots. We hadn’t noticed at the time, but in the days and weeks that followed Nancy ate meat and only meat. All she would do is eat meat and water and talk to the plants.

Now every Englishmen loves the English countryside with the hills and meadows and stone walls, but for me, trees had been rather spoiled by Monet and those French Impressionists. I had even bought myself a chainsaw one Christmas, just as a declaration of defiance. Maybe it was to spite me that Nancy went and fell in love with a tree.

With Sir Elton curled up in my lap, we happily drove past minurets and warm fires blazing in steel barrels, past the Anglican Church which was now a Frankenstein-themed bar and out into the English countryside. We allowed ourselves to warmly nudge against each other as we wound around corners and Mum and I may have even mentioned grandchildren, although Sir Elton is more than enough. The further we got the more excited Nancy and all of us became, and then we parked. It wasn’t as grandiose as I expected, no ancient oaks, just a stand of fast-growing poplars. There was no one to be seen, but we walked forward expectantly. Then it happened.

I identify very strongly with Sir Elton as the other male in our family and as Nancy swung him skyward his pain was my pain. But Nancy is also my child, and though I love both equally and was enraged by the pain she caused Sir Elton, I suddenly understood the intensity of the love Nancy had for Tim. Tim stood there stoic and dignified through it all, unmoved by the affront, and I couldn’t help but feel admiration for Tim, if not love. Tim even seemed good-humoured as a gentle breeze blew and yellow poplar leaves rained upon us. 

Sir Elton’s member did not survive the extreme strain of Nancy’s grip. He and his manhood parted ways. But there always did seem to be something about Sir Elton…  Leaving Nancy behind I quickly grabbed the broken member, gathered up Sir Elton and Mum and sped homeward in the Austin Mini. Nancy has written us that she has made a home within Tim’s loving embrace. They have an Anglican Bishop marrying them and in a gesture of reconciliation have invited us to their upcoming wedding. Sir Elton is quickly adjusting to the new normal, as I suppose our whole culture has, and my own once rigid indignation has softened. And so I shrug meekly and smile wanely. What’s a father to do?




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