Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Celebrity Wedding of the Year

Sometimes I have no idea what I'm going to write as I sit down in front of the computer. Today was one of those days and this piece was inspired by something I read about the legalization of same-sex marriages in the UK. Please forgive me.

Celebrity Wedding Spearheads Acceptance of Alternative Lifestyles

London – When the Children’s Television Workshop launched Sesame Street nearly four decades ago, they could never have imagined that the wedding of two of their most recognizable stars would cause just as much worldwide protest as it would acclaim.

“Why frankly, neither did we,” said Bert, 57, who only goes by one name as is the custom of the tribal area of Pakistan where he was born in 1948. “Then again social mores of the late 1960’s, as well as sodomy statutes that were still actively enforced in many parts of the United States at the time, not only made us being lawfully wed unacceptable, it made it downright dangerous.”

“Kheeeekheeeekheeeekheeeekheeeekheeeekheeee!” Giggled Bert’s partner Ernie, 51, with the laugh that has long been a Sesame Street trademark. Ernie also only goes by one name, having legally dropped “Tannenbaum” from his moniker in the early 1980s on the advice of his close friend, pop superstar Prince. “You couldn’t even joke about being gay during the early ‘70s in New York without being bludgeoned half to death by a vacationing pack of intoxicated rednecks. Staying in the closet was a matter of survival.”

“But times have changed, haven’t they Sweetie Pie?” Bert sighed while looking lovingly into Ernie’s eyes.

“They sure have.” Replied Ernie, returning a look of eternal adoration.

Burt and Ernie were joining hundreds of other same sex couples across the United Kingdom who were taking advantage of recent changes in British law granting legal recognition to homosexual unions. With both being citizens of the United States however, their nuptials were largely symbolic and they would enjoy none of the benefits of a traditional marriage once they returned home as there is still staunch opposition to such arrangements back in America. Still, this did little to stop any of the pomp and circumstance usually afforded to celebrity weddings and the guest list to this event was virtually indistinguishable from any other marriage ceremony conducted to celebrate the union of two very famous people.

Unlike most celebrity weddings though, Bert and Ernie’s nuptials were as much about furthering a cause as it was about generating publicity. Therefore, instead of being shrouded in secrecy and going through great lengths to keep reporters away from the ceremony, Bert and Ernie invited the media in full force and even held a press conference on the steps of the city hall where they were to be wed. Bert, clad in a purple double breasted tuxedo by Armani and Ernie, dressed in an extravagant bejeweled gown by Versace, fielded questions from reporters for nearly an hour before disappearing inside to exchange their vows.

The tone of the press conference was largely jovial but turned rather serious when a reporter asked Bert if it was tough growing up as a homosexual Muppet in 1960s America. “Yes, yes. It most certainly was. I was a very confused young man prone to getting into a lot of trouble. I guess that was a means of distracting myself from my sexual identity.” Bert went on to recount how his troubled youth resulted in a three-year prison sentence in San Quentin Prison in California for dealing cocaine and how he had earned himself a “white-boy bitch” by shiving a snitch at the behest of the Black Panthers a year before his release. “That was when I finally realized who I was, sexually speaking. It was a revelation that eventually allowed me to turn my life around and put me on the path that eventually led to my role on Sesame Street.”

When asked about whether or not there was a negative stigma attached to gay children’s television characters, Ernie replied, “Of course there is! Look at what happened to Tinkie-Winkie,” referring to the flamboyant Telletubbie whose penchant for handbags led to his outing by televangelist Jerry Falwell a few years back. “People turned their backs on him, his career was ruined and he was subjected to constant ridicule and obscene propositions from Merv Albert. He finally ended up turning to heroin to dull the pain and has since dropped off the face of the earth.” Ernie was unaware that Tinkie-Winkie had been arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department Vice Squad the day before working as a male prostitute in an operation run by Heidi Fleiss. The press conference came to an abrupt end when the openly distraught couple was informed of this development by a reporter from People.

The wedding ceremony itself was a private affair but the red carpet leading to the reception offered plenty of opportunities for the press to chat up the guests about they thought about Bert and Ernie’s wedding. “It’s absolutely wonderful!” cheered Big Bird as he exited a white Rolls Royce limousine with Nicole Kidman on one arm and Renee Zellweiger on the other. Though Big Bird had been romantically linked with both starlets, Bert and Ernie’s wedding was the first hard evidence that confirmed the rumors that he was dating both of them at the same time.

Muppet power couple Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy arrived in a black Maybach. As Kermit exited the vehicle, Miss Piggy wrapped her arms around him in a passionate embrace and, oblivious to the paparazzi cameras going off all around them, began sucking on her lover’s neck. When asked what he thought about his colleagues’ nuptials, the frog who has had his fair share of controversy over his relationships said, “It’s awesome and I wish them the best of luck! What they’re doing is noble and will open the door to many other adverse unions. Take me and Miss Piggy. When we first started courting, the public was similarly outraged. ‘How could a pig and a frog possibly be in love?’ they asked. They said it was unnatural and couldn’t last. Here we are, twenty years later, still together and still hotter than ever. People stared at us in disgust and bewilderment everywhere we went. Now, no one even gives us a second glance and most states have stopped enforcing their antiquated laws against cohabitating with swine.”

A reporter from Georgia, a state that was still actively enforcing its laws prohibiting porcine intercourse, then fielded a question that Kermit refused to answer. In protest, he just stared at the reporter and pulled Miss Piggy closer to him, if that was even possible. As she stuck her tongue in his ear Kermit said, “You know, we f----- in the limo all the way here. Like beasts, we did.”

Miss Piggy paused from mauling her beau just long enough to confirm her lover’s statement. “We sure did. I think I sprained my uterus.”


Anonymous LoB said...

That was absolutely brilliant. The thing is, those are two characters I have no problem picturing in gay marriage.
I have startlingly vivid "footage" of this scene burned into my mind: “They sure have.” Replied Ernie, returning a look of eternal adoration.
I absolutely loved this piece. Good to see the holidays haven't done away with your wonderful writing style. Speaking of holidays, how was Christmas? Any toddler terror unleashed?

8:38 PM  
Blogger JEP said...

Thanks LoB! I'm hoping the holidays were pleasant in Portugal this year and you had a great Christmas. On this side, I think we got food poisoning at one of our events as the entire family is sick. Ideally, illness is good for writing, but not when there's an infant in the house.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous LoB said...

Christmas was fine this year. No cases of food poisoning on this side of the Atlantic, but those sugar covered holiday treats did cause me the worst tooth-ache I ever had. I think I threatened to beat both of my sisters and my mother to a bloody, revolting yet strangely delicious (or so I assume) pulp, so great was my agony. So much for holiday cheer. Also, I can only imagine what you must suffer being ill and having a sick kid in the house. Such are the pains of parenting.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Trae said...

Brilliant Jep, just brilliant! Happy New Year and I hope your family feels better soon!

10:25 AM  
Blogger JEP said...

Thanks Trae! I think they're getting better, they let me sleep in till 9 this morning. I wish a Happy New Year right back at you!

11:03 AM  

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