Monday, February 14, 2011

The Dead Guest at the Wedding

The Dead Guest at the Wedding

When I was in college and for some time afterward, I worked part-time on weekends for a Caterer.  He did weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, engagement parties, etc.  He threw a great party and we all had our weddings done by him.

My friends Bob and Mark also worked there.  Bob was the maitre d’ and Mark and I worked as waiters or bartenders.  Mark’s and Bob’s mothers also worked there.  Bob’s mother made the fruit and other displays and Mark’s mother was a waitress.

Bob’s house was filled with left over food from the parties.  You could go to Bob’s house at any time of day or night (his mother was always up) and his mother would lay out a complete spread of meats, poultry, pastas, desserts etc.  Her freezer and refrigerator were always packed.

When I was working as a bartender, we were told not to throw away the bottles of the “good stuff”.  The caterer would re-pour the cheap stuff into the bottles with the better brand labels.

At every party there would be one guest who would come up to me and brag how he could tell the difference between the brands, usually scotch.

He would insist I pour shots from different brands like J & B, Dewar’s, Johnny Walker Black, Johnny Walker Red, Cutty Sark, etc and he would “educate” me on the differences in taste, color and aroma. 

The guest would sip, sniff, swirl and pontificate on the glories of each brand and their differences which he, connoisseur that he was, could readily discern.

I would nod my head and smile, thinking all the while “Schmuck, they are all the same ‘chief Kahoochee fire water’.” 

Never the less, the guest would go home, secure in his infallible knowledge of Scotch brands; happy to have imparted his wisdom to a young ignorant guy like me.

Anyway, one time we were working a wedding, when a guest had a heart attack and died in the bathroom.

What to do?  Should we tell the host and hostess, stop the affair and call the cops, what to do?

Bob spoke to the father of the bride.  The dead guy was his wife’s brother.  He decided we shouldn’t tell anyone and ruin the affair.

Now, we were faced with what to do with the body.  We couldn’t leave him in the bathroom, someone would see him.  Bob decided to put him under the table of the buffet during the cocktail hour. The table was not being used at the time.  If we left him in the bathroom someone would notice.  He was covered by the drape of the table and no-one knew.

The party continued.  It was time for the Viennese Table (dessert).  We had to take the buffet tables and fill them with desserts and wheel them into the dining room.

What to do with the dead guy?

Fortunately, it was winter.  We picked him up and put him in the step van in the parking lot that we used to carry around supplies.  It was below freezing so we figured he would keep ok.

The affair came to a successful conclusion.  The guests departed.

Big George, the dishwasher, who had to come in early tomorrow to help set up decided to take the truck home.

Big George was this 300 lbs very Gay Black Man.  He had wild crazy hair which he never washed (sometime you could see bugs in it), but he always showed up and did his job.  He also kept hitting on my friend Mark, who after a while wouldn't go into the kitchen alone.

George goes out to the truck, unaware of the dead guy.  There is a horrible scream and George comes running inside in a panic.  We had forgotten to get the dead guy out before turning over the keys to the truck to George.  George didn't even know we had a dead guy.  He is somewhat upset.

We move the dead guy back inside and call the police.

The police and coroner came.  They were not happy they hadn’t been called immediately, and they suspected that the body had been moved.  They started asking questions.

We all hurriedly left to let the police and caterer sort it all out.

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