Now, to the reception. Since my sister got married in the morning this was an afternoon ceremony, but the DJ kept calling it tonight because probably he does more of these in the evenings or nights. And it started out early with the singing of ``Sweet Caroline,'' this time playing the major problem of the song -- that nobody remembers it past ``Sweet Caroline'' and ``whoa whoa whoa'' by challenging the various tables to sing the ``whoa whoa whoa'' parts as loud as they could. The loudest table was to have the honor of the first dances after the bridal and groom and the relevant parent dances. This backfired, however, as the loudest table was one of aunts and uncles who were old enough not to be restrained by any sort of shyness, but who were also old enough that actually only three or four people were still in physical shape to get up and dance.
I was soon called up, though, largely because at my first brother's wedding I was renowned for putting on a fireman's helmet for the Y.M.C.A. dance, and I left the thing on all night, cutting quite a dashing absurd image. And despite this iconic performance which I still get comments about, the official photographer -- whom, I'd like to point out, had earlier won a Pulitzer Prize for news photography -- managed to take about six hundred thousand pictures without getting one really clear shot of this. So everyone was eager to see me in the hat and get pictures of it. And, oh, did they get pictures. The official photographer, certainly; and everyone from my immediate family and aunts and uncles and semi-aunts and whatnot insisted on getting photographs.
Trivia: In 1904, the first year of digging by the United States, Panama Canal construction excavated 243,472 cubic yards. Source: The Impossible Dream: The Building of the Panama Canal, Ian Cameron.
Currently Reading: Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, As Told By Its Stars, Writers, and Guests, Tom Shales, James Miller. I don't mind, in this context, people going on about the endless geniusnessosity of Saturday Night Live. It'd be odd to write five hundred pages of interviews with show-related people and not spend time in that viewpoint. What I can't grasp is the high praise for the infinite comic talents of Chris Farley: from his first appearance he looked to me like a John Belushi fanboy without much else, and all the testimonials -- not just in this book, but whenever you talk to people who were on Saturday Night Live around his era -- of how hilarious he was just don't convince me there was anything there.
But then sometimes little side things will capture my imagination: it's mentioned at the end of one season that NBC forced Lorne Michaels to fire Adam Sandler and Chris Farley; I had assumed they naturally left the show to make unspeakably awful movies. The book also mentions that NBC wanted Tim Meadows fired at the same time, but Michaels fought that successfully. Of Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, and Tim Meadows, is Meadows the one you'd fight to keep?