Editor’s Notebook: Don’t Tempt Fate

September 2009 Vol. 236 No. 9

Jeff Share, Editor

This is the story of saints, sinners and a bobblehead named Elvis.

But wait…I’m getting ahead of myself.

Janet & I finally tied the knot on Aug. 16 at a lovely spot in Delaware Water Gap, PA – just a few miles from my hometown of Bangor. We chose to marry there because my sister rents a lakehouse in the Poconos that we visit every August, and frankly, the scenery is a lot nicer than anything in Houston.

We scheduled it the day after my high school reunion which was held nearby at the historic Shawnee on the Delaware resort. In addition to revisiting some old friends, I figured some may stick around another day for the nuptials.

Before the wedding, we discovered the date coincided with the death of the king of rock’n’roll, so we bought a handsome bobblehead of Elvis for inclusion in the ceremony, preferably next to the cake, which I’m sure Elvis would have loved.

We flew to Philly Aug. 9, rented a car and drove two hours to Lake Harmony where my sister and brother-in-law were already settled in. The weather was unseasonably hot and humid. I slept near the air conditioner, humidifier and washer & dryer. Why is that important, you ask?

I have allergies that literally explode when conditions dictate. I had nasty sneezing attacks one after another for most of our visit – often in the middle of the night – which neither spray nor antihistamine would help – even in extra dosage, something I would regret later.

Turnout was excellent at the reunion. Janet met several of my former heartthrobs but seemed to take everything in stride. I had prepared her for this. She certainly perked up after I won a lovely raffle prize – a Sonic electric toothbrush – and publicly presented it to her as her first wedding present.

We left early to prepare for our big day and I vainly hoped to sleep through the night. Sunday quickly beckoned and Janet was as anxious as any bride-to-be; I, of course, retained my calm, cool composure. We left for the ceremony at 3:30 and found ourselves in a traffic jam. By the time we arrived we had our minds on everything else but poor Elvis, still locked in the trunk.

We said our “I do’s”, I broke the traditional glass, and the wedding was off without a hitch. For the first time, a ring adorned my left hand. But that night, I awoke with a start, this time not from allergies. “Oh my Gawd,” I screamed to the startled Mrs. Share. “We forgot about Elvis!” This could only be bad, I feared.

Over the next two days we registered our wedding certificate, ate some mouthwatering cheesesteaks – another delicacy you never find in Houston – and met with new-found old friends. But with the additional worries of Elvis added to my allergies, sleep remained elusive.

So at dawn Wednesday we awoke and headed to the airport. Because we were early, we had time for breakfast and chose a fast-food restaurant where I ordered bacon & egg tacos. I would also pay dearly for that indiscretion.

We took off at 12:30, arriving in Houston three hours later where we were met by our good friend Towncar Larry. After a quick shower, I sat down to relax, only to find myself overwhelmed by a series of gut-wrenching cramps and worse. Food poisoning, I thought. Janet, who was to learn firsthand the meaning of those prescient words “through sickness and health,” wanted to go to the ER. I took some medicine, said I’d be fine, and told her to let me suffer in peace.

Shortly afterwards, the spirit of Elvis wreaked its revenge upon me. The next thing I remembered was lying on the bathroom floor, looking up at Janet speaking to the 911 dispatcher. The EMTs took me to the hospital for observation where I stayed overnight. I had severe dehydration and food poisoning.

What did I learn from all this? Never mess with a major legend – or your wife.