Vol. 1, No. 3: Slobberknockers & Buttonhooks

Vol. 1, No. 3: Slobberknockers & Buttonhooks photo

Vol. 1, No. 3: Slobberknockers & Buttonhooks

Watersports Alyson Mosquera Dutemple

At the wedding, Baker couldn’t forget a tawdry detail he’d learned about the happy couple, a secret whispered by a gutter-minded second cousin: that the groom had a thing for jet-skis and on his last birthday, the bride had arranged to have sex astride one.

Baker wasn’t a pervert, but the story obsessed him throughout the service. If it was true, why choose a beach wedding like this one? Whenever a jet-ski zipped past, did the groom feel suddenly amorous? Did the bride remember some soreness, a pulled muscle from the complicated mechanics of consummating on such a machine?

During the buffet, Baker had such a nervous stomach that he couldn’t eat. When the dancing started, his spirits were too heavy for merrymaking. His mother shimmied up to him en route to the limbo pole. “Come on, Bakie!” she sang, jumping out of line to grab his lapels. His father, holding her place, jiggled a pair of giant maracas.

Baker kept his rear glued to his seat. He tried to recall how, exactly, the groom was related to him. He fretted about whether the jet-ski thing could be inherited. Recently, his parents had taken to reminding him that soon enough, he, too, might find someone nice to “settle down with.” Such euphemisms mortified Baker, as if coupling were completely disconnected from that terrible talk about biology his parents had once given him. Only their version of events had involved winged things, birds and bees, with no mention at all of watersports. Still, it was bad enough, and just thinking about it made Baker’s belly cramp all over again. The DJ changed records, and in the crowd, his parents threw up their hands, but Baker turned away. He would not watch them get down.