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I was recently invited to a wedding, and purely in the interests of research, I attended. Here is my field report. I hope you find it edifying.

When two humans wish to get divorced, they must first pass through a preliminary procedure called a wedding. In typically human fashion, this brief process is mired in months or even years of largely unnecessary groundwork. The main purpose of the first stage is to spend as much money as possible, and to facilitate this, all of the suppliers of the equipment, clothes, services, and other accoutrements of a wedding, sign up to a voluntary code of conduct which stipulates that any item with the word wedding in its name will cost at least five times as much as its retail value. Thus, wedding flowers are much more expensive than the same blooms sold for other purposes, and the same can be said for rings, cars, cakes, dresses, suits, and finger food, to name a few.

Once the couple have made a good start on amassing a debt of a suitable size, they proceed to contact all of their friends, families and acquaintances with thinly veiled demands for recompense. This often takes the form of a long list of household goods which must be provided before the guest will be allowed admittance to the ceremony itself.

Human weddings can occur in a variety of venues including religious buildings, but the main point of interest is the vows: a kind of promise which, if the evidence is anything to go by, both parties are prepared to read aloud, but which neither party is fully prepared to enact. On Gloabon, a team of top lawyers could make sure that such vows were enforced in every detail, forever, but on Earth, promises carry virtually no weight (see politics).

During the ceremony, most of the females cry, the juveniles scream, cry, and/or shout, and the males sit very still, their faces pale. The condition of the males may be attributed to their activities on the previous evening, during which, as a rite of passage, they are required to consume an entire deer or possibly an antelope (I wasn’t allowed to attend this ritual so I cannot be sure).

Once the couple are married, logic dictates that the proceedings should be drawn to a close, but on Earth, perhaps because the whole affair has cost so much money, everyone is determined to drag the event out for as long as possible. There follows a series of entertainments often including a meal of food items that are eaten at no other time. But the food hardly matters as everyone is determined to drink the place dry. This is an act of self-preservation, as being sufficiently numb is the only way that humans can tolerate what follows, namely, the speeches.

The speeches are not great examples of oration, but thanks to the lubricated state of the audience, every word is greeted warmly, and even greater merriment is demonstrated when, at last, the final speech is over.

At this point, the bride and groom may disappear and reappear in different costumes. What they have been up to in the meantime, I was too polite to ask, but I hardly need to draw you a picture.

In celebration of this moment, a party begins. The guests shuffle around in the manner of recently reanimated clones, and anyone who defies this convention with a display of expert dance manoeuvres is generally shunned.

There is a brief but invigorating fistfight, and somewhere just outside, at least one person is quietly sick.

The happy couple seize this chance to make a swift getaway with their haul of household goods, and to avoid any claims for compensation, they leave the country. Little do they suspect that their vehicle has been sabotaged by the guests, but the attempt to foil their escape is ineffectual, largely because a string of tin cans is not as effective an anchor as the humans seem to believe.

To avoid disappointment, I decided to help out by attaching a small “device” to the vehicle. The timer is rigged to go off just as the couple reach their destination, and I’m sure that when it detonates and the car is filled with expanding foam, everyone will be thrilled with my contribution.

In the meantime, I shall make myself scarce since one of the bridesmaids has been eyeing me lasciviously for some time, and I fear that it may be hard to extricate myself unless I leave immediately.

To sum up, if a human invites you to a wedding, you should seriously consider leaving the planet, but if you do accept, stay away from the punch which at best may well be hallucinogenic, and at worst, potentially lethal.

Until next time, stay green.



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