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Sometimes in life, you have these encounters that affect you profoundly—things to be remembered forever. One such one for Bob was way back in the day when he was a teenager and got a very unique and powerful spin on long-term marriage from some life-wi(s/z)ened, gray-haired, French Canadian cat called Lulu he worked with. When hardcore life experience got dished out by him, you know it was real—the kind of stuff you could never make up yourself unless you’ve been through it. To this day, it gives Bob something to think about. But before we get to that nugget of conciousness, let's lay out some basic groundwork in preparation thereof. 

There’s generally a lot of stuff out there on the topic of marriage and how it needs to be done and managed over time as the years and decades go by together in harmony and happiness. Righto. 


Gary Busey had a thought on it. He was married the first time for about 22 years, 4 years the second time, and probably had a few other relationships to form the basis of his wisdom on this topic.

Now, by pure coink-e-dink, Bob has the same birthday as our marriage-opining actor. Whether or not you believe this is a good thing re shared birthday, and any personality comparison therein, just keep in mind that Gary was out riding his Harley without a helmet back in December 1988, when he hit his head real hard on the curb after being thrown off his machine. D’oh! More details on that serious mishap here and here. Unfortunately, things weren’t the same for him thereafter. It wasn’t long after that he got divorced in 1990. So maybe one wonders if he started to see marriage in a completely different light after all those years, or the accident introduced some clarity on the matter.

One all-important element in the vast majority of long-term marriages that keeps cropping up is one of Kom-mUn-E-Kay-shun [sic] and (starting to try) understanding your significant other.


N.B. Before reading any / all below, be aware Bob did some digging online for equally-dishing stuff from the ladies as regards their men in marriage, but, alas, after a few hours of watching / listening, the stuff he found was either NOT funny, WAY too long and ramblng (like, Hello?!), or was just not edited right at others' hands ... so he just moved on. Ping his ass, and he can send you what he found to prove his point. 

Jeff Allen has some good advice in this area. This is very important to your wife, so pay attention, fellas. 


If this area of focus is a problem for some of the guys out there, there is a "pharma" fix to help quickly boost personal capability in this department.



If popping pills isn’t your thing, there is always the high technology approach to save the day. Plus, this second solution works both ways to help your wife also understand what's being said by you in her direction. 


Another facet in the mix over time is that married life kinda falls into a routine, especially once the kiddies arrive to change the playing field up even more. 


This long-time married cat, Walter (The Old Grumpy Man), has it down pat as well, just like Lulu did. He is steered ably at the hands (and mouth) of Jeff Dunham.



Tim Hawkins, Bob Smiley, and John Branyan have a go on a few of the little things one learns along the way. A few snippets from their 2011 Rock Show Comedy Tour are below. 


Okay, so much for the niceties and polite posturing. It's time to break out one of the Big Gunz of Comedy on this matter. No holds barred with our main man shootin' it straight. 


So ... after all those other menfolks’ slant on things, Lulu’s take was still “out there” and highly unique, as sucked up, verbatim, right out of the book. He was able to sum it up in a simple  and short sentence. 

[BNB] “So, tell me,” I asked, “what’s it like being married 42 years to the same woman?”

No doubt herein lay some esoteric knowledge or a profound kernel of wisdom. I turned to face him and drink it all in. I was eager for a revelation about such a revered institution.

[Lulu] “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, you know,” he said, not skipping a beat, “same old hole …” and, shrugging his shoulders, “… same old hair.” He turned, half-smiled, and grunted, “Back to work, you
maudit anglais cocksucker!”

FYI, "maudit anglais" translated from French equates to "damn" or "bloody" and "English."

No matter how many weddings Bob went to thereafter, that encounter from a summer day back in 1983 was always on his mind in the background—something to make him think about shite. Occasionally, a few well-chosen words go a long way. Stuff runs deep.

You can make of all this whatever you want, but forewarned is forearmed, the omniscient "they" always like to say. 





Bob ain't being cynical about this topic. He's just looking at, processing, and spewing out, in unbiased fashion of course (just as the media does with the news), what other folks be saying about marriage after many years in the trenches with their significant other(s), as the case may be.

His ass has been lucky enough to hit a few weddings all over the world as some single guy, have a little fun along the way, and then observe what unfolds thereafter. And you can read about it all, plus  a whole lot more about what goes on out there in the world, in this book. 

 
 
Subject: Prologue - St-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!
(Posted on Aug 12, 2014 at 04:48PM ) Tags:
When a place has a unique name like this one, it sticks in your head. In my case, St-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! goes back decades to when I was a teenager and working with some old guy called Lulu as mentioned at the start of Wedding Chronicles.


Where does the name come from and what does it mean? It ‘s a small place in the province of Quebec and it appears the basic origins of the name are derived from an old French word, ha-ha, for an unexpected obstacle, as explained here in this Condé Nast Traveler piece. More on the word etymology can be found here and here, focusing on the "wall" aspect. 

Note its location on the map just above Maine, so maybe, one day, if deemed of strategic importance like Crimea (or just because it has a really kool name), the whole area could be annexed by America. 

The place’s main claim to fame seems to be that it is the only settlement name in the world with two exclamation points. There is Westward Ho! In Devon, England, but with only one exclamation point at play, it’s not nearly the same and must be only half as good. There are actually three other names in Quebec with the same telltale  “Ha! Ha!” action going down, with a pair of Baie des Ha! Ha! (bays) and a Rivière Ha! Ha! (river). The double-down bay name in particular reminds me of a related posting months back on the repetitive (and confusing) usage of Saint(e)-François(e) throughout the province historically. 

So apart from the name itself, what else is kool, groovy and interesting about this place? Ever inquisitive, I did a little digging in both English and French. The town has its own basic website, but is in French only alas, so guess they aren’t really trying to push the global tourism thing. Remember, we’re in Quebec after all. Français seulement, mon ami (French only, my friend).

A few touristy type things are listed on the town's website with a big park, garden, campground on nearby Lac Dôle (lake), golf course, and an astronomy center in the local area. Note this last element is even nailed prominently in the local coat of arms. 


Hey, if all that doesn’t excite you to go visit the place, maybe this stuff does, going back  to 2012 and a boucane or “burnout” festival of sorts. It appears this has been held there at least a couple times now. Schweet!


No doubt this is another way to get your town on the map. Maybe this kind of enthralling activity turns your crank big time, but it's not worth the trip for most, especially if the distance is large and you have better things to do. Hey, when you’re cracking 1,318 on the population front, there can’t be that much going on most of the time, or even on a Saturday night for that matter.

I tried to dig a litle deeper for even more exciting stuff going on there, but didn’t really come up with anything more of note. Go figure. Bob be trying his best here, to put global hotspots in their best possible light and with pository marketing spin. 

Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do, like some single guy who keeps hitting weddings all around the world. Call it what you will, be it hobby, affliction, or maybe it all just happened by coink-e-dink. And no, I haven’t been to a wedding in Saint.-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, but otherwise have been to another place about half that population size, somewhere deep in remote Canuckistan. That one, #93, is for the second book in the trilogy.



Some things in life, you don’t need to necessarily experience to know enough to stay away from altogether, like, erhm, say sumpin’ like  anal electrocution.

                                     Illustration Credit: Bobbissimo

Or when someone who has been there already with some life experience,  usually suffering for it, and offers up some deep and heartfelt advice. One needs to remember that stuff for future reference. You just know from the way they said it, that they have lived it, and it’s sooooo true. Those kernels of wisdom doled out from time to time most certainly apply to marriage. Stay alert and focused to pick up on these gems when they come across your radar.

Way back when, when I was a teen, I got some of that type of insight from Lulu as recounted in the book, when I asked him what it was like to be married 42 years. Tough to follow and fathom when you’ve just turned 18 at the time, and he’s 63.  His reply was short (at only six words total, and two words were each used twice to boot, for added effect). I still ain’t no closer to getting married after all these years, but know that Lulu’s words ring really true. He had it going on, when it came to life lessons like that.

Here are a few more tips for all the married fellas out there, on how to navigate those perilous waters with longterm success. Learn from your other shackled comrades in arms and their past faux pas and serious speed bumps they have experienced along the way. We guys can all learn!

This guy knows what he’s doing for sure in this sweet little clip, and it all sounds so much better and credible with a posh British accent.


Then there's the scoop on all the poop when a guy is thrown into the proverbial doghouse by da Boss in his life for having a crack moment or brief lack of focus with disastrous consequences.


Tim Hawkins has a fine singing version chocka blocka of good advice for all the married fellas out there.



There are always those simple but highly effective tips humanity can borrow from the animal kingdom. This one is a classic around out there on the Web for several years now in various locations, but it still presses home the message effectively. 

SINGLE


MARRIAGE


DIVORCE


MARITAL BLISS
                              Source: Serkan on MemeCenter.com

So, at the end of the day, why would any (soon-to-be) married guy listen to all this marriage knowledge / experience coming from some still-single guy who has spent a lot of his time, effort and $$$ going to weddings all around the world?  Well, as the ever-astute  Dr. LoveSexy once said, "Yo, I ain't had no safe fall on my head yet either, but I know it would hurt."

You can bank on that for sure.
 
Subject: Prologue - Saint(e)-François(e)
(Posted on Jan 21, 2014 at 10:40PM ) Tags:
One might think that a simple name like Saint-François (Saint Francis) and its companion feminine derivative, Sainte-Françoise, would be a straightforward matter. No, no, no, because we are talking Catholic Church in Quebec. Lulu knew this stuff dead cold, and went on a lot about it to me back when I was working together with him as a teenager.

In fact, there are so many places of the same base name, that the omniscient “ they” (i.e. the Church) had to put a lot of descriptive extensions thereafter to keep them all straight. Yet Lulu had them all down pat inside his head. Of course he did! 

Remember, for the purposes of this discussion, we are keeping it all inside Quebec.  It’s crazy, but here’s a non-exhaustive list:

Saint-François (Laval)
Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans
Saint-François-de-la-Rivière-du-Sud
Saint-François-Ouest
Saint-François-Régis
Saint-François-Solano
Saint-François-Station
Saint-François-du-Lac (of/on  the lake)
Saint-François-de-Sales
Saint-François-d'Assise

Note there are several "Saint-François-Xavier," "Saint-François-d'Assise", and "Saint-François-de-Sales" spots. And with all of the above, there is further discrimination between a village, geographical area, and an unincorporated area. Makes perfect sense to me!

It is also an electoral district, Saint-François, created in 1972 as well. D-oh! What the #@&%?!

Yo, it’s a river, and a lake (and national park/wildlife area)! 
Saint-François (River)
Lac (Lake) Saint-François
Plage (Beach) St-François - summer hamlet on south shore of Lac Saint-François
Baie St-François - long open bay of Lac Saint-François in front of Valleyfield

Naturally, to stay consistent, there is also a second Lac Saint François as well, but in all fairness, it's (usually) called Le Grand (Big) lac Saint François, but I wonder if it is actually bigger than the other one. Hey, why not a third while we're at it?

Add an “e” to both ends of the name in general, making it feminine, and may the mayhem morph much more. This be out of control.

Sainte-Françoise (Bas-Saint-Laurent)
Sainte-Françoise (Centre-du-Québec)
Sainte-Françoise-de-Lotbinière
Sainte-Françoise-de-Cabrini
Sainte-Françoise-Cabrini (it ain’t the same as the one above)
Sainte-Françoise-Romaine (x2 actually; yeah, I know, go figure)

Want to ever hide from folks? Who needs to run off to some remote spot off the grid. Just tell them you are in Saint(e)-François(e). Be nice and specific—let ‘em know it’s in the province of Quebec., to give them a fair start. 

Here’s a great resource if you are REALLY curious about all this, and have some spare time on your hands.
Canadian Geographical Names Data Base (CGNDB)
You can query this puppy all day long for mounds of mirth and mischief.

This other place name site was also pretty useful as well.

Hey, don’t blame me for all this. I just grew up there well after the fact. My head hurt just even trying to put this all together in rather rough form as it is.

And the world ain’t complicated either. Best to stick to single guy wedding travels all over the world for fun and games.