Friday, July 8, 2011

Serendipity, Cabela's and the mystery of the woman in the wedding dress

Hank and I were on the road in Nevada yesterday when his phone rang. It was a reporter who wanted to interview him about lamb.

Hank was more than happy to talk, but to avoid the pesky distraction of driving, he decided to pull off the freeway. And where did he pull off? Boomtown Road, in Verdi.

The Cabela's exit!

Hank sat for a bit in a Chevron parking lot with the truck idling. I fidgeted for a few seconds, then determined that the interview would not be brief, so I would have to take action. I grabbed my purse, got Hank's attention, pointed at Cabela's and bailed before he could object.


I wasn't planning to go "shopping"; I knew what I wanted, and I was going to be in and out in a heartbeat. I've been using a binocular harness for my camera on road trips with Hank, and I'd accidentally left it at home, so this was my opportunity to rectify that problem.

Once in the store, I asked directions and made a bee line to the optics department, and that's when I saw the weirdest damn thing I've ever seen in a hook-and-bullet store: a woman in a wedding dress, walking quickly toward the exit with a guy who was not in a tuxedo.

What the hell was that all about?

Option 1: Shotgun wedding. Boy meets girl. Boy knocks up girl. Girl's father insists they marry, so the couple heads to Reno. Girl dresses up, because her wedding is a moment she's always dreamed about. Boy doesn't dress up. Girl sees a lifetime of disappointment unfurling before her very eyes.

"The hell with it," she tells him. "The least you can do is buy me a shotgun so I can enjoy dove season before the baby is born."

Her new husband doesn't know a dove from a marmot, but realizing the need for peace in the marriage, he acquiesces.

And why not? In Nevada, you can get married without a waiting period, and you can buy guns without a waiting period - all in the same day!

Option 2: Speak now or forever hold your peace. Bride and groom are at the altar of the cheesy Reno wedding chapel. Just a few of their friends are in attendance. The rent-a-preacher reaches that fateful point in the ceremony: "If anyone objects to this marriage, let them speak now or forever hold their peace."

The bride's childhood buddy stands. This was the kid she used to ride bikes with, shoot cap guns with, build forts with. Once they were old enough, their parents sent them out into the woods with a single-shot .410 to hunt squirrels. He was the perfect pal. And he objected to this marriage.

The bride looks at her groom - handsome, smart and successful. A software engineer who had already bought a nice house in Silicon Valley. A busy man who was already married to his job, so he didn't spend much time in that house.

Then she looks at her childhood buddy - flannel shirt half un-tucked, hair disheveled, two days' growth covering his face. He lived in a trailer in Truckee, across the state line. He worked only enough to pay his meager rent and buy milk, beer and ammunition.

She admired that.

The bride apologized to the groom and ran out of the chapel with her buddy. Outside, they locked in a long embrace, kissed passionately and stared into each other's eyes.

"Let's celebrate by going to Cabela's," he told her.

She smiled. "Let's go!"

Option 3: ... No, why don't you guys write this one? Give it your best shot, leave it in a comment below, and the most ridiculous, outrageous or hilarious story posted by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time Monday (July 11) wins an autographed copy of Hank's book, Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast.

My only direction is to keep it relatively short and PG. And do me a favor: If I don't know you personally, either leave your email address in the comment, or email me here with the email address where I can contact you if you're the winner.

Have fun!

© Holly A. Heyser 2011


Josh said...

The "Cabela's Scam to get Cazadora to write about Cabela's because she no longer has advertisements on her site". It involves co-opting Hank (book press!).

Brandon Darnell said...

When her caterer canceled at the last minute, one bride decided she'd do whatever it took to ensure her guests had good meat for the reception.

Frankie B. said...

My first thought was along the same lines as your second... "Speak now or forever hold your piece." She realized she had forgotten hers and was taking care of the omission.

jryoung said...

Bride groom have actually been married for several years now. However, groom has had his attention wander the last couple of years and has focused his attention more to his visits to Cabelas than to his beautiful wife.

Prior to leaving for his latest trip to Cabelas his wife so aptly pointed out "what do you think is there that you didn't see in their 'Special Edition 50th Anniversary Catalog', or browsing online lastnight or since you were there last weekend".

"I don't know baby" he replies, "I'm sure there's something. You see everyday I go to Cabelas it's like one of the best days of my life"

"Really? One of the best days of your life? You know what was one of my best days of my life?" she asks.

"When I got you your rifle"?

"No dipsh!t, it was our wedding. I'm going with you today, let me get changed".......10 minutes later she get in the truck dressed in her wedding gown

NorCal Cazadora said...

Excellent! Keep 'em coming, folks!

Albert Quackenbush said...

Jilted bride is left at the alter. Embarrassed and fuming, she grabs the card box off the gift table and jumps in her truck and starts to drive. Contemplating her next move, she drives until fate directs her off the highway. The Cabelas sign speaks to her and on a mission, still in her wedding whites, heads for the firearm department...

Albert Quackenbush said...

P.S. The guy with her is just some store straggler who has no concept of the storm ahead!

hodgeman said...

"7 days my butt. I'm going to Nevada where they don't make jilted brides wait a week for justice... Hey would you look at that tall drink of water, and I do have all that booze in storage."

Deus Ex Machina said...

This is clearly a case of wanting to be prepared ... the bride, a school teacher, has convinced a young man to marry her, but he is having cold feet - 16 is really too young to make such a big commitment. The teacher, being worldly and wise, on the way to the wedding, must ensure that she has the appropriate equipment to keep the boy from running out. Her shopping cart was filled with a wide range of 'motivators', including the new Taurus 1911, 30' of Mendota Super Cord, a roll of Camo Duck Tape, a 2 lb bag of Cabela's Gourmet Beef Jerky, and a pair of super sexy camo boxer shorts (for her).

How do I know all this, you ask? She's my cousin. She was a bit late for the wedding, but after school let out gor the summer, they headed down to Florida to try and catch some of the NASCAR action. We sure wish them well.

Shewee woman said...

She was obviously on her way to the wedding but her nerves got the best of her and she realized that she was not going to make it without taking a wee. Being a outdoors woman she was prepared and had her Shewee with her, but knew that she would draw attention and possibly cause an accident if she stood up in her white dress and relieved herself along the road. She also knew that Cabelas was close so she darted in there to use the restroom. While in there though she couldn't help but to be drawn to the used gun racks where she drooled over the old smooth bores. Fondling them she questioned why in the world she was getting married and would he ever understand her love of firearms.
The minutes passed and her brother who was driving her, realizing her passion, decided it was time to go into the store and retrieve her before she was late for her own wedding. And, he knew just where to find her.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Ba ha ha ha ha...!

Shewee woman - bonus points for product placement! :-)

Richard Mellott said...

"I want a man who's not afraid to commit!" she growled, as he continued his shopping, unabashed.
He looked at her sternly, and replied, sotto voce, "Shh, honey, you're making a scene! I just need some 12 Gauge, 3.5 inch,number 2s, then we can get to the question at hand. I made the appointment with the preacher, didn't I? He's gonna be here any minute, and if I don't pick up the Camo Tux and the shells, how am I gonna pay him?"

Anonymous said...

I don't care what you say or how it plays out...Bonus Points for going and living in Truckee!

Bill C.-Orygun

Ingrid said...


A BRIDE in silk organza Oscar de la Renta wedding gown lies on her side in the dusty scrub. Next to her, the GROOM, in full-dress tails lies face down, jacket torn and blood splattered across his back. The Bride rouses from her stupor, spits dirt from her lips -- still stained crimson from her wedding makeup. In her hand: Sig Sauer P228.

A huge hairy hand yanks her by the arm and drags her like a carcass across the sage brush. Her dress gets pummeled in the dirt.

You're in a crapload of trouble, Missy.

Bride can't articulate. Her limbs are lead, her mouth doesn't work. It's obvious she's been drugged. Hairy Hands drags her to his F150. A BRUISER of a guy leaps out of the passenger door. Together, they lift her into the back of the F150, wipe down her dress, and cover her with a tarp.


The F150 careens into the lot and parks in a remote spot. Harry Hands runs into Cabela's, while Bruiser cracks a PBR in the cab.


Bruiser is sound asleep in the hot cab with the last of his beer trickling out of the PBR can. The Bride, now clear of the tarp, feeling just remnants of her Roofie, clamors over the back of the F150, stumbling into the parking lot.


Bride, in a daze, tries to get help. She grabs onto a Ghillie Suit display, taking it down with her woozy weight. She's still coming off the drugs, doesn't realize her dress is tainted just slightly with dirt and blood. Hairy Hands forks over some cash at the nearby counter and sees Bride wandering into the optics section. Holy crap. He drops the cash, no change, grabs his bag and runs over to her. A manager and a few customers approach her, ready to help.

Melinda, sweetheart, holy hell, what happened to you? Honey, we've got to get you to a hospital.

(to an employee)
Frank, call an ambulance!

I'm not ... Melinda. Ambulance, yes please.

Listen, my truck is right out there. I can beat the EMTs to Verdi General.

No, I . . .

(sotto, for her ears only)
Listen, bee-atch, you've got the marks of your bad deed all over you. I don't think you want any extra attention right now.

He shuffles her to the door.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Oh. My. God. That was really elaborate. LOVE IT!

Tovar@AMindfulCarnivore said...

Wow, Ingrid. I'm not even trying to compete with that. Want it or not, you may have a copy of Hank's book soon. ;-)

Ingrid said...

Tovar, it appears I get any suppressed aggression out on the keyboard. ;)

Hil said...

It is not out of the question that the wedding was actually taking place IN the Cabela's store. Stranger things have happened. People have gotten married in Wal-Marts and Waffle Houses for crying out loud, why not the sporting goods store?

My sister got married in a church but the groom and groomsmen wore camo button-up shirts and we bridesmaids wore cowboy boots. The cake was camo and they had duck calls on the every table at the reception instead of clinking spoons on glasses.

David J Blackburn said...

Just fitting the dress for a short pull.

Rehearsal for an early September wedding, complete with dove release.

Figure it out.

Shotgun Kat said...

Scenario 3: They were at Cabela's because there's no Bass Pro in town. :)

(Side note, I am actually considering getting married at Bass Pro Rancho Cucamonga, CA - because we don't have a Cabela's here. PLUS it's FREE and if you get married in November, like me and my angler boyfriend are, then there's plenty of decor without having to buy/add your own. They will even provide you with chairs and set them up for you - right there in front of the big fish tank. The Long Beach Aquarium charges $8K for the same thing. The attached restaurant makes a perfect reception place and it comes at a much more affordable rate than a wedding caterer. And how dope would it be to register for camo picnic baskets, his and hers bows and lay down blinds!?)

NorCal Cazadora said...

All right, folks, we have a winner ... and a runoff vote! Check out the new post here.

NorCal Cazadora said...

And the winner of the People's Choice run-off? Shewee Woman!