I would like to take this opportunity to introduce my fianceè, the love of my life, the inspiration for 80% of my worst ideas, Richard Handl. Richard and I planned to be wed next month, but his pending incarceration in Sweden put a hitch in our plans. We also considered eloping, like Pete and Haylea (congrats you two!!), but the opportunity to throw a depression-era hobo themed wedding (seriously, follow that link, it’s mind blowing) was just too good to pass up. Sadly, of course, we have had to postpone the development of our nuclear family due to Richard’s arrest:
(08-03) 08:33 PDT STOCKHOLM, (AP) –
A Swedish man who was arrested after trying to split atoms in his kitchen said Wednesday he was only doing it as a hobby.
Richard Handl told The Associated Press that he had the radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium in his apartment in southern Sweden when police showed up and arrested him on charges of unauthorized possession of nuclear material.
The 31-year-old Handl said he had tried for months to set up a nuclear reactor at home and kept a blog about his experiments, describing how he created a small meltdown on his stove.
Only later did he realize it might not be legal and sent a question to Sweden’s Radiation Authority, which answered by sending the police.
“I have always been interested in physics and chemistry,” Handl said, adding he just wanted to “see if it’s possible to split atoms at home.”
The police raid took place in late July, but police have refused to comment. If convicted, Handl could face fines or up to two years in prison.
Although he says police didn’t detect dangerous levels of radiation in his apartment, he now acknowledges the project wasn’t such a good idea.
“From now on, I will stick to the theory,” he said. (Via.)
The story doesn’t mention his motives, but I finally feel comfortable revealing the true story. In a desperate bid to pay for our $60,000 hobo wedding, Richard attempted to create fissionable material in the kitchen. And you know the worst part? He ruined my Kitchen-Aid mixer.
It’s really too bad the hobo wedding kids didn’t also decide to stick to theory. I mean seriously, look at this:
On Memorial Day weekend 2011, my groom and I joined hands, entwined bootlaces and shared a single bean in matrimony at what very well may be the first hobo-themed wedding. We invited our friends and family to share in our happiest of days, wear their shabbiest, drink moonshine, eat their fill of BBQ and pie, dance to a live jug band and howl at the moon.
We got to work researching the Depression era and hobo culture. As we prepared to make everything for our wedding, we collected feed sack dresses and old work boots, antique hand-stitched quilts and jug band instruments. After reading that the word “hobo” may be a syllabic abbreviation of “homeward bound,” we fell in love with the notion!
Dear, if you fell in love with the notion then your research is probably incomplete.
Things I see here: an overabundance of well fed, clean, healthy people. Things I don’t see here: crushing poverty, a total lack of healthcare, grinding struggles against social injustice. Starvation. Lice. Bedbugs.
One of the comments on the Etsy blog kind of struck me: “What a memorable wedding for you two and all that attended I am sure… so very creative and oh so comfortable!! very best wishes for many years of happiness.” Yes…. comfortable. I’m sure that’s why hobos dressed the way they did. It was all about comfort. Sure. I do have to say though, what a god awful way to start your marriage. Any time anyone asks these two about their wedding the conversation will go something like this:
“So what was your wedding like?”
“Well, we threw a Depression era hobo themed shindig….”
“Oh that’s…. unique”
“Yeah, it was actually really pretty, but we spent the first month of our marriage at the center of an internet firestorm. In retrospect it maybe wasn’t a good idea”
While I think these two were pretty insensitive and unintentionally offensive, I do wish them the best in life. I hope you two are happy together, I actually do.
Obviously, though, these kids never heard the William Shatner and Joe Jackson cover of Pulp’s Common People.
She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge,
she studied sculpture at Saint Martin’s College,
that’s where I,
caught her eye.
She told me that her Dad was loaded,
I said “In that case I’ll have a rum and coca-cola.”
She said “Fine.”
and in thirty seconds time she said,
“I want to live like common people,
I want to do whatever common people do,
I want to sleep with common people,
I want to sleep with common people,
Well what else could I do -
I said “I’ll see what I can do.”
I took her to a supermarket,
I don’t know why but I had to start it somewhere,
so it started there.
I said pretend you’ve got no money,
she just laughed and said,
“Oh you’re so funny.”
I said “yeah?
Well I can’t see anyone else smiling in here.
Are you sure you want to live like common people,
you want to see whatever common people see,
you want to sleep with common people,
But she didn’t understand,
she just smiled and held my hand.
Rent a flat above a shop,
cut your hair and get a job.
Smoke some fags and play some pool,
pretend you never went to school.
But still you’ll never get it right,
cos when you’re laid in bed at night,
watching roaches climb the wall,
if you call your Dad he could stop it all.
You’ll never live like common people,
you’ll never do what common people do,
you’ll never fail like common people,
you’ll never watch your life slide out of view,
and dance and drink and screw,
because there’s nothing else to do.
Sing along with the common people,
sing along and it might just get you through,
laugh along with the common people,
laugh along even though they’re laughing at you,
and the stupid things that you do.
Because you think that poor is cool.
Like a dog lying in a corner,
they’ll bite you and never warn you.
They’ll tear your insides out.
‘Cause Everybody hates a tourist,
especially one who thinks
it’s all such a laugh.
Yeah, and the chip stains’ grease
will come out in the bath.
You will never understand
how it feels to live your life
with no meaning or control
and with nowhere left to go.
You’re amazed that they exist
and they burn so bright,
while you can only wonder why.
You’ll still be my best man, right Puffin?
PS: Wish me luck everyone, round one of big scary dental surgery starts at 3pm. If anyone sees me making a run for it please apprehend me and return me, kicking and screaming, to the dentist’s office.