MAD DOG: Read This Before You Get Married

If you ever find yourself lying in bed in the morning and you stop coughing long enough to say to yourself, "You know, maybe I was wrong. There really isn't much of a difference between men and women," give me a call. Not only is there a bigger difference between the two sexes than all the light years between Mars and Venus, but I have the proof.To find out for yourself, all you have to do is find a couple who is about to be married and get yourself invited to both the bachelor party and the bachelorette party. This happened to me and I must admit, it gave me fresh insight into why I'm still single.The bachelorette invitation came first. It was fun, typeset, and nicely printed. The bachelor invitation came much later -- it was a phone call the afternoon of the event. Being moderately well raised by my parents, I did the only thing a socially obligated person could do under those circumstances: I went to both events.The first stop was the bachelor party. The truth is, if I thought this would be a stereotypical bachelor party complete with stag films, sexually willing sheep, and Camille Paglia jumping out of a cake I wouldn't have gone within two miles of the place. But neither did I expect to find what I did: six adult males smoking cigars while discussing music, sports, and the Philadelphia Mummer's parade with the same pride, bravado, and male bonding they would have exhibited had they been swapping the war stories none of them had. All that was missing was a bottle of dusty cognac, big overstuffed leather chairs, and their pants hiked up to their armpits.After an hour of yawn stifling I moved on to the bachelorette party. As I opened the door I was confronted with thirty women and a half dozen men wearing name badges that read "Hello, My Name Is [nothing we can print in a family newspaper]" while drinking their guts out, yelling at the top of their lungs, and lewdly dancing with absolutely no regard for the fact that there were people with cameras who would be set for life if they a propensity for blackmail. Or at least a Web site.That was only the tip of the differential iceberg. At the wake -- I mean, the bachelor party -- the men stood around the kitchen smoking cigars while listening to Louis Jordan. The women, on the other hand, chain-smoked cigarettes while jumping on the tables screaming because they hadn't heard a Prince song in well over three minutes.The men drank cans of beer and bottles of water while eating chips and salsa. The women -- as you might have already guessed -- had a keg of beer, more whiskey and tequila than a well stocked bar mitzvah, and a buffet that included deli platters, stuffed jalapenos, party sandwiches, a basket of condoms, and four desserts which no one touched except to throw at each other and provocatively lick off.Then there were the rituals. At the heart of the bachelor party was a lengthy discussion of the differences between two types of cigars -- fat and fatter -- a conversation which started anew each time someone else showed up. Just in case this wouldn't be enough, they had two videos which they threatened to watch including Bachelor Party, which prompted the groom-of-honor to announce that he hates 80's comedies, especially ones starring Tom Hanks.The bachelorette party also had its rituals, like the game which consisted of seeing who could write the rudest caption on a photo cut out of a bridal magazine and playing Spin the Vibrator. My favorite though, was the one in which three randomly chosen women were wrapped in toilet paper bridal gowns that would have made Mr. Whipple squeeze more than the Charmin.But before you leave with the impression that the bachelor party was, well, no fun, I have to admit that I didn't get back there as I intended. For all I know it might have gotten completely out of control by the time the last cigar was smoked, the discussion about whether Evian is better than San Pellegrino subsided, and the 80's comedy videos featuring the future Mr. Gump were rewound.But I'll never know. Somehow I got waylaid by a house full of women whose idea of a good time is drinking, smoking, dancing, eating, and playing rude party games. Go figure.

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