Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Now Pronounce You...

Missing in Action

People tease Las Vegas and make fun of the Valley of the Dollars. They say things like "An honest judge is one who will stay bought," and "Its a cultural wasteland," and even, "Ya' seen one, ya' seen 'em both." None of those myths are true, of course - ok, maybe one is but I won't tell you which one.

One of the draws of Las Vegas is the wedding industry. Weddings happen with more regularity here than doubling down on the 21 table. Chapels conduct a huge and profitable business and competition among them is keen - so keen in fact that some owners will sometimes use questionable sales techniques to get couples to their love den, especially on Valentines day and dates such as 7/11 (for good luck). The all-time Las Vegas date, 7/7/7 saw promotions that would make the staunchest bachelor reconsider.

Stiff competition and shady marketing as well as questionable practices got the Las Vegas Garden of Love wedding chapel closed down. Seems their aggressive marketing and practice of having the owner witness weddings even when she was across the country fell into the "She loves me not" category and the county revoked the Garden's license.

But things just got curiouser and curiouser. Not only did the signature of a witness appear on marriage documents while the witness was deep in the heart of Texas but ministers who swore, dammit, that the ceremonies were legal were punched out of the pulpit. Therefore some 17 marriages that had been performed in that chapel invalid. The witness, not unlike Elvis, had left the building. Three ministers felt the wrath of the good Clark County Clerk. One minister so defrocked listed himself as the campus pastor at the Beyond Walls International Church. We're not sure where he is currently tending his flocks.

I am sure this scenario will be discussed in law school classes. Can the hooker who discovers she's been paid with a counterfeit bill sue for rape? Are the couples whose marriage licenses are signed by a phantom witness living in sin? Can a defrocked pastor reflock? How about a little blogging music... does anybody know "I'm Dancing With Tears in my Eyes 'Cause the Gal in My Arms Ain't My Wife?"

Dr. Forgot

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