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Some weddings are a gamble


At the last wedding reception I attended, most of my time wa spent quietly sipping a Molson Light and watching 200 drunks do the Hokey Pokey.

All in all, it was a chilling ordeal. They say all brides look beautiful on their wedding day, but this one looked like a young Peter Ustinov, which seemed to set the tone for the entire affair.

The food was lousy, the band stunk and when the first strains of "The Hokey-Pokey" drifted across the room, I took it as a sign that the world was coming to an end.

Just then, an intoxicated woman with smeared lipstick and a huge pearl necklace grabbed my arm and tried to yank me up to the dance floor.

Luckily, I was able to deliver a crisp karate chop with my free hand that caught her right above the wrist, causing her to convulse with laughter and let go. Then she grabbed some other poor fool's arm and shanghaied him into dancing.

Anyway, I mention all this because the trophy for Wedding of the Year was surely wrapped up two weeks ago, when Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham married South African dancer Felicity deJager at the understated Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.

The Trump Taj Mahal . . . I don't know. Is this really the ideal setting for a young couple beginning a new life together?

Trashy showgirls prancing about in garish, cleavage-baring sequins, old men in Mets T-shirts and Bermuda shorts listlessly punching quarters into slot machines, blue-haired grandmothers giddy from three mimosas yelling for a Vic Damone encore at 2 in the morning . . . call me a killjoy, but none of it seems to jibe with the holy bonds of matrimony.

Tour buses belching forth great clouds of exhaust along with 200 members of the Garden Club of Suffern, N.Y., slinky call girls eyeing every businessman at the bar who flashes a Rolex, beefy Gambino family associates wolfing down triple decker club sandwiches while scamming to corner the hotel's linen-cleaning contract . . . are these the sort of mental snapshots one wants on one's wedding day?

What happened, was the Elvis Chapel in Vegas booked?

But . . . live and let live, I always say. Who am I to criticize anyone's wedding? Me, a man so insecure that he sits at wedding receptions frozen and unsmiling and nursing a watery Canadian beer while the other guests (all latent alcoholics -- let's call a spade a spade) shuffle mindlessly to what is essentially a stupid children's song?

Did I mention the guest list at the Cunningham-deJager affair?

I should probably mention that.

More than 800 people were invited, including singer Whitney Houston and world heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield.

Think about that: 800 people! If I tried to find 800 people who had touched my life in some way, pretty soon I'd be down to the janitor from elementary school (Mr. Heep, who walked with a limp, as they all do) and the girl at Wendy's who straightens up the salad bar.

I mean, who has 800 friends and relatives? But there they were at the Taj, dining on filet mignon with bearnaise sauce and asking the question that wedding guests have pondered since tTC time immemorial: Should you stick on 17 and have the dealer hit you on 16, or vice-versa?

(Again, none of this should be taken as criticism. Hell, at my wedding reception, people were fighting each other for the Cheez Whiz and asking: "Did anyone pump the keg?" So I'm not one to talk.)

By the way, no word (at least none that I read) about whether Mr. Hard Times himself, Donald Trump, attended the Cunningham-deJager nuptials.

It wouldn't surprise me if he did though. The man has been spotted in plenty of other places lately, laying his clammy hands on everyone and patting the tummy of girlfriend Marla Maples, whom he reportedly once introduced thusly: "This is Marla . . . she's knocked up, y'know."

Yeah, that's The Donald. Smooth as velvet. Now I see where Trump is saying that, with Marla in a family way, he might marry her -- although he says this with the same enthusiasm you'd use to announce: "I might buy some snow tires this winter."

More minutia on the big to-do at the Trump Taj: Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham had to actually climb a flight of stairs to cut the wedding cake, which stood 14 tiers high and weighed 350 pounds.

Clearly, this was not one of those receptions where you had to worry about them running out of Kraft singles slices at the buffet table.

No word on whether the band played "The Hokey Pokey," although of course that's something you don't want the papers to get hold of.

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