Wednesday, September 05, 2007


A few weeks ago, I went to Men’s Wearhouse, as instructed by my son, to rent a tux for his wedding. A slender, attractive, young woman greeted me and said, “How tall are you?”

I straightened up a bit and lied. A little.

Then she said, “And how much do you weigh?”

I sucked in my gut and lied again. A little more.

We sat down at a wide table and she proceeded to fill out a rental form. I noticed that in one box she had written, in large capital letters, “F O G.”

“Um, in the online groups where I hang out, FOG stands for fat, old guy. I mean, maybe it’s true, but do you have to write it on the form?”

“Actually, it stands for father of the groom.”


At the wedding last weekend, I sat between my wife—the SMOG—who accompanied me down the aisle, and my ex-wife, the MOG, who followed us down the aisle accompanied by my younger son, the best man and BOG.

The day, despite all the inauspicious acronyms, was sunny, dry, and delightful. The following morning, however, the B and G left for Greece, where smoke, if not fog and smog, awaited them.

Meanwhile, the following question arose: The SMOG, upon being reminded that the wedding was at four o’clock, remarked that she was taught as a child that weddings should always be at an hour divisible by four. Neither of us could find any confirmation of the existence of this custom, though, despite some creative searching. When I asked the wedding planner, she confirmed that my wife was correct; however, all of her books are packed, awaiting a move of her office that is to take place after she returns from an out-of-state wedding next weekend. It may be some time before she can dig out the reference. So, if you have heard of such a custom and can point to a resource (I’ve already checked Emily Post), please post a comment. Editors around the world are waiting with bated breath for the answer.

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