The Matchbook Girl

I have a friend, who we'll call Nina, who has some magic powers. She is a force to be reckoned with - when she lets loose, there is no ignoring it. All of this is a delicate way of saying she has some devastatingly stinky farts. Nina can clear a room without even trying. She's aware of it though, owning up to her odors, as well as attempting to find ways to limit its potency against others.

Nina and I were recently guests at Jocelyn and Ben's wedding in Kentucky. We stayed with many of the other twenty-somethings of dubious employment statuses in a communal guest house. I had never previously met one of the fellow guests and guest house dwellers, Stephanie. Stephanie was remarkably funny and also had the distinction of being the wedding's flower girl. When I asked her how someone in her mid-20s was granted the role of flower girl, she retorted, "I'm the most retarded of all of Ben and Jocelyn's friends." She had a point.

Stephanie and Nina hit it off, but Stephanie was taken aback one night when Nina's flatulence made an especially grand entrance, for which Nina apologized. Despite being in a large house, she couldn't find matches anywhere, which were generally one of NIna's best weapons in harnessing her odors, so she vowed to buy some.

Later than that, Nina stopped at Walgreens to buy some matches - more for everyone else's sake than her own. Amusingly, the smallest amount of matches she could buy was fifty books, or 1000 matches. Though it cost only a little over two dollars, that was a lot of matches for a weekend vacation, even for Nina. She joked that she could eat whatever she wanted with that many matches in hand.

Although Nina solved one problem by being able to mask unpleasant scents by lighting matches, she now had a new comical problem: what to do with fifty matchbooks? I'm pretty sure trying to bring dozens of matchbooks back home on an airplane constitutes terrorism. We brainstormed uses for that many matches, but all of the initial plans involved a lot of fire and, hence, danger.

Ultimately, however, I think I came up with the perfect solution: if there could be a grown flower girl, why not add Nina into the wedding procession as well? Start a new tradition: the Matchbook Girl. At some point before the bride takes her walk, Nina could toss books of matches out to the adoring crowd. The guests fortunate enough to catch a book could then light a match during the ceremony in solidarity with the couple as a symbol of their love. We wouldn't have to tell anyone that the matches were originally bought to cover up the smell of feces.

I offered to pay Nina a lot of money - or, well, enough money to buy 2000 matches - if she would go through with the plan. It'd be even better if Nina didn't seek permission, but just took it upon herself to jump into the line at the last minute and throw matches around as if it were an appropriate gesture, much to the befuddlement of others. She'd be the talk of the reception, and we could just tell the Kentucky rubes that it was a "Jewish custom" or something... you know how they love their Menorahs and all.

Alas, Nina didn't go through with it, but the mental picture is enough to make me laugh still. If I ever get married, you can bet I'm going to have a Matchbook Girl as part of the ceremony.

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