A wondrous wedding was just about taking place in Wonderland.

“How nice the bride looks” thought Alice “But the Groom seems anxious”

“When will this ceremony ever end” barked the Groom “there’s been too much delay.  I won’t countenance any further delay!”

                   “Ten years ago, on a cold dark night,
someone was killed ‘neath the town hall lights.
There were few at the scene but they all agreed
that the slayer who ran looked a lot like me.

The Pastor had greeted the guests:

“We’re gathered here today” he began “for bitter or worse bitter, for poorer or poorest.  We’re not here to sow; we’re here to reap.  We’ve gathered together to gather together.  Now do you, my son, take this bride to be your wife, to honour and obey her no matter what; to spend only when she tells you to spend, what she tells you to spend and only on what she tells you; to take all your family’s money and give to her foreign friends; to use syntax to create more sin tax; and then to tax some more no matter what; and to do so for the rest of your natural life and beyond ‘til debt do you part because she must be obeyed above all others, so help you IMF?”

“Yes, yes” the Groom answered “anything, anything she says.  We’ve done this before.  Why’s she so silent”

                   “She walks these hills, in a long black veil.
She visits my grave, when the night winds wail.
Nobody knows, nobody sees, nobody knows, but me.

“Now, my son” the pastor continued, “have you completed all prior actions required to consummate this marriage?  Did you raise money for her friends by lulling banks to sleep with Necromantic Delusional Xanax (NDX)? Did you encourage all employees to mortgage their future wages to her friends?  Did you convince all who took the NDX and mortgaged their wages that they were “patriotic”? Did you agree to worship her debt over all others?  Did you waive waivers?  No SUVs for anyone outside the family?”

                   “The judge said son, what is your alibi?
If you were somewhere else, then you won’t have to die.
I spoke not a word, though it meant my life
for I’d been in the arms of my best friend’s wife.

“Yes, I did everything” a desperate Groom stammered “I know I was unfaithful before but I’m changed now.  This time around, she can trust me.  Why don’t you ask her if she’ll marry me now?  I must have this wedding.  I must borrow more.  Must borrow more.  Or die…”

But the bride remained silent.  She continued to adjust her veil.  Nobody could see her face.  Nobody knew if it was even the real bride standing there quiet as a mouse.

“Soon, my son” Pastor murmured, “can’t you see she’s talking to her family?  At least she’s thinking about it. But she needs her family’s support. Maybe they don’t like you.  Maybe they don’t trust you.”           

“What’s the problem?’ the Groom shouted “I’ve done everything.  Why do you delay?  I repeat, I won’t countenance delay!  I need you to IMF me right now.  Or, at least, soon.”

The Bride spoke not a word.  She just turned and walked away.  The groom wasn’t prepared for this.  He’d expected the wedding.  He’d predicted the wedding.  He knew it would happen.  It had to happen.  He called out for her to come back to him.  But she just turned and walked away.

                   “Now the scaffold is high, and eternity’s near.
She stood in the crowd, and shed not a tear.
But, some times at night, when the cold wind moans,
in a long black veil, she cries over my bones.

The groom tried to say he was sorry; that he’d behave better in future; that he’d NEVER take her for granted again.  But he only heard when the Pastor asked “Any last words, my son?”

                   “She walks these hills in a long black veil.
She visits my grave when night winds wail.
Nobody knows, nobody sees; nobody knows but me.

“Long Black Veil” was written for music legend Johnny Cash by Manjohn Wilkin and Danny Dill.  Like so many of Cash’s hits, it was first recorded during a live performance (this one at Folsom Prison).  Johnny Cash, a true friend of Jamaica when he was alive, is still the only artiste to be inducted into the Country Music, Songwriters and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame.

Peace and Love


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