When I read this article, I was shocked...that I don't know either Mr. Mitchko or Mr. Hopkins. I have no idea how I'm not writing about this story from the perspective of an eyewitness.
You know how this goes: The reception's over and everyone in the wedding party is slowly but surely getting their shit together to get on the hotel shuttle, where the party will likely continue. But Saturday night, just south of Pittsburgh, a couple of Yinzers had other ideas.*Deadspin has a video—shot by some of the duo's friends—of the two joyriders motoring down the road in the golf cart. Unfortunately they don't provide any embed code or link, so you'll have to go there to view it.
According to the Observer-Reporter of Washington (Pa.), the groom, 24-year-old Michael Mitchko, and one of his groomsmen, 27-year-old Ian Hopkins, "decided it would be fun" to swipe a golf cart from the country club hosting the reception and just drive that to the hotel instead. Because, of course.
Hopkins's and Mitchko's commute required getting on a stretch of highway, but that didn't deter them. The Observer-Reporter said they "didn't get very far" before a cop driving in the other direction noticed them puttering along in the shoulder of the road and pulled them over. Hopkins, the driver, somehow passed a field-sobriety test and was cited for disorderly conduct and driving an unregistered vehicle. Mitchko, the groom, was charged with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. The country club chose not to press theft charges because the golf cart was returned.
Given my history with wild wedding shenanigans, I feel more-than-slightly qualified to provide some
- First and foremost, how in the HELL did Hopkins pass the field sobriety test? Weddings automatically mean a heavy dosage of alcohol; but when you're actually in the wedding? I served as a groomsman once, and by the end of the reception I couldn't see a foot in front of my face. You're drinking the second you leave the church. I either want to shake this guy's hand for showing impeccable fortitude, or revoke his man card for not doing his brotherly duty of drinking as hard as the groom.
- Speaking of the groom... You may wonder why I've singled him out for this Rummy. Why not make Hopkins a co-winner? Well, there's a couple of reasons for this. First, this is Mitchko's party (ok, so it's technically his wife's party; but once he's kissed her at the altar, what's his is hers, and what's hers is his...); that means, as host, it's his responsibility and his guests' honor. They get to cut loose, but he's got to exercise some modicum of control. Hopkins has every right—aside from a legal one, I suppose—to get blitzed on Jack Daniels and decide to get his Michael Schumacher on in a golf cart. But the groom has to refrain.
- ...Which brings me to the second reason why Mitchko has no co-d on this one: It's HIS wedding. If you know me, you know I'm more than a little skeptical of the whole marriage thing. And you also know I love me some drunken stupidity. But not even I would leave my freshly-wed bride behind at our wedding reception to engage in a drunken stunt. If you're a married guest at the wedding and you do that, you've got a long conversation ahead of you when you and your wife are reunited. If it's your wedding? Her wedding ring may already be in a pawn shop display case by the time you get released.
- Assuming his wife hasn't flushed the ring yet, just how awkward is that first dinner at the in-laws' house going to be?
- For all of the bad-mouthing of Mitchko that I've done thus far, I'll show him a little love for one thing: He has further reinforced my belief that no one should marry before the age of 28. When you're 24, you're still looking to be wild and crazy, and neither of those words belong anywhere near a married man. Consider this a PSA: If you're a guy age 22-27, and your girlfriend (or boyfriend, in the few non-oppressed states in our union) gives you the "We need to get married now" ultimatum, tell them to hit the bricks. She or he will thank you in your thirties, after she or he has had an opportunity to actually enjoy the precious days of early adulthood.
- Some quick Facebook research has yielded two fun facts: Mitchko is friends with Specs, and Hopkins is friends with my homie Chappy. We need to get these two to a party this summer to share the tale.