SOME WEEKS AGO, a young couple in Baltimore took an unfortunate leave of their senses and had their marriage ceremony performed in a giant fish tank.
Apparently, they had met while both were volunteer divers at the National Aquarium. Ignoring the obvious breakdown in logic, they decided the aquarium would make a swell place for a wedding.
From all reports, it was quite an affair. The bride wore a white wet suit and white fins and carried the traditional bouquet of lettuce and broccoli to be fed to the fish. The groom wore a black wet suit and black fins. The bridesmaid wore a pink wet suit and pink fins.
At the appointed hour, they all strapped on their air tanks and face masks and climbed into the giant fish tank, where the ceremony was performed by a SCUBA-geared minister and witnessed by barracuda, angelfish and the like.
As I read about all this in the next day's papers, my hands began trembling uncontrollably as the realization sunk in that these people were not under round-the-clock observation.
This meant there was a very real possibility that sometime in the future, I could actually find myself face-to-face with two people who were married while tiny fish swam about their heads.
Sadly, the idea of people getting married in bizarre places is nothing new.
People have been married on the exit ramp of six-lane highways. They have been married in walk-in freezers and cemeteries. They have even been married while sky-diving and jumping off bridges, especially those people who seem particularly, um, sensitive to the phases of the moon.
This is not something that's easy to admit, but I myself attended a wedding WEDDINGSSee WEDDINGS, E7, Col. 1 WEDDINGS, From E1 some years ago at home plate of a minor league baseball park.
Like the young fish couple, the bride and groom had first met at the ballpark, and decided it would be a smashing place for their wedding.
In fact, it was a lovely ceremony in front of an intimate gathering of 8,200 mostly beer-soaked fans.
And I . . . I guess I enjoyed the whole thing. Except that throughout the 20-minute ceremony, I had to fight the urge to stuff a chaw of Red Man in my mouth and yell: "Hum, babe, lotta fire now, no batter, no batter!"
The groom (I am not making this up) actually celebrated with a hook slide into home plate. The minister made the "safe" sign. The crowd went nuts. The bride and groom exchanged high-fives and kisses.
Then the invited guests were whisked off to a private reception in an auxiliary clubhouse, where we drank champagne and feasted on a cake in the shape of a baseball with the loving inscription: "Go Redbirds! Division AA Champs!"
As you can imagine, there wasn't a dry eye in the place.
Thankfully, most young couples have the good sense not to get married in the actual place where they first met, thereby sparing us the agony of wedding announcements that read: "Mona Elizabeth Higgins and David Michael Fernbush were married Saturday near the deep fryer at Wendy's, where both met as management trainees. The bride wore a multi-colored smock with a button reading: 'Welcome to Wendy's! May I take your order?' "
Whew. In my own particular case, my wife and I met for the first time in a neighborhood bar. (I know, I know . . . you talk about your romantic settings.) I noticed her staring at me for several minutes, which I later found out was because I'd been standing on her foot.
Anyway, after talking for a few minutes, we found we had a lot in common.
She was a college student. I had just dropped out of college. She was holding a beer in her hands. I liked to drink beer. It seemed like a match made in heaven.
But here's the thing. When we began thinking about marriage, I don't remember one of us turning to the other and saying: "How 'bout getting hitched near the bowling machine at Bonney's Inn?"
Instead, we got married in a church and -- talk about dating yourself -- the priest wasn't even wearing SCUBA gear.
We just figured it was a lot more convenient for the guests this way, since they wouldn't have to wade about in a lagoon of sawdust and peanut shells and endure endless cries of: "Yo, lemme have another pitcher of Bud!" and "Wanna play some Strike 90, or what?"
The wedding was very nice, though, even though I don't recall any barracuda or angelfish swimming near our heads.
It seems to me you'd remember something like that.