Citizens Report American Irish Culture

Danahey on the Loose in Michigan, Episode 3

So at the pool, along with finding out we’re Michigan-orexic, we learn the hotel is full because lots of people hit the Birch Run Prime Outlet Mall for weekend fun. It would be even more busy the following weekend when deer hunting season in Michigan started. Doh!

Time to doze, we headed back to our room, where I was relegated to the air mattress which I lugged along.

Mark was okay sleeping in a bed with his dad. Tom, though, didn’t want to be in the same bed with me. He and the rest of the human race. 

I was tempted to say the mattress had a leak to see if he’d spring for a separate room, but I was sure he needed his money for more bacon.

Anyway, this setup meant moving a small table and putting it between the two beds to make room for the inflatable. From my position, I had a nice view of Tom’s feet to my side and of the room door down aways from the foot of my mattress. Who knew the light from the peephole could be so bright?

Reaching the bathroom would be a bit of a challenge, finagling off the mattress without touching Tom, his bed or pulling a muscle or two. Plus, three guys over 50 and one in his 80s meant there would be a lot of flushing. And snoring.

Thing is, Pops hogged the bathroom. He might have fallen asleep in there, for all we know. 

Pops also was first up for wedding day. Being a light sleeper, I awoke to spot him already dressed and ever so slowly crawling on the floor. Twice. Like one of those turtles heading to the ocean.

One time was to pick up his cap under the table moved between the two beds. The other, back to the same spot for his wallet.

When Pops returned from the free hotel breakfast, we three rose to eat, too. Tom and I even hit the gym.

Fate had it that one of Tom’s geeky movies was playing on the workout room TV  – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. There are a lot of wands in that movie.

Speaking of, it was time to shower and get ready for the big wedding.

I dressed modified Peaky Blinders style, but in brown instead of black, and without cigarettes or firearms. So it was more Guys and Dolls

Making the look even more Broadway musical, I wore undershorts with unicorns on them, well, on a dare. And because they were only $3. Hey, it wasn’t like I’d be showing them to anyone later.

Poor Tom had to run to Kohl’s for a new pair of black pants. By osmosis, his grandkids had stained the ones he brought from home.

All ready, Tom put some small hotel towels in a bag to bring along. That’s because our first stop was back to Mooney’s for more ice cream. No, I did not moon Mooney’s in my sexy undershorts. Too many people around.

Actually, we hit the Salvation Army Family Store first, as Mooney’s was yet to open. George RR Martin was there, rummaging through books for ideas so he could finally finish the Game of Thrones series.


Tom also needed to pick up a corkscrew and some plastic wine cups. Apparently tailgating between the wedding and the reception is a thing in Michigan. So we stopped at what seemed to be the world’s largest Walmart. I almost got lost there, looking for laxatives.

Once back at Mooney’s, towels in place, Tom still spilled on his magenta shirt. He needed to be more careful taking a selfie with his cone.

Finally, it was time for the wedding, the short version of the Catholic ceremony, meaning no full Mass. I liked that this church had projection screens up, like in a sports bar, but for following along with the readings and songs.

In his sermon, the elderly priest said he had only known the couple for two weeks. It felt like at least a month the way he was talking about them and how he enjoyed seeing them singing along to a hymn one time.

Tom seemed touched by the ceremony, intently watching and seemingly close to crying at one point. Or maybe that was because Pops slept on Tom’s shoulder for most of the proceedings.

Next it was time to get back in the Navigator to head for the reception. We drove toward a wooded area. There were no other buildings around. Tom said the street where the place was didn’t appear on the GPS. Being in Michigan, suddenly, I felt a bit like Jimmy Hoffa. God rest his soul.

Before a panic attack about getting whacked could happen, we found the place – Odin’s Owl in Millington. It’s tucked behind what seemed to be a big skateboard or dirt bike park. That aside, it was a nice barn-style venue, but without the smell of farm animals, of course.

We did tailgate before heading inside. That confused me as the open bar turned out to be open already. The groom had even made two of the beers on tap, an IPA and a Pilsner. Turns out the groom is a pretty good brewer. He even has the beard required by the craft beer industry.

For the dinner, Odin’s Owl had long tables set up, Game of Thrones style. That concerned us per potential Red Wedding-like violence.

But nay, it was a friendly, peaceful banquet and buffet. Odin’s Owl even provided blankets to borrow, should anyone feel the nip of November in Michigan.

Speaking of nips, the bridal toast was not of champagne, but tequila shots served in medical specimen-style plastic cups. 

I’m not sure if Pops had one, but whatever got into him, he wanted to dance. And he did just that, with pretty much any woman he saw. Even a server.

Keep in mind he needs a walker to get around. Yet, there he was, busting moves, if not his hip.

I couldn’t keep up with him. Three or four songs into my moving to the grooving I was like a walleye out of water. So I had a drink.

Tom and Mark were playing hard to get. Like a good many guys in their 50s, they knew better than to shake their booties in public.

Either way, once it was time to go, we practically pried Pops from his getting down. Plus, he was worried he shook something loose from all that booty shaking.

Back at the hotel, Pops was pooped, but we three decided to hit the hot tub and pool again. I mention this only because we repeated our steps a bit on this trip. 

Well, also because a woman heading out of a hotel party spotted us and complimented us on our nice calves. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been ogled. Now I know how Tom must feel with those hot legs of his.

Feeling like fresh Michigan meat, we made our way to the hot tub part of the pool. 

We inched our way in as it was filled mostly with lady shoppers – two from Canada, even. To hell with Amazon, eh?

There were two kids, too, which gave Tom and his beard a chance to try out Santa shtick. The kids weren’t buying it. Both under 7, they didn’t believe in Santa anymore.

That led to a discussion where Tom offered that Santa is a state of mind. It’s being kind and caring as well as giving. So, as long as he’s in people’s hearts, Santa can be at the mall, or your mom or your dad or in a hot tub in Saginaw, Michigan.

At that moment, Tom was George Clooney as a guest on an aquatic version of The Ellen Degeneres Show. It was getting late, and the shoppers headed back to their rooms, visions of Sunday bargains dancing in their heads.

Eventually, the only people left were me, Tom and a woman with her teen son. He said he was her son. I’m thinking with Michigan deer hunting season approaching, a good racket for the guy might be shopping gigolo.

At our pool area table, Tom and I finished off a $4.49 bottle of wine from Aldi. He remained in talk show mode mashed up with best buddy conversation. He might have needed a hug, but we were cold and wet, and his shoulder hurt. Plus, even wordy me knows sometimes it’s best just to be quiet and listen.

Back in the room, from my air mattress I noticed Tom tossing, turning and talking in his sleep.

At one point it sounded like he said, “Do you smoke after sex?” 

At another, he splayed across his bed, hugging pillows, mumbling and moaning. 

I’m not sure, but I swear he said, “Bacon. Bacon. Oooh. More bacon.”

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