To : Director of Interplanetary Social Research

Subject: Planet Earth. Wedding Ceremonies

As previously reported, Planet Earth’s inhabitants are divided into two sexes with some notable exceptions, roughly analagous to the situation on Pluto. One of the most striking differences between Plutonian and Earthly social mores is the Earth’s wedding reception where, predominately, two beings of opposite sex consent to be lifetime partners.

The Earthly ceremony is widely different from the Plutonian rite of Zrchix where the couple privately touch flippers three times to signify their vows. Earthlings insist on doing things in a big way.

Mind-probing devices used by our survey team at a typical Earth wedding have produced contradictory findings. Males in attendance give strong indications of being there under duress. Their brain activity is sluggish, but there are widely ranging subjects recorded, many unrelated to the event.

Female readings indicate complete joy at being present at the ceremony. Yet, while the restive males have calm facial expressions, the enthusiastic females exude great quantities of saline solution from their eye ducts. This reaction, previously reported as a sign of sadness, is being reinvestigated.

The female partner-to-be enters last, escorted by an older male. The female’s brain emanations defy analysis, being a combination of mild sadness, nervousness and triumph. The brain waves of her attendant, apparently a male parent, indicate sad feelings of loss. “I am losing my beloved daughter!” and “I am losing my shirt!” are his repeated thoughts. Our theory is he is unhappy because she is leaving the family home. So far, no plausible explanation is available for his sadness about losing an upper garment.

The male partner-to-be receives the female from her escort and the couple stands before an official of minister. Readings of this male’s mental state are quite variable. His thoughts race wildly between both ends of the spectrum. He is either deleriously happy or semi-comatose at any given moment.

The ceremony is quietly dignified except for one element which is possibly a vestige of Earth’s uncivilized era. While all attendees maintain attitudes of quiet reverence, one Earthling, usually a male, runs swiftly around the room igniting a bright light in the faces of the bridal party. We originally assumed this was an unbalanced relative of one of the principals, but since one of his kind has been present at every wedding we’ve surveyed, he is perhaps a symbol of chaos in this pageant of unity.

There is a similar character on stage at the following wedding feast. He is referred to only as “the D.J.” Our closest guess is the initials stand for “Demented Jester”. He fills the banquet hall with dangerously high-decibel noise, causing the younger diners to dance wildly for hours. The older guests tend to sit as far away from the deafening cacaphony as possible. Some have been known to dine on the wedding feast in the parking lot.

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