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What is this? (The Copper Brothers)

David Nunez
David Nunez
3 min read

A friend of mine is getting married over new years, so a group of us are going to rent an RV and drive up to Omaha to celebrate.

This, along with a prompt from Mike (plus a scene from Christmas Vacation), inspired a story which I wrote and emailed out today. I later realized this could be edited and repurposed for here to meet my quota.

Names have been changed and I slapped on a thin layer of fictional context… It now bears no relation at all to reality.

This is probably for a PG-13 audience, at least (language).


The Copper Brothers

I can imagine them now, parked outside the church on the morning of Paul’s wedding in a fusion of barely functional, used car parts and what appears to be a school bus. We generously call the monstrosity a “Recreational Vehicle” because it rolls and often finds itself infested with residents.

Buck Copper is emptying the wastewater into the sewer drain, winking at everyone that walks by, “Merry Christmas — the shitter was full!” He dangles a half-burnt cigar out of his mouth, and cradles a Budweiser in his right hand.

He’s wearing a bathrobe and a 6-day old layer of filth, including a half-grown and uncared-for beard. A pair of black socks and dress shoes adorn his feet.

For a reason nobody ever dares to explain, there is a pack of very large and mangy dogs running around and in and out of the RV… jumping up on the guests as they arrive and licking the bride’s parents’ faces. Where did he get them and where do they sleep? What do they EAT?

During the ceremony, when the priest asks if there are any objections, Tommy Copper, the younger brother, having already downed a half bottle of Jack Daniels that morning, sees this as his time to steal attention. He stands and blurts out a line about how “ya shoulda seen Paul last night! Nothin’ about weddings then, eh, buddy!?!?”

Of course, nothing at all untoward happened the night before, despite the brothers’ pressure. However, that-perfect-moment-which-could-have-been is forever ruined.

To break the tension and anger that is filling the air, one of Buck’s dogs rushes out and begins urinating on the best man, and Buck, Tommy, and Rex the hound are efficiently ushered out.

It took a full hour of apologizing and assurances to allow him to come, but at the reception, Tommy can only be true to form. He is on a lecherous prowl, mauling random girls in the crowd, including what later turn out to be Paul’s very underage cousins.

Buck, in the meantime, hands the DJ a CD of some of “Paul’s favorite music.” As the deep bass of rap begins to fill the air with every curse word imaginable (and some we’ve never heard before), Buck sings along at the top of his lungs and punctuates the lyrics by wildly swinging his arms and making menacing faces at the crowd.

Quickly, the song stops, and Paul, in an effort to be genteel, pulls Buck aside and asks him to settle down and take it easy for a while. This turns out to be a mistake, because now Buck has an opportunity to be alone with several more bottles of wine….

Tommy joins him later, crying hysterically about, “being so lonely.”

Further on in the evening, just as Paul and his new wife are beginning their first dance together, Buck, already drunk well beyond repair, yells out, “LESS GIT DIS PARTAY STARRTED” and bullies his way to the dance floor. He begins demonstrating wild, inappropriately sexual maneuvers. Almost in slow motion, his gyrations run right into the couple, knocking them down.

Several of Paul’s relatives rush in to save the bride and escort Buck out, and Buck, never turning down an opportunity to brawl, begins to swing punches with absolutely zero aim and power. He manages to strike an elderly woman, with a brittle jaw, sitting in the front of the hall (placed there, ironically, so “she could see better.”)

Tommy, also inebriated with no chance of sobering up for weeks, is laughing at the ruckus. Between hoarse guffaws, he stumbles up on top of a table, stepping on peoples’ plates and destroying flower arrangements, “WOOOOOO-HOOOOOO”

See, Tommy managed to sneak in a megaphone, and because it’s set too loud and he holds it too close, it’s pretty much impossible to understand any of the gibberish coming out of it, “BAGA SHOOOSH ELEMEPRIT VAPOOSH.” He jumps from table to table with the megaphone on siren mode. His last leap gracefully lands him in the middle of the wedding cake. Covered in white frosting Tommy cracks a joke about being a snowman to the group of children cowering nearby, but the only thing intelligible is the word “Fuck.”

Utter chaos.

Women are screaming… people are running around everywhere. The bride is in tears, everything is ruined, and the men in the room literally pick up Buck and Tommy and toss them out into the bitter, Wisconsin cold, never to be welcome again.

The ride home is silent and long.

This is why Paul won’t invite them, under any circumstances… not so much because they could ever do these things, but because a part of him quietly hopes they might.

David Nunez Twitter

Dir of Technology at the MIT Museum • Writing about emerging tech's impact on your life • Speculative insights on the intersection of humanity and technology 🤖


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