Friday, March 31, 2006

Funds: They have been raised

The Mongol Rally has never been a solo venture, or even limited to the two people who are actually going on it. Last night was an incredible show of Rally spirit by the dozens of people who actually do make up Team Newyorkistan. From the worlds of law, diplomacy, and high finance, they came out to support the Team. Audrey did a fine job of choosing a venue; Megan stylishly and enthusiastically presented our auction items; our bidders snapped up everything we put out there, eager to put gas in our tank, money in Mercy Corps' coffers, and visas in our passports.

The professionalism, eloquence and knowledgeability of Mr. Nemuun Gal has provided a first impression of Mongolia for many people that is overwhelmingly positive; if he is any indication, then we are driving to a place of friendly and welcoming people. We were honored to be able to help him educate the public about his country.

I said to many people that, before either I or Audrey leave for Europe, there will be a banquet feast to which all of our many supporters are invited. The people I met last night were some of the most warm and fun people I have ever met - I have never made so many new friends in one day before. I like Audrey's family every bit as much as she likes mine, and I long looked forward to meeting them. (David Roofeh will make an excellent physician, and is hereby awarded the post of Assistant Team Doctor - the venerable Dr. Roofeh of course holding the senior post.) I anticipate that, around mid-June, we will again all come together for a huge barbecue and we will have a ton of fun all over again.

I'd like to send out a big thanks to Will from England and Gus from Greece, who came simply for the karaoke but learned all about Newyorkistan and the Rally, made a donation, and joined myself and my family for Chinese food after the fundraiser was finished. You are of course invited to the barbecue.

Individualized thank yous and shout outs are coming soon, when our heads stop spinning and we have everything straightened out.

Thank you ALL and it will be great to see you both before departing and upon our triumphant return. A successful Rally will be both your accomplishment and ours.

PH

The Fundraiser Recap, or "Bring Warm Clothes" the Diplomatic Official Advises.



Did I say thank you to everyone? Cause what I'm feeling today is one big fat THANK YOU. I'd like to give a more sober recap than the brief accounting I gave last night when I got home. To start, the above photo is, from left, Paul Hanson, then Mr. Neemun Gal, Second Secretary to the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations, and in the bright red crayon, is me. And let me tell you, your fundraiser is just not a fundraiser until you have a Mongolian diplomat there. More on Mr. Gal in a moment. There is a lot that made last night great. To give the rundown for those who weren't there, we were at Winnie's Bar in Chinatown, which I realized after the fact was a tad cozy for the number of people we were expecting. Which just rocks. There was some pizza. There was an auction catalogue of car parts that contained two lots #2 and no lot #6.

There was family - my brothers David and Abraham, my dad and stepmom and cousins Lila, and Robbie and Ryan and Aunt Ellyn, whom we hadn't seen in too, too long. There was Paul's family, who were clearly the best karaoke-ers, and in terms of sheer population, it appeared that the Matthews Family once again, represented. Kiowa, Andrew, Jane, Ed, Pam, Michael, Nora and some stray named Jim they picked up along the way. It seems that at some point, someone gave Jim the microphone. See Exhibit 2. (It would appear that this man is responsible for the Saddam Hussein content in your favorite tv show).

Things started to get cooking, and then, I believe it was Yvonne, walked up and introduced Mr. Gal. We weren't quite sure whether he would be able to make it to our event, but he did, and he graciously spoke to the crowd about Mongolian culture and life, and that Mongolia offers its full moral support to Team Newyorkistan. Now here's our plug. Learn more about Mongolia. As Mr. Gal informed us last night, Mongolia, even now in the 21st century, is supporting a nomadic culture that is unsustained elsewhere in the world. It's exotic, it's beautiful, it's wild - and apparently, even people in the big city live in gers. Isn't that amazing?!

Then our fabulous emcee and hostess, Megan, took the stage and started us on the live auction. It was ridiculous. I wasn't quite sure whether people would be interested in sponsoring car parts, considering that their ownership in the actual parts would be theoretical. Maybe it was Megan's engaging stage presence, or maybe it was the liquor. All I know is that those car parts went, and fast. and for more than we could have possibly hoped. For instance, this is what it looked like when we auctioned the driver's seat:
The full results of the auction will be released when Paul and I can find the paperwork. But for now I can tell you that one Michael Matthews bought the whole damn thing. He must now pick the design for a big fat sticker to go across the hood.
All I can say about the auction itself, is that it was a complete outrage, how much money you people all donated to charity. You really are going to make a difference in the lives of many many people. I hope that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.

But it doesn't end there. No night at a karaoke bar would be complete without people making complete asses of themselves. That would be me singing "Africa" by Toto. Somehow, Michele managed not to make an ass of herself, singing the same song with me. This may have something to do with how naturally funny she is. And then there's a whole other level of irony to the karaoke. I really didn't know what I was missing in my life until Dan (and Mike? Lila? Who'd you do that with) sang EASY LOVER. (picture the brooklyn hipsters singing phil collins). This picture however, of Mr. and Mrs. Hanson, is a picture of people doing karaoke and not making fools of themselves.

Audrey's Mongol Rally Oscar Acceptance Speech (sans time limit).
There was so much that so many people did to make last night absolutely perfect. Kiowa and Andrew *slaved* over baking beautiful and delicious cookies that they decorated in the colors of the Mongolian flag. What says love more than doing that for a friend. Yvonne deftly managed the money, the door, the papers, the crowd and was always a sweetheart. Megan, who literally had no idea she was to conduct the auction until an hour before it happened - looked absolutely effortless up there (I think the proof is in the donations). Alex, who came out of nowhere with guests, money, and rally cheerleading. My wonderful coworkers (new and old) - John, Liz, Matt, Justin, Rachael, Jon and Shareen. God knows how much effort it is to get out with a work schedule in our profession, but there they all were. Our new President of the Team Newyorkistan Backseat Drivers Club - who will surely soon make an announcement to the legions of members out there. Nick Cernese, who probably spent 15 minutes in the US in all of March, made it to Winnie's. Brian on a school night. All the great people who donated but couldn't make it last night - first and foremost the amazing Lee Marcus, who was missed. And probably does a great Sinatra. And all the folks we met for the first time last night - please please please send us an email at mongolrally06@gmail.com, so we can keep you up to speed on the team and its exploits. You're our peeps.

And here I leave you with a picture of my dad and his poker-auction face. (Note also, Andrew has same face. They may have been bidding against one another.)

Life is good.

Oh My Mother Of God.

Basically, I'm blogging right now in an effort to straighten myself for a big day at work tomorrow (you can call that what you like). But I'm here to tell you right now, that I barely believe what just happened. In fact, I don't believe it. But I'm here to report the following.

1. Tonight, Winnie's Bar in Chinatown was overrun with the exact crowd I expect at my wedding.
2. No matter how many pictures were taken, not enough pictures were taken,
3. A representative from the Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Mr. Neemun Gal attended our fundraiser, and spoke to the crowd about Mongolia, and Mongolian-American relations (!!!!!!!!!!!@@@@!!!!)
3a. An unspeakable version of the song "Africa" by Toto was sung. By some folks who shall remain nameless.
4. We raised approximately....(are you ready?)....(You are NEVER going to believe this).....(fo real!).....$2,300 FOR CHARITY TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DID YOU HEAR THAT?! we BLEW the fundraising requirement out of the fricking water!!!!! We were hoping that we might come close to meeting our requirement (approx. $1,400. As you can see, you all beat that by almost a thousand dollars. you rock so hard.)

Unfrickinbelievable!!!!!!!!!

All I can say is there is bottomless thanks due to all who attended, all who helped with the logistics, and all who donated tonight. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it (and generally, I'm a rather emotional person. so the telling would be pretty emotional). All I can say is that we're so touched by your generosity and kindness.
xoxo,
audrey

Monday, March 27, 2006

Just 72 or so hours

...until the greatest fundraiser ever. I am amazed at the enormity of this event. I am also amazed at how hot an item our t-shirts are, with their bold colors and sharply drawn map of the winding route that will be taken by many a Rallyer. I am amazed at how many people are taking part in the Mongol Rally, too. Four hundred people are wacky enough to be doing this. I get the feeling that, when border guards see us, they will say something to the effect of "more Rally people! All right!" (cuz we're all awesome. At least, the Rallyers I have corresponded with so far are.)

Scratch that. The border guards will be surprised to see Westerners because we will be first. Yeah, right, not a race bla bla bla. Whatever, I'm driving as fast as our 100-pound car (price, not mass) will take us.

My father and sister, talented singers both, are quite eager to regale the crowds. I can't wait to meet all of Audrey's friends and family, especially that one that Audrey insists would be really into me and we'd go together so well and she just won't shut up about her! Thanks for tryin' to set me up, Audrey :) We'll see how it goes.

I am trying to get a hold of the people at the various consulates who are authorized to give group discounts on their exorbitantly-priced visas (a double-entry Kazakh tourist visa is second only to a college degree in the "costly documents" category.) Perhaps I will use reverse psychology..."ok, fine, I won't come to your country (hang up angrily)"...and then see how long it is until they hit *69 and beg me to reconsider. Or, I'll just politely ask for the discount.

Making auction posters with Audrey over the weekend was fun, as was modeling our t-shirts. There are some excellent bargains to be had; where else can you sponsor a car that will be traveling such a Herculean distance? (Note that the person who sponsors the car gets their name etched prominently on the side of it. People in a dozen countries will know that you sponsored us, and after all is said and done, some Mongolian teenager's first car will have your name on it.)

All very exciting stuff. More coming. See you all soon.

PH

This Is Absolutely Laughable

I just so LOVE it. Really - I go around every day thanking my lucky stars for the friends and family. But it doesn't exist in a vacuum, things happen all the time to remind me why I'm so lucky. My younger siblings and myself crouched around my mac, watching a jacked copy of the SNL sketch "Taco Town" on my Mac. Being humored for a 24 hour visit to Wisconsin where all that transpired seemed to be (a) drinking; and (b) watching R. Kelly's seminal work, "Trapped in the Closet". And then there's the Matthews Family. You might recall the Matthews from such earlier blog entries as "Matthews Family Represent." They are the family of my dearest friend Kiowa, with whom I attended law school. I have now reached a point in my life where I don't know how I got by without them. When it comes to being supportive, they rival my own family. And now to my point: what says love more than Kiowa's Aunt Pam's Aunt Renie donating to the cause?!?!?!?!?!? AUNT RENIE!!!!!!!!!! Here's Team Newyorkistan saying Thanks. We will take many pictures, and if there are any pieces missing from the silverware set you brought back from Thailand (?) that gets whipped out at the Matthews' Family events, let me know. I might be able to find replacement pieces at a bazaar somewhere in Asia....

The Fundraiser Update

Dear Friends And Family And Neighbors, People We Know, People We've Heard Of, People We've Not Heard Of, and Those Who Seem Vaguely Familiar:

Paul Hanson and Audrey Roofeh, dba Team Newyorkistan of the 2006 Mongol Rally are writing to update you on the Karaoke Charity Fundraiser this Thursday, March 30, at Winnie's Bar in Chinatown.

EXCITING NEWS
But first - a few bits of exciting news - we are officially registered for the Rally. It was expected that it would be weeks before all the spots on the rally were taken. Instead, it happened that all 100 spots were filled in ONE HOUR. Another 100 spots are opening up tomorrow afternoon, and, all told, the rally is expected to raise nearly a half million dollars for charity. And it's you wonderful folks who are making it happen. Granted, Paul and Audrey will provide the vicarious thrills and the "better you than me" moments, but in all seriousness, we couldn't (and wouldn't) do it without your help and support.

FUNDRAISER NEWS
So - on to the details of the fundraiser. This Thursday, March 30th, 7pm at Winnie's Bar on Bayard Street in Manhattan. (See below for directions and parking).

THE BACKSEAT DRIVER'S CLUB
Every person who attends the event will automatically be issued a membership card in the Team Newyorkistan Backseat Drivers Club. Membership in this organization allows you to tell us, Team Newyorkistan, what to do in preparation for and execution of the Rally. Elections for leadership positions will be taken at the Fundraiser. The scope of the organization's duties and responsibilities will be determined after everyone's had a few drinks.

THE FOOD
Also, there will be free pizza at the event** - not terribly Mongolian, but it'll be from Patsy's so you know it's good. And come on - what could be better than pizza, beer and karaoke?

THE AUCTIONING OF THE CAR PARTS
As you know, the $10 donation at the door goes directly to charity.* What you may not know is that we will be holding both a live and silent auction for the sponsorship of our most vital car parts. And some visas. I guarantee, it will be like no other auction you have ever seen.

THE TEE SHIRTS
there will be tee shirts for sale at the fundraiser, and wooboy, are they a hoot. We will put up a link with photos on our website, asap.

THE FINAL PITCH
We really hope to see you there on Thursday - it's going to be a lot of fun. If you have the evite for this event, please do RSVP - it will help us determine how much we need of everything. If you don't have the evite, send me an email, and I will forward it along.

Very truly yours,
Audrey Roofeh and Paul Hanson

DIRECTIONS TO WINNIE'S
By Subway: take the N, R, Q, W, J, M, Z or 6 train to Canal Street. Walk one block east on Canal to Baxter. Make a right, and walk about two blocks south on Baxter. Make a left on Bayard, and Winnie's is just a few doors in on your left. (On your right is a park). Here's a map: http://maps.citysearch.com/location/7113432?

By car: if you need directions by car - send me an email, I will get right back to you.

*For those of you who have contributed in advance of the event, this has been noted. Just tell the person at the door that your name is on the list.

** Supplies are limited. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What Else Just Occurred to Me.

That if there's anyone out there reading this bunk, I'm going to proselytize. So here goes - if you love me, and team newyorkistan, and freedom, etc., etc., you'll do this: listen to KEXP. for your own good. www.kexp.org - really, the best music out there. It may be the only thing I'm worried about going without for a month in Central Asia. It's that good.

In other Team NYStan updates, the rally slots disappeared in an HOUR on Monday morning. Folks were projecting days, weeks, before that happened. Nope. Just like Beastie Boys tix in high school. One Hour.

Also, I'm just going to call him Team Newyorkistan's own Bill and Melinda - John M. Lundin, at it again with the out of control sponsorship. But it's very hush hush, at the moment. Will inform upon completion.

For those of you who have not yet RSVPed for the Rally Fundraiser, which is next Thursday, March 30 - please do! And if you haven't received the evite, or need further details, send me an email and I will forward it asap. roofeh@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Brief Foray into Siegel's New York Practice

I have a deep and abiding love of Siegel's invaluable treatise, New York Practice (including but not limited to the fact that I have TWO copies of the book, one for home and one for work, the home edition having been autographed by our very own, Lizardbreath), and now I must share with the world the section in the book that our dear friend wrote with either very little sleep, on too much caffeine, or just handed off to a legal intern:

"The requirement of verification is supposed to encourage honesty in pleading. A false verification is technically a perjury but district attorneys seldom become involved, excusing themselves on the ground of more pressing problems. Earlier in our legal history the requirement of swearing may have been underwritten by a genuine fear of hell, but hell has had little impact on New York practice. . . ."

"With a legislative imprimatur, but with almost all of its teeth gone, verification still smiles grotesquely from the pages of the CPLR. . . ."

“Another instance of required verification of the answer is that of a corporate defendant being sued on a promissory note, a requirement so trivial that it lacks the miniscule electric charge needed to adhere it to some portion of the brain.”

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Charity Numeral Dva

Quickly, before I turn into a pumpkin:

This message is to inform our loyal readership (whoever you may be) that Team Newyorkistan is now also fundraising for Mercy Corps Scotland, an international aid organization that the Mongol Rally politburo has determined is worthy of our ridiculous efforts. (The quick explanation is that Team Newyorkistan supporters have done an outstanding job in raising money for Send A Cow - so much so that we have met and exceeded our fundraising requirements for a UK based charity. Phase Two has now begun - aiding a charity that actually does work to help the people of the country that we are, for lack of a better term, about to invade). To that end, please visit our new JustGiving site, at www.justgiving.com/teamnewyorkistan - if you have not yet had the opportunity to donate on our behalf, now's a great time and it would mean so much to us.
(Can you hear Brian Lehrer or Soterios Johnson* speaking that last sentence?)
*furthermore, did you know that some brooklyn hipsters started a band called "Soterios Johnson"?**
**this may or may not have happened after the other hipsters decided to start a band called "Sam Champion".
My apologies to those of you who do not listen/watch local NYC news.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My trust has been violated, in a small way

Audrey is a great rally teammate but would make a terrible therapist or secret lover cuz she published our private correspondence.

But, all in all, she did the right thing. I'd say the same thing to anyone. Ditch and move to London until the Rally starts.

The marketing department is working on Official Membership Cards for the Team Newyorkistan Backseat Drivers' Club. It is at the current time uncertain whether it would be cost effective to have each Backseat Driver's name imprinted on the card, or just to make a generic card and enclose an Elmer's-glue-and-glitter "thank you" note (which is currently Plan B so far as this particular idea goes.) There are companies that handle this very kind of thing (or, at least, close to it) and I am going to see which of them will offer the best value to us and our Backseat Drivers.

My good mate David Mayo, a Rallyer attending uni over in England, has sent along some highly valuable info that our intelligence department is analyzing in order to put to use for our own ends. Thank you, David, you are a solid fellow and I very much look forward to joining yourself, your teammate (who is his father, by the way) and some other Rallyers to form a convoy for our route (via Ukraine for David, and maybe ourselves as well.) New question to answer: what will the convoy's name be? We each have team names but a convoy is something more than a team. It's...many teams, driving together as one. And it's special.

Let's file that question under "low priority."

In unrelated news, I emailed someone from Belarus, who said that, with that country's elections in the imminent future, there might be a complete change of government there. Not definite, or necessarily likely, but possible. If that does happen it would make driving through Belarus more likely. Our foreign affairs department is watching the developments in White Russia at the current time.

I'm completely serious, we have like 300 people working for us.

P.H.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Why I Love My 21 Year Old Rallymate

This one's for all you nine-to-fivers out there:

From: PH
To: AR
Date: 3/13/06
Re:

heres an idea: we ditch everything and go to london.
now. or, right after the fundraiser. it will be great,
think about it: we can bum around london and get off
the books jobs, and its as close as you would ever
want to be to being married to me (cuz we'd live
someplace and eke out an existence. it would be the
stuff dreams are made of.) btw im still reconsidering.
esp if we move to london. if we were to do so then we
should be known as mr. and mrs. roofeh (your name is
more english-sounding than mine.)

just think about it. ditch everything. easy for me to
say of course, i haven't much to ditch. it would be
sooo much fun wouldnt it?

Let's take a poll: for how many of you out there would this be the proverbial straw?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

It Takes A Worried Man to Sing A Worried Song

But God only knows what it took for R. Kelly to make "Trapped In The Closet". For those who have not seen it, stop what you're doing right now and go buy the dvd.

In other news, things are still plodding along Rally-wise. We have a million things to take care of, which all seems entirely overwhelming. I think we're going to have to start asking for help here and there - in fact, why don't I just start now? Anyone who's reading, let me know if you can provide any information about the following:
1. Good Mongolian food in Manhattan;
2. Someone in England who's interested in selling an automobile to us for cheap;
3. Fundraising advice

Just had to get that all off my chest.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Audrey Can't Keep A Secret. Too Bad She's A Lawyer.

That's not really true. I've never told a soul who Mr. Anonymous is. But when it comes to what's up with the Rally, I spill the beans faster than...oh God, I'm too gd tired to come up with an analogy. But I do have something to spill.

We want our fundraiser to get sponsored by the Mongolian Consulate in New York. What in the universe adds more cache to your event than the fact that it's sponsored by the CONSULATE OF MONGOLIA?>!?!?!
you know you love it. And if you have any idea how to accomplish this goal, please tell me. I'm afraid the learning curve might be a bit much for me on this one.

Also, Paul has a brilliant fundraising idea. But I'll let him tell you about that. I can hardly keep from telling.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Everyone likes a delayed shout out.

And by "everyone" I hope this includes Brian Wallace and Leslie Levine.

Brian is a first year New York City public schoolteacher who works with elementary school special education students in the Bronx as part of the Teach for America program. He's dedicated, thoughtful, and an all-around great guy. With lots of tattoos. No really. For someone who has to buy his own classroom supplies, Team Newyorkistan is really touched that he would find us (or by extension, Send A Cow) worthy of his hard earned money.

And because I'm a spaz, I have only now figured out that JustGiving.com tells you by email exactly who it is that donated money to you. Therefore, I have conclusively determined that it was in fact the fabulous and wonderful Leslie Levine c/o Clyde the Cat who donated GBP 50 to the cause. For those of you who don't remember, Chris and I used to have a cat. We were never home to take care of him. Who jumped to the rescue? Leslie Levine.

You all rock.

The Jessica Rutherford Question

Ok, someone out there name your band that.

Otherwise, Paul, I can tell you that Jessica Rutherford is (1) a New Yorker at heart; (2) a great person to have as a next-locker mate in law school; and (3) happens, randomly, to be co-defendant's counsel in the True & Dorin case. Small World!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

All hail Jessica Rutherford

Jessica Rutherford, I don't know you, but you have put 30 quid worth of petrol in our tank, and that means you're like family.

T-shirts will be ready, if not for the first fundraiser than definitely for the second.

At our March 30th fundraiser, in addition to being able to sing and eat awesome food and support an awesome cause, you will be able to bid on an awesome guitar that was once played by a guy who once played with Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones (you can call it the "seven degrees of rock and roll fame" guitar. This is a finely crafted instrument that anyone would be proud to own.

In addition to you attending, any other miscellania that you would like to give us so we can auction it is welcome. I hope to assemble a motley assortment of stuff.

Our music department is tossing around plans for a Team Newyorkistan theme song. Stay tuned.

PH

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Links to Other Mongol Rally 06 Teams

In addition to our expansive back-office operations, coordination efforts are underway with other Mongol Rally teams, such as:
  • The Mongolian Taxi Service

  • Skoda Power Turbo Racing Team, or alternatively, Operation Ass

  • Team Monkeytank

  • The Mongol Frauds

  • Team Pink Panda

  • Team Fiesta Mongolia

  • Team What Could Possibly Go Wrongolia?
  • Team Wales to Mongolia

  • Team Squires on Safari

  • Team Fiesta

  • Team We Must Be Mad

  • Team Directionless

  • Just like my first year civil procedure professor, Aviva Orenstein said, "when you have the chance to write up a document yourself in litigation (say, with regard to discovery scheduling or production in general) take it - even though it's more work, take it - you get your terms in there, and you end up better off." God, I have absolutely no idea what that has to do with anything, other than that I'm nostalgic for first year civpro. As Scott Stamper will attest, Aviva ROCKED.

    Good news from the graphic-design department

    I talked to our people over in graphic-design (Team Newyorkistan has about twenty departments and a total of over four hundred people on our payroll; this isn't as easy as it looks, people.) They were doodling and throwing around some ideas for the definitive Newyorkistan logo; we will be unveiling the result shortly. In the meantime, I have to resolve a labor dispute and fire the bottom 10%. Over four hundred people, remember.

    PH

    Wednesday, March 01, 2006

    Team Newyorkistan Fundraiser #1 - Barnight with Karaoke Implications....

    For those of you who were kind enough to click on the link from our website to our blog, you are now being rewarded with, well, precious little. Except for this, our version of the 'save the date' thingy your friends give you when they get engaged.

    Fundraiser
    to be held at Winnie's Bar in Manhattan
    Thursday, March 30, 2006
    there will most definitely be karaoke involved
    $10 cover that goes directly to charity

    we may or may not have teeshirts printed up by then
    more details as Paul and I make them up.

    Additionally, I can't believe I asked someone to marry me and he refused! Paul Hanson, you really don't know a good thing when you see it. I would be *totally* sexy in a hijab.

    Are wedding bells in the future???

    Audrey, while raising some thorny issues, has also brought up an interesting point. We could, in fact, get married in Turkey and have this annulled in Turkmenistan, which would satisfy the requirements of Islamic law (which I believe prohibits wacky road trips by the unmarried; good thing I'm not going with a guy, because...well, lets just say that it doesn't take much to upset some people.)

    Annnnywho...there are pros and cons to a brief period of matrimony. They are, starting with the pros:
    1. Aforementioned satisfaction of Iran's arcane marriage/road trip statutes;
    2. Temporary newlywed bliss for both of us; the first few days of wedded life are the best anyway, right? So why press it? "Quit while you're ahead" is what I have always said.
    3. Gift registry...no, not at Fortunoff. More likely at Pep Boys. I mean, come on, does Fortunoff have anything that would be useful in a Fiat 126? Crystal bowls are nice and all, but will they do us any good when our brake pads are worn down and the passenger door falls off?
    4. Audrey can handle all the annulment paperwork; I mean, come on, she does that stuff for a living.

    But it isn't all wedding cake and honeymooning on the Straits of Hormuz. We also must consider:

    1. Being married would blow our cover. Up to this point, we have been the Jack and Meg White of the Mongol Rally. That is to say, we have everyone wondering: "are they married? Brother and sister? They could be either, I guess, but they don't act like it...what's their deal?!?" This wouldn't be such a bad thing but I like to keep everyone guessing. A marriage license (which is after all public record) would shatter our veil of secrecy.
    2. The marriage penalty (you know, on your taxes.)
    3. Children.

    Therefore, I unilaterally declare it out of the question that Audrey and I be married this August. Audrey, I don't expect you to be happy about this, but we must move on with the business at hand.

    Oh by the way, everyone, we're going to have a fundraiser. More to come on that front.

    PH