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Home --> Weddings --> Newlyweds --> Groom Service

Groom Service

Legend:   A soused young man is conveyed back to his hometown by people he'd been drinking with, who didn't realize he was on his honeymoon.

Example:   [Smith, 1986]

A group of friends from Derby went on a coach trip to Blackpool. As with many such trips they immediately headed off to the first pub they could find and one of the group fell into conversation with a stranger in a bar. They became quite friendly and by the end of the day everyone, including the stranger, was drunk, talking nonsense and not listening — as all drunks do.

By the time they were due to leave the stranger had passed out. As one of the party vaguely remembered that he had said he came from the Derby area, they checked his wallet to see if they could find his address. It was near Derby so they bundled him on to the coach and took him with them.

When they finally got back they delivered the stranger, still comatosed, to the address they had found. His mother was, to say the least, not amused. She had seen her son off to Blackpool the day before with his new bride — they were going on their honeymoon.

Origins:   This Cartoon of the legend legend is another example of the "good samaritans gone wrong" motif — though the would-be good deed doers depicted here don't realize it, they've left a very confused young bride sitting alone in a hotel room back in Blackpool.

As a belief tale, however, this one is fraught with improbabilities. Would a freshly-minted groom really spend a whole day socializing in a bar yet never once mention that he'd just gotten married the day before? Indeed, what was he doing in the bar at all? If he'd left his bride alone on the first day of their honeymoon to go an an all-day bender, perhaps they were both better off for his being returned to his mother.

Sightings:   Something akin to this legend happens in the 1916 Douglas Fairbanks silent film His Picture in the Papers. Pete Prindle (Fairbanks) asks a club member for a dollar so he can visit the psychic Vera Carewes. The fellow member misunderstands the purpose of the loan and, duly impressed that Prindle can manage the trip on a dollar, gets him liquored up at the bar. Hours later an insensible Prindle is delivered to the docks and loaded onto a ship bound for Vera Cruz.

Last updated:   28 August 2005

Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2014 by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson.
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  Sources Sources:
    Brunvand, Jan Harold.   The Baby Train.
    New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.   ISBN 0-393-31208-9   (pp. 229-230).

    Smith, Paul.   The Book of Nastier Legends.
    London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986.   ISBN 0-7102-0573-2   (p. 29).

  Sources Also told in:
    The Big Book of Urban Legends.
    New York: Paradox Press, 1994.   ISBN 1-56389-165-4   (p. 17).