The last time Leland Mike Tag came to visit us in New Jersey, myself and Heather were living in a small one-bedroom apartment in West New York, N.J., above Hoboken. I don’t really think Leland or Tag had any reason for visiting, other than running around New York City for a few days getting into trouble and drinking cheap whiskey.
One late afternoon while they were visiting, I went to go meet up with Tag and Leland at a bar they found on the corner of St. Mark’s that served a $5 beer and shot special. It was a warm summer night, and I hadn’t seen either of them for a while, so I decided to have some drinks with them as well and basically watch them both try to get into trouble, which they usually found pretty easily.
That night, as I remember, was pretty uneventful, but we all had some drinks and the conversations grew even more entertaining than they already were. The one that distinctly stood out in my mind was about health insurance. Leland has worked at UPS for as long as anyone can remember. He’s part of a union, he has benefits, and seems to be able to take off from work for months at a time. Tag didn’t have health insurance or benefits with his job at the time in Ithaca.
I’m pretty sure that the Adam Sandler movie “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” had just been released, but I might be wrong. Anyway, as the night progressed, Leland and Tag decided that the idea behind the movie, a civil union to get Tag health insurance and benefits from UPS, could actually work. They started discussing logistics, locations, who would officiate the ceremony, etc, etc. It quickly went from joke to “Hey, maybe this would work?”
A few days passed, the memories of that night faded into obscurity, and Mike Tag and Leland never got married. But I will always think back fondly on that night. And had it happened, the wedding would’ve been hilarious.
- Brian Tunney