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Godzilla in a Tux

I'm half Japanese. Well, more accurately, I'm half Okinawan, but let's not let that little detail get in the way of our story. Given my cultural heritage, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for that big, lumbering brute with the radioactive halitosis.

As a kid, I used to watch Godzilla movies on our little black-and-white Zenith TV and, like most kids, I really enjoyed watching the guy in the rubber suit smash miniature buildings with gleeful abandon.

Hit the fast-forward button. It's 1993, I'm in my early 30s and my fiancée Lynn and I are making preparations for our wedding with our cake baker, JoBella. JoBella asks if we want a "groom's cake"* for our wedding and if we want to do something fun with the cake. Lynn offhandedly remarks, "What about a Godzilla cake?" A fire fills JoBella's eyes and she's jumping up and down because she's so excited by the idea. The next thing we know, Godzilla has taken over our wedding. Not only do we have a Godzilla cake, but we have a little four-inch-tall "Mr. and Mrs. Godzilla" on the gift box. During the reception the wedding party is introduced to the tune of Blue Oyster Cult's song "Godzilla" ("Oh no, there goes Tokyo, go go Godzilla ..."), and we had a six-foot, inflatable Godzilla in a tuxedo. He was the "best monster." You should have seen the strange looks I got when I took Godzilla to the mall to get him fitted for his tux. As an added bonus, a photo of our Godzilla cake made the front page of the June 10, 1993, food section of the Chicago Sun-Times.

The wedding was lovely, the reception was a lot of fun, and both the bride and the monster were radiant (pun intended).

Now that our kids are old enough to appreciate the finer things in life, we are introducing a new generation to the simple pleasures of watching gigantic dinosaurs smashing Japanese cities to a pulp. In this way, the wheel of life comes full circle and my children are learning part of my heritage, i.e., how to waste a Saturday afternoon in front of the TV watching monster movies.

* The traditional wedding cake tends to be a dry, choke-you-in-the-throat thing. A groom's cake is popular in the southern U.S., is considered more a dessert cake, and is actually tasty. It's often chocolate.

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