Example: [Collected on the Internet, 1998]
A young couple are married. The bride's father makes them a lavish wedding and is carrying a large wad of cash to pay people like the band, bartender, servers, etc. At one point, the father takes off his jacket to dance. When he later retrieves it, he discovers that the money is missing. A couple of weeks later, the entire family gathers to watch the video of the wedding. At one point, the groom's father, unbeknownst to him, can be seen in the background taking the money from the bride's father's coat! Of course, this creates a scandal and the marriage is immediately annulled.
- Sometimes the bride's father's wallet is lifted; sometimes the groom's father's wallet is.
- The thief can be the groom's father (knowing that the bride's father is carrying a lot of money to pay off vendors and musicians at the reception), the bride's father (due to resentment over shouldering the lion's share of the costs), or even the groom (out of a desire to score a little extra money for the honeymoon).
- In none of the versions is a female
in-lawrobbed, and only in one 1998 example of the story is the thief female. Men appear to be both the ones with the money and the ones after it.
- The amount stolen varies from a few hundred dollars up to $20,000.
Of course, no legend is truly pedigreed until it appears in Dear Abby, which this one did (
The same situation Abby advised on in 1991 was thrown to
Dr. Laura's caller claimed that on the tape she'd shot, one of the bills was seen to fall from the groom's jacket while he danced, and one of the bridesmaids was then seen to take the bill for herself. The good doctor pointed out the caller had no way of knowing whether the bridesmaid kept the money or returned it to the groom
Though widely told, the tale of the videotaped theft is apocryphal. No one has yet come forward with verifiable information of where, when, and to whom this happened. A thieving
Barbara "from Kodak to Kojak moment" Mikkelson
Last updated: 19 May 2011
Brunvand, Jan Harold.   The Choking Doberman.     New York: W. W. Norton, 1984.   ISBN 0-393-30321-7   (p. 140).     Brunvand, Jan Harold.   Too Good To Be True.     New York: W. W. Norton, 1999.   ISBN 0-393-04734-2   (pp. 88-89). Marsano, William. Man Suffocated By Potatoes. New York: Signet, 1987. (pp. 83-84).
Also told in:
The Big Book of Urban Legends. New York: Paradox Press, 1994. ISBN 1-56389-165-4 (p. 168).