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What follows is the transcript of the press conference announcing the planned Adams/Mancini Matrimonial Strategic Alliance:

Thank you all for coming.  On Saturday, April 10, 2004, Greg Adams asked Michelle Mancini if she would let him make an honest woman of her.  She agreed, and they are going to get married.  I will now take your questions.

Q:    So, we need details!

A:    Greg took Michelle to a pretty little park in Paris, and asked her to marry him.

Q:    No, girl-level details.

A:    The offer was made in the Square du Vert-Galant, 1e arrondissement, Paris, France, at approximately 12:30 Zulu time.  Mostly Cloudy, with wind from the NW at 4.6 mph / 7.4 km/h.  Temperature 11.0 oC (51.8oF), Dew Point 2.0oC (35.6o F), 54% humidity and barometric pressure of 30.01 in.

park The Square du Vert-Galant sits at the end of the Île de la Cité, a strategic location for getting women to accept marriage proposals.  Mr. Adams managed to maneuver Ms. Mancini to this location through an ingenious plot to “screw up” the train tickets, creating a two hour Window of Betrothal Opportunity.  One “offer of lunch” later, and both subjects had arrived at the location.

park Mr. Adams picked the spot at the apex of the park (see photo) and started fumbling in his pocket for the ring.  Ms. Mancini asked him why he was adjusting himself rather than enjoying the view.  Mr. Adams explained that he managed to get the ring through customs in three different countries without being deported or imprisoned, and wanted to give it to her before he managed to lose it somehow.  He then told her how happy she made him, and asked her if she was willing to spend the rest of her life with him.  He then tried to slip the ring on to her finger, but couldn’t decide which hand (or finger) it belonged on.  Ms. Mancini took charge and slipped the ring onto her left fourth finger, smiled quite widely, said “oooh [:):):)],” and then threw her arms around Mr. Adams’ neck and kissed him.  Mr. Adams then sought clarification as to whether or not that was a “yes.”  Ms. Mancini replied “what are you, simple?” to which Mr. Adams replied, “well, everybody’s going to ask what you said, and “oooh” sounds kind of ambiguous over email.”  Ms. Mancini then suggested the addition of smiley faces to the transcript for clarification.  Mr. Adams agreed, and the two departed to catch their train.

Q:    What did the ring look like?ring

A:    The ring is depicted here, on Ms. Mancini’s hand:  
Q:    So when will the wedding be?

A:    Via a complicated mathematical formula (phases of the moon and such), March 12, 2005, has been selected as the date.

Q:    Where will the wedding be?

A:    Right now, we are working on finding a place in Baltimore, Maryland, Charm City USA.

Q:    Baltimore?  What’s up with that?

A:    Well, we started by considering the three Hero Cities of the Great Patriotic Marriage (Chicago, Boston, Washington) and, once we had talked about what we could afford, Baltimore kind of jumped out at us.

Q:    Do you really think your guests are going to go to Baltimore?

    It’s relatively cheap and convenient to get to, and we’re hoping to get more wedding for our sacagaweas there.  Think of it as the Milwaukee of the Mid-Atlantic.  Plus, they got crab cakes the size of grapefruit.

Q:    Do you want unsolicited advice from all of your married, marrying and unmarried friends, as well as relatives?

A:    Without question.  Given that neither of us have done anything like this before (thank you for please not bringing up the painful Britney episode) we have no clue what the hell we are doing.  So if you don’t want to show up at a wedding at the bus station catered by Dominick’s with musical guest Whitesnake, please give us some advice.

Q:    Is this going to be a for-real church weddin'?

A:    Assuming we can find a church that will let us inside, yes.

Q:    What happened to the common-law idea?

A:    That was vetoed.

Q:    Are my email tax dollars being spent on your engagement announcement?

A:    umm . . . hey, look over there!

Q:    Whatever happened to that email tax, anyway?

A:    Bill 602P just passed the Senate.  Write your Congressman.

Q:    Is there anyway you can summarize this in Haiku form?

A:    next spring in b'more
greg and shell will tie the knot
and get new towels

Q:    That's OK, but I was thinking more existential.

A:     at last greg and shell
will make this thing official
before the p's die

Q:    That's it, that's the one.