"Wow. You made these yourself?" was all I could think to say when the bride's aunt delivered the enormous bride and groom dolls. Each about two feet tall, designed to look like toddlers in a tux and an antebellum gown, they might have been mistaken for "children from a previous marriage" if they hadn't been so quiet and (for the most part) well-behaved. The aunt insisted the dolls were to be placed on the cake table as a surprise gift for the happy couple. More likely a shock, but family trumps good taste. The cake topper was the traditional bride and groom (represented as adult figures) and the giant dolls stood sentry on either either side of the cake, like mutant offspring, easily 8 times the size of their "folks."
About halfway through the cocktail reception before dinner, our banquet captain, Paul, made some last-minute adjustments to the flowers arranged around the cake, and accidentally knocked over the giant girl doll. Apparently, the dolls were set up using some kind of spring mechanism located inside that had sprung when she fell. Obviously flustered, Paul had turned the girl doll upside down and had his hand up her dress almost halfway to his elbow when one of the waitresses let out a shriek, "Paul! What are you DOING?!"
The whole room froze. Paul's face was beet red - he did look guilty - and yet I don't think the scene would have been nearly as disturbing if the dolls hadn't been so close to the size of actual children. The rest of the wait staff helped him by doubling over with convulsive laughter. For the rest of the event, we kept after him, saying things like, "What was she wearing under that dress?" and "You know she's not real, don't you?" and "Really, Paul. Couldn't you have waited till you got home?"