The truth is out there: Are Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston getting married this weekend? And an even bigger truth is out there: If they are getting married, then why the heck weren't we invited?
If the rampant rumors are true, the wedding will take place this weekend in the tony, beach blanket bingo city of Malibu, Calif.
The British Sun tabloid was first to deliver the matrimonial shocker last week, followed by well-connected stateside gossip columnists who say the invitations have been sent and the cake has been ordered.
Meanwhile, protocol-observing entertainment news outfits (us included) checked with the actor's people, who told us the scoop is bogus.
Do we believe it? Not for a moment.
Not when we've heard the rumor about Gwyneth Paltrow crying when she heard the news. And not when we so obviously were dissed, omitted from the guest list despite the fact that we (unlike almost everyone else) gave good reviews to both "Fight Club" and "The Object of My Affection."
Asking Pitt or Aniston's publicists to put us on the guest list was, natch, out of the question. So, we decided to put our nose to the ground and try to locate this star wedding on our own.
Step 1: The Official Evidence If Pitt and Aniston are really tying the knot, then surely they've made a visit to the Los Angeles County Hall of Records' marriage license division to file the necessary papers. Like all good intrepid reporters, we decided to use some charm and, if needed, a little muscle, and maybe even a couple of greenbacks (just kidding!) to get what we needed, Barnaby Jones-style.
Unfortunately, the good woman we talked to -- apparently not as disgruntled as we thought all municipal workers are -- kindly told us that such information is only available ex-post-facto, meaning that marriage records only enter into the public domain after the ceremony takes place, not before.
Step 2: Comb the Area for Clues ... and Jen ... Sure, we've driven through Malibu. But really, the only landmarks we know are Point Dume, Trancas and Gladstone's. We wouldn't exactly know where to sniff out the location of the big event.
So, in the spirit of journalistic brotherhood (and, because we thought it'd be fun), we called the local Malibu newspaper, conveniently called the Malibu Times, hoping that it, by virtue of proximity, would have stuff that non-Malibu denizens are not privy to.
And to make a long story short, they didn't know jack.
"We think it's a rumor, we don't know anything," is how one of their reporters, Laura Tate, put it.
Back to square one. But then, we got a bright idea ...
Step 3: Follow the Food If anyone knows whether Brad and Jen are really getting hitched, it's Along Came Mary Productions Inc., the famed Los Angeles caterer. Word on the street is that it has been hired by the enjoining parties as the wedding's coordinator, so naturally we did the only sensible thing and called 'em up.
But, to avoid coming across as a nosy fan, we telephoned under the guise of "a friend of a girlfriend who's going to get married next month," and posed a few queries, the answers to which gave us an idea what this Pitt-Aniston ceremony (if indeed it happens) will cost.
We learned that an A list wedding, like the star couple's alleged 200-plus-guest affair -- runs in the neighborhood of $10,000 to $25,000, plus a catering fee of $300-a-head for grub, live entertainment, flowers and whatnot.
"So, basically," the lady at ACMP knowingly tells us, "if your friend has $100,000 to spend on a wedding, have her give me a call."
Sensing that continuing this friendly conversation would be futile, we cut right to the chase and asked if the company is indeed catering for Brad and Jen this weekend, at which point the ACMP representative paused, put up her guard, and said, "We don't know anything about that."
That seals it. We can see right through this "X-Files"-esque maze of deception orchestrated by the powers that be, just to keep us out of the wedding, just because they can.
So now, there's only one thing left to do.
Step 4: Shopping for the Gift We're determined to crash the big party, but we certainly don't want to show up empty-handed. We thought of a lot of places to shop for the perfect gift -- Kmart, the store on Hollywood Boulevard that sells velvet paintings, one of those "four T-shirts for $9.99" places -- and finally settled on Cartier.
... but what about us? We consulted with Fernando, a salesman at the Beverly Hills boutique, as to what we should get the lucky couple.
"That's a tough one, a gift for two people who have everything," Fernando mused. "Well, we make beautiful candlesticks, silver picture frames and many, many things. The price for the candlesticks is $500."
The silver frames were also $500. Hmmm ... suddenly, we felt a change of heart.
Have a nice wedding, Brad and Jennifer. Whenever and wherever it is.