There is nothing worse than having nagging doubts.
I pace the lawn outside the venue. It is typical. This morning, when I woke up, the speech was perfect. Nothing could improve it. It was hilariously funny, wise, perceptive and affectionate in one burst of literary and oratory genius, plus it included a very very funny anecdote that resulted from the groom performing a lewd act at a bus-stop.
If you were to come to me for advice about how to write a best man speech, the first thing that I would tell you is that you have to have a core dead-cert story like this to work around. I have been a best man once before, for a groom who had never performed any form of lewd act at a bus-stop, or any other municipal installation. And to be honest, I fucking struggled. A story like this is a banker. (nb that is not an attempt at a pun.)
The dilemma with which I am grappling is simple. I have been presented with a number of instructions for the day – do not forget ring, get legitimate taxi for bride’s mother etc etc, and there is only one that pertains to the speech, viz on no account to mention the bus stop thing.
And whilst this all seemed very unduly negative and over-conservative earlier on, the wedding venue is filling up with elderly aunts, grandparents etc and suddenly I am seized with the inexorable realisation that I have horribly misjudged the mood and tone of the situation.
I bow to my conscience and good sense. It pains me, but it is the right thing to do.
One of the problems has been that I have spent all day dealing with the big issues. I have just had no time to think. It has just been one major responsibility after another.
“Can you make sure people avoid that dog shit?” asks the photographer.
I stand beside the dog shit. “Dog shit! Watch out – dog shit! Mind the dog shit,” I advise, as everybody heads towards the group photograph.
By the time that I have kept everybody away from the dog shit, I just manage to get in the photo at the back. Later on, as a multitude of smiling and laughing faces morph into an expression of slowly dawning horror, I realise that my conscience and good sense are not necessarily reliable organs.
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