I worry about my Best Man Speech.

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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11 Comments

  1. You got dog poo on yer shoe, didn’t you?

  2. Do you have any reliable organs, Jonny? For fuck’s sake please tear up that donor card – the desperately ill have enough troubles without the risk of having terminal Jonnyness grafted onto their defenseless forms as they languish. That’d be like throwing a drowning man an anvil…

  3. Well you could simply do as the best man did at the last wedding I attended. He delivered a heartfelt and touching monologue on the groom’s known exquisite taste in breasts and suggested that the room in general take the opportunity during the upcoming dance to admire the bride’s which were prominently on display. Then he turned to the maid of honor and assure her that clearly it runs in the family. It wasn’t dog shit on a shoe but I’m pretty sure the reactions were comparable.

  4. Megan – you’re joking, right…?

    Right…?

  5. You have a best friend – amazing!

  6. I don’t get the end, this is like one of those really smart West Wing episodes that you have to go online to understand. Did you stand in the shit? Did you tell the bus stop thing? Please, Jonny, put me out of my admittedly temporary misery…

  7. Why is it necessary to be a smart arse at a wedding.
    You must know that in a few years time you will not be remembered fondly- By wife, mother etc.

  8. Megan, you made up that one, didn’t you?

  9. Sam, I’m guessing Jonny – flushed with success at ushering the guests to a reasonable state of dogshitlessness – had a few self-congratulatory ciders and decided the bus-stop story absolutely, positively, had to be heard by one and all.

  10. Nope! Absolutely true story and best wedding I’ve ever been to ever. Also the couple wrote their own vows which used totally original poetry AND a musical interlude. I keep scanning YouTube in the hopes that someone videoed the whole thing but so far no luck.

    I should maybe note that I was dragged as the ‘insignificant other’ to provide moral support for someone whose cousin it was so it’s not like these were MY friends or family or anything.

  11. You did the right thing man! We write speeches for people at http://www.bestmansspeeches.com, and get LOADS of people coming to us with speeches about what the groom did with the babysitter etc! There will always be grans and nans in the room – keep it funny but clean people!

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