Yeah she’s done well, but she hasn’t got the best man…

August 9, 2007 at 9:11 pm | Posted in being best man, I don't recommend it if you like your poos solid | 26 Comments

This is what happened:

Thursday, the car was damp with parental guilt as we made our way to the airport, a feeling that was killed off once we realised we were child-free for three whole days. “Think of all the relaxed sex we’ll have!” I exclaimed gleefully. She’ll deny it, but Linzi couldn’t wait either. She said as much, in between the sobs.

“It’s only for three days, and your sister will look after them like they were her own. If she had any,” says I. “Sure, doesn’t she have a dog and a cat. That must be even tougher than managing a couple of toddlers.”

It’s tougher for women. I’ve been away for days at a time before. You know, on my drug and alcohol binges. Linzi though. She’s been with them every second since they’ve been born. You’d think she’d be glad of the break, but there she was, crying.

I produced my lad in the car while I drove to the airport – it wasn’t easy trying to control two such mighty contraptions at once, but I knew it would make her laugh. Alas, not last Thursday. “Look at how small he is.” “Look at him winking at you.” Nothing worked. I shut my mouth and let her ride it out.

We landed at Shannon and got on the stinky bus. Mam had forgotten she said she’d collect us – she was up in Mayo on holiday. Some people go to Lanzarote. It takes all kinds.

I patted my flattened stomach when I got off the bus in Galway, glad I’d kept up the swimming. My family’s favourite name for me is “Fat (insert hilarious comedy word here)”. Fat bastard. Fat fecker. Fat cunt. Quality Irish humour, usually said while jabbing me semi-aggressively in the sirloin belly. None of that this time, ye pups! Ha!

It was weird being in Galway. I had to fight through throngs of lovely girls to make it to Woodquay, it being Race Week and all. Ladies’ Day, to be precise. Good old Race Week, when most normal folk can’t even afford to pay attention, never mind the exhorbitant prices for food, drink, and accommodation. On Shop Street a lad tried to charge me €5 when I asked him for the time. As my sister said when she picked us up “What fuckin use are the Races to Galway anyway?”. I rambled on about the enormous benefit to the local economy, just to annoy her, but then she jabbed me in the ribs and called me a fat fucker, so I stopped.

The night before the wedding, we went down to the Róisín Dubh for several pints too many. I also had a pizza in Monroe’s. If you’re ever drunk down the wesht of Galway city, get yourself a pizza in Monroe’s. I’d step over hot smokeless coals for one. And have.

Saturday was a 7.30 rise and I beat back the impending hangover with a swift litre of non-Galway water. I’d have got my hole kicked if I was hungover that day, but it’d have been even worse if I’d got Crypto’d up to my eyeballs. The wedding wasn’t ’til one, but we were going for a hot towel shave, myself, the groom and his groomsmen, hence the early rise. It was great – left my cheeks smoother than Craig David’s singing voice, and it lasted nearly two days. In fact, the second day, my cheeks felt like they’d feel after having a normal shave. Thirty squids though, not cheap. But sure wasn’t it worth it lads, for the day that was in it? It was, they told me.

The wedding was in Galway Cathedral. The cathedral is big, in case you didn’t know. There were 200 people at the ceremony and the place was still no more than a tenth full. Having said that, there were at least another hundred tourists milling around snapping photos during the course of it, which I thought was fucking disgraceful, but that’s Catholics for you.

Someone told me later that night that I was the coolest man they’d ever seen on an altar. Even cooler than Father Fitzcool, who as most people know is the coolest parish priest west of the Shannon, he said to me. Linzi said I looked like I had a poker up my hole standing up there. They were both right.

I did alright, it has to be said. I’ve done both, and the best man’s role is definitely more difficult than the groom’s. All that lad has to do is show up in one piece and he’s guaranteed a ride. I had countless opportunities to cock up, but thankfully missed most of them.

They got their pictures done with maybe half an hour to spare before the coke-and-ice-cream clouds started fizzing rain down hard. We were safe in the hotel by then though, so nobody minded.

My speech is down there, in the comments. This thing is long enough without including it here.

They had them before the meal, thank jeebus. I wouldn’t have been able to eat a thing if I had to wait until after the meal to talk.

Bombshell number one was when I was told I would not only be doing my speech, I would be MC for the rest of the speakers too. Yes, I know this is a common best man duty, but it was the first I’d been told about it people! If I’d known I’d have prepared some jokes.

Bombshell number b was that the microphone didn’t work properly. It was a wireless one. I fucking hate wireless mics. I didn’t used to, but I do now. I lost a couple of moderately amusing punchlines because of the mic cutting out at critical times, but apart from that, the speech went fine. Until I remember that the newly-married couple’s five-year old decided to throw a tantrum halfway through and would not stop until Mammy was cuddling her again. That was a minute and a half I struggled through. When you’re standing up in front of two hundred people, do you know how long a minute and a half lasts? An hour and a half, that’s how long! Bless her though, she was very pretty on the day, and a little angel throughout…apart from those few minutes.

Did I mention the hotel staff decided to start taking food orders while I was giving my speech? People complained afterwards at how ridiculous it was, because the chatter of everyone deciding what they wanted to eat drowned out some of my best work.

Sounds like a disaster, doesn’t it? The odd thing is, it should have been, but it wasn’t. It went really well, and the Bangor joke got a huge laugh. I got a few nice comments afterwards, which made me feel a bit better about things. Kind of like when you do a revealing blog post and you’re in two minds but then someone says they liked it and then you’re okay again.

To tell the truth, I don’t think I could’ve done much more with my bit – I had loads of practice done, but it was just a pile of external things that fucked bits of it up. Sure you’ll have that. The main thing is the day was a resounding success.

If you read the speech, I should point out now that the reason me giving a Liverpool jersey is funny is because the groom is, and always has been, a die-hard Man U fan. If you don’t know anything about football…never mind.

I went to bed at 5.45 the following morning, and was up again at 8. Plane to catch. Home to see babies. Still had the shakes on Monday, but now it’s all over.

Until the next time. On the wedding night, my best friend (I have two, both called Paul. Shut up, I am allowed to have two best friends, and there’s nathin you can do about it so bleaaaaaagh.) asked me to be his best man too. He’s not even engaged though, so I have a bit of breathing space yet.

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  1. Here’s the speech, in its entirety:
    ~
    How ye doing folks, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Kav Whatareyoudrinking, and I’m delighted to be acting as best man for Paul today. To avoid confusion, I must point out that there’s another Kav in here today too, so I’d like you to refer to me by my full name when you meet me at the bar later.
    ~
    I’d first like to echo Paul’s words and propose a toast to the bridesmaids, who are looking stunning today, outshone only by the lovely bride herself. So, “the bridesmaids” – you’ve really done a fantastic job, especially with getting Eleanor to the cathedral today – I understand she put up quite a struggle.
    ~
    If there’s anybody here this afternoon who’s feeling nervous and a bit queasy, it’s probably because you just got married to Paul Surname. So to Eleanor I say “Congratulations, you’re a brave woman.” In fact, I was chatting to Nina earlier today after the ceremony, and she was looking awful stressed. I asked her what was wrong and she just shook her head and said “Poor Eleanor, what on earth has she done?”
    ~
    Ella also looks very beautiful today, she’s giving her mammy a run for her money.
    ~
    Paul and I have known each other for about 16 years – we met back in secondary school and have been best friends since. Before I move on to the bit that I know Paul’s dreading, I just wanted to say that I’m very proud and honoured to be his best man. Paul’s like a brother to me, so now, like any brother would, I’m going to do my best to publicly humiliate him.
    ~
    It’s been difficult though. You’d think I’d be taking this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to destroy Paul’s character, but I realised when I was writing this speech that most of the stories that make him look bad make me look even worse, and we can’t be having that. Considering the family audience we have today, I had to be very careful about what tales I was telling, and it made me think, rather than a character assassination, I should concentrate on Paul’s good points. So don’t worry Paul, my lips are sealed about that time we almost got arrested for drink-driving on Shop Street – the guards let us off with a warning because it wasn’t a car we were driving, it was a couple of children’s toy tractors. Right, but enough said about that.
    ~
    So yeah, Paul’s good points. The only problem with that was I spent a few hours trying to think what they might be, but all I could think of was the damage he’s done to me over the years, like that time in secondary school when he put my head through a window, or the time he gave me a crossbar home from the off-licence where we had just bought some delicious tonic wine – little did I know the bike had no brakes, and a few minutes later we were flying through the air and Paul landed with his full weight on top of me. Lucky for me he’s not that big, but he didn’t care about my injuries anyway – while I was rolling around in agony, Paul was busy giving mouth-to-mouth to the Buckfast making sure it was okay.
    ~
    So there I was, distracted from Paul’s good points by all the harm he’d caused me in our youth, and I thought, feck it, I may as well hang him.
    ~
    Now, a lot of you may not know this, but underneath the bluster of being one of the lads, Paul is a complete Mammy’s boy. I say that with absolutely no disrespect to Nina, because you’ve been a fantastic Mammy to Paul. So good in fact, that he was 20 years old and he still didn’t know how to use a washing machine.
    ~
    I know this because myself and Paul lived with each other one summer not far from his parent’s house in Ardilaun, and I came home from work one day to find him lugging two big bin bags of clothes out the door, bringing them across to Mammy to wash for him. I taught him how to use the washing machine that summer, so Eleanor, it’s really me you have to thank for the domestic god that sits next to you today.
    ~
    In fact, these days, it’s not unusual to find Paul at home doing the ironing while he catches up with the Coronation Street omnibus. That right Paul?
    ~
    Any of you who know Paul will know that he’s a serious football fan, and he’s hoping his little son Ryan will follow in his footsteps and support the greatest team in the world. To commemorate this special occasion, and also to make sure Ryan is set on the right path, I’ve got him a little gift I’d like to share with Paul today.
    ~
    (produce Liverpool football kit)
    ~
    I have to say, I knew Paul wouldn’t be too happy about this, so
    ~
    (produce firelighters and matches)
    ~
    I’ve some firelighters and a box of matches here for you too – do with them what you will.
    ~
    In all seriousness Paul, we’ve had some great times together over the years, and you’ve been a great friend. Not only that, but Eleanor has also become a great friend to me and Linzi, and I know you’ll both continue to be as you start married life together. I really hope you and Eleanor enjoy your honeymoon in Northern Ireland – make sure you send us a postcard.
    ~
    *confusion*
    ~
    What? It’s not Northern Ireland? Oh well I just presumed it was Northern Ireland when you told me this morning you were going to Bangor for a week after the wedding was over.
    ~
    Right, anyway, it’s about time for me to wrap up here, so I’d just like to say once again to Paul, thanks very much for the honour of being best man today. A friend like you is hard to find – in fact, this morning I had to look in three pubs and an off-licence before I found you. On that note, ladies and gentlemen, could I ask that you stand with me and raise your glasses in a toast to the new Mr and Mrs Surname, Paul and Eleanor. We wish you well for the future, and may all your ups and downs be between the sheets. Sláinte…
    ~
    Sin ê. Paul leaned over to me after it was done and said “you could’ve hung me so much worse than that”, and he’s right, I could. Most stories about him are absolutely foul, so I did my best with a difficult-to-gauge audience.

  2. You don’t know me even slightly, but I’m hoping to get married at some point over the next ten years or so and I would very much like it if you would be my best man.

    You can use the same speech.

  3. “Did I mention the hotel staff decided to start taking food orders while I was giving my speech?”

    Ah tremendous, nice work lads.

    Probably under orders from the chef. He needed to get home for CSI Miami and the most important day in a couples life shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way.

    Ah my brothers in arms…

  4. The next time I’m doing Best Man I’m robbing all your words. Kill me with ridiculously elaborate martial arts moves if you want, but I’m robbing them anyway.

  5. Fantastic Kav! Really really good. Will have to refer the husband here for my brothers wedding! Excellent!

  6. Great stuff Kav. I hope you didn’t buy a drink for the night.

  7. If you’re going to make her laff with yer lad, you must draw a face on it first.

    And move his wee mouth to make him talk to her.

    I have faith in you that once you start in on this, you’ll be taking your act on the road.

  8. Guffawed out loud I did, and snorted, at the Bangor joke. Brilliant!

  9. I didn’t really read it all because I was ordering some take out somewhere near the middle…but I bet it was fanfuckingtastic.

  10. Ah the Roisin Dubh! Next time you’re in Galway, look out fer a man by the name of The Mighty Stef playing a gig there — the man is a rock n’ roll scoundrel of a God!

    The speech was delightfully engaging. The Bangor joke had me ribs a-tickled. And Kav Whatareyoudrinking << LOVE it!

  11. She couldn’t even laugh at your lad? Now thats a depressed woman.

    It sounds like a fantastic weekend.

    drink-driving on Shop Street . If thats true it a blog post right there.

  12. Superb!

  13. Deeelighted the two of you had a good time. Speeches can be very nerve wracking.

  14. Good stuff I Love the Bangor joke . Glad you were able to enjoy a feast of pints too

  15. I’m impressed that you fit a blue joke in there in polite company that would sail over the heads of minors. Well done, Kav. It was funny and sweet.

  16. Fabulous dahling! *muah*

    Your friends are fortunate… ya did good, kid!

  17. It’s tougher for women.
    Poor Linzi, who was sad about leaving the kids. Don’t feel the same. I can honestly say that apart from when they were under six months old I hardly thought about the kids when i was away from them (even when it was for several weeks). I reckon I am definately genetically a male, apart from I have my lady bumps. It takes all sorts to make a world eh, even unmaternal gals like me?

  18. Nice work on the speech. I’m even more impressed with the lad-handling while driving. You rule!

  19. Great stuff! I want you to be the best man at my next wedding. (I’ll let you know when I find the dude)

  20. I was in Galway that weekend too! We skipped Roisin’s though. Went to the Blue Note and felt old instead.

  21. Thanks everyone, I’m just relieved it’s over.

    Ships in the night Annie…we may well have wandered past each other in the streets over the weekend.

  22. Kav, late coming to this..just back from the Holliers in France…loved the speech but I can’t believe you said that “What? It’s not Northern Ireland? Oh well I just presumed it was Northern Ireland when you told me this morning you were going to Bangor for a week after the wedding was over”…actually I can and its as much for your irreverent side as your heartfelt thoughts on being a husband, father and human being that I read your blog.

    Hope you both had a fab weekend!

  23. I was in Galway that weekend too! If I’d known I’d have crashed the wedding… Hilarious speech, I’m just sorry I’ll never be a best man so won’t get to rob borrow it!

  24. good article .I really enjoyed reading it.

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