Ladies and gentlemen. Family and friends, and…others…
A-also…right, er. First things first. Telegrams. Well they’re not actually telegrams, we just call them telegrams, I don’t know why. Wedding tradition, because we don’t have enough of that already, apparently.
‘To Mr. and Mrs. Watson. So sorry I’m unable to be with you on your special day. Good luck and best wishes, Mike Stamford.’
‘To John and Mary. All good wishes for your special day. With love and many big…squishy cuddles from Stella and Ted.’
‘Mary. Lots of love…poppet. Oodles of love and heaps of good wishes, from Cam. Wish your family could have seen this.’
Uh, ‘special day’…’very special day’…’love’, ‘love’, ‘love’, ‘love’, ‘love’ but I think you get the general gist people are basically fond.
John Watson. My friend, John Watson. John. When first broached on the subject of being best man I was confused. I confess at first I didn’t realize he was asking me but when finally I understood I expressed to him that I was both flattered and-surprised. I explained to him that I never expected this request and was a little daunted in the face of it. I nonetheless promised that I would do my very best to accomplish a task, which was for me as demanding and difficult as any I had ever contemplated. Additionally I thanked him for the trust he placed in me and indicated that I was in some ways very close to being…moved by them.
Late to transpire that I had said none of this out loud.
I’m afraid, John, I can’t congratulate you. All emotions in a particular love stand opposed to the pure cold reason I hold above all things. A wedding is in my considered opinion, nothing short of a celebration of all that is false and speechless and irrational and sentimental in this ailing and morally compromised world. Today we honour the death watched people that is the doom of our society at a time when feels certain our entire species.
But anyway, let’s talk about John.
If I burden myself with a little help mate during my adventures this is not out of sentiment or caprice, it is that he has many fine qualities of his own that he has overlooked in his obsession with me. Indeed any reputation I have for mental ingenuity and sharpness comes in truth from the extraordinary contrast John so selflessly provides.
It is a fact I believe that brides tend to favour exceptionally plain bridesmaids for their big day, there is a certain analogy there I feel. And contrast is, after all, God’s own plan to enhance the beauty of his creation. Or it would be if God were not a ludicrous fantasy designed to provide a career opportunity for the family idiot.
The point I’m trying to make is…I am, the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant, and all around obnoxious asshole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet. I am dismissive of the virtuous, unaware of the beautiful, and uncomprehending in the face of the happy. So if I didn’t understand I was being asked to be best man it is because I never expected to be anybody’s best friend. Certainly not the best friend, of the bravest, and kindest, and wisest…human being I have ever had the good fortune of knowing. John I am a ridiculous man, redeemed only by the warmth and constancy of your friendship. But as I am apparently your best friend I cannot congratulate you on…your choice of companion…actually now I can.
Mary, when I say you deserve this man, it is the highest compliment of which I am capable.
John, you have endured war, and injury, and tragic loss…so sorry again about that last one. So know this; today you sit between the woman you have made your wife, and the man you have saved.
Assured, the two people who love you most in all this world.
And I know that I speak for Mary s well when I say we will never let you down, and we have a lifetime ahead to prove that.