Monday, April 24, 2006

"I'm a picker, I'm a grinner, I'm a lover, and I'm a sinner..."

Some bridegrooms clearly don't have nearly enough to occupy or worry them in the final build-up to the big day.

Last Saturday I was an usher at the wedding of one of my oldest schoolmates, the main duties for which appeared to be propping him up both physically and emotionally from the evening before, when we hit St Alban's town centre for a classy "last meal for a condemned man" at, er, Pizza Hut, and several rounds of drinks which, thanks to an odd promotion at the Fleur de Lys pub, turned out to be many bottles of Panda-style fizzy drinks from which sugar poisoning was more of a threat than alcoholic intoxication...

So, what was worrying Matt most? (Apart from perhaps the most fiendishly, frustratingly difficult Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? machine...)

No, not the prospect of his marriage to the lovely Catherine, the responsibilities the pair would now share, the privileges and obligations of the vows he was about to make, the not even the speech he had to deliver... (Then again, he would be spared the thumped-tables, "Make me laugh! Make me laugh! Make me laugh!" rumblings which were to welcome the two best men to the floor the following day...)

What appeared to be knotting Matt's stomach more than anything else was whether us ushers would satisfactorily carry out his cunning plan to fool, ooh, half a dozen gullible-ish girl guests with six specially-printed orders of service.

You see, the copy we handed to most people as they strolled into the impressive St Nicolas' Church in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, (close to Profumo-scandalising Cliveden), ended with a final page looking like this:



The version carefully (well, almost so - I had to hare after and reclaim a rogue copy inadvertantly given away to some granny) doled out to a select few of our thick-as-thieves school'n'uni group - or, more accurately, partners - concluded thus:



Cue, much confusion - and hilarity - as the chords of the final hymn struck up, and a handful in our pews almost, almost, almost started crooning an odd, churchy version of a Duran Duran, er, "classic", only to realise all else were blithely hollering along to a school-hall-hymn favourite...

Laugh? Well, Matt certainly did, we could tell, as he sent a hesitant smirking glance over his shoulder even as his new wife hustled him into the vestry for the comparatively-insignificant task of signing the register...

Well, as long as he felt the day had achieved something...!

Actually, it was a gloriously enjoyable day, even if the most stressful fact of my, er, ush-ing was missing some football match which was going on at the same time...
Well, actually, it kicked off just around the time we left the church, meaning I was valiantly trying to help muster the troops for appropriate wedding photos, while devouring text messages keeping me up-to-date on almost every kick over at the Library.

Lucky I didn't miss anything too exciting or controversial, eh...?

I suppose, since there was a fairly even balance of Spurs and Vermin fans at the wedding, a draw was probably a helpful result, even though it wasn't until the following day and our free hotel papers that we would gain an inkling of just how much Arsene Whinger was cracking up while we indulged ourselves in cocktails, cigars and cravats. And Kinks-conversing with Matt's mum, whose taste in music seems to have entirely bypassed her misguided son, but still...

And the happy couple did indeed make a lovely pair, dodgy love of 1980s music notwithstanding.



Matt certainly bore up better than at his stag weekend - and the day after, of which this is the literally stomach-churning evidence.

Frankly, for those with sound, I would recommend this entirely unrelated strangeness as a preferable multimedia experience.

That cat's not right...

3 comments:

overnighteditor said...

Good gag. Noted.

Cravats... I see.

hangthedj said...

Thats brilliant...who knew Duran Duran's "Save a Prayer" could be so funny...actually...

When I get married I want to have my wedding dance to Pulp's "Something Changed". It has to be one of the most romantic songs ever.

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