Friday, July 21, 2006

Matrimonial Meanderings - Part One

12:30 Having acquired my best man (The Gusmeister) and ushers (Duncan, my younger sibling, and Neil, elder statesman and chief wit of the slug-infested parasitic hellhole that masqueraded as my second and third year university accommodation) and suavely attired myself in a fetching tailcoat, I have little left to do in terms of preparation other than anxiously pace around the house. My nervousness is, however, minor compared to that of the Gusmeister, who is such a perfectionist that he spends nearly an hour and a half practising the hand gestures that accompany his speech in the mirror.

14:00 We reach the church. I trip over a grave that has had the confounded cheek and selfish lack of consideration for others to position itself directly in my path and I narrowly avoid crashing head first into the accompanying headstone. This is not an auspicious start.

14:05 I trip over another poorly positioned grave. I look around suspiciously for any sniggering zombies who might be behind this conspiracy against my person.

14:10 I affix my buttonhole flora and mobile hayfever-inducing device. The streaming eyes that are the natural consequence of attaching such a malevolent pollen-filled flower to my upper chest are taken by my dad to demonstrate a complete breakdown of manly resolve. I remind him that I have not cried in public since I last saw a Will Ferrell comedy.

14:40 The guests begin to arrive, and as etiquette demands that Dani does not make an appearance in person until the ceremony begins I find myself in the unusual position of being the centre of attention for something positive. Previous times when I have been the centre of attention include a) the occasion at primary school when my appalling ineptitude for the game 'It' resulted in the near self-amputation of my left arm and an emergency rescue from the fire brigade, b) the time at secondary school when my English teacher considered my interpretation of the poem 'Goblin Market' to be so revoltingly depraved that she took me aside in class for some one-to-one counselling and c) the occasion on which I became the first person ever to score two goals in the same House Football game with my arse. This is, therefore, a new and quite disconcerting experience for me.

14:45 The Gusmeister and I enter the church to a rousing and entirely spontaneous burst of utter, contemptuous silence. I quickly calculate all the aspects of the ceremony that could go horribly wrong and the correct answer 'all of them several times over and to increasingly embarrassing and humiliating effect' provides me with little solace.

15:00 Dani arrives, but in my enfeebled state I am only able to continue to look directly forward while quivering gently. The vicar - who closely resembles a bowling ball with a not especially convincing approximation of a face - gently reminds me that it is conventional for the groom to face the bride rather than staring intently at the places on his head where the fingers and thumb go.

15:10 The immortal line 'does anyone here know of any good reason why these two should not be joined in holy matrimony?' is uttered at last. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to kill everyone who knew of a good reason prior to the ceremony and my other six wives are securely locked up in a safe house in Basildon, so I feel in little danger at this stage. There is no audible response to this question other than a few mild giggles and a number of 'yes, he prefers chickens', which are greeted with the contempt they deserve.

15:30 We are married. Dani, with typically endearing naivety, appears blissfully unaware of the fact that she has haplessly and unnecessarily thrown her life away and has not yet got round to even tying the knot... in her noose, let alone hanging it from the ceiling. After crossing the threshold of the church we are invited to form a slightly belated greeting line for our guests. The females are subjected to the horrific experience of an embrace and kiss from yours truly*.

* I kissed nearly 70 women on my wedding day, which seems slightly inappropriate and immoral. Fortunately, however, most of them are at least partially recovered from post-traumatic stress disorder and the others are in recession. The ones you really have to sympathise for are those who received invitations to both the church and the evening reception and were thus subjected to the horrific ordeal on two occasions. What is most concerning is that the official photographs of what should have been innocuous cheek pecks and embraces are taken from such a deceptive angle as to make it appear that I'm committing a series of increasingly horrifying and adulterous carnal acts barely seconds after my wedding with a variety of my new wife's best friends. Now I understand what my good friend Kate (who, incidentally was born on the same day as me and thus is unfortunate enough to share a birthday with Benito Mussolini and, worse, Andi Peters) was going on about when she said slightly sardonically that I was a 'good hugger'...

16:00 We are subjected to the odd tradition that demands that the new bride and groom are half-drowned in scraps of discarded coloured toilet paper as they battle their way manfully to their automotive escape route. Battered and bruised by this experience, we request a quick escape in our hird Rolls Royce Phantom and smooothly exit proceedings. As we leave Witham I breathe for the first time in four hours and foolishly begin to relax, whereupon I remember to my horror that the situation most fraught with the potential for extreme embarrassment - namely my speech - is still yet to come...

Ed's Mood: Ebullient

Ed's Incessant Auto-Repeat Musical Tip: Smashing Pumpkins - Rock On

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Filler Track

(To the theme tune of - and in homage to - the children's animated classic, Poddington Peas)

At the bottom of the gene pool
With all the rats and the flies
There's a lot of semi-people
They're called the Basildon chavs
The Basildon chavs

Authentic wedding and honeymoon update coming soon...

Ed's Mood: Tranquil

Ed's Incessant Auto-Repeat Musical Tip: Ephymerean Gaze - 'New One'