Friday, 22 August 2008

I'm the Best [Man]!

It was my Big Brother's weekend last week and I was fortunate enough to be asked to be his Best Man. When Neil first asked me to be his best man my not-so-well-considered response was 'oh no'. Note: This is one of those few questions where 'oh no' is a really bad response. Others include 'Will you marry me?' and 'I'm pregnant'.

Of course I was happy to be my Brother's Best Man, flattered in fact. My response was purely down to fear of giving the inevitable speech. I'm quite good at doing stuff in front of crowds. I think it's something to do with singing in a band through out school. Nothing can be more scary then singing Radiohead album tracks at bi-annual school ceremonies in front of 100's of parents whilst sporting a ginger afro (Growing my hair long did not work as expected). Regardless, I was still filled with dread, mainly because I didn't have a drummer to blame if it all went tit's up.

To make it even more difficult, I decided not to cop out and use the internet for one liners. I've seen a few best man speeches and the ones cribbed from the internet never sound quite right. The delivery is odd and blatantly not the words of the person giving the speech. So it was down to me, my memory and my sounding board (Jen).

The mainstay of any best man's speech is sentences that start with 'I remember when...', 'When X was Y...', 'X won't want me to mention this, but...' or even 'I remember when X Y'd a Z'. For this, I needed to remember stuff, which is a problem. My long term memory is great, if I have some a cue to trigger the memory. This is pretty much why I've started blogging any slightly interesting thing that happens in my life. My hope is that I can read over this in 10 years and it will be a good enough cue for the memories to come flooding back.

Thankfully I had mum on hand for memory cues, and over two weeks things came together quite nicely. To act as one of the aforementioned cues in 10 years time, here's my speech
It feel's like I've known Neil all my life. [Believe it or not, this is a joke]. Growing up with Neil I was him go through a number of phases. In one such phase Neil starting wearing nail varnish, eyeline and even a dress. OK, he was 8 and it was a fancy dress party but it was a bit worrying that he ran around shouting 'My name is Rowena and a drink Ribena'

When Neil was 16, he found his first love - himself. Honestly, he had more beauty products than the body shop. You wouldn't think it looking him at him now but he used to have a floppy fringe that he'd style for hours everyday. If it was reflective, he'd check himself out in it. I vividly remember one dinner when I looked up to see Neil mesmerized by his reflection in a spoon.

At about the same age Neil found his first life partner - Mr Wilkinson. Neil's been working for Wilkinson's now for 12 years, which coincidentally is the same age as the pick'n'mix in the Kettering branch. If Neil ever goes to a town or city that he hasn't visited before, he turns into a spy for Wilkinson's own brand MI5 checking on the competition - other Wilkinson's. I honestly stood outside the Nottingham Wilkinson's for 15 minutes while he sneaked around mocking their pitiful toilet roll display.

When Neil's not working undercover for Wilkinson's, he's fishing. What I was going to do here was say a bunch of really bad fishing puns...and I couldn't think of anything better, so here we go.

There's no trout that Neil's caught the catch of the day
Cod only knows that Neil's netted salmon special

Now I know Neil's been looking forward to his big day for years. And last December it finally came!

I was a bit worried that Neil would still be hung over from the stag do. OK, it was two weeks ago but I'd never seen him drink so much. 3 Lager shandies and a Baileys! Amazing!

In all honesty, I've spent the last two weeks trying to think of embarrassing things to say about my brother and it's been hard, because he's one of the nicest people I know, and I'm sure him and Corinne will be very happy together.

And here's a picture of me and Jen laughing at something.