I found out today that I’ve been conscripted to deliver a speech at a wedding reception in April. The man who was my Best Man at my wedding informed me today.
Start working on your speech too. I thought about springing that on you a couple days before the event, but realized that would be a dick move.
I think that last part was a jab at me or something. I’m not sure. But my mind goes back to the only other time there was a danger that I might be called upon to write a wedding speech. It was a group email discussion–competition, really–from 2009 to see who could outdo each other in tribute to the lucky man and, in the process, convince him to make one of us The Best Man. I’ve pulled up my entry now, and, man, it’s absolutely ridiculous. Two pages of just straight-up cock-and-ballery. (“[M]e the I to his E, *even after* the City called to me.”) My angle was to say I was too good to be just “the best man.” But what I ended up producing was by far the worst thing I’ve ever written and read. (Except for that really awesome Ralph Waldo Emerson reference at the end. Can’t beat that!) And I provide an excerpt for your enjoyment. Here is the penultimate paragraph:
Chatter has reached my ears that, because of my time away from North Carolina these six long years, I don’t qualify for best man. That because I don’t reside within a half-mile radius of Woodcroft Parkway or even within 400 miles of The Ol’ North State, that because I can’t sit around the patio, sipping beer, chatting about lawn aeration or granite bathroom counter tops, that I shouldn’t be trusted with the most sacred task of stepping in for Jason on his wedding day if, sweet Jesus with his footprints in the sand, something terrible should happen to him. Cock and balls to that! I bang my fist on the desk and stomp my foot on the floor with indignation at this bullshit of the lowest grade. This is the stuff of suburban wives tales. My name is Adam, and I am first among those jockeying for best man. My heart never left that day in Chapel Hill, the parking lot gravel crunching under our feet, the soon-to-manifest explosive possibilities of our new friendship lying idle in that steamy late afternoon ten years ago. So while everyone may feel proud that their current goings-ons in Durham may get written up in the local Times, the clangor and percussion of past exploits and adventures made good by Riddle and Fuller are immortalized in The Eternals.