Readers of this blog may have picked up on the forthcoming nuptials for my son. Two years ago my daughter wed a delightful young man. In the run up to that event I imagined an alternate scenario which led to a series of posts, under the above title. In anticipation of this year’s event and maybe to bring back memories for anyone who has been the parent of a wedding, I’ve reworked the diary, though I’ve retained the fact it is a daughter whose wedding is anticipated. I hope you enjoy…
This is entirely fiction. Completely. Utterly. Except for any true bits
06.21 am. Wake up in spare bed, having realised two things overnight, viz (1) we need a new spare bed and (2) I will never again be able to straighten my spine.
07.40 am. Encounter neighbour while out walking Spiro Agnew in the hope that early exercise will free up my spasming muscles. When Ronald sees me, he queries if I have ‘succumbed to all that yoga nonsense’. When I assure him I have not, he wonders why I look ‘like a human pretzel’. While we are talking Spiro Agnew evacuates his bowels next to Rodney’s slippers. Decide it prudent to withdraw swiftly as Rodney is waging a war on the dog owner whose mutt has been defecating outside his house for months and I am without appropriate faecal capture paraphernalia, viz a doggie bag.
08.32 am. First Of Her Name is prepared to forgot any faux pas from yesterday and offers me the chance of redemption. Indeed, she has developed an understanding and charitable streak as she tells me I need ‘to go to the pub’.
10.41 am. In pub. First Of Her Name does not have an understanding and charitable streak. I am charged with securing ‘their finest accommodation’ for certain guests, viz her sister. While if questioned, First Of Her Name will describe her relationship with her sister as ‘close’ this does not include physical proximity. Consequently they will need to be housed nearby, but with at least two courses of bricks between each sibling. Hence the suggestion of the pub.
11.23 am. Am pleading with Barry, the publican to let me have all seven of their rooms, even though they are already booked. First Of Her Name has made it clear that, if I fail in my appointed task ‘given that you have spent enough money there to have shares in the place’ I will need to consider alternative methods of urinating.
11.41 am. Barry admits the rooms have been booked by Rodney who will be hosting a war-gaming extravaganza in his garage that weekend.
2.12 pm. Having waited by the gate, pretending to degrease my wisteria, apprehend Rodney on his way to the off licence. Confide to him that I spotted Barry’s Rottweiler-Cerberus cross, Bruiser, depositing the latest turdiferous instalment on the pavement. Agree that Barry is a swine and certainly not a gentleman. Suggest we should boycott the pub in protest.
3.41 pm. Deliver the news to Barry that Rodney has decided to cancel booking. Agree with assessment of Rodney’s untrustworthiness, viz he is a mite too fickle (or in Barry’s vernacular ‘a slippery little shite’). Confirm we are happy to fill Barry’s now empty order book.
4.17 pm. Am confronted by apoplectic First Of Her Name. Once mouth frothing and teeth gnashing subsides to allow for coherent explanation, find that First Of Her Name has discovered Spiro Agnew’s morning offering as she returned from a trip to the bridal wear boutique by the simple expedient of stepping into same. Have begun to sympathise when she interrupts. ‘I told Rodney it wasn’t good enough’. Further probing reveals that First Of Her Name suggested that, since the offending evacuation was on the pavement outside Rodney’s house, it was his responsibility to clean it up.
4.18 pm. I gently suggest that First Of Her Name is being a touch harsh as he does not own a dog. That appears to have been Rodney’s take. First Of Her Name then surprises me with ‘I know, Rodney and I, we’re good. He explained about the culprit.’ I want to ask how that can be so, but somehow know this will not generate a desirable answer.
7.10 pm. Contemplating disaster as head for pub. Rodney revealed Barry’s pooch as the crapulous culprit to First Of Her Name. I am dispatched to cancel the booking. When I arrive, Rodney is in a full and frank discussion over the general decline in civic pride with Barry viz, why he doesn’t clean up after his sodding dog. Barry expresses a degree of surprise at his suggestion viz: ‘wtf are you saying?’ at which point Rodney points to me as the purveyor of eye-witness evidence.
7.27 pm. Outside pub with the following having been resolved: (1) we will not be using the pub to house family members; (2) Rodney has restored his previously cancelled booking; and (3) I am discouraged from frequenting the pub for the foreseeable if I want to be able to urinate standing up. Wonder if Barry and First Of Her Name attend same book group.
8.34 pm. First Of Her Name pleased that booking has been cancelled so easily and delighted when I confide I have decided to cut down on trips to the pub ‘to save money’. Bed privileges are restored.
9.30 pm. Tentatively inquire about accommodation now Rodney has pub. ‘You’ll think of something.’
11.01 pm. Wait outside Rodney’s for one hour seventeen minutes until, finally Spiro Agnew delivers. Think, perhaps that is enough of a protest for tonight.
8.12 am. Am informed while buttering toast that the wedding countdown has begun and ‘we now have to focus on the fine details’.
8.13 am: Attempt sage expression while trying to avoid eye contact. Fail as am forced to consider First Of Her Name is having a coronary, if the noises emanating from beneath the table are anything to go by.
8.27 am: Am making similar noises to those emitted by First Of Her Name. We are exercising as apparently we need to ‘get in shape’.
8.28 am: Am horrified when shown exactly what ‘my shape’ is to become. Protest that my stomach is visible proof that there are still opportunities available to the shrewd investor that will grow whatever the market conditions viz a couple of swift pints and a ‘sharpener’ before dinner every night ensures I continue to represent, in human form, the benefits of globalisation.
8.29 am: Am mortified when First Of Her Name says the only thing about me that represents any connection with globalisation is how after said pints I look like I’ve swallowed a planet.
9.14 am: First Of Her Name announces we have become members of a gymnasium and we will need to undertake an assessment at lunchtime.
12.42 pm: Am introduced to Gervais who appears to be devoid of various standard body parts, viz a neck and the ability for his arms to touch his sides. He is wearing a stretchy top with the words ‘Fit Me’ emblazoned on the front. Wonder if this is a description or a direction.
12.45 pm: Gervais queries my attempt to guess at the appropriate dress code viz a pair of fawn slacks and a cricket pullover. My loafers are also ‘non-standard’.
12.46 pm: Gervais points to a whippet thin woman who must be in training to play a novelty hamster in some upcoming interpretation of the Nutcracker as she is practicing running in a wheel. She is wearing ‘lycra’ which I need to acquire. This is far too much of a reminder of the Spanx farrago and have to be revived. Come to with Gervais about to give me mouth to mouth. Faint again.
12.53 pm: Gervais decides I might be best trying a bicycle. This machine has an encouragingly familiar structure and am happily pedalling when Gervais informs me we will be undertaking a HIIT programme. Assure him, as a pacifist, I will be doing nothing of the kind. Gervais explains the meaning of this confusing acronym. ‘Shall we give it a try?’
13.04 pm: Peer at a sea of faces from horizontal position on floor, including Gervais and First Of Her Name. Assume I am about to be berated for my failure to master the HIIT concept when hear First Of Her Name say, ‘I asked you to get him ready for our daughter’s wedding not accelerate her inheritance.’
13.09 pm: Sitting with First Of Her Name in trendy wine bar sipping a rather good white Rioja. Admit to being pleasantly surprised at this turn up. First Of Her Name states we will not be going back to ‘those charlatans’. Make suitably mollifying comment about their lack of obvious Health & Safety considerations for the novice user such as us, only to be corrected brusquely ‘they said they didn’t have enough time to tone me up’.
13.10 pm: Make fatal mistake of levity (note to self: always think twice before attempting to lighten First Of Her Name’s mood). A light-hearted reference to ‘bingo wings’ and the fact no one will notice on the day is rebuffed with ‘My outfit is sleeveless’. Offer to buy seconds of the anaesthetic by the glass which is also rebuffed.
13.27 pm: Comeuppance is delivered unusually swiftly. We have joined a running club that caters for all ages and all levels which is based at said wine bar. ‘This will be much more effective.’
13.28 pm: am left wondering in what way the running club might be more effective: preparing me for my role in the upcoming nuptials or for my early demise. Judge that the jury to be still out by the time of the wedding.