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
8.43 am. Am in midst of trying to persuade local cannabis grower who owns the only other property with rooms to hire locally to allow me to rent seven rooms, when have to curtail call hurriedly because First Of Her Name explodes into kitchen. Disaster is written across her expression.
9.01 am. Am relieved I have not been found out yet over failure to secure accommodation for visiting family. It turns out the ‘disaster’ involves transport. As this is explained, more of the planning is revealed to me than before. It seems on-the-day preparations will take place at the family pile, before bride to be, FOB and MOB depart in one car while bride’s maids depart in one or more other cars. ‘That sounds splendid,’ I proffer encouragingly. This prompts a familiar sequence, viz incredulity, splenetic fury and rapid belabouring. Once I am safe under table with dog, the reason is made clear. The owner of car-hire company has been arrested for money laundering and his assets sequestrated. Consequently no transport available. ‘And before you open your mouth,’ her wonderment hisses, ‘if you even begin to utter the word ‘Uber’ you will find that my mother is coming for an extended stay.’
9.15 am. First Of Her Name leaves for meeting with stylist, still chuntering while I return call to Derrick the Spliff over room hireage. He’s mellower than before having no doubt imbibed a morning Moroccan ready rubbed and confirms he can offer me a deal, he has plenty of rooms, though he wants a ‘quid pro quo’.
9.20 am. Second dilemma of the a.m. looms. On the one hand all local opinion (viz the man who sells the Big Issue outside the Post Office) is Derrick’s rooms are delightful and better than Barry’s. On the other, the ‘pro quo’ involves some informal storage. Apparently there are some delivery issues with his ‘product’ which it turns out involves the same transport as we had hired for the wedding being unavailable. Mention this fact and Derrick says he may be able to help there, too. Possibly over confident that I might have resolved two dilemmas clouds judgement because agree to storage. ‘It needs to be dry,’ says Derrick as he rings off.
11.40 am. Black cloud spluttering transit van appears out of which Derrick and Troll No. 1 and Troll No. 2 emerge. While Trolls decant plastic bags into garage, Derrick rolls joint. Am tempted when offered second drag but know First Of Her Name could have had career as sniffer dog had she so chosen, so decline. ‘You need cars?’ I repeat what First Of Her Name told me. ‘A Roller? Silver Cloud?’ I agree that sounds perfect, before asking if he has something for the bride’s maids. ‘Something novel?’ I want to ask what but decide not to push luck and agree. We shake. Is this binding in his world? Decide asking for email confirmation probably unnecessary and likely to offend.
11.45 am. Ask where Trolls have put bags. Told they are well hidden and decide I prefer not to know, speculating that if raided I can plead reverse burglary where the thief has added rather than removed goods without my knowledge. Worry openly that First Of Her Name may smell supplies but am assured Trolls are used to this issue and have taken steps to ensure that isn’t a problem. Decide to take chance and block nascent worry from mind.
2.15 pm. Explain to First Of Her Name have sorted transport problem. When quizzed decide to tell as much truth as I dare. First Of Her Name accepts without question. Worrying sign.
4.30 pm. Man selling Big Issue arrested for selling cannabis to school teachers for end of year disco. Suspect his eulogising of Derrick’s rooms may have been clouded by linkage.
10.40 am. Am collecting suits for me, Best Man, Fiancé and Male Heir. All going well until Tactile Tailor asks, ‘Can sir remember which waistcoat/tie combination was chosen?’
10.41 am. Am still expressing the view that sir can’t and won’t, no way, not a chance, over my dead body etc., etc.
10.57 am. Car now full over four suit bags and 16 waistcoat/tie combinations following (a) my promise to return the unwanted ones forthwith and no later that Wednesday and (b) an unnecessarily aggressive swiping of my credit card allowing the Tactile Tailor to deduct a small stipend if I fail to comply with (a).
11.47 am. Am at traffic lights when bright pink Robin Reliant pulls alongside. Notice because of ridiculous dragon-like roar from its modified exhaust. When I look at driver realise it is Troll No. 2. He winds down window and bellows above cacophony ‘for your wedding, yes?’ before driving off. Am so stunned at idea of a Gay Del Boy conveyance appearing in our drive on Big Day that fail to register car horns encouraging me to move. By the time I engage both brain and first gear the lights are red again. One furious driver decides on expressing his disquiet and righteous indignation at this 75 second delay to his journey and joins me for a nose to nose moot on the merits of my continued ability to aspire. When I fail to make eye contact something in his equilibrium snaps and he yanks open rear door as lights go green.
11.49 am. Watch in horror as I cross junction while the aggrieved other party holds up the box containing 16 waistcoat/tie combinations. This is last seen describing a near perfect parabola over the wall and into the canal.
7.41 pm. Pub. Next to me are 13.5 waistcoat/tie combinations, the case of a Betamax video player and a condom vending machine that Barry’s lad retrieved from the canal after I explained my current disaster. Am pleased when told that I am only expected to keep the clothes. The Betamax, Barry assures me is now considered a valuable antique and ‘he knows a man who knows the man’ who’ll pay ‘top dollar’. As for the condom machine, Barry says this used to be in the gents and belongs to the brewery; its return will mean he gets his ‘dosh’ back. When I enquire how come it ended up in the canal, he explains that ‘Shagger Harry’ ripped it off when his then current squeeze Shazza O’Peach became ‘up the duff’ even though he used one of the condoms. It was only some ten months later when Shazza became pregnant again that anyone asked about his prophylactic application technique. It turned out Harry thought these condoms, since they were flavoured, were like the pill and to be taken orally. Leave feeling queasy at the image of Harry’s stools emerging ready wrapped. Decide it might be time to find a different hostelry for my evening sup.