It's my son's wedding tomorrow (sorry if your invitations didn't arrive - you know what the post is like these days...) Fancying I might be called upon to utter some kind of speech, I turned for inspiration (naturally) to the works of Samuel Beckett. You may recall the story What A Misfortune, in More Pricks Than Kicks, in which our hero Belacqua weds Miss Thelma bboggs, who 'had at least the anagram of a good face, while as for soul, sparkling or still as preferred, it was her speciality'. At the wedding reception, Walter Davitt, a subfusc civil servant who is Thelma's biological father, rises, in a somewhat exalted condition, and - well, over to you, Sam -
'[He] paid out his discourse in a pawl-and-ratchet monotone that could never be unsaid, as follows:
'It is on record that a lady member of the Lower House, and femme couverte what is more, rose to her feet, those feet - for she was of Dublin stock - that Swift, rebuking the women of this country for their disregard of Shank's mare, described as being fit for nothing better than to be laid aside, and declared: "I would rather commit adultery than suffer one drop of intoxicating liquor to pass my lips." To which a gross baker, returned in the Labour interest, retorted: "Wouldn't we all rather do that, Madam?"'
This opening passage was rather too densely packed to gain the general suffrage...'
However, Walter rallies and returns to the fray -
'"Il faut marcher avec son temps" said a Deputy of the extreme Right. "Cela depend" answered Briand in his sepulchral sneer "dans quoi il marche." So do not heckle me, Herrschaften, because that would about finish me.'
He drooped his head, like a pelican after a long journey, pricked up the ears of his fearful moustache, and shuffled and shifted his feet like one surprised in a dishonourable course of action...'
Oh yes, something along those sort of lines should do the trick. I predict a triumph...