Friday 1 May 2009

The Wedding Eve

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...


  1. Ho ho, and wow, what an event! Best wishes to the bride and groom and their families!

  2. Congratulations and enjoy the day, old bean.

    If not a baffling Beckettian anecdote for your speech, then how about a very, very long and impenetrable poem? Perhaps one of Geoffrey Hill's epics, or better still, something of your own composition.

  3. I bet your son is dreading the possibility you might decide to spout forth, Nige. My heart sank when Daddy got to his feet and offered up the immortal lines:

    Dear Sophie got married in June.
    It wasn't a moment too soon.
    We'd waited for years
    With increasing fears
    She'd end up a wrinkled old prune.

    I hope you all have a fabulous, bibulous day.

  4. Hoho I'll save that one for the daughter's wedding!

  5. Best wishes to the happy couple and their families! Best of luck with the speech particularly if it comes late in the festivities.

  6. Here's wishing the bride and groom a long and happy marriage, and plenty bambino.
    Or grandchildren as you will have to call them.

  7. Congratulations to all, Nige.

  8. Looks like it will be a lovely day. Best wishes to all.

  9. You'd better NOT say the bride has an "anagram of a pretty face"! Just say she's beautiful, your son is lucky, and quaff your bubbly.

    Happy, happy day to you Nige. You're not losing a son, you're gaining a daughter!

  10. Just stumbled by here while looking for wedding blogs hope you day went well

    Bridal Gems Red Tiaras