Here’s an illustration of how to turn your best man’s speech into a mock political campaigning speech. Order!
‘Given the fact that Tim [the groom] is such an incredibly popular and successful man, it seems doubly amazing to me that he’s asked me to be his best man. There must have been dozens of candidates. But then I am his oldest friend. I suppose the first thing I should do is to say thank you. And, I suppose, the second thing that I should do is say sorry. Because while it is an honour to be standing here as your best man, it is also my duty to be really nasty about you too.
‘In fact, the first thing I did when I was asked to make this speech was ask Tim’s doctor, who shall remain nameless, what he thought of the groom‐to‐be. The doctor said that, in his professional opinion, Tim was “clinically lazy, a compulsive liar and mildly neurotic”. Shocked, I asked for a second opinion. He said: “Okay then, he’s an ugly bugger with smelly feet.”
‘But enough of that. Let’s get on with the speech. I thought, seeing as Tim has shown such an active and ideologically fluid interest in politics over the years, that it would be interesting to imagine what Tim’s election manifesto would look like, should he ever run for office. Now I know you should never discuss politics, sex or religion at the dinner table. But seeing as my only alternative is to tell the one about George W Bush, a one‐legged lady‐of‐the‐night and the Reverend Ian Paisley, I think I’m on safer ground with the manifesto.
‘What about foreign affairs? Well, Tim is all in favour. I’ve accompanied him on several trips abroad, all of which have involved attempted diplomatic “liaisons” with various local girls. But none was ever that successful. In fact, there was one time in France when he tried to use a romantic chat‐up line. He meant to say to a rather stunning young mademoiselle: “Vous etes tres belle, je voudrais vous embrasser,” meaning, “You’re very beautiful, I’d like to kiss you.” But instead he said: “Vous etes tres folle, je devrais vous enlacer”, meaning: “You’re very mad, I’m going to have to tie you up.” Tim with his own version of entente cordiale there…
‘Let us turn to education. Tim believes that every person should get the most out of the system. This explains why he spent two years in the third form at school, resat his A levels twice and started two degrees before gaining a Second in social anthropology from Hull Uni. It has also been brought to my attention that, while at primary school, Tim availed himself of all the activities on offer, including taking part in the school nativity. He had a starring role as Third Sheep. Of course, right on cue his fellow sheep went “baa” and he went [pause] “moo”.
‘How about law and order? Tim has seen the activities of the police force up close, and is no stranger to the workings of the magistrates courts. After a rather merry evening at his local about a year ago, Tim decided to water the plants in a garden on the way home. Unfortunately, just as he was sprinkling the geraniums, two of Her Majesty’s Constabulary happened upon him and he wound up in the nick for the night.
‘Where does Tim stand on economics? Well, he most certainly believes in the free market. He’s always coming up with hair‐brained, get‐rich‐quick‐schemes. A bit like the time when he decided to hold a jumble sale in his front garden without telling his Mum and Dad. To make things worse he wasn’t just selling his old toys but also the contents of the family’s front room. I must say that brand‐new video I picked up for 50p was the best bargain I’ve ever had. Lovejoy would have been proud!!
‘So there you have it: Tim’s manifesto. As you can tell, he’s a man of strong principles and fine ethics. So long as they disregard all his policies, I know that he and Hayley will make a fantastic couple.
‘Let me end now on a serious and sincere note by a wishing today’s lucky couple all the happiness in the world. To the bride and groom!’