Being the Best Man: is it really the great life-affirming experience that bridal magazine propaganda and american TV would have us believe? Or is it, in fact, just a thankless and exhausting collection of dogsbody running-around, foolish costumery and - worst of all - public speaking? The answer, as that opening should have made clear to anyone who has ever used this singularly cliched bit of rhetoric themselves, is of course that it's a bit of both. I had plenty of opportunity to discover the highs and lows during my stint as Best Man at the nuptials of my pie-faced younger brother and esteemed co-reviewer James. On the one hand, it is of course a singular honour, to stand at your compadre's side, shoulder-to-shoulder as he embarks upon this bold new leg of the great voyage of Life. On the other hand, it involves public speaking. The worst part is the reception; you'd think that once you'd managed not to lose the rings, got the groom to the church on time and stopped him running away / passing out / having panic attacks waiting for the bride to show up*, people would let you have a bit of peace. But no! Every man and his dog seems to see nothing wrong with snapping their fingers and shouting 'Best Man! Best Man!' and sending you on whatever trivial and half-baked errand enters their overheated free-booze-sozzled brains. And then there's the public speaking.
Ah, I'm just kidding. It was all quite a laugh really. Besides the whole 'singular honour’ thing and the 'lots of free booze' thing, I take from my Best Manly experience several gifts of memory and experience that I shall always treasure. These are:
- I learned that public speaking is not, in fact, the worst thing that can possibly happen. Actually it was sort of fun.
- As a thank-you for my half-assed efforts, James gave me a bona fide original Optimus Prime toy. For the first time in my adult life, I almost cried.
- I got to go to Estonia and watch [CENSORED][CENSORED] rubbing their [CENSORED] all over [CENSORED][CENSORED][CENSORED][CENSORED]. Which was pleasant.
- If I hadn't been a Best Man, I would never have had the occasion to read 'Stag and Groom' magazine, and the world-famous legendary Crime-Fighting Duo 'Stagg and Groome' would never have been born!
* I tried to keep him distracted with Fun Comics Trivia questions, but he was rubbish; unfocussed, distracted... almost as if his mind was on something else. The poor sap couldn't even remember the names of Supergirl's parents.**
**Zor-El and Alura. Obviously.