No Harm Done

Is this thing on? Can you all hear me? Yes? OK then. A few words about the happy couple. And what a happy couple they are. Magnificent. Sort of been dreading this moment, to be honest with you — not my best talent, this, public speaking, but here we go.

Let me introduce myself: I’m Brian; hello. I’m a mate of Darren’s, in case you don’t know. From work. Haven’t really known him long, but he had a bit of a falling out with his brothers, he said, so he asked me to be his best man, and here I am. I said whatever you want, Darren, pal, you can count on me.

Marriage. Serious topic, that. It’s a commitment you make to one person, good or bad, for the rest of your natural life. You meet someone, and if you’re lucky, they’ll agree to marry you. You throw a big party; everyone comes; the fella marries you together in the sight of God and everyone else; you knock back a few drinks; you might get a dance or two; cop the odd feel off a bridesmaid if you like; then it’s off to some hotel for a few days of shagging, and then it’s the rest of your life.

You think it’s all a bit of fun, a bit of a lark, but it’s not. It’s dead serious. You’ve got to be careful you picked the right person or it can all go to hell. Sometimes you’re lucky, though. Darren here — he’s lucky. Look at Cheryl. Lovely girl is Cheryl. Very pretty. Good figure. Doesn’t complain. Good on you, Cheryl. Stay that way.

It’s not always like that, though. The wife can let herself go, put on a few pounds, go out to the bar with her friends a bit too often. Not take as much care with your dinner as she used to. Slap a microwaved pizza in front of you instead of a proper meal; you know the kind of thing I’m talking about. And before you know it you can’t stand the sight of her and you’re moving out. Takes all your money too, wipe you out clean if you give her a chance.

Can’t do that, Darren. Can’t rest on your laurels. Can’t get slack around the edges.

And kids — don’t get me going. Best thing is not to have them. Only cause you heartache, kids. ‘Course, it’s too late for these two, what with Cheryl’s condition and all. Oh — sorry about that. Didn’t know it was a secret. Oops. Well, you can’t keep that hidden for long, can you? I mean, look at her. No harm done. Don’t worry, mate. At least you know you’re the father — I mean, you’ve got that going for you, haven’t you? Bit of a tricky start — let the horse out of the gate a bit early, but it happens. Happens to the best of us, mate. Happened to me a few times, in fact.

The first one always arrives a bit early, my Mom used to say, and the second looks like the neighbor! Not that you’d have anything to worry about there, Darren — he’s had the op — the big “V.” Told me so earlier. I don’t want the Missus to get all blown out down there, he said, and I don’t blame him. Lovely fella. Nothing to worry about there.

Well, I can see you’re all waiting to sink your teeth into that cake. To Darren and Cheryl, then.


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