Ladies, Gentlemen, friends, members of the human race, members of the Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley – it is not, I know, traditional for the bridegroom’s mother to make a speech at a wedding. But then, let’s face it, it’s not traditional for the groom to be given away, rather than the bride, nor for the bridegroom to have a black eye that he received from an irate, costumeless, French Mickey Mouse. There are many good things about tradition, but let us not be bound by it.
But tradition can be good at times. That’s the best inter-family wedding fight I’ve known in years. But still, we’ve moved with the times. In the old days you had to wait for the reception for that kind of punch-up. Not getting out of the church before it all kicked off was a real achievement. And I was really pleased to discover that Charlii’s family are all Quakers. And I’m sure we all wish Charlii’s dad uncle well as he recovers from that broken jaw.
Now, first I would like to turn to my own son, Keith. Young Keith, as we still persist in calling you, you’re an irresponsible, self-centered, awkward beggar. I’m proud to call you my son. I can only wish that, on this special day, your dad was here. I really wish he was Then I could smash his face in – the oily, double-crossing, fake get.
And Charlii. Funny, clever, strong-minded, with a dangerous streak of aggression. I’m so pleased to welcome you into the family. I think of this wedding as not so much losing a son, as gaining a full-time, unpaid assistant. Family firms are great, aren’t they?
I’d like to thank Revd Nathan for his part in the service. It was really good of him to let me preach, and to allow a traditional Beaker 25-tea-light salute. Nathan would like to be here with us this evening, but unfortunately he’s got seven sermons to prepare, and a couple of people who need him to visit because it’s Christmas. One of them isn’t even housebound, but she’s off to Brighton on Monday, so thought he’d better get round quick.
I’d also like to thank the providers of the Marquee, the celebrated Marque Marquees, Marquee providers to the Marquis of Tavistock. It’s a great marquee. If the Daily Express’s predictions are to be believed, it will all be blown halfway across Warwickshire by the morning. But I reckon there’s actually at least a fifty-fifty chance of it still being here in the morning. Good news for the Beaker Folk, who will be sleeping here once the dancing’s over and everybody else has gone home. Although, if it blows away early enough, at least you won’t have to deal with the army of badgers that patrol these parts at night.
So, now the legalities are legalised, and the knot there’s no untying is tied, I can safely unload both chambers of the old shotgun, go back to the knitting needles, and relax. God bless you both, and, on this Winter Solstice, may Charlii grow larger – at least for the next five months or so. God bless us one and all.