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[at Gareth's funeral
: Gareth used to prefer funerals to weddings. He said it was easier to get enthusiastic about a ceremony one had an outside chance of eventually being involved in. In order to prepare this speech, I rang a few people, to get a general picture of how Gareth was regarded by those who met him: 'Fat' seems to have been a word people most connected with him. 'Terribly rude' also rang a lot of bells. So very 'fat' and very 'rude' seems to have been a stranger's viewpoint. On the other hand, some of you have been kind enough to ring me and let me know that you loved him, which I know he would have been thrilled to hear. You remember his fabulous hospitality, his strange experimental cooking: the recipe for "Duck à la Banana" fortunately goes with him to his grave. Most of all, you tell me of his enormous capacity for joy. When joyful, when joyful for highly vocal drunkenness. But I hope joyful is how you will remember him, not stuck in a box in a church. Pick your favourite of his waistcoats and remember him that way. The most splendid, replete, big-hearted, weak-hearted as it turned out, and jolly bugger most of us ever met. As for me, you may ask how I will remember him, what I thought of him. Unfortunately, there I run out of words. Perhaps you will forgive me if I turn from my own feelings to the words of another splendid bugger: W.H. Auden. This is actually what I want to say: "Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone. Silence the pianos and with muffled drum, Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let the aeroplanes circle, moaning overhead, Scribbling on the sky the message 'He is Dead'. Put crepe bows 'round the white necks of the public doves, Let traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest; My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song. I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now; put out every one, Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun; Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood, For nothing now can ever come to any good."
: [thinking they're running really late
] Time. Matthew
: Honestly? Charles
: Yes! Time! Matthew
: It's about ten to nine.
[Charles runs off, realises what Matthew said and returns to the car
: All these weddings, all these years, all that blasted salmon and champagne and here I am on my own wedding day, and I'm... eh... em... eh... still thinking. Matthew
: Well, can I ask about what? Charles
: No... no... I think, best not.
: Do you think there really are people who can just go up and say, "Hi, babe. Name's Charles. This is your lucky night?" Matthew
: Well, if there are, they're not English.
: Why am I always at, uh, weddings, and never actually getting married, Matt? Matthew
: It's probably 'cause you're a bit scruffy. Or it could also be 'cause you haven't met the right girl. Charles
: Ah, but you see, is that it? Maybe I have met the right girls. Maybe I meet the right girls all the time. Maybe it's me.
: I remember the first time I saw Gareth on a dancefloor. I feared lives would be lost.
: [about congratulating parents of bride and groom
] God, I never know what to say in these ghastly line-ups. Gareth
: It's a cinch! Just give a big warm hug and say the bride looks... pregnant. Matthew
: Or you can stick with convention and say "You must be very proud." Fiona
: Heaven preserve us...
[in the line
: You must be very proud!
: Where's Gareth? Matthew
: Torturing Americans. Fiona
: How thoughtful of him.
: Excuse me?
[points out Charles's brother, who is talking to Charles in sign language
: Who's the boy over there? In the grey? Matthew
: Name's David. Serena
: [watching David admiringly
] He's something of a dish, isn't he. Matthew
: I've always thought so. Serena
: Why are they... why are they...?
[mimicking the sign language
: Oh, the dish can't hear. Serena
: Gosh... Matthew
: Yeah. Silent, but deadly attractive.
: Sorry we're so late. The others are just parking the car, I thought we'd all go with Tom. Charles
: Late? So late? Matthew
: Yeah. It's 9:45. Charles
: 9:45? Matthew
: Yep. 45 minutes until "I do".
: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, & the Holy Spirit, Amen. Let us pray. Father, you have made the bond of marriage a mystery. A symbol of Christ's love for his children. Hear our prayers for Bernard and Lydia through your son Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and wraiths with you and the Holy Ghoat. Eh *Ghost.* One God, forever and ever, Amen. Matthew
: This is his first time. He's a friend of the family. Charles
: Ahhh, Excellent! Father Gerald
: Bernard and Lydia, I shall now ask if you freely undertake the obligations of marriage. Bernard, repeat after me. I do solemnly declare that I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawfully impediment... Bernard
: I do solemnly declare that I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawfully impediment... Father Gerald
: ...why I, Lydia... Bernard
: ...why I, Bernard... Father Gerald
: Whoop, sorry! Why I, Bernard Godfrey St. John Delainey... Bernard
: Why I, Bernard Geoffrey Sinjin Delainey... Father Gerald
: May not be joined in matrimony to Lydia John Herbert. Bernard
: May not be joined in matrimony to Lydia Jane Herbert. Father Gerald
: Lydia, repeat after me. I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawfully impediment why I, Lydia Jane Herbert... Lydia
: I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawfully impediment why I, Lydia Jane Herbert... Father Gerald
: May not be Johned in matrimony... Lydia
: May not be *joined* in matrimony... Father Gerald
: to Bernard Geoffrey Siddle... Siddle Delainey. Lydia
: to Bernard Geoffrey *Sinjin* Delainey. Father Gerald
: I call upon those persons here present to witness... that I, Bernard... Delainey... Bernard
: I call upon those persons here present to witness... that I, Bernard Delainey... Father Gerald
: take thee Lydia Jane Herbert... to be my awful wedded wife. Bernard
: take thee Lydia Jane Herbert... to be my *lawful* wedded wife. Father Gerald
: *That's right*... *That's right*. May Almighty God bless you all in the name of the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spigot... *Spirit*. Congregation
: Amen! Gareth
: Bravo! Bravo!