By Lawrence Brett | Posted: Thursday April 7, 2016
It was bloody hot. Even the tropical flora of the Upper Botanical Gardens was visibly wilting in the heat.
Large tattooed women and their steampunk
partners ponced their way into the green arena.
Clothing standards were obviously optional. Flapping cellulite thighs emerged randomly
from cutaway frocks and a purple Prince doppelganger scorched my eyeballs. Where to sit? Seats were scarce and what were
there were pile-burstingly hard. My
brothers and I shrank like heat-struck lizards into the carefully tended
borders. We were safe there, seemingly,
from the patronising barrage of the Uncles, the Aunts, the Cousins, and the Who
The Heck Knows Who They Were Anyways.
Unfortunately, they sniffed me out as a potential target to exercise
their three practised sentences: “Oooooh look at how much you’ve grown”; “I
haven’t seen you since you were this high:” “I hope you’re enjoying
“Well, actually …” was the only response I could wedge in before another wave of indifferent male relatives felt the need to crush each of my tarsals with a handshake of masculine superiority. Clutching at the stumps of my now non-existent digits, I dived for cover in the refreshingly boring company of my mother.
The ceremony began with an ear-splitting screech of feedback from the celebrant’s microphone, swiftly followed by the ear-splitting screech of a miscreant child armed with a bubble-gun. Through the dense cloud of bubbles and the generic wedding music emerged a beautiful bride and her father. More feedback crashed around the arena. I cringed at the seemingly shambolic ceremony. Fortunately, things came right. A cooling breeze drifted through the crowd and, after a humorous exchange of vows, the ceremony was over.
The entourage left the tropical heat for the jammy nineteen seventies décor of the reception hall. Hoping for cooler temperatures, I was dismayed to see only one psychopathic loose ceiling fan flailing around, seemingly desperate to decapitate a bystander. We were given seats furthest away from the wedding party but closest to the screaming children on sugar highs. Conversation was impossible as the only people around me were my inanimate mother and my restless brother tapping away on his smartphone. So commenced an hour of mind-numbingly boring anticipation; accompanied by a dash of condescending chatter with the wandering partygoers. Finally the food came. My mouth watering, I politely made my way to the end of the line only to find, once I reached the serving platters, that everything was vegan and only the nastiest scraps (zucchini skins, crunchy baby sweetcorn, and soggy couscous) remained. My sense of underwhelm overwhelmed me.
The assembled horde of guests, having choked down their trendy vegan meal, turned their attention to the wedding speeches. Once again, a shrieking microphone signalled the onslaught of more vaguely humorous vocalisations. The Drunk Uncle, The Inebriated Aunt, The Blotto Brother, The Scatty Sister, and The Effusive Mother all paved the way for the, by then, well-soused Groom and Bride to finish off with amusingly incoherent accounts of their lives to this point. Once again, the microphone signalled the end of the proceedings with a magnificent howl.
We left before the Karaoke began.