Wedding From Hell
I remember that day well. It still comes back in nightmares. Big, vivid, full Technicolor nightmares with added blood, swearing and violence. It was ace.
It was the occasion of the marriage of my old Uncle Pete (aged fifty) to Brenda the twenty year old local bike he'd got up the duff following a late-night knee-trembler in the office stock cupboard. Something that happens all the time if you read the letters pages of the right magazines (“Dear Fiesta, You won‘t believe the most incredible thing that happened to me at work the other day…”).
The big day came right at the peak of a fantastic inter-family feud and everybody present hated everybody else. All the signs were that it was going to be a classic and it didn't disappoint. I only went out of a misplaced sense of family loyalty (and to make up the numbers if it went off).
The wedding itself was half an hour of barely disguised threats in the church as the two families pointed accusingly at each other:
"Dirty old man"
From that charming little affair, we repaired to the second part of the day’s proceedings. The reception was done on the cheap at a local youth club - in fact, the same youth club that I had almost razed to the ground in the summer of 1976.
Everyone on the top table went up to the buffet and cleared the lot, with Brenda, not known for her sylph-like appearance, going back for seconds before anybody else had even got firsts. If she had been present at the Feeding of the Five Thousand, at least 4,000 would have gone home hungry, and Jesus would have got a terrible write-up.
In the end, the gannets left a lettuce leaf and two sticks of celery for the other guests, who, sensing a siege mentality, took turns to sneak out to the local fish and chip shop (see “Mao” elsewhere in this volume).
From start to finish, it only took two hours and thirty minutes for it all to go pear-shaped. Somebody stood on somebody else's foot. Somebody refused to apologise. A punch was thrown. It missed, and caught granny on the side of the head.
"You fooker!" shouted granny and let fly with her handbag. It caught Uncle Billy on the nose in an eruption of blood and snot, leaving granny looking like an Andy Warhol original.
"You bitch!" shouted Uncle Billy, spraying blood and snot over everybody in a six foot radius, managing to get in a hefty kick at the handbag swinger, but only connecting with a table leg, hurling drinks across the room in a pissy yellow shower.
Then, like that famous film of the Siege of Stalingrad, the two armies came together in a rain of blows, kicks, scratches and a rain of cheap keg beer.
The disco played on.
"Karma-karma-karma-karma karma chameleon..."
The police arrived to break it up, leaving only two totally committed young ladies grappling in the middle of the dance floor to the entertainment and amusement of all present, the man from the mobile disco stepping over the rival bodies as he carted his equipment back to his van.
Hours later, people were still coming back from the chip shop wondering where the hell everybody had gone.
It was my best night out ever.
Labels: wedding from hell