23 November 2011

The Absent Trumpet

Victory comes in many different guises. Sometimes it looks like a champion swimmer looking back at the clock to discover she’s broken the world record. Other times it looks like the wily old grandmaster staring across the board and pushing his rook up to the eighth rank to announce ‘checkmate’. Very occasionally it looks like an Iranian penguin standing in a room full of second hand trombones while being showered in marshmallows by legions of adoring taxation officers.

Even more rarely than that, it looks like a man hiring a flash tuxedo, suiting up and standing at the end of an aisle to turn slightly to the side and… watch someone else get married.

Last weekend saw the all-important penultimate episode in the ongoing saga of the “who gets married to whom and when” game that has been the subject of countless poems, epic ballads and at least three movie adaptations (ok… two rather hastily typed blog posts, both of them by me). The crucial second to last wedding that would decide who would be the victor and who would take the consolation prize of getting married.

And so it was that I suited up and took my place in the bridal party for the best seat in the house from which to watch the second to last contestant take his vows and concede his claim to the title of last man standing.

It couldn’t have been a more perfect day. It was an outdoor wedding on the outskirts of Perth. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and although the sunny summer day was a little warm for the locals, especially those in black suit jackets, as the only representative of the great city of Darwin in attendance I was in my element. While everyone else was looking hot and bothered, I was just looking hot.

It was a charming ceremony; two songs, a homily, a vow or two and it was all over bar the photos which were by far the most painful part of the whole affair. I can’t speak for what the bride and groom might have been expecting, but I had always thought the final victory might have passed with just a little more ceremony. Nothing that would upstage the happy couple of course; just a simple trumpet blast or perhaps a nice tasteful explosion from a howitzer cannon. But no, we were just a little bit preoccupied with celebrating the wedding at hand, and I suppose I can live with that.

After all, I have been assured that the magnitude of celebratory fanfare that will accompany my own wedding, should such an event ever transpire, will be enough to knock the solar system off its… whatever solar systems sit on. And that’s quite enough responsibility to be carrying around for now, thank you very much.

Make of that what you will.



Garry with 2 Rs
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