Good evening ladies and gentlemen, now before I begin I’d like to introduce myself to those of you I haven’t yet had the chance to meet. My name is Chris and it is my very great privilege and pleasure to be the best man for my brother Ashley today.
Well, I said that because it sounded good, but really I’d much rather be sitting down, having a drink and listening to somebody else try to describe the life of Lofty without swearing, telling dodgy stories or landing him in trouble. Actually, bugger it; he’s quite capable of landing himself in trouble so here we go.
I would firstly like to say how nice it is to be eating food and enjoying a drink at the expense of my brother! The last time his wallet opened was sometime around 10 years ago and the creaking noise it made could be heard from several miles away, only to find the currency he had in there had gone out of circulation. If anyone else here has been on the receiving end of my brother’s tightness, I can only advise you make hay whilst the sun shines.
Now, I was very happy as a kid. I had a great childhood playing with friends, eating lego and watching the tv, then suddenly that all came to a very swift and abrupt end. One day my parents brought home a noisy, funny looking baby called Ashley and told me he was my brother. Unfortunately it turned out they were right. My world was turned upside down and from that very first day it’s never been quite the same since.
Anyone who knows Ashley now will probably be surprised to learn that as a child he was a bloody nightmare and took getting into trouble to a whole new level. He was always being a pain in the backside and that’s quite literally where his nickname of Lofty comes from. It has nothing to do with his height, but more accurately from the German word ashlofte, which is the not-so-polite way of referring to somebody’s bottom. It just meant I could call him names and our parents wouldn’t know it.
Anyway, if there had been a an Olympic sport of mucking about and making a nuisance of yourself then at London 2012, Ashley would have been a national multi gold medal hero. The pinnacle of his daft behaviour was a small incident he had at the tender age of 17 just outside Swaffham high street. Ashley deciding that having a legitimate driving license was just a bit of red tape, and that being able to drive was very straightforward, was to learn the hard way that neither of these things are in fact true. After crashing the car, Ashley was to become part of that exclusive bunch of muppets that actually lose their license before they even taken their test.
However, apart from getting collared for something or other, Ashley did have a very real ambition to one day work with animals. He dreamt of becoming a vet with the RSPCA and making animals’ lives better. Unfortunately due a rare genetic weakness meaning he’s got the brains of somebody who crashes cars without a license, Ashley never did achieve that dream. However, that ambition has kind of worked out; I don’t think there are any happier pigs in the whole of Suffolk than the ones he brings the food for in his wagon and luckily he’s become a bit of a better driver than he used to be. Just ask the pigs.
But Ashley’s wild days are behind him and now he’s very much a family man, who works hard and dotes on his son Drew. And it goes without saying that Ashley is in love, deeply in love and has been for many years. She may be getting on a bit now but any little thing she needs, he buys it for her. Any problem she may have and he’ll move heaven and Earth to make sure she’s OK. The time they spend alone together is electric and when he’s not taking pictures of her he likes to get her outside and give her a good seeing to with a wire brush in front of the neighbours. This love is, of course, his beloved Triumph Dolomite.
But the story of Ashley isn’t just about a naughty youth, a great dad, owning a 1970’s relic and delivering the pigs their lunch. He also has some hobbies, the main one being any old junk from Ebay. Now I know I mentioned he was a bit tight earlier but there are few things that he does love to spend his money on and one of those is buying stuff he doesn’t need and then storing it in my yard for several years at a time. Just like the hoarders we’ve all seen on the television this is probably the result of some deep emotional damage, possibly due the fact of being called the German for bottom his whole life. I would like to say that if you would like any of this junk then, whilst Ashley is away, please do come along any time and help yourselves.
Seriously, the most important thing in my brother’s life is his family. He met Deb many years ago as they were growing up and somehow she managed to see through his daft behaviour and they are now a very happy couple, with a wonderful son, my nephew Drew. Deb, I think everyone will agree you look absolutely stunning today, my brother is a lucky boy and I’m so happy that he’s a got a great girl like you to share his life with. Who would have thought that all those years ago you and Ashley making dens together and here you are now with a house together!
And so to Ashley. After all these years of being your older brother I’d like to take this opportunity to finally say how proud I am of you and the man you’ve become. You work hard, look after your family and are always a good laugh to be around. We often fought, like brothers do, but there wasn’t a minute when I didn’t love having you as a little brother and that stands to this day.
I know you make a great family and I hope you have a long and happy life together. I wish you all the luck in the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, the bride and groom
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