Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, now before I begin I would just like to introduce myself to those of you I haven’t yet had the chance to meet. My name is Andy, and it is my very great pleasure and privilege to be Alan’s best man for today’s celebrations.
Luckily over the years we’ve spent a lot of time talking rubbish, so I’ve managed to piece together his early years and it is a very revealing observation…of what to all intents and purposes looks a fairly normal bloke.
Alan enjoyed a happy childhood and like many young boys was made about football and in particular a team called West Ham. When he wasn’t outside playing football, he spent hours dreaming about the day when he could wear the famous claret and blue shirt, score the winning goal at Upton Park and then make a high profile transfer to Chelsea.
Little Alan was a competent player but his dreams received an early setback when doctors diagnosed him as suffering from a genetic condition they called ‘only being good enough to play for Spurs’. Alan and his family were devastated and made the brave and difficult decision to move to Tasmania in order to overcome the shock.
It was here that Alan developed a love of the outdoors and became not only a talented footballer but also a pretty competent darts player too. Alan loved Tasmania and set about blending in with the locals by developing no fashion sense whatsoever, becoming adept at counting with his fingers and his toes, and sporting haircuts that looked like he did himself.
But eventually he made his way back to the UK and as he was growing up he began to dream about what he would become in life and very soon political events were to make that decision for him. Alan had become aware of international tyrannical dictator who looked poised on the world stage to bring hardship, misery and poverty to millions, and he just felt he had to do something about it.
Taking on Margaret Thatcher all by himself was a big move and being an honest and clever guy, decided that the best way to do it was to work against her from within. So he put his brains to good use and enjoyed a successful career in software development for a company that worked for the Benefits Agency. Alan was determined that as much money as possible should be siphoned away from the government to help those in need and worked hard to make it run as smoothly as possible.
Of course being a political activist on a daily basis can be exhausting and Alan is only human. He developed some classic coping mechanisms to be able to handle the pressures he was experiencing at work. These were mainly drinking beers, talking rubbish and a clinical addiction to cheese on toast with Branston pickle.
It was whilst Alan was going through this process of coping that our paths first crossed in the White Hart, whereupon I bravely helped him through by drinking beer with him, talking rubbish and then subsequently joining him for cheese on toast.
Over the last 12 years our friendship has gone from strength to strength and luckily with the demise of political tyrants Alan has been lucky enough to hang up his mouse matt and embrace a much more relaxed life. This isn’t to say he’s not capable of some very physical and expressive outbursts and I think the Frank Sinatra singer who witnessed his stage invasion and then very personally witnessed Alan accidentally high kicking him in a very private place, would happily testify that there’s still plenty of life left in the old dog yet.
Of course Alan hasn’t been invading stages and accidentally attacking the singer for quite some time now, and that’s because he’s found somebody more exciting than talking nonsense in the pub, more engaging than a West Ham relegation battle and even more beautiful than the sight of cheese on toast and the end of a long night. I am of course talking about the very lovely Bernie, and so we find ourselves here today.
Bernie, I know everyone will agree with me when I say you look absolutely fantastic. I know just what a great couple you make and how happy and contented you’ve made my friend. I think we can all see just how much he thinks of you and I’m just so happy for him that he’s found such a special person to share his life with and I will always look forward to the times we’ll all share together in the future.
So, Alan, how do I sum up our friendship in just a few sentences? Well, you’ve always been a great friend – we’ve shared a lot of great times together and made happy memories.
You’re not just a great friend, you’re also a fantastic father and you should take a lot of well deserved credit for your wonderfully successful, talented and charming daughters.
It’s all these things and more that make not just me but so many others count themselves lucky to have you in their lives.
Ladies and gentlemen I would like to propose a toast
To the bride and groom!
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