I've just been going through some old papers I've kept, ready to scan them with my flash new scanner/printer/copier thingymajiggy so I can have a paperless office, and I've come across my best man's speech that I gave. Apologies to Mark and Katherine in advance if you read this and have to re-live it.  I'm cringing reading it now, nearly 10 years later, but for posterity's sake here it is:

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls.  For all of you who don’t know me my name is Daryl Would-you-like-another-drink. Long name I know but please do not be afraid to say hello to me today.

I’ve been given the honour of being the best man.  I'm only going to speak for a couple of minutes because of my throat… if I say anything insulting Katherine has threatened to cut it.

Actually it is a great honour to be asked to be best man, as well as terrifying. Being asked to be the best man is a bit like being asked to make love to the queen mum; it’s a great honour but nobody really wants to do it.

Right, before I carry on with Mark’s character assassination, I would like to thank the Brides Maids for performing their role wonderfully and looking so beautiful throughout the day. I must say it has been a wonderful day and a very emotional wedding. Even the cake is in tiers! Did I write this?

I'm sure I also speak for the happy couple, when I sincerely thank you all for eating and drinking your way through £10,000 of their money, condemning their early years of wedded bliss to poverty, hardship, destitution, and debt.

With regards to myself, I think that my duties as Best Man to get Mark here ON TIME, which is a first; SOBER, which is unusual; AND SMART, which is unheard of have been successful!

I’ve known Mark near enough all of my life.  When we were kids we lived on the same street and we were rarely apart.  In fact my mum started claiming child benefit for him. Well she had to recoup the money she spent on cleaning the carpet he puked on .  Even when I left home I couldn’t get away from him, as he and Katherine moved onto the same street as me when they bought their own house. This I’m sure Katherine now regrets.

I can’t remember much about what we got up to as kids but I think it’s fair to say our teenage years were quite eventful.  I can remember being 14 years old, Mark was 15 or 16, we were full of hormones, energy and a highly developed interest in girls, that’s when we started going to disco’s.   Bedazzled by bright lights, loud music and more girls that any adolescent schoolboy can comprehend, we hit the dance floor. This was where I was to witness the raw, and still undiscovered talent of Mark’s rhythm. Regularly he would empty the dance floor with his dance moves, which would leave all the ladies speechless. So speechless in fact that they never spoke to him.

Being such good friends and not wanting to leave each others side we kind of had a pact.  Invariably whenever one of us went on a date, the other one would end up with the girl’s best friend.  So Mark, I’d like to apologise because when it was my turn and I set you up on those blind dates, I knew very well they were pig ugly, it’s just that look on your face when you were introduced was magic it still has me laughing now whenever I think of it.  I noticed you never complained much though. I’m just glad to see your taste has improved.  I’m sure you’ll all agree with me that Katherine looks stunning today and I can see Mark is beaming with pride.

Anyway I'd like to tell you about all of the mammoth drinking binges we’ve been on. I'd like to tell you about the sordid events that went on during our nights out together. In fact I'd like someone to tell me because I just can't remember - something about beer amnesia or something…I can't remember.  One thing that Mark is certainly renowned for is his regular inability to go through a night out without throwing up. I think it 's safe to mention this now as you've all finished your meals. There have been numerous occasions down the years when he has managed to lay his own personal pavement pizza on the streets and in the clubs.

Another thing you ought to know about Mark is his amazing memory.  Regularly he reminds me of things we got up to when we were younger.  Embarrassing things that I’d completely forgot about.  But please Mark… stop it.  I’ve forgotten these things for a reason.

Mark’s a good friend. He’s always been there when I needed him. When I was in the Navy, whenever I came home off deployment he was always there to drag me out on the town and catch up on all the gossip. And when I’ve been down he’s always managed to cheer me up. The best example has got to be when I failed my driving test. I was absolutely gutted and scared of telling him in case he took the mick. You see for some reason I had it in my head that he passed his first time. Anyway he rang me up and asked me how I got on, I said I failed and he said ‘well don’t worry I failed mine first time also’. I said ‘oh yeah what did you fail on’ and I’ll never forget his reply. The examiner told him to park up at a safe place by the side of the road, so where did he park? Right outside the Fire Station blocking their exit path. Well I nearly wet myself. Then he said ‘Oh and Katherine failed hers first time as well’ I said ‘oh yeah what did she do’ he said ‘well she kind of hit a parked car’. Well that was hit I was in tears. I’m sorry to say they are both now legally driving so if you see them on the road, keep a safe distance.

Well I suppose you’d like to hear about the Stag night. Mark, have you told Katherine the full story? I hope you have for your sake or this is going to be the shortest marriage in history. Here goes, well all day he was determined that nothing was going to happen to him and he wouldn’t get in too much of a state. In fact he moaned that much that we just about gave up hope of doing anything to him. The strange thing is though that what did happen to him was near enough all of his own making. O.K I set it up ..but he wasn’t complaining. We went in one pub and I heard the D.J reading out Birthday requests e.t.c so I thought I’ll see if I can get him a mention. So I went up and told the D.J that Mark from Worksop was here on his stag night, and he said ‘oh I’m from Tickhill (which is only a few miles from here) I’ll have your mate put on a show. I said ok not really knowing what he meant. Anyway a few minutes later this was it. The D.J announced ‘can we have Mark from Worksop in front of the D.J. box please’ I looked at Mark and I could see the fear in his face. Well I’m sure you can guess what happened next. The D.J. got some girls to form a ring around him and the deal was if they could get his pants off and take them to the D.J they and Mark would win a bottle of champagne. Well at this point I honestly expected Mark to be out of the pub like a shot. But no, not only did he stay put he actually got into the swing of things. Suddenly he turned into Mr Chippendale and was right giving it some. However, there was one slight difference in the ending. Never mind Mark, it was quite cold in there.

Well here he is on his big day.  I can't imagine how Mark feels today, how does the first day of the rest of your life manifest itself for a man who's experience of reality is that unpleasant pause while the Playstation loads the next game? The lads here know what I’m talking about.

We may be asking ourselves what Katherine sees in Mark, I regularly do as well. But they do say love is blind but marriage is definitely an eye-opener. So I'd just like to say Mark, you are a lucky groom marrying Katherine today. She deserves a good husband. So thank goodness you married her before she found one.

Well that brings me to the end of my speech and it gives me immense pleasure to invite you all to stand and raise your glasses in a toast to Mark and Katherine - because I think that they were made for each other: May your love be modern enough to survive the times, and old fashioned enough to last forever. To the Bride and Groom's Future Happiness.