Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Anyone but him

Everyone has a friend who is a bit of a knob.

You know the type: They’ll arrive at dinner parties with 8 cans of Carling, drink the lot before flirting outrageously with anyone with a low enough top and slow enough reflexes, slurring their way through cheese and biscuits before insisting that everyone should decamp to the local pub. There he will fill the gambling machine with your pound coins, borrowed for eternity, drink sambucca with the landlady, narrowly avoid a fight with the the landlord before stumbling over declaring that night could only be improved by a marathon game of twister, and could it be naked please. Hours later he’s an emotional wreck, sat on your sofa, bucket in hand, with only one shoe on proclaiming that the many many women who rejected his advances are whores and the many many boyfriends who punched him for advancing are, well, it’s a bad word beginning with C.

I mention this because I have found myself attending lots of weddings recently, friends old and new, registry offices to hotels, parks to beaches. At everyone there is that friend. The one discussed at length for hours in seating arrangements. The last invite to go out, the only invite with a list of conditions and clauses. There is always a moment where I wonder why they are invited. The offence caused to grandparents as they bring end-of-the-night ‘street’ style dancing to ‘Time of my life’ with crotch based gesturing towards tipsy but still immune bridesmaids takes literally years of solving. Similarly, when they turn to the waiter and suggest, quite naturally that if the food could come to his table first rather than the bride and groom then that’d be great. Or perhaps it’s the horrifying moment when they stand, unannounced and declare their devotion to the groom, and how he never thought it’d work out, but y’know, the cream cleared it all up, and they’re still together and itch free..

I was thinking about this when I realised, the knob is a key component of a great wedding. List the parts: Dress, Venue, Food, Speeches, First Dance, Old People Dancing. Every wedding has these key elements, but the truely memorable, the ones that stay for years and years are where a knob has taken centre stage after the bride and groom have left the venue, once the magic has happened, to emphasise the happiness of bride and groom and the perfection of a marriage union through pure ineptitude and the lonely figure of lost, out of control, unloved man.

I think back and all
the weddings have this figure, the one that makes marriage and love even more special. I say all, there is one where I can’t quite… I had a very bad hangover after that one… I’m sure I didn’t, I’m sure I wasn’t… We’ll never know…



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