Some stories you just can't make up...
I read the jobsheet in my email inbox with some delight. The pick up was a 10 minute drive from our base, the church was just 5 minutes from the pick up and the reception was just another 10 to 15 minutes from the church. Even the prospect of having to do two runs to the church was of no consequence with this job.
However, still mindful of how my last "easy" job had worked out (see "Working the Problem" below) I wasn't counting my chickens just yet.
I had been given a very detailed itinerary, detailing my movements. The first item was to wait while photographs were taken of the bridal party outside their flat and then take "The Boys" to the church.
Had the skies darkened and lightening bolts split trees while I looked on at the group assembled for photographs I wouldn't have been in the slightest bit surprised.
The chief bridesmaid wore a dress of black lace, replete with long gloves and black patent boots. The "boys", who were clearly sons of the bride, wore full morning suits and carried canes. Their long black hair flowed from beneath their tops hats like the manes of Victorian funeral horses. I helped "The Boys" into the car and introduced myself to them, their lack of English finalised my suspicion that they are not of these shores.
Having dropped "The Boys" at the church and returned for the Bride, who I had deduced was their mother. She was ready to go and immediately jumped into the car with her attendants. This was unfortunately against the carefully laid out itinerary, meaning that we now had over 15 minutes to complete a 3 minute journey. Now, a 1935 Rolls Royce will never break a land speed record, but there is a limit to how slowly it can be made to go.
We rocked up at the church with still 5 minutes to go. I opened the rear door to explain that there was no rush, to be greeted by three fairly keen ladies coming my way with considerable momentum. I did the honourable thing and stood back to allow them to continue their charge.While my charges were busy exchanging their vows I tidied the back of the car, paying particular attention to the squashed cigarette ends that had been trodden in on the bottom of the ladies shoes.
Having tidied the car, I set about opening the package containing the champagne glasses that the bride and groom had bought specially for the occasion. I turned out that I was the first person to open the box and the glasses were coated in paper dust with a liberal sprinkling of polystyrene balls. Still, the champagne sparkled well in them.
No sooner had I achieved this than a couple came running out of the church laughing themselves almost to the point of hysteria. They asked me if I knew where they could find something to mend the grooms trousers. Apparently as he had knelt down at the altar, it had been accompanied by the sound of his trousers splitting from seam to seam. Of course it's not the done thing to derive any form of enjoyment from such a situation. So I turned my back before smiling.
Finally away to the reception, the groom caught my attention by gently tapping on the glass partition between us with the silver tip of his walking cane. To be honest, referring to me as "My Man" was pretty much the final straw!
I'm quite sure that they had the time of their lives, goodness knows they had put plenty of effort into it all. I just can't help but wonder if they really did have Ozzy Osbourne booked to sing at the reception.
As I write this I am sitting in 'Angela' outside another church, waiting for another happy couple to begin their new lives together.Watch this space...