Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The one about the wedding with the fight...

You know how in films or in books every good wedding has a family fight ?

And you know how you often think, well that sounds fun but thats just fiction because in real life I've never been to a wedding that ended in a family fight ?

Well I have.

Its 1983, I and the current Mrs Jerrychicken are betrothed to be married in the September of that year, but before our nuptials there is the small matter of the wedding of one of her brothers in the summer of that same year.

And so here is where I start tiptoe-ing through this story, because to the best of my knowledge at least two of her brothers, maybe three, maybe all four of them read this blog from time to time and they are all bigger than me and two of them are police officers, so lets say right from the start that I love them all and blow them all a big kiss - you know who you are.

But this story has to be told.

Lets face it, it was bloody funny.

So, where were we, yes, lets just say that in any marriage there is a bringing together of two families via the betrothed and normally, in 99% of cases the two families get on well and if they don't get on well then at least they get on, if only for the sake of the wedding day, but...

..."our side" of the family had not met "their side" of the family at all prior to the wedding day - now that is not unusual for these days the betrothed often live far apart from their own families and sometimes the clans only meet on the actual wedding day althogh often in these cases the clan leaders have at least spoken on the telephone beforehand.

None of this happened at this wedding.

And for clarification, the two families lived less than five miles apart.

Word was, via the current Mrs Jerrychicken and her sister, and a third female who we will call "a friend of the family", was that the intended bride was "a right two faced bitch", in truth I cannot really pass judgement on her as I never really met her and certainly didn't get to speak to her, but the groom thought highly enough of his intended to ignore his two sisters point of view and press on regardless, no doubt hoping that it would all be alright on the night.

It wasn't.

The current Mrs Jerrychickens father was one of the nicest men I have ever known and I was both pleased and proud to call him my father-in-law for twenty or so years, still am even though he is no longer of this earth, but before the wedding was over he would be threatened by a raving lunatic armed with a broken glass who had to be restrained by his own family - said lunatic being the father of the bride.

Remember two paragraphs ago I introduced a female who we called a "friend of the family" ?

Well this female "friend of the family" was accused byt he bride of having an affair or even a brief fling with the groom at some unspecified point in time...

...sorry, I had to stop right there for a long laugh...

...you see, you do not have the benefit of knowing this "friend of the family", you have never seen her (unless you are one of my brother-in-laws to which I say, did you enjoy your laugh too ? ) - I will say only one short phrase to describe this "friend of the family" and that is "Peggy from Hi-de-Hi".

There, now at least the population of the UK know what I am talking about and if the population of other countries in the world do not then they should at least be able to hear the laughter by now.


My father-in-law invited Peggy from Hi-de-Hi to the wedding at which point the bride sent word that Peggy would not be welcome at the wedding due to said alleged indescretions at some undefined point in history, of course we laughed again, well you would wouldn't you, and Peggy's invitation was sent out.

Nothing was said at the church, the marriage went ahead as normally as could be expected when the two families had never met although to be honest I cannot remember one second of the wedding, what followed has erased anything else on that day from the museum of recollections.

Even in the North East pit villages there is a standard to which to aspire to when arranging a wedding, but if you have not the will or desire to aspire to a standard then you get the Co-op in to do the catering.

You get the Co-op in to do the catering with their plates and cutlery all stamped with "Co-op" on them to leave you in no doubt that you did not aspire to any standard of any sorts when arranging your wedding, and just to emphasis your lack of thought, pride or ambition you hold the reception in your local working mens club, and not only do you hold the reception in your local working mens club but you pick the shittest working mens club in the district for the event - I should be now getting the message home that this family that "we" were supposed to be ajoined to were...

...thick as pig shit.

So we all queue up the stairs to the first floor function room and we walk in said room, shake hands with the groom who is looking a bit edgy and nervous, he knows what is coming, and we take our seats at the bench table that has been erected by the Co-op to seat our family group - one long bench table for us, two for the "other side" and one top table for the wedding party.

I'll say this for the Co-op, they served you quick, no sooner had we sat down and scoffed at the Co-op embossed cutlery than the old Co-op biddies (think Juile Walters as Mrs Overall in Acorn Antiques) were serving the potato and leek soup - mine was in put front of me before all of the guests had arrived yet, which as things transpired was just as well.

I'd only taken two mouthfulls and was just about to comment to the current Mrs Jerrychicken that "mmmm, this Co-op tinned potato and leek soup is soooo Co-op-ee" when Peggy, the "friend of the family" arrived at the top of the stairs to be told in a very loud voice by the bride that she was not welcome here and that she should desist in seeking entry to the function, to be accurate I think that the bride actually said "fuck off you" but we'll plough on with the polite version.

"Why I have an invite" proclaimed Peggy, waving it in the air, to which the bride grabbed at it and ripped it up and requested that Peggy should once again turn on her heels and exit from the very same staircase up whence she had just arrived - she may have said "fuck off you" again instead, but anyway...

The current Mrs Jerrychicken's father at this point tried to intervene, after all Peggy was here on his (by now) foolhardy invitation and he tried to explain so but having walked down the back of the table behind me he was approached by the father of the bride with broken glass in hand who threatened my father-in-law with a form of physical violence should he wish to involve himself in the matter, the lunatic was restrained by two member of his own family who then also threatened to join the restrained lunatic in a wedding day fracas, all of this happened in slow motion right behind my head, in fact the lunatic had broken his glass on the table right next to my soup and was now still brandishing it above my head - all of which had passed my attention as the soup was actually quite nice.

The current Mrs Jerrychicken's father left the building as did the whole of his family party, leaving the long bench table completly empty and the wedding party bereft of a third of its guests.

Well, thats not strictly true.

There was of course the groom, who having dug himself into this mountain of shit could not now escape the clutches of this lunatic family.

And there was his brother, the best man, who was seated at the top table and couldn't get involved in the skirmish and who didn't want to leave his brother to the assembled gnashing of teeth when our party had left.

And there was me.

The soup was very nice you see, even for the Co-op it was very nice, and I had just started it, and despite now having shards of glass in my soup, I wanted to finish it, in short I was bloody starving.

The current Mrs Jerrychicken was seated next to me and insisted that we leave in support of her family, I pointed out that her brother the best man had remained in his seat and between hurried mouthfuls of soup suggested that we do the same in order to support him, and of course in order to allow me to finish my soup.

For the first and only time ever since, she agreed with me, reluctantly.

We had 24 seats on our table and only us two remained with the rest of "their side" staring at us both as if we were complete imbeciles for staying behind, I smiled at them all then reached across the table for someone else's bread roll, the soup was actually very good indeed.

Mrs Overall came back to take away the empty soup dish and 23 soup dishes still brimming with now lukewarm soup, she looked very nervous, in her 80 years of "serving on" for the Co-op she had obviously never seen a brides father threaten a grooms father with a broken glass before, had never seen a third of the wedding party simply walk out of the building , and had never seen someone so hungry that he was prepared to let them fight all around him as long as he could finish his soup - we had terrific service from Mrs Overall all afternoon, getting extra portions from the 22 other plates that should have been on the table - I think she was terrified of us.

After we had eaten and listened to the speach's, or at least the closest thing that neanderthalls get to speaking, we returned to the family pit village to find the rest of our group sprawled out in the garden in various stages of drunkeness, and the best news was that they had all taken their wedding presents back home with them.

Word was sent via runner with a white flag that if the prodigal son wanted his wedding presents then he had better come and get them for himself within the next seven days, quite wisely he declined the offer, reasoning that if he did return home then he would receive the bolacking of his life.

So we got all of his wedding presents for we had just moved into our first apartment - and three months later we got another set of wedding presents when we got married - without a fight.

But thats another story...


Grannymar said...

Thatr has to be Wedding of the year!

Loved it even though I had great difficulty reading through my tears of laughter.

Donna said...