Mr. Simmons: Good evening everybody. Iím Al Simmons, Annís father. Nancy and I would like to welcome you here to Stoney Grove on this happy day, and thank you all for coming. As the comparatively impoverished father of the bride, and an American to boot, I feel like something of an impostor in the role of master of ceremoniesóAnn and Simon did all the work and spent all their money. So this is really their dayóbut I am genuinely happy that we are all here together.
Nancy and I both welcome Simon into our family as our new son-in-law. Heís a fine young man and Iím sure heíll make our daughter very happy. I had a chance to talk to the Reverend Banksóand thank you Reverend for officiating at such a beautiful serviceóand he told me heís witnessed a lot of growth and maturation in their relationship in the two years heís known them, so thatís good. Iím sure that Simon will treat my beautiful daughter with the love, fidelity and respect that such a special young woman deserves.
I think weíll all find ourselves well fed and well entertained this evening. So please join me in raising a glass to the bride and groom. Ann, Simon, we all wish you long lives of love, health, and happiness together.
Everyone: To Simon and Ann!
Simon: Strangely, I don't get to say much here, but I would like to thank Ann's parents, family, and friends for making the long trip to come to our wedding. We're very happy you made it. It also falls to me to thank the bridesmaids, a very easy task considering how wonderful they all look and what a fine job they did. So please stand up, not you Emma! Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the bridesmaids.
Everyone: To the bridesmaids!
Simon: Now I have to give you the best man, who despite the offer of my entire lottery proceeds, is going to talk anyway.
Phil: Bit nervous about this. In fact I went to a wedding web site this week to get some advice on what to say. They suggested "At a wedding you should not discuss sex, politics, or religion. " So I went back to my speech and edited it. Here's what I have left: "Thanks for coming!"
No, seriously, when I was asked to be best man, the possibilities for my speech seemed endless. I actually made a list of all Simon's transgressions and foolhardy adventures. The exotic fruit dancer in Paris, and closer to home our Nottingham trip to see Merry Maid Marion-- it was actually quite a long list. In fact, I have it hereÖ
No, after a bit more thought I burnt it, without even a promise of an exorbitant bribe from Simon, though we can talk about that later. After all, itís amazing what they can do with forensics these days. No, I decided I didnít want to talk about that part of Simon. Because when I thought about it I realised that Simon was putting a lot of that behind him. Perhaps he won't totally reform, I'm not sure we'd recognise him if he did. It brings to mind the line about the two old men on a park bench watching a young woman go past. One of them says sadly "Sometimes I feel like and old man" and the other replies, "Funny, I was thinking exactly the opposite."
When Simon came back from the States he seemed wilder than ever, the money certainly freed some impulses that could have better been left chained. But he was happier too. A lot has happened to him. Winning the Lottery, buying this place, having his Dad come live with him, but I think he would agree that the luckiest moment in his life happened just before buying that lottery ticket. It was when he met Ann.
Simon: Absolutely, thatís why I bought the ticket.
Ann: Actually, I paid for it.
Phil: I'm glad Simonís back in England. I'm glad he's made a commitment to this wonderful house and estate and I'm most glad that he's is marrying this wonderful lady. May they continue to live and prosper as our close neighbours and friends.
I give you, the luckiest couple, Simon and Ann.
Everyone: To the luckiest couple!
Ann: Thank you, everyone--and especially Phil-- for what you said and didnít say! And thank you all so much for coming today, and for your thoughtful notes and telephone calls and help while we were planning the wedding. I hope youíll have a chance to stay a few days at least and visit with us at the house, see the village, and get to know something about this wonderful place. Iíd like to thank my parents, my dear friends Amy and Emma, and my cousins, Jen and Janey, for taking part in the ceremony this afternoon, and my aunts, uncles and friends from the States for making the trip to be with us today. Although I grew up thousands of miles away, on the other side of the world, I really do feel at home here now, and I'm really grateful for the kindness of all of my friends and family in England, and especially in Puckering. I also want to thank Nigel Banks for his guidance and for a beautiful service, Father Hoole for taking part in the ceremony, Miss Rutherford for providing the lovely music at the church, and Nora Elberdine for the gorgeous floral arrangements. Finally, Iíd like to thank my friend Martin Johnson, who surely must be here in spirit today, for making me feel welcome at Stoney Grove when I first arrived, and sharing the home he and Shirley made with Simon and me so graciously. So I'd like to propose a toast to friends and family.
Everyone: To friends and family!
Phil: At this point you can enjoy the music in the saloon and the bar! Feel free to wander outside in the garden or around the house.
Nigel Banks: Hello Shirley, back from your sister's I understand. How is she?
Shirley: Well, we're all getting on a bit, vicar, aren't we? Course, Vera's younger than I am, but really she's not doing so well. Sheís had her hip done once, after a while it all starts to go, doesnít it? Now Iíve always kept busy, well it takes a lot of looking after a house like this, but I canít be doing that forever, can I? Not at my age.
Shirley: And who knows, now that theyíre married, there may be children coming along. Well children are all right if you're young, but at my age? So I said to Vera, Vera I said, if you need me, Iíll move down. Well whatís keeping me here now, I ask you? Johnís a grown man. He could be off at any time. And now Martinís gone I seem to be rattling around the place. Poor man never seemed to take up much space when he was here, but somehow it seems a bit empty with him gone. And Vera could do with the help, now sheís having trouble getting round.
Nigel: But Iím sure that Simon and Ann would want you to stay. Youíd be sorely missed, Shirley.
Shirley: Well then they need to say it. Anyway donít say anything to John. Heís coming over and I donít want to upset the lad.
John: More wine, vicar?
Irene Kent: Well this is nice, isn't it?
Gladys Rutherford: Almost like the old days.
Irene: Did you have one of those cream things? Bit too rich, really, I thought.
Gladys: Yes, wasn't it! Have you seen Gerry Anderson here?
Irene: I have. To come here, straight out prison, I'm surprised he had the nerve!
Gladys: Returning to the scene of the crime.
Irene: Some people have no shame.
Gladys: Like the dress on that one over there.
Irene: Shocking. It's all this free love they're talking about.
Gladys: Oh, I know.
Nigel Banks: Hello, Emma. Feeling better?
Emma: Not great, to be honest.
Nigel: Are you ill?
Emma: Today just doesnít seem to suit me. Listen, Nigel, can I have a quick word with you a bit later?
Nigel: Of course you can.
Emma: Meet me upstairs. In my bedroom.
Nigel: Emma, do you think thatís wise? I mean, with everyone here, what would it look like for me to go upstairs with you?
Emma: Please. Iíd like a few minutes alone. Iíll go up first, and you can follow when you like. Nobody is going to be watching you. Theyíre all busy with Simon and Ann.
Nigel: Well, all right. Iíll see you later.
Arthur Daily: Well, I think this all went quite well. Professional eye, you know, always looking at the production.
Frank: You didn't bring Irene with you.
Arthur: No, well, difficult for her to get away. The pace of life is much faster in LA you know.
Frank: Not really.
Arthur: Right. Anyway we were all sorry to hear about Martin. That man had a future.
Frank: He had a past, too.
Arthur: Really? Well not much we can do with that now. It scuppered our pitch I can tell you, we'd shown the reels of him in Taxi to the backers.
Frank: We were all very sad when Martin died.
Arthur: Oh, I see, yes, well I suppose I am a bit insensitive. It come with the job. Still I'm sure Martin is in a better place now.
Frank: He's still here.
Arthur: What, you buried him in the garden?
Frank: No, but Martin spent so much of his life here. He wouldn't leave it just because he died; he'll stay to watch over the grounds.
Arthur: Think I see that archaeologist lady. Fancy a word with that one. Excuse me!
John: Emma! Are you going to stop long enough for me to dance with you?
Emma: Maybe later.
John: Come inside now. You look great in that dress - fits you like a glove.
Emma: I need to talk to someone. I'll come and get you later and we can talk. I promise.
John: Who said talk? I just want to party! Here, have a drink and relax.
Emma: No, really John. I'll talk to you later.
[Follow Emma to her room]
Arthur 'Red' Covers: I've been wanting to catch up with you brother.
Arthur: I understand you were privileged to visit Russia recently, aboard an ex-Soviet ship no less.
Phil: Right. I'm still getting over it, to be honest.
Arthur: Coming back to the decadent West a bit of a shock, eh? Were you able to spend much time with our comrades?
Phil: We had personal guides. I spent the first few days trying to decide whether mine wanted to sleep with me or kill me.
Arthur: Sorry? Oh I see, political commentary. The capitalist system, can it merge with a socialist ideal or must it be in eternal opposition.
Phil: Quite. The vodka was good. I think we've still got a bottle stashed behind the bar.
Arthur: Lead on, brother Phil!
Jen: Hey Todd! Having fun?
Todd: Yeah, I guess so. The foodís great, and the booze is free. I thought English people were supposed to be uptight. Looks to me like theyíre having fun. The music kind of sucks though.
Jen: Yeah. Whereís Janey?
Todd: Donít know. Why are you hiding out over here?
Jen: Iíve been dodging some old man all night. I think heís the groomís father.
Todd: That guy over there? Talking to Simon?
Jen: Yeah, thatís him. I think Iím safe now. Looks like heís picked up some old lady. Sheís really scary. I donít think sheís drawn a breath since she started talking to him, and now, look, sheís kissing Simon!
Todd: I donít think sheís his type.
Jen: Todd! He just got married. Nobodyís "his type" anymore.
Todd: Iím not saying anything bad or that something was going to happen or anything.
Jen: Well, what are you saying?
Todd: I just think it would be really hard to well, like, not ever even look at any other women again, you know?
Jen: Yeah, well, they seem happy.
Todd: Can you imagine it? The same person, every day for the rest of your life. How boring is that?
Jen: You and Janey getting along well?
Todd: Yeah. Iím not slamming Janey. Sheís cool. Itís just well, I think Iíd even get tired of like, some awesome supermodel type. I think Iíd miss the variety.
Jen: So like youíve got tons of girlfriends now, right?
Todd: Well, no. Itís just that I could.
Jen: Yeah, right.
Todd: Ah, thereís your sister. She looks great in that bridesmaidís dress. Hey, Janey, over here!
Jen: Iíll catch you later. Iím going to go talk to that guy John. You know, the one whoís grandfather just died. Heís kind of cute.
Todd: If you say so. You can slide up to him inside. They're cutting the cake.
Amy: So, my best friend is an old married lady now. Should I start calling you missus?
Ann: I suppose you could. I wonít answer though!
Amy: Congratulations, Ann. I wish you both all the best.
Ann: Thanks Amy. And thanks so much for being my maid of honour today. Iím really glad you were part of all this. Simon looks gorgeous in that suit, doesnít he?
Amy: If you go for happy guys who canít stop smiling. You look pretty gorgeous yourself. I have to say, I had my doubts about you two, but I was wrong. Even Jackie looks like sheís given upósheís dancing with Chester.
Ann: Itís been a wonderful day. All my family and friends here, and even Simonís parents seem to have reached dťtente. I think theyíve been dancing together.
Amy: What are your plans now?
Ann: Simon wonít tell me. The honeymoon is a big secret. He even packed my suitcase.
Amy: That should make for an interesting couple of weeks. James couldnít match a pair of my socks, let alone pack for me.
Ann: It doesnít matter. Weíll be fine.
Amy: God, you are in love.
Simon: Hello, Amy. Hello, beautiful! May I have another dance with my wife?
Amy: By all means. Have fun!
John: Hello Nora, just wanted to say I thought you did a lovely job with the flowers.
Nora Elberdine: Thank you John. You know your Granddad had quite the reputation for his vegetables, but he had a wonderful knack for flowers, too.
John: I really miss him.
Nora: I do too. Never one to waste words was Martin, but he helped me out a few times over the years. Well it's up to you now to look after the garden.
John: I don't know. I've been trying to think about what I should do now Granddad is gone. I'm not sure if Gran's going to stay around, and what is there for me here? Maybe it's time to move on again.
Nora: Young man, this is where your roots are. Now is the time to plant for the future. You find yourself a nice young lady, get to know that no-good father of yours, and spend time here where you belong. That garden is going to need a lot of looking after, and so is your Gran.
John: We'll see.
Evelyn: Winston? Hi! Iím Evelyn. We met last year at Simon and Annís engagement party.
Winston: Yes, I remember. How are you?
Evelyn: Iím fine, thanks. Howís university?
Winston: Itís great, man.
Evelyn: Do you miss Nevis?
Winston: I didnít think so, but I do. I missed it last winter, when it was so cold and dark. But Iím enjoying myself. How about you? Werenít you getting hassle from some Hollywood man at the last party?
Evelyn: Thatís right. Arthur Daily. Heís here tonight, you know.
Winston: Not bothering you any more?
Evelyn: No. He was around for awhile this spring when they were filming at the house. I think he lost interest.
Winston: How is that possible?
Jackie: Hello. Chester is it? I think we met at one of these dos a few years ago.
Chester: I remember you. You were the life of the party. Well, the death actually, after Ann left. Ooh, shouldnít have said that. Iím afraid Iíve had a bit too much. Iím feeling a bit tipsy.
Jackie: Never mind. Itís a wedding. Youíre supposed to indulge.
Chester: Well, then, will you indulge me with a spin around the floor?
Jackie: A dance?
Chester: Yes, of course. You might not know it, but Iím quite a good dancer. Been told Iím a natural.
Jackie: Did you enjoy the ceremony?
Chester: Can't say that I did. I was thankful the beetles didn't cause any problems though.
Jackie: Were the Beatles invited?
Chester: Not really, they just showed up.
Chester: Sorry. Did I hurt you? Not much for the old fashioned stuff. Discoís more my style.
Jackie: Then I hope they switch bands quickly. Iíve only got the one other foot.
Chester: Ha! Ha! You know, I didnít expect to do much laughing today. I really quite like Ann.
Jackie: Well, to be honest, I really quite like Simon.
Chester: Arenít we a pair then?
Jackie: For a little while.
Gary Archer: Well Simon, congratulations! You did it.
Simon: I know, amazing isn't it? To be honest, the day is passing in a bit of a blur.
Gary: So are you going to be a sedate married man now? No little jaunts off to Liverpool or London?
Simon: Oh, Ann and I understand each other, she wouldn't want me around all the time. I'm sure we could manage the odd outing. No sign of Suzanne then?
Gary: No. She called briefly but couldn't get out of LA. Things are 'happening'. No, it's all for the best. Women, can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Oh sorry!
Simon: No, it's all right, mate. Today is all about the second sentiment. Still if you can get tickets for the first Liverpool home game, I think we might be back from the honeymoon.
Gary: Right you are.
Anyway I'm off to find more wine.
Simon: Hello, Phil. You're lurking.
Phil: This had been great. Normally I'm hopeless at these things but every time I look like getting into a conversation I say 'best man duties' and rush off. It's saved me lots of embarrassment.
Simon: Glad you're having fun.
Phil: Oh, I am, I think everyone is. I don't think I've ever seen your Dad like that.
Simon: Well I think he's very drunk and Mum does have a way of getting him going.
Phil: Where's her boyfriend?
Simon: Evidently he had to rush back to Italy. He seems to be somewhat important though Mum is very vague about these things. There was some mention of 'those silly protesters' but I've no idea what she meant.
Phil: I think she's got him about to do the limbo! Look he's following that Jen girl from America.
Simon: I think I better go rescue her.
Phil: Glad you could come, Jackie. Wasnít sure youíd been invited.
Caroline: Yes, itís ever so nice to see you again.
Jackie: Hello, Phil, Caroline. Lovely speech. I thought Ann looked quite pretty.
Caroline: Yes. I always thought Ann could look good if she made the effort.
Phil: Nice lady, Ann. Good for Simon. So, Jackie, are you all alone tonight?
Jackie: Yes, I came on my own.
Phil: But I bet you donít leave alone, eh?
Caroline: Phil, I think youíve had quite enough. Will you excuse us?
Jackie: Yes, of course.
Chester: Back again! Fancy another go? This is more like it.
Chester: The home of soul?
Jackie: What are you nattering on about? Are we going to dance or what?
Chester: Yes, absolutely. "You sexy thing."
Jackie: Oh, sorry Chester. They're cutting the cake. We have to watch them leave.
Chester: I'm right behind you.
Jackie: I was afraid of that.
Nigel Banks: Can I come in?
Emma: Hello. Did anyone see you?
Nigel: I donít think so. Simonís Mum and Dad are doing some kind of wedding mambo step down there. It was really quite entertaining. I had to tear myself away.
Emma: Glad you managed.
Nigel: So am I. Itís lovely to see you. I am sorry youíre feeling rotten today. Is it the wedding?
Emma: No. I donít know how to tell you this, so Iím just going to say it. Do you want to sit down?
Nigel: No, Iím quite all right where I am. What are you trying to say?
Emma: Nigel, Iím pregnant.
Nigel: Pregnant? Youíre pregnant? Oh. Oh, I see. Yes. You know, I think I would like to sit down.
Emma: Iím sorry to spring this on you. Iíve only just found out for sure myself.
Nigel: Well. Well, you know, thatís wonderful news. It changes things, speeds them up a bit more than maybe we thought, butÖEmma, will you marry me?
Emma: Nigel, Iím not finished.
Nigel: Are they twins?
Emma: No, no. At least I donít think so.
Nigel: So, thenÖ
Emma: I donít know who the father is.
Nigel: How is that possible? I mean, excuse me for my indelicacy, but, who might the fathers be?
Emma: Itís all got a bit muddled lately. You could be--actually probably are-- the father. But then thereís John. And Frank.
Nigel: Both of them?
Emma: Yes. Frank was so unhappy when Irene left and we just ended upÖtogether. And then John, when Martin diedÖ
Nigel: I see. Maybe this is inappropriate, given the circumstances, but can I ask you something?
Emma: Go ahead.
Nigel: Who do you want the father to be?
Emma: Oh, Nigel, I donít know. I really donít.
Nigel: Well, why donít you think about that. You know where to find me whenóifóyou get that little detail sorted out.
Phil: Ladies and Gentlemen. My last duty of the night. The bride and groom will now cut the cake.
Simon: All right, more applause please and ..smgrumph! What the hell was that for?!
Ann: American custom. Smash the cake in the groom's mouth. I wasn't going to do it, but all of a sudden I got the urge.
Mrs. Tinsley: Only way to shut him up!
Chester: Do it some more!
Winston: Where's the honeymoon?
Simon: Not telling. Even Ann doesn't know our destination.
Arthur Daily: Oh! I've just had an idea for a new reality television show!
Ann: Here goes the bouquet.
Janey: I got it! I got it!
Fr. McGintus Hoole: Looks like another wedding on the horizon, eh Nigel?
Nigel Banks: God only knows!
Simon and Ann: Goodbye everyone and thanks so much for being with us at Stoney Grove.
Man's Voice: It's been a lovely day, hasn't it?
Woman's Voice: Nice enough. Let's hope it stays that way.