Drive Thru, Say 'I Do'
Cut to present day.
Tony Gelme is a marriage celebrant who will marry anyone anywhere. Except atop hot air balloons. 'I know it sounds romantic,' he's telling me ' but you have to wake up at three or four in the morning. The view is excellent mind you.' We are waiting for the bride and groom to meet us at that dank roach pit the Amethyst. Tee (the groom) and I have known each other for about six months. He is originally from Nigeria and currently makes ends meet by driving cabs. After the sixth coincidental encounter with the guy in a space of a month I got his number so I don't have to keep giving instructions to 'It's my first day on the job'-type taxi drivers on how to get back to my house.
Eventually they arrive. But we are one witness short. After giving a call to my mate Steve who works at a second-hand bookstore nearby ( 'I'm not working today') and a cafe around the corner ( phonelines engaged) I decide that I'll round up some complete stranger off the street. It took me all of thirty seconds.
Me: Pssst! Hey you! You wanna witness a wedding?
Passing woman: Look I'm not interested in buying any....wedding? (Fatman) is that you?
By sheer coincidence the first person I approach was one of the fill-in jazz singers at our bar. After convincing Jamie that I wasn't trying to sell her anything and that there wasn't a group of hidden cameramen about to burst forth for a hoax she took ten minutes away from work to witness this union of two people.
So there's my Monday folks. A marriage celebrant, Tee and Tommi, the cheapest bottle of sparkling white, a montecristo no.4, a random stranger and Yours Truly for the very first Amethyst Bar wedding. All it was missing was an Elvis impersonator.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride,
*That's a bit harsh actually. I did hear some truly moving sentiments as well as genuinely funny moments recounted by well meaning yet drunk friends and family.