Saturday. The weather is crap and rainy. Matt is 70km away, at Ground Zero, waiting for his speech to be faxed through. We have the speech somewhere in our car and currently on the way to Merricks North, a piece of land, possibly named after J.Merrick the Elephant man
, somewhere near Mornington Peninsula, desperately looking for a place that has a fax machine. In the car: Cat, driving with only three hours of sleep, Tom, a dude who had just come back from England who I had met just ten minutes ago at St.Kilda Junction and myself. It is the day of Clark and Hayley's wedding.A Brief Detour where I Get The Blame
- Cat, Tom and I pull into Moorooduc Estate, Moorooduc, which can easily be reached by veering off right from the Moorooduc Highway down Bentons road ( where the Melways actually has DANGEROUS INTERSECTION indicated and where I was expecting a pile of mangled cars to be burning merrily) We went another way- the Fatman route. 'That,' Cat says to me as she parked the car, 'is the last time you navigate.' Cat is a self-confessed foul-mouthed, chain smoking, chatterbox who was yet to learn how lost one can get traveling country roads. By the end of the day our fifteen minute detour would seem like nothing.Damn' City Folk
- Moorooduc Estate is a winery where out-of-towners can stay in the Gregory Burgess-designed accommodation and drink the fermented juice of grapes that have collected the sunlight and whatnot from their north facing, elevated slopes. It's the kind of place where you might trip over the peacock if you're not looking. We are greeted by Jill, the proprietor of the place. Jill looks at the two uncouth lads standing in front of her, looks at Cat and asks Cat if she would like to get dressed for the wedding in Matt's room. 'There is one problem though,' says Jill,' we still haven't cleaned up all of the smashed wine bottle from last night.' Friggin' Matt. He's been here one night and we've already been tagged as 'problematic'. In Jill's eyes we had already become 'them city folk' from some sin-infested Soddom and Gomorrah
with our fancy cars ( Cat drives a '98 Mitsubishi Mirage), our complaining of their sub-standard coffees and our nightly sacrifices of goats to a weird array of Dark Gods....And thence to Rancho de Randerson
- Everything is now going smoothly. We are dressed like people going to a wedding, Matt's speech is in his hands ( we managed to get it faxed through from a car dealership on our way from the city) and the weather is clearing up thanks to the goat sacrifice. Lovely. Good weather means less hysterical women. A short drive from Moorooduc Estate ( the Melways nowhere near the mitts of Yours Truly) and to a house painted the colour of the wedding invites ( a fact brought to everyone's attention by the father of the groom, Dave Randerson). The guests start to arrive. The bridal party drink to relax.Two People Exchange Rings
- The current resident of Hayley's belly is Yevgeny Danger Randerson, a.k.a. Dempsey Man, and would probably have enjoyed the proceedings. Matt, the best man, was running a bit late- he had hid the rings so he wouldn't lose them and was now trying to locate them. He comes out of the house triumphantly. He hands the rings to the marriage celebrant who fumbles them and has to pick it up. Clark fudges the lines a bit and also fumbles the rings. There is a screaming kid ('I WAAAAANt my Mummeee!') that sorely deserved some chloroform. But ring get exchanged, vows vowed. Ladies and Gentlemen let us present Mr. and Mrs. Danger Randerson.Speeches
- (In order)
Nori- the M.C. of the day. A Scottish guy who gets everyone on side by making fun of English people. He recounts stories of young Hayley growing up and a story of Clark getting lost down a mineshaft.
Paul- Father of the Bride. A short speech about how happy and proud he is. Ends it with ' When Hayley was a baby I had to give her a dummy to take to bed. Today I find myself doing the same thing.' Matt turns to me and makes the 'Zing!' motion, which we use anytime something is meant to be a scorcher of a joke.
Dave- Father of the Groom. David absolutely nailed his speech. It was killer. Every line was gold and had everyone hooting with applause. To top it all off it was all impromptu. ' I've known Clark for about 25 years or so,' he says, turning to Clark who had just returned from urinating behind the lemon tree, 'I was there for most of it, but I'd missed his birth. After 12 hours of waiting I'd gone home to feed the dog and out he popped. Now, to Hayley. I don't really know her that well. She just turned up one day about fourteen months ago.' Damn. I'd hate to be following that guy.
Matt- Best man. Matt has a seriously funny speech lined up and I quietly believe he is using today as a springboard for his career in comedy. He does however fudge it twice, firstly by referring to Hayley as the father of Clark's child and secondly by swearing (' I f-cking love you man!'). It's not a big deal but he mentions it a few times afterwards.
Clark & Hayley- The Newlyweds. It's pretty much Clark's show here as he spoke at length, dropping his cue cards for comic effect and staggering about. Hayley says a few brief words at the end before Clark remembers a few more announcements and grabs back the mic. He said some of the sweetest things however and I think the loveliest went along the lines of ' I love you and I know that everyday I wake up next to you everything is going to be just fine.' Or words to that effect. They then dance the wedding waltz- My Funny Valentine. Someone told me they would dance to Stand By Me
, which always reminds me of four kids trying to find a corpse down a train track.And the Rest of the Night
- Some folks return to Melbourne but the rest spend the night a-drinkin' and a-dancin'. There is no-one to pick up. Cat was hoping to bump into Conan the Fireman who didn't turn up to the wedding. Matt and I looked around but the ladies were all already spoken for and sadly one of the cutest girls there, a total GILF, was Clark's 14-15 year old jailbait cousin which more than one guy noticed, did the maths and figured at the very least four footy seasons before they should even say hello. We decide it's time to call the cab.Waiting is the Hardest Part
- The problem with Mornington Peninsula is that there is a total of three cabs in the whole place. There are probably only five cops in the whole area too, in all likelihood part-time cabbies. We wait forty-five minutes for a bug-encrusted taxi to arrive but by the time the buses come to pick up everyone else, including the limp form of a drunk, vomiting, Scottish M.C., we decide it may be better if we drove to Moorooduc Estate instead.