The 12 Hour
by Alister Thorpe
In the past
year or so, I have attended over thirty wedding
receptions. Yes, my dear reader, Im a
wedding junky. Although 'attend' may be
stretching the truth a tad, as all but one were
involuntary. Let me explain.
I live across
the road from the local Girl Guide hall. How
wonderful. I hear you say, with images of
young ladies in beautiful freshly pressed
uniforms going about the scouting business of
learning to tie knots and put up tents etc., but
alas in all the time Ive been here Ive
never heard a single 'dyb dyb: do your best.
No, my fellow
reader, this hall doubles for a wedding reception
Early afternoon or evening affairs, but yesterday
broke all records.
About 10am I
gave a short glance towards my wife with eye
brows raised as the first notes of sound reached
my ears. It signalled another long day of
noise pollution. (The concept of noise pollution
hasnt made it to this part of the world.)
than 50 metres from the halls quad speaker system
is never a good experience.
The music in general ranges in quality from
barely listenable to drunken barracking at the
football. (sorry Manchester United fans )
receptions here have what appears to be an open
house. The happy couple whom in most cases look
anything but happy, sit on stage as guests arrive
and depart in continuous dribs and drabs. A large
part of the time, the hall seems mostly empty,
but the band keeps playing on regardless,
progressively increasing in volume to compensate
for the lack of people. ( I know this because were
Come four pm I
had almost reached the end of my tether, my fuse
is short and the bomb was about to go off.
there, my wife said with understanding eyes.
I lay on the bed, twitching, rolling, wriggling,
hands over my ears. Let's go out for
dinner; by the time we get back theyll have
packed up and gone home,
What a good
plate of noodles and a mango smoothie can do to
soothe the nerves. Then, we arrived home to
witness to our utter astonishment the proceedings,
instead of disbanding, had ratchet up a notch.
Long days journey into night - Eugene O'Neill's
addiction without the alcohol. I cried out in
despair, Wheres the bottle.
thing is the music sounded exactly the same as it
did in the morning. In fact I could swear
they had been playing the same song continuously
The worst part is always the last few hours, when
the paid singer has retired due to exhaustion and
is replaced by some of the guests who think they
can do better.
It was singing in the shower with no water and an
audience! But as the saying goes. All good bad
things must come to an end.
high pitch whine of the ally cats petered out a
little after 10 pm. 12 hours of torture to my
wife from complaining on my part. Cant
wait for the next round, not!!
What is that
you say? The bride and groom. Oh I suspect they
slipped out hours ago and got on with the
important part of the day in the peace and quiet
of one of the local hotels.