Reeeshard, I Am In The Middle Of A Speeesh Here
I used to be a public speaker, back when I was a kid. I could get up in front of any group, any size, as long as I could hear myself talk.
Then I went to wicked smaht kids college, and as I listened to all these pompous dipshits ask equally pompous questions in lectures and bloviate on issues they barely comprehended with these ill-informed meandering opinions in smaller discussion sections, I quickly realized, "Holy shit, everyone sounds really fucking stupid when they speak in public...all the time. Do I sound like this lickbag here?"
Ever since, I automatically clam up just about every time I have to open my mouth with a big audience present. True story. Also true is that I'm a severe head case. While I sweat public speaking and fear it more than a beard of Africanized bees (man, that's racist!), I'm actually pretty good at it. My track record is proven, having delivered a kickass best man speech for my brother and four large rehearsal dinner toasts that tore the house down.
Still, I always break into an abnormal sweat and sometimes feel the vomit reversing course on Peristalsis Trail before the big moment. So part of me had been dreading this weekend almost as much as I had been anticipating it: Making a best man speech at your best friend's wedding is a nerve-shattering experience. Of course I had some good bits, and the sentimental stuff came easy, but I didn't think it was captivating and funny enough for my liking.
And even though I'm a speechwriter professionally, I turned to another (more famous) writer friend for help with the text. He bestowed upon me a hilarious stream of thought with which to close out the extended toast, and I adapted it and delivered it as well as I could have. Since he was kind enough to share it with me, I'd like to post it here, with the hope that if you're a best man and you're stuck, you can use this little self-deprecating bit yourself:
At this time, I'd like to give Don and Irene my advice on my idea of a successful marriage. Now, I'm not married myself, so some of you might think I'm probably underqualified to give such advice. But I have intimate carnal relations so infrequently that it actually seems like I'm married, so here's what I have to say on the subject...
Then add your own little bit of solemn and scholarly advice, specific to the couple. Remember to pause for chuckles along the way, and make sure to play it straight, no smiles. The bit also worked out superbly because the drummer hit me with an impromptu rimshot after I delivered the infrequent sex punchline. I turned to thank him, and before I knew it, I was doing Conan O'Brien style kicks and thrusts in sync with the drummer. Can't put a price on good luck. But you can put a price on an awesome line like that: seven dollars.
It's a shame Donnie got hitched on the same day Detroit knocked our beloved Yank'ums out of the playoffs, but that's another story for another time. I need at least three days to digest this development and think about what I'd like to see happen before I make any public comment about it. I hope we can refrain from discussing this in the comments until I let the good times roll.
Slack Link of the Day: New Orleans is back...well, at least the awesome immorality has returned to the city: "It's 'like the Super Bowl' for sex workers, said Deputy Chief James Scott, commander of the Police Department's Intelligence Division." Road trip?
Slack Video of the Day: The redheaded fuckface brought along a new drummer to Webster Hall for his CD release party last night, and what a difference a band member makes. I went in with low expectations, but Trey pulled an evil-eyed rabbit out of his hat.
Aforementioned drummer Jeff Sipe really makes that band; he was worth the price of admission alone. Bassist Tony Hall is much better with Jeff, too, and I find it pretty strange how one man changes the whole dynamic. Funny, Jimmy Herring saves Panic, Sipe saves Trey: Col. Bruce Hampton must be smiling right now at his cohorts' new adventures in bandsitting. Aquarium RESCUE Unit, indeed.
Last night's second-set Plasma was monstrous, obnoxious, the jam to end all Trey jams, worthy of the popular rock band Phish, in my opinion. Throw in Night Speaks and Gotta Jibboo around that time in the second set, and you had magic. Another highlight was the trumpet solo Jen Hartswick took on Alive Again at the end of the first set, which was incredible, simply amazing. Great show, it's craisins how much you love everything with no expectations.
The song of the night was clearly the acoustic Divided Sky with a five-piece string quintet, the talk of the Interweb today. I captured about 51 seconds of it, having wanted to film a bit for posterity but not wanting to ruin my enjoyment of the tune. So enjoy the snippet.
(And as a late addition to the proceedings, here's a much longer video of Sunday night's performance of Divided Sky.)
By the way, the Brothers Handstand and I were laughing last night about this: Does Tony Hall not look exactly like JeanPaul JeanPaul, the Seinfeldian distance runner? Why separate knob, why?
Slack Song of the Day: What else, some Trey -- Drifting, Push On Til the Day, Gotta Jibboo, and Money Love & Change from Red Rocks.