Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Hamish McShanks Secret Diary - Part 53

Hamish McShanks Secret Diary w/e 31st July 2005

‘You want me to do the rings?’, ‘yes’, ‘me?’, ‘yes’, ‘I thought Neil was doing it?’, ‘there’s been a change of plan he has to drive the wedding car’, ‘so let me get this straight you want me to hand over the rings?’, ‘YES’ he replied irritably. ‘Right right no probs at all bruv’ I replied soothingly before continuing ‘that sounds kinda responsible?’ He sensed the hint of uncertainty in my voice. We both knew I was getting the task because he was out of options ‘Just think of it as a promotion’ he replied. My eyes lit up and my chest swelled with pride ‘Promotion you say! Does that mean Neils the 2nd best man now?’ My twin brother just rolled his eyes and walked away.

‘Hot diggity’ I slapped my hands together and went in search of my older brother. I found him hunched over the engine of the wedding car, cursing and swearing under his breath ‘Fecking French Sh*ite’, ‘Alright Bruv’ I enquired in a breezy voice. He didn’t even look up ‘No it’s nae alright the fecking car is running rough as a badger arse’, ‘Oh that’s terrible I replied desperately trying to suppress my glee. I have to admit I was mildly intrigued as to how the topography of a medium sized omnivores backside correlated to the workings of an internal combustion engine, however that had to wait, I had some serious gloating to do.

‘Aye well ye better hand over the rings then laddy’ He looked up at me his face smeared with engine oil ‘Oh aye’ he reluctantly pulled a small green ring box from his top pocket and tossed it in my direction. I caught it in mid-air ‘Aye apparently I’ve been promoted’, ‘That a fact’ he replied returning to his labours ‘Aye it’s a real shame yer wee scalextric car is playing up! What’s wrong? Elastic band broken is it?’ He had been removing a spark plug as I taunted him and his hand froze in mid twist ‘What?’, ‘Oh nothing nothing’ I mumbled hastily trying to backtrack ‘Aye apparently Fraz is gutted that ye cant hand over the rings, absolutely gutted, but he realised only you could drive this car’

My smarming seemed to suitably massage his ego and the old hackles settled down. With hindsight I would have got away with it if I had just shut my yapper instead of pointing out that he was now the second best man. It was probably my emphasis of the word second. Perhaps ‘joint best man’ would have been a more diplomatic phrase. Now of course, one could use the phrase ‘My car is running as rough as a best mans face’ Mine was certainly a phrenologists delight courtesy of the second best mans efforts with a tyre wrench and panel hammer.

I was brushing the dirt of my crumpled shirt as my twin brother came pelting out of the house pointing frantically at his watch ‘Button holes’ he screamed at me ‘whut?’, ‘The fecking bugggggery button baaastarding holes’ my gaze fell to his pointing finger ‘that’s a watch isn’t it?’ I replied with a blank expression. But he was gone. Small stones scattered as he legged it up the pebbled driveway and on to the street. Anguished screams of ‘Noooooo’ faded into the distance and after a few seconds I could hear a far-away thumping and scrabbling noises. ‘He’s feeling the strain’ I muttered returning to the task of re-shevelling myself.

I had just removed the final spots of engine oil from my face and straightened myself out when he strode back into the garden. He very carefully closed the sliding doors behind him and marched towards me rolling up his sleeves ‘Find your watch did you?’ I enquired. He didn’t reply, he was sweating buckets and had a face like thunder. ‘Do you remember our little trip to drop off my car at the hotel today?’, ‘Oh aye what about it?’ I replied, spitting on my hanky and dabbing at an oily smudge on my kilt ‘Any snippets of conversation spring to mind?’ I screwed up my face in concentration ‘Well you said you needed a dump when you got back?’, ‘No not that’, ‘eeeeer you hoped the rain would stay off?’, ‘anything else?’ he continued whilst starting to crack his knuckles. ‘OH that’s right you said we needed to pick up the button hol…. es’ ‘Well done’, ‘Ooooomppffff

1:08pm in my Big Brothers house and Ham has had two kickings in half an hour. The rest of the ‘housemates’ are in the summer room wondering if he was adopted. Ham is upstairs searching for a fresh shirt and some plasters.

It was quarter to two by the time I patched myself up and crept back downstairs. Guests were arriving thick and fast and I was kept occupied showing them in and taking their coats. I was just heaving the last few jackets into a cupboard when I heard the skirl of the pipes ‘Oh feck!’. Everyone was already in the garden as I jogged out the back door and up to the wedding party. ‘Sorry sorry’ I mumbled as I sidled up to my twin brother, wilting under his withering glare.

Luckily I was saved another tongue lashing by the distinctive put-put-put’ing of the wedding car as it motored down the road and swung into the driveway. The piper was giving it big licks and the rain had even stayed off. Neil expertly parked the car and the father of the bride took Shirley’s arm. She looked absolutely stunning, thankfully the dressmaker had managed to repair her dress after last weeks little misadventure. They strolled up the garden, Shirley grinning from ear to ear, a wee glisten of a tear in the corner of her eye as she stopped in front of the registrar.

We were all assembled under a weeping willow as the registrar said her bit. A quick reiteration of her legal right to carry out weddings, which was a big relief I have to say. I was this close to asking for some identification but I felt I was in enough trouble as it was. She then asked if anyone had good reason to stop this marriage and to say now or forever hold his or her peace. Again I seemed to get a lot of fierce glares but I bit my tongue. Then there was some mushy keech about having to stay together through sickness and blah blah blah. I have to admit I started day dreaming at that point.

I was away in a world of my own when I received a sharp dig in the ribs ‘ooomppf what?’, ‘The rings ye fanny!’ growled my brother. I stared at the registrars outstretched hand ‘Oh aye right right’ I fumbled in my pocket for the ring box. I opened it up and extracted the two rings, one was a small platinum band for Shirley and the other was a slightly larger silver ring for my brother. I clutched both rings in my left hand as I placed the box back in my pocket.

‘Sorry sorry’ I muttered before placing the rings in the palm of her hand. She looked down at her hand then back at me meaningfully. I returned her gaze ‘Mmm?’ she was pointing with her eyes at her outstretched palm. I glanced down and noticed the rings were stuck one inside each other ‘sorry sorry’ I picked them up and pulled ‘oh fu-‘. Have you ever seen that trick where a magician smacks a couple of seemingly solid rings against each other then all of a sudden they’re joined?

I could feel everyone’s eyes boring into me as I fumbled with the rings. The sweat building up on my palms wasn’t helping matters and I could hear my brother muttering ‘yer fucking deid pal’ under his breath. The congregation were getting pretty restless and a few were craning to see what was going on. ‘Ha ha just a little ha ha...um’ I was just about to ask for some olive oil as they sprung apart, along as it happens, with my butt cheeks. A nervous little emission crowning my moment of shame.

The registrar continued at a much brisker pace, her nose wrinkling up as she hurried to finish. ‘Do you Frazer ya de yah yah and do you Shirley blah blah you may now kiss the bride’ and she sprinted off retching into her handkerchief as a somewhat bewildered bride and groom played tonsil hockey.

Thankfully the congregation burst into rapturous applause the general feeling of goodwill joy and happiness saving my bacon. I leant against the willow and dabbed my forehead with a handkerchief as my heart slowed to a gentle purr and the bridal party went off to sign the marriage certificate. I was mercifully exempt from this task and took the opportunity for some long overdue imbibment.

The rest of the afternoon was spent mingling with the guests and necking a few more blizzardly cold beers. One of the Guests had provided a case of exceptionally fine home brewed ale. Homebrew is too crude a description. This was ‘micro-brewed’ and a huge hit with everyone. I was finding it particularly palatable, a fact that hadn’t escaped my newlywed brother. ‘Ye better ease up on the sauce there Ham ye’ve got a speech to make later’, ‘Ach dry yer eyesh min ahm fine … hic’

A handsome spread of food arrived but I didn’t partake. Who needs ‘girly’ food I surmised when there are so many calories in beer ‘that’s for puffs who cannay hud there drink’ I slurred when Fraz proffered me a plate. Yes well hindsight is always 20:20

‘Good evenings spladies n gentsh, fuuuuck ah’m pii.i.i.shed’ My granny keeled over with my opening gambit, never a good sign ‘Thish is f.f.n good thish beer, what choo lookinatyef.f.f.nbaas? Eh?’ Spraying the father of the bride with alcoholic spittle is also unlikely to ingratiate ‘Championaaaay championaaay oooh we are weeee’ I don’t know where that came from I don’t even like football. Thankfully for all concerned my address was over in less than a minute. My choice of a 300-watt speaker as impromptu urinal brought my best mans speech to a rapid close. A prolonged jolt of mains electricity shooting through your bell end tends to do that.

Crispy pancake roll anyone?


*Ham Shanks would like to point out that all events portrayed in this diary are entirely fictitious and the wedding was in fact a bloody great day. Shirley looked gorgeous my bruv was ‘over the moon’ and everybody had a great time. Well except the ring bit that really happened and Robs beer was indeed the mutts nuts as they say. Oh and it was fecking Baltic. My nips wur like chapel coat pegs ye could have hung a wet duffle coat on them …………. Ye probably didn’t need to know that

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