Sunday, May 15, 2005

Toasted

I’m having a hard time concentrating right now. My buddy’s wedding is coming up on Saturday, and I’m the best man. Now I might be the best basket weaver or bull rider attending the wedding, but the best man? That seems to me to be a highly dubious claim, and I should know.

Regardless, his wedding will be a wonderful thing – with the dancing and the making merry and the celebrating of the most important day of my friend’s life -- but then there’s the toast.

I’ve been stressing out about this for months. Seinfeld does that joke about how, at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than delivering the eulogy. I wouldn’t go that far, but if someone gave me the choice between public speaking and getting shot by a taser gun while slamming my fingers in a car door, I honestly don’t know which one I would choose. I mean, how many volts are we talking about, and is it one of those little red and yellow Fisher-Price cars?

For this public speaking engagement, though, I have a score to settle. My friend Josh P.* (name not at all changed to protect his identity) was my best man at my wedding to Kara last year. For his toast, he hopped on the internet, went to my online journal that only a few friends knew about, clipped out stuff that I’d written about my bride-to-be Kara, and read it aloud to everyone. So basically, when called upon to say a few nice things about me, Josh read my diary to everyone that I know, including my new in-laws. It was actually very funny, but I must feign indignation for the time being so that I can justify the payback I’m going to give him in a few days.

Since I pretty much wrote Josh’s toast, I thought it might be fun if he helped me write mine. It’s only fair, really. Once I had my computer’s modem all set up to record our conversations (which was, by the way, frighteningly easy to do), the only hard part was deciding which snippets of our conversations to play back at his wedding. Linda Tripp would have been so proud.

I sent my favorite sound clips to a mutual friend, who has taken old pictures of me and Josh, run them through his computer, and animated our conversations in a crude, South Park kind of way. I can’t wait to see the look on Josh’s face when a picture of him, projected onto the wall at the reception, starts reciting a conversation we had two months ago.

Here’s one of my favorite bits:
Me: What should I talk about in my toast?
Josh: Well, you’ve got two ways you could go. Funny or, you know, meaningful.
Me: What about the kind that humiliates you?
Josh: It’s impossible to humiliate me, man. The only way you could humiliate me is if you brought up… [At this point, the Road Runner runs across the screen, says, “Meep! Meep!” and then runs off, obscuring what Josh is saying. I’m not totally heartless.]

Thank you, Josh, for that pearl. I was expecting it to be a little more difficult to get some good stuff out of you, but now you’ve almost made it too easy for me. It’s like hunting for windmills at a putt-putt course.

If anyone sees my friend Josh around, I hope that, after they congratulate him on finding a partner who possesses both exceptional beauty and relatively low standards, they’ll ask him what exactly he said when the Road Runner so rudely interrupted. I’ll never tell -- unless you ask me.

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IN-TAR-NET SPECIAL!

Through the magic of the in-tar-net, you can see the toast here (if your boss hasn't given you anything better to do): http://holythunderforce.bisti.org/albums/Toasted/Toasted.swf

Much thanks to Jered Earl "Chunks" Widmer for the countless hours he spent animating this thing.

Warning: This link automatically opens a Flash movie file, which takes a while to download (5.4 megs.) If you're on dial-up, I hope you didn't want to do anything else on the internet today.

9 comments:

  1. Since I got here first, I'll ask.

    I remember a toast I had to give once as someone's best man. Note to all future best men toast givers everywhere- stay away from the champagne/wine/martini. It's at that particular moment I wish I had had the road runner zooming through the hall.

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  2. I have no doubt in my mind that you can write a toast that will have 'em rolling in the aisles.

    Doesn't Acme, Inc do a book on wedding speeches? They must, they do everything else! I want a can of that paint that lets you do a picture of a tunnel on the side of a mountain and actually run through it.

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  3. Humble Pie (bonus points if you get this obscure reference)5/16/2005 11:18 AM

    Oh thank God. When you said it opened a flash movie, I thought you meant the kind you used to star in before you married Kara. Oddly, those had your ferret in them as well.

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  4. The In-tar-net bonus is even better than top drawer, you guys. Absolute brilliant stuff, well done.

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  5. OMG ROFL!!!!!!!!!! That was/is the most incredible send-off! Did you use the space modulator to disconnect the jaws like that??? Even better, you recorded calls on my birthday as well as my God-daughter's! Super Genius! I like the uncomfortable pause in Josh's answer as it got a bit closer to the wonderful day.

    In a more serious vein, I've wondered what I would say if given such an opportunity (always a groomsman, never a Best Man, boo-hoo) :{ I think I would tend towards the humorous as you appear to be, but yer friends are WAY cooler than mine. I must learn these FLASH skills. Are they like numchuck skills?

    We'll need a special follow-up to see how it went. Get tape (preaching to the choir now.)

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  6. LOL. That's why I'm ditching my friends as soon as they all decide to get married! ... no just kidding. Though you've provided some good ideas if ever I need 'em.

    Good luck! And I am on dial-up currently so I guess the movie will have to wait.

    Shaylen Maxwell
    www.shaylenfixtion.blogspot.com
    recent post: the Sour pigeon in a dependency fairytale.

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  7. That was really cool. Gotta love that "Howdy Doody" effect!

    Good luck with the toast!

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  8. You all are the coolest. To answer a few issues:

    1. I think Josh should really answer the question of what he said. I know I said I would, but that was a, um, what do you call it? Oh, a lie.

    2. Yes, Chunks has mad numchuck skills, and his favorite animal is a liger. If you haven't seen a picture of liger, you really need to stop what you're doing (there's really nothing worthwhile here anyway) and do a Google image search on "liger." It'll blow your frickin' mind.

    3. The wedding was last weekend, and rather than speak in front of 160 people, I jumped out the bathroom window and drove home. Well, that's what Romantic Comedy Universe me did. This Universe me stumbled through the toast good enough to get the job done.

    Word up, y'all. Thanks for stopping by and dropping off some comments.

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  9. You know, Mike had the easy part of simply clicking the mouse and having a conversation. When he shared the idea of recording the conversations with me, I had to open my big mouth and say, "Wouldn't it be funny if you had pictures synced up to the voices?" Guess who's eating his words now?! It was worth it though, to hear all the laughs and the expression on Josh's face!

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