I went to Fest again this year. It was awesome. For those who don't know, Fest is a yearly celebration of punk rock and ugly beards in Gainesivlle, Florida. It's also a Gainesville family reunion, all full of laffs and day drinking and cookouts and catching up and thinking, "Hey, that band I thought was just OK in college sounds like the greatest thing ever right about now."
While catching up with people, I was sufficiently liquored up to tell the following story to a friend.
"You know, that speech at your wedding was the greatest speech I've ever heard. Like Gettysburg Address level."
How could she not remember the speech? To set the scene, dear reader, two friends were getting married. It seemed a bit tense. Family (mostly her side, I believe) was on one side, friends were on the other side. There was no mixing. They said their vows and all that, then it was reception time.
"So your mom gets up to give a speech and gathers like, your brothers and your new husband."
"I don't have any brothers."
"Yeah, but she gathered them all together and ...wait? No brothers? Are you sure?"
"I'm pretty sure I don't have any brothers."
"But that was the whole point of the toast. Your mom gathered (Name Redacted) and your brothers -"
"I don't have any brothers. Not one."
"WELL ANYWAY, she gathered like, three fake sons and said, 'You know, after this weekend, I feel I now have four sons. Then (Name Redacted) grabs the mic and goes, 'yeah, sons of bitches,' meaning, like, 'we're all crazy, fun-loving guys.' But it came out like he called your mom a bitch. Then there was this total silence and people started whispering like, 'did he just call her a bitch?' Then the whole place started cracking up. Well, except for your relatives. They didn't think it was that funny."
"I don't really remember that, and again, don't have any brothers. But that's a pretty good story."
I've given a few speeches in my life. Whether in front of library board members, weddings, or nursing home residents, one thought kept me calm before starting to speak. "Well, it can't go over any worse that that wedding reception speech where (Name Redacted) accidentally called his future mother-in-law a bitch.
Now I see that I had the power inside me all the time.
As you know, The Goo Goo Muck is tirelessly dedicated to pursuing the truth, at least until it seems like a whole big deal and I've gotta do something other than a half-assed Google search. In this spirit, I sort of thought about asking people who were at that wedding if they remembered the toast, but then thought, well, if the bride said it didn't happen that way, I guess I'll have to accept it. Which sucks, because I've used that story for years as a funny anecdote whenever someone would bring up disastrous speeches or weddings or toasts, but I have to regretfully rate this story as Mostly False. He did totally accidentally call his mother-in-law a bitch, I mean, I was there! But I suppose the execution was different from what I remembered.
If anyone has another failing speech story I can use to psych myself up before speaking, I guess I'm in the market now.