Speech by Richard Green

Speech Type: Best man
Speech Creator: Richard Green
Speech Date: Feb2002
Ladies and Gentleman,

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The day has gone fantastically well….up until this point. It's often forgotten though, that every silver lining needs a dark cloud; Well… Here it is

Before I start I am aware that certain betting has been taken place on the Speeches today. Not only the length, but on the actual wording. Initially outraged, it soon became clear that with a bit of help from an accomplice I could get 5-1 on use of the highly improbable phrase ‘something's never change”. This could be a lucrative day yet…….as to the length of the speech, from what I could see, the closest answer was 45 short, so please make yourselves comfortable.

Being asked to be Best man was a great honour for myself , and huge gamble for Joycey. Having not done this before (and I think it will become clear why), it seemed likely that some kind prep work might be in order, and what better resource than the Internet

A web search using the words “Man” , “Best” and the phrase “First Time”, yielded some surprising, but not entirely useful results.

It appeared that this modern day short cut wasn't going to help me. I was going to have to go back to basics, and try and address the question that most people have been to polite to ask up until this point. How has he pulled this off?.
And why has a girl, whose has even had press articles professing her excellence in accountancy, appear to have overlooked the most basic due diligence ?. This must be her personal Enron.

To understand this fiasco we have to look back on the history of the man himself. I believe the warnings signs were there early on…

David Phillip Joyce was born in September 1969. Although the 13th day of the month, to most people's surprise this was in fact not a Friday. His parents, Ken and Margaret comforted the midwife who, despite her best efforts, could not conceal her fright at the now legendary bow the young infant had on his legs.

So on this momentous day UK sport was to be bolstered by the bandy legged footballing potential that was Joycey. So as to maintain the natural order, on the very same day one Shane Keith Warne was born in Australia. And so the chasm between the two nations sporting achievements was established.

I cast the net far and wide for childhood tales of Joycey, and the opportunity to malign the man was more than his parents could resist. He was apparently known as plodder in his infancy. He had a general scepticism towards the whole idea of motion, and would protest by lying down in the middle of pavements, stubbornly refusing to move. I would like to assure his parents that JC's fascination with sprawling out on pavements, continued well past his childhood, and although it tends to be more due to an inability, than a reluctance to move, it is nice to see that “some things never change”.

In a brief interlude between the boot going in again, Ken and Margaret are keen to highlight a few achievements of boy Joyce. He played in the Stourport Under 12’s at the tender age of 8. His parents commenting that due to his relative youth, the shirt he wore looked more like a dress. Again reassuring to be able to track another one of his current pastimes back to it's earliest roots.

On top of this, his folks are rightly proud that while still at primary school he was able to secure both winner and runner up in a local rodent competition. So those chiselled good looks we see today did not happen overnight

His interest in football started early, and growing up in Droitwich in the backyard of some Midlands footballing icons as Aston Villa, West Brom, Birmingham City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Coventry City, Nottingham Forest, Leicester, Derby , Stoke, Wallsall, Notts County it seemed inevitable that Manchester United would be his team. It was only with his later move down under that he was able to confidently protest that he could actually live further from the ground.

When I first met Joycey it was at age 10, at the Sacred Heart College in Droiwich where he was going under an alias…..David. This was a kind of boarding school/detention centre. I was down for 5 years, but JoyC had it made, he was on Rivkin style day release number.
The screws were played by priests, and their ruthless discipline, and taste for plain but functional frocks, was believed to be the inspiration for the popular Prisoner Cell Block H series.

Early on he was delighted to have been christened Joycey by his peers, particularly given the alternates they had trailed including Ricketts, Doyce, and the somewhat more cryptic Scurvey.

This was late September 1980, and given Peta would no be born for at least another 10 years or so, it might be worth highlighting just how old the man is…

Rubik's cube was the new game in town, the most handheld fun we were afforded, without getting in trouble with the priests,

Payphones were mobile enough.

.ABBA were still in the chart that month

Madonna was actually still a virgin

MTV was now available on cable – whatever cable meant

JC fancied himself as a bit of a trend setter, letting us know what the next big thing was. At this time a young Irish band called U2 were in their infancy, on lending Joycey a tape he said they were OK – but then but predicted that the band of the future would be Rufrex . Don't feel to embarrassed about not recollecting this band – the members themselves need reminding.

His prophecies did not stop there…we were told how Betamax would win out in the end over VHS, a position he has retained to this day. And finally, there were his style items namely; the bootlace tie, and infamous mullet. The only thing I could say in the his defence was if you are going to have a mullet – you might as well wear a boot lace tie.

We both got parole, and headed off to respective 6th Form colleges. It is here that the he met a Mr N Churchill, a good friend and worthy of special mention for providing a raft of stories, and even pictures from this era. Having vetted this material extensively in the company of a lawyer, I have managed to whittle it down to the repeatable facts for which prosecution can be avoided

These are :
Dave met a guy called Nick at 6th Form College and his surname was Churchill.
They had many an incident.

An so off to Uni, JC decided to head North – still a little unsure as to the exact location of Old Trafford the he overshot by some 259 miles ending up in Newcastle.
Having been near fanatical on both History and Art at school, JC decided it would have been madness to do anything other than an Economics Degree.

Here the mullet had morphed to a more quaffed late 80s style known affectionately as The Hairston.
The bootlace tie was nowhere to be seen, replaced by a wardrobe containing raft of grey cardigans with both holes/leather elbow patches. The student cliché winter collection, was completed with a brown suede jacket, and the obligatory copy of the mildly left wing newspaper The Guardian, tucked under his arm.
It had been initially been assumed by his flatmates that he was actually studying Microbiology, on account of the cultures that were growing on all his crockery, and his reluctance to let them near water.

After a year at Uni the plan for us to Inte-rail around Europe was hatched. The Interail challenge was to travel as many countries in Europe as you can in the same clothes, before your money, luck, or deodorant run out.

The level of precision in the planning and execution of this assault on Europe had not been seen since 1944. JC had marked toilet breaks on the map of Europe, which he would bring out on occasions to let me know what country we were in, and how many more days before the next meal stop.

It was an education however, we learnt at least 5 valuable lessons for life:

1.Lesson 1 : Fashion :Don't wear a skimpy vest and shorts if you are going to wonder around Venice with another bloke. Certainly don't both wear them

2.Lesson 2 : Religion : In Rome in the very same vests we fell foul of the no singlet rules at the Vatican in Rome – despite JC's poignant question – ‘Didn't he himself wear a dress’

3.Lesson 3 : Domesticity : It soon became clear that sleeping bags get increasingly resistant to being rolled up when subjected to Interail hygiene. Eventually having to be held like surf boards under our arms.

4.Lesson 4 : Cultural Differences : Yugoslavians, will not hand in passports left on park benches. JC was handing out his passport to strangers long before he met Peta. ( It was a source of bewilderment to the consulate as to who other than Michael Schumacer could have used the document, but it held us up in Belgrade for a day – JC refused to relent on the next toilet stop being in Munich)

After Uni Joyce headed Back to Birmingham armed with this new found knowledge of Europe and a degree. He was lured into Accountancy by the promise of ridiculously long hours and the opportunity to do a whole load more exams.

Who was it who said ‘When one is bored of Birmingham, one is bored with life…” ….Of course this is a trick question, nobody has ever uttered such nonsense, something which became all too apparent to JC in the mid nineties. So off he went in the direction of Australia..

When JC first mentioned on the phone that he had met someone special called Peta I was a little bit taken aback.

Had I missed the clues ?, of course –
overnight decision to move to Sydney during Mardi Gras,
the short hair cut,
sudden interest in contemporary Jazz.…

JC elaborated explaining that the Peta in question was in fact a young, attractive and intelligent girl who had been working with him in Sydney. Somehow this actually sounded less likely.

But on my own arrival in Australia, the whole implausible story of JC hooking up with a young girl was confirmed. They were a couple. Stranger things have happened I remember thinking, but then struggled to remember what they were.

And as if to underline the wholly undeserved run of luck, his new wife soon acquired a position working for a brewery. JC if I was on this kind of a roll I would be playing Lotto on a weekly basis.

I would just like to point out that the temptation for a raft cheap gags about accountants has not been overlooked on the grounds of good taste, rather the fact that there are only about 9 people including the caterers who aren't accountants in the room. Even I can do those maths. I have therefore restricted myself to one relating to the happy couple setting up home.

How many qualified accountants does it take to work out a 10% deposit for a unit in Mosman…….?

Well I am not sure of the answer myself but I do know it's more than 2. Peta and Joycey had to go through all their trouser pockets, down the back of the couch and hit the cash machine to make up the difference between their idea of a 10% deposit and that of the vendors.

Credit must be given for this last minute attempt to haggle.

JC has taken on home ownership with a passion, and by virtue of nobody showing at the Strata meeting has made himself Treasurer and Chairman of their body corporate. In his role as chairman he has recently submitted plans for an extension to the ground floor, where their unit is located, to incorporate a Gym, sauna and spa. It is hoped that the mainly elderly members of the strata will appreciate these efforts that now just awaits treasury approval.

Sincere

And so we arrive at today. A whistle stop tour of the man and his life, and while I have to confess the mystery remains unresolved, hopefully Peta will have enough information here to enable survival as Mrs Joyce.

JC is not only my oldest mate, but one of the oldest people I know. In marrying Peta his has shown his judgement, unlike his cholesterol and gout, has improved vastly with age.

And while I have no basis on which to espouse marital advice having only glanced at the brochure myself, I would like to share a plagiarised sentiment

“Marriage is not about finding someone you can live with….rather finding someone you can't live without”. (Thanks for that Jack)

Finally I can't tell you how genuinely pleased I am do be announcing a toast to the couple, firstly because it marks the end of the speeches, secondly Peta has elected not to adopt a hyphenated surname, but most importantly there isn't a couple more clearly destined to be together – Would everyone please stand and raise their glasses…

And repeat the toast.

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to Mr and Mrs Joyce – ‘May your smiles be forever as wide as JC knees’