At the moment with the world in what seem like a terminal tail spin, you often hear pundits, politicians and those that mainly breathe through their mouth, declare that these days there is no normal. There's a growing appetite, probably to cover the tracks of stupendous incompetence, to suggest that anything goes because of things like schooling now becoming optional, grown men more content to sit at home in their pants than go to the office, and every time you reach for a tin of beans at the supermarket you have to undergo some kind of cross between a Mexican standoff and a Balkan shoulder dance in order to avoid other humans.
Yes, some things will probably change permanently. In the past we used to secretly laugh at tourists from Tokyo wearing face masks in public; this will of course end. Sneezing on a train will almost certainly become punishable by hanging, and children being able to count without using their fingers will see them branded as gifted. However, for the main part life will continue as before. We have been hardwired to behave as we do over thousands of years, and a virus is not going to permanently undo that in the space of 12 months despite what many journalists love to tell people. We will still go to the office, we will once again kiss people when we see them and football fans can get cheek by jowl on the terraces and give each other a good wallop. It's tempting to suggest that we will now be treading a new dawn, that everything that follows will be different, but it won't. Two world wars changed many things forever - the pace of technological development was off the scale, cultural and social norms were broken, and the Germans decided to focus of football and cars, but many of those changes took many decades to fully present themselves.
So, in light of the fact that only a vaccination can save us, it seems that most best men should get their speech vaccinations at the same time. The rules for best man speeches haven't changed whatsoever, and so it's worth making sure your choc full of antibodies against bad taste, poor judgment and catastrophic attempts at comedy. In short here is your Oxford style best man speech jab - it only needs one shot, won't make your head spin, and pretty much hasn't killed anyone...
- Introduce yourself
- Resist the urge to talk about yourself at all costs
- Don't use internet ice breakers
- Don't forget to talk about the bride
- Don't thank anyone
- Don't welcome anyone
- Forget talking about the groom's love life
- Avoid back to back endless stories
- Forget props - you're funnier than they are
- Make the ending a powerful tribute
With these sentiments coursing through your body, you'll be fully immune to all the usual pitfalls that most best men succumb to, plus you'll enjoy the day and become a public speaking superhero...not quite a keyworker, but not far off.