Good evening everybody. For those who don’t know me yet I am the groom’s best man, and I am here to pay tribute to the best woman Roderick managed to find, to beautiful Donna. When Rick offered me to be his best man, I was first startled, because I thought of those ancient times when best man had to help the groom in kidnapping the bride, and fight off the angry relatives, while the groom galloped away with his lady-love. Well, I thought immediately of fights and pursuits in Hollywood blockbusters, and my “C” for PT in the university. You can imagine how relieved I was to find Donna’s relatives to be friendly-looking and pleasant people, and the only peril I detected at this wedding party, the gravest danger to all men present here (beware!) is the beauty of the bride, wonderfully complimented by the charm of the bride-maids. (By the bye, thanks to all the bride-maids who managed to convince the bride to keep to her irrational decision and marry Rick.) Well, when things cleared up for me as the best man, my mission appeared to be quite peaceful… just to ensure that the groom doesn’t run away till the end of the party and to deliver a speech to and for the newly-weds. And, of course, TO UNCOVER THE MOST PIQUANT EPISODES OF THE GROOM’S DISSOLUTE LIFE BEFORE HIS MARRIAGE! Ladies and gentlemen, I have known this rogue for some 20 years of his 25-year-old life. Yeah, we went to the kindergarten together, and (in secret) he was a poor tree-climber, and always seemed more interested in tugging at girls’ plaits than in noble male activities. With the advantage of the hindsight, I can guess that even at this young age he started to be looking for his will-be perfect match, which at this time was running about in the same neighborhood wearing plaits and enchanting everybody with big blue eyes. My personal guess-work is that they got acquainted at that time, when Rick was once returning home from the kindergarten, and saw an attractive plait nearby, and couldn’t help running and tugging at it. Well, anyway, it took them some ten more years to strike up an acquaintance, and three more years to let it grow from a school romance to a university romance, and one more year to get it into a marriage and at the beginning of it all there were plaits of a neighborhood girl. After our kindergarten acquaintance I happened to study for the same degree as Rick and as far as I remember he never limited his love interests to Donna only. Being a personality open for love, he also took a fancy in a cute blondie called Stella, but after a while his taste changed and he switched to Sherry; afterwards he plunged into short-lived love-affair with Jack Daniels, until he finally made his ultimate choice in Heineken, and has been drinking it ever after. But however engaged he was in his Stella-Sherry-Jack-Heineken affairs, I remember that Rick never missed a date with Donna. It was then, at the freshman’s course that I started to suspect that something is gravely wrong with him. As his old friend, I was so worried that I rummaged through volumes of specialized books until I identified Rick’s diagnosis. It was “a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker”(2). I realized that my old chap was head over heels in LOVE with Donna. To be frank, I have always been astonished by my chap’s devotion to Donna that has lasted and strengthened for 7 years. Donna was always by his side, and they spent so much time together that I nearly started to think of them as of siblings. Our university mates even remarked that they resemble each other, which, I suppose, is the evidence of what kindred souls they have become in these years. I am sure that they will make a strong and loving family, and be the parents of charming blue-eyed girls and hooliganous boys who will be the scare of all the neighborhood plaits. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am honoured to ask you to raise your glasses for the newly-weds, Roderick and Donna, the new mister and missis Smith.