Worst Man

I have thrice been ‘best man’ at a wedding. I took my duties seriously. Much rehearsal took place. At first it would look quite good:

Garcin Wedding3

Then someone would invariably ply me with grog . .

Garcin Wedding2

. . and then things would go pear-shaped. Like in this case when the canoe club heavies attacked me:

Garcin Wedding1

Why don’t they do this to the actual victim? I’m not the groom!


Dad open up its urgent! Midnight at home, a bang on the front door.

Lots of blood all over him. He’s bleeding from a deep cut on his lower eyelid and a nick in the lid margin. My handsome boy is now handsome and, uh, interesting.

‘I fell against the metal deep freeze drawers.’ Damn! I’d meant to put those drawers back in the deep freeze. He and a mate were sleeping in the cottage on a Saturday night.

I staunch the bleeding and disinfect with gargle. It’s all I can find, we’ve re-arranged the house in the middle of renovations. Go to bed now, fella. Luckily only him injured, so I don’t have to please explain to any Moms of other 13yr-old boys.

Next morning I phone the ophthalmic surgeon on call. On the way to his rooms at Parklands hospital I say, “OK level with me: What happened?” I had seen shards of glass and found a broken bottle hidden behind the bed.

Two boys. A champagne bottle. ‘We couldn’t get the cork off.’ A tussle. ‘The wet bottle was slippery. We dropped it. It exploded.’

The eye man checks Tom and pronounces him OK. No stitch needed. Lucky lil bastids.

That was Sunday. On Monday his mates nicknamed him Scarface.