Over the weekend, I attended this top class wedding and almost immediately, I felt the urge to carry out a similar function! The most exciting part of this particular wedding was when the couple stood in front of the guests at the glamorous reception.
They stood there to receive mega gifts from relatives and friends! They must have carried home goods worth 10 million mafaranga! Phew! And then there were also announcements from the elderly who took up the microphones to donate Friesian cows! WOW! This is my kind of deal – if only I could get hooked to a well to do lady who would attract such high class guests who would end up financing all my troubles to eternity!
This function reminded me of a totally dissimilar wedding ceremony that I attended during the mid 90s. I happened to be the best man on that day. However, the groom had been secretly sipping large quantities of Uganda Waragi and unfortunately halfway through the reception, he passed out at the high table. He was too zonked to sit up. As the most trusted best man, I had to step in and act as the real groom. That is why I was forced to open the dance with the bride herself! Apparently, the bride had received an ‘avance’ and my attempts to squeeze at zero-distance were dashed!
Effectively, I had to stick to the old fashioned waltz, in which my arms had to appear outstretched. I could not rotate her due to her precarious situation. So we simply glided slowly across the floor as spectators chorused along with us. At one point, the actual bridegroom who had been dozing at the high table, managed stand up! In his stupor, he actually believed t=hat I was the husband to be.
That is why he beckoned the master of ceremonies to his side and requested him for “Ijambo” for the newly weds. He told him that he had decided to give “us” two cows!
The MC was not a fool. He then picked up the microphone and made an announcement. He told the gathering that it was now time for gifts. He then told the house that due to so much excitement on the part of the bridegroom, the best man would represent him in receiving the presents. The truth of the matter is that the bridegroom had swallowed excess alcohol and could not perform that duty on his two legs.
The bride and I obliged. We stood facing the guests ready to receive presents. Soft music was playing in the background. We stood waiting in anticipation. However, despite several reminders from the MC, no one seemed courageous enough to make the first move. Instead chits of paper were heading towards the MC. These were messages from well-wishers in form of cow donations. We must have counted approximately 30 cows!
After more minutes of waiting, we realized that there were no gifts in the offing. Would we go back to the high table empty handed? Should we wait a little longer? Perhaps there was at least one Good Samaritan out there? Bravo! We spotted one lady coming towards us. She was carrying a large package strapped in nice red ribbons. Wow! This must be the real thing. So on behalf of the bridegroom, I extended my arms to receive the package.
However, to my total surprise, what had appeared to be 5 kilos heavy was just less than 50 grams. I forced a smile and even proceeded to give the young lady a kiss on both cheeks. As I bent lower, she whispered to me that she had supplied us with air. She said that she had felt embarrassed about the fact that no one had come forth with a gift. That is why she thought of giving us an empty box.
I lifted the box up in the air to show the masses. To this, the guests applauded. The MC too had started to get worried. He later confided in me that he had never officiated at any wedding ceremony in which no gifts were given. Having noticed that there were no more gifts on the way, the MC called upon the cultural dancers to entertain the people. The MC asked us to remain standing in our positions so that the dancers could do their special jigs for us.
Eeeh! Had we known earlier, we would have insisted on going back to the high table. This is because the traditional dancers emitted a terrible body odor! The bride had no option but to pull out a handkerchief and shoved it up her nostrils. She was almost puking due to the stench. My head began to spin. It was as if I had taken a puff of prohibited tobacco! The dancers increased tempo and reached even closer to us. We were really on the verge of fainting!
Our fate had been sealed.
A heavy downpour of rain was upon us. This meant that all doors, windows and even ventilators had to be firmly shut. All we had to do was to chill down and brace ourselves for the unpleasant perfume!
Those were the days to forget! Now, I can see how people dish out real gifts and I must say that I like it! Brides out there, here I come in a bid to get gifts in many sizes and weights!