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Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me first say that the bridesmaids look absolutely smashing today, and only rightly outshone by our bride, Pamela. And, I'm sure you'll agree with me gentlemen, today is a sad day for single men, as another beauty leaves the available list. And ladies, I'm sure you'll agree that today's passing by without much of a ripple.
I've known Robert for the best part of twenty years and of course there are plenty of things I could tell you about what we got up to in our younger days. Unfortunately, I did consult my solicitor and he tells me that we could still face prosecution, so maybe I’ll keep things to a minimum… and talk only about Robert’s positive attributes.
And from time to time, Robert does exhibit some outstanding qualities of character which have earned the respect of so many of us gathered here today. He is generous to a fault – especially if it’s his own. He is exceptionally modest – although he has plenty to be modest about (or at least he did until Pamela became his girlfriend). And he is a man who always sticks by his convictions - he will remain in the wrong no matter how much he gets ridiculed for it.
But perhaps Robert’s most enduring quality is his artful pillory of those about him. When on form, his wisecracks at the expense of others can be as withering to the subject as they are amusing to everyone else. Take the incident earlier today when he asked the vicar (preacher), ‘Do you charge for taking a church service?’ ‘Not a penny’ he replied. ‘From what I saw this morning, you’ve got it spot on!’ I am convinced Robert’s personality and sense of fun resulted from the games his dad played with him as a kid. He used to throw him in the air – and walk away. Needless to say, another good thing about Robert is that he can take a joke as well as. Mind you, so can Pamela, because she's taken Robert.
Having been a first-hand observer of Robert for a long time I’ve seen other desirable virtues begin to emerge in him. He’s become quite entrepreneurial, and as a close friend of his I’ve been drawn into many of his wild schemes as an unwilling ally.
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It’s commitment that got Robert this far (that and maybe stalking) and it’s surely the one quality that he has in abundance. For the last six years Robert and I have played for the same football team and during that time Robert hasn’t missed a single game. What position he plays depends on how good a turnout we get. If we get a full compliment he plays left back or right back, that’s left back in the changing rooms or right back behind the goal.
But Robert’s greatest asset of all is loyalty. And it’s a loyalty that he’s had tested beyond belief through the last 25 years of broken dreams and betrayed trust … as a QPR fan. So Pamela, you can rest assured that however you behave over the next 25 years, Robert will stand by you.
And, Pamela, to further put your mind at ease; I genuinely believe that Robert processes the two attributes that are vitally important for a successful marriage - honesty and wisdom. I say honesty, because, no matter what happens, no matter how adversely it may affect him, Robert always keeps his word once he’s given it. And as for wisdom, Robert never gives his word.
Despite everything I’ve said, Robert is a strong and dedicated man, who will make a loyal and loving husband and sometime in the future a caring and devoted father. As I’ve mentioned, he’s blessed with an excellent sense of humor – but he also a man of common sense and rare natural wit which I know will see him through any challenging times in the years ahead.
Now – the toast. Ladies and gentlemen. Please be upstanding (please stand up). It is my pleasure and privilege to propose the toast to the newly weds. To Robert and Pamela.