Good evening (you know how it’s said).
My name is Mark. And for those of you who don’t know me…here is a little example of who you are about to hear a speech from.
True story. Last night I had a dream that starred Eddie Murphy as the priest for Chris and Stacey’s wedding. Yes. That Eddie Murphy, who, in my opinion, hasn’t really starred in anything of note since 2007’s Shrek the Halls, where his portrayal of donkey reached new depths with such immortal lines as “Shrek, why haven’t you figgified your pudding yet?” A true Oscar-worthy performance.
Anyway, in my dream, I somehow lost my suit jacket and was running all over the place trying to find it…until I ended up borrowing one that, of course, said Foster Farms on the back. And when it was my turn to walk down the aisle after Chris, Eddie Murphy stopped me and asked me to turn around so he could read my suit jacket. He then wanted to know who put a banana in my tailpipe.
|Bananas and Weddings are OK!|
So…when deciding what is true and not true about the speech I’m about to give…remember it was given by that Foster Farms Suit Guy With a Banana in his Tailpipe who likes to dream about Eddie Murphy.
I also wanted to warn you that I will be using the “S” word during one of my stories. If that offends you, please stop F-ing listening.
Stacey, when I think of the qualities of a potential husband, which is something I think about quite often (sorry, Tauni), there are certain things that come to mind:
Thoughtful. Protective. A sense of humility. Educated. Potential good father. Dependable.
Stacey, Chris has all of these things qualities, and I have the examples to prove it, so let me explain.
First of all, Chris is very thoughtful.
I have raised money a number of times for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society and have had donating contests while doing so. I let the person who donates the most money challenge me to do something crazy. Chris has won this contest both times I have done it…demonstrating great care for his fellow man by donating thousands of dollars to this worthy cause. That’s very thoughtful, man. Thank you.
Or maybe, just maybe, Chris spent thousands of dollars simply to mess with me. The first time he won, he made me get a colonic…in which I ended up being sexually assaulted by the poop-release specialist (I won’t be getting into that story today. It’s still too soon. Too soon.). And the second time, he made me go skydiving, when I told him that was absolute the only thing I didn’t want to do.
While I was writing this speech today, believe me, I was keeping Chris’s deep-level of “thoughtfulness” in mind.
Chris is Protective.
Stacey, the first day I met Chris was in the summer before ninth grade in 1990, and I really had no idea we would become life-long friends. I mean…who would guess that that one moment would lead to a series of other connected moments adding up to over twenty years of friendship culminating in being the best man at your wedding. Especially in this case because Chris was a complete and utter dickhead to me the first day I met him.
My friend Darron and I arrived at basketball camp early that summer in 1990, and the only other person there was this guy shooting by himself with a basketball that said “Chris M.” on it. So Darron and I walked over to Chris and asked if we could shoot around with him while we waited for everybody else to show up. Chris, of course, did what any of us would do in this situation, he instantly pointed to where he had written his name on the basketball and asked Darron and me what it said. We replied, it says “Chris M.” “That’s right.” He said “So, no, you can’t shoot around with me. This is my ball.” And he walked over to a different court.
If you would have asked me at that moment if I would be standing here today, I probably would have said no…but I can only imagine how protective Chris will be of you, his new wife, if he was that overly protective of his Chris M ball.
Another quality Chris contains is a sense of humility.
Like I said, we don’t know how one moment will connect to the next in life…and just a few months later after the Chris M. Basketball incident, while our basketball team was eating lunch in our quad with hundreds of other students at school…a bird took a HUGE poop on Chris’s head and it landed with a gigantic BOOM. We all stopped what we were doing – there was a few moments of silence as we all took in what had just happened – and then we all pointed and laughed hysterically at Chris. As he pathetically ran to the bathroom, checking and double-checking that there was indeed bird poop on his head – that was now also running down his face – a chant started. First one person. Then two. Then ten. Then a hundred. To this day, no one is certain who started that chant…but the chant itself will live on forever: Shit-head…Shit-head…Shit-head. Hands were waving. People were laughing. And poor Chris got a new nickname.
Wait a second. You know what? My bad. This isn’t an example of Chris showing a sense of humility. This is simply a story of Chris being humiliated. Wow. My mistake. Let’s just move on to other qualities I know he has.
Stacey, I feel like it’s important for a husband to be educated. And you clearly hit the jackpot with Chris.
After that bird pooped on Chris’s head, and the years moved on, Shithead and I became closer friends and ended up spending a lot of time with each other in high school, playing Stratego (both the electronic and non-electronic versions) and chess at his house. We clearly were the cool kids at school. Clearly.
Anyway, we would also sit around and do our reading homework together. Spending hours talking about the metaphors and social ramifications of such stories as The Scarlet Letter and To Kill a Mockingbird. Something else we would do with these great stories from some of the greatest authors the world has ever known…is highlight random words on a page to create, what we felt, were hilarious news stories within the stories. Writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Mark Twain really had no idea how deep their epic tales were. Here are just a few examples from the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I have kept this book since 11th grade (read from actual book). Keep in mind, we were 16/17 years old:
Page 131: Juliet, spread-eagle, had done Jim’s thing.
Page 132-133: The preacher spread it open and went on groaning and crying at Pokeville camp.
In a word: brilliant. In more than one word: to death do you part, you lucky, lucky woman!
Stacey, Chris has demonstrated father-like qualities for years.
And many moments connected one to another until one Thanksgiving in our early twenties, Darron, Chris, and I decided on a whim to drive to Las Vegas. We, of course, didn’t make this decision until we had all had huge Thanksgiving dinners at my mom’s house…and didn’t decide to start this drive until about 10:00 PM at night. But, off we went, with Daddy-Chris driving, and like most drives to Vegas, it started off rather pleasant. Vegas, Baby. Vegas. And while he drove, Chris regaled us with his vast Las Vegas experience…teaching us the ins and outs of drinking and gambling, like a father to his sons. He decreed that we were going to get there and win lots of money…and he repeatedly brought up his uncanny ability to drink and drink and drink and NEVER throw up. Ever.
About three hours into the drive, in the middle of a cold, November, Nevada desert, Chris was getting a little sleepy while driving. It was past his bedtime. He decided to roll down the windows to wake himself up…which would have been a great idea…except it was about 30 degrees outside.
After a few minutes, Darron and I politely asked him to roll the windows up…and in fatherly fashion, he ignored us. A few minutes later, we asked a little stronger, and he just said “no” and stared straight ahead. After about five more minutes, we begged him, “Chris….PLEASE put the windows up. It’s so cold. So, very cold. Please. For the love of God…roll the windows up.” He just sped up, mumbled “Vegas” and kept driving. If you look over at Darron now, and ask politely, he may just show you what’s left of his frost-bitten toes that he lost that night.
When we got to Vegas, freezing, but alive, we had an awesome time. We kept winning and drinking and drinking and winning…we won so much money, we actually went into bars and BOUGHT drinks inside the casinos instead of just drinking the free stuff. We ended up getting a huge suite with our winnings, and after a long night of eating, driving, gambling, and drinking…we eventually, went to bed…until we were woken up with Chris puking, and puking, and puking some more in the bathroom. While I lay snug under my warm blankets and thought back to the freezing night before, I thought to myself, “Serves you right, asshole.”
What was odd about this moment, beyond the fact that Chris NEVER throws up. Ever. Was that he managed to throw up everywhere in the bathroom but the toilet. It was on the floor. The walls. The mirrors. Some on the ceiling. But the toilet was perfectly clean and white. Chris may not always throw up. But when he does, he projectile vomits. Everywhere. But the toilet.
Stacey, all joking aside, in my opinion, life is all about connections, as I said.
That’s it. Connections. Paulo Coelho states in my favorite book, The Alchemist, that there is a language in the world that everyone understands, a language…used throughout time…a language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired.
Connections. In words. And unspoken thoughts.
Chris and I have been best friends for years because of an unspoken connection that we have. A language that is unheard of. That is uncanny. We just understand each other.
When I picked up and moved to the Czech Republic by myself, it was Chris who sent me a care package with food and music to remind me of home when I was feeling my most homesick.
When he came to visit me in Europe, and we were supposed to meet in Germany, and I got lost, it was Chris who found me. He just knew where to look.
We can look at each other and just know what the other is thinking. We finish each other’s sentences.
Chris truly is one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, and dependable people I have ever met, and why I know you two make such a great pair is because I see this same unspoken connection between you two as well. Maybe I have known Chris “Shithead” M. longer than you, but I’ve never seen him happier.
You two are connected. In word. And unspoken thought.
I can’t wait to see you two grow old together.
And, Stacey, I can’t wait for you to put a banana in his tailpipe.
Cheers to Chris and Stacey.