We awoke to a nice enough day, groggily showered and breakfasted, and prepared to leave for the church.
At this point, Rich’s future wife, Karen, had no clue about the previous night’s dramatic events, and it was decided that we should keep it that way until after the wedding. Although I have an idea that we did tell Rich’s Dad, who in exchange, had news for us, also concerning Bob.
[In all honesty, I have hardly any memory of the wedding itself – except, bizarrely, that the photographer looked like Bamber Gascoigne and wore a truly hideous mint-green suit – or the reception, other than that it all went smoothly.
I remember standing, watching Rich’s vintage car driving away from the reception, with everyone waving, and saying to Neil “When do you think he’s going to tell her?”]
Ignorance is (wedded) bliss.
It turned out that Bob, after leaving Rich’s place for the final time, had gone off and got considerably drunker than we had managed to, and then somehow flipped his car over onto it’s roof in a country lane on his way back to his Dad’s house.
Apparently, when the farmer had got to the house the night before, he had simply hooked a chain onto the back of the car, – which was tilted at a steep angle on the overhang of the drive – and dragged it out backwards. In the process of doing so, the oil sump cover was ripped from it’s moorings and bent forwards, to stick out like some kind of lethal cow-catcher from under the front bumper. Bob had then driven around like this for much of the night, ending his journey upside down on some back lane in the countryside in the early hours of the morning.
Well, Neil, Lorna, and I had been invited to stay at Rich’s Dad’s house overnight – there was an annex on their farmhouse – and we retired to our beds happy in the knowledge that the trauma of the weekend was over, and we could look forward to a pleasantly late start in the morning, followed by lunch in the farmhouse, before driving home.
We got up, leisurely had coffee and got our stuff packed for the journey home, when we heard a fair amount of noise in the yard outside.
Looking out of the window, who did we see coming in through the gate with his Dad?
He was having his car towed back to the farm, and was staying for lunch!
Needless to say, this was not popular news, and put a downer on proceedings to say the least.
Lorna was once more beside herself, and lunch was an almost unbearably tense affair. A fact that seemed to completely escape the dreadful Bob, who carried on as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened, laughing and joking like we were all the best of friends.
We said our goodbyes as soon after lunch as was decently possible, and got the hell out of there.
I have met up with Rich and his charming family a number of times since, both in Wales and on other holiday trips, and without exception we have had a wonderful time. Including staying at his Dad’s farm with my girlfriend and son between Christmas and new year a few years back.
(If anyone ever tells you they’ve been somewhere cold, unless it’s inside the Arctic circle, I’d have trouble comprehending that it was colder than it is on the north Wales coast in December)
Nevertheless, whenever I get together with Rich, especially after a couple of pints, the Stag Night Fiasco story is always rehashed, so I guess I should thank Bob, wherever he is, for at least providing an enduring anecdote.