Janet Christie’s Mum’s the Word

Unwelcome reception


Eldest is working a wedding, on the bar, and it’s a 10 hour shift.

“Watch yourself,“ I say as he leaves. “Weddings, things can kick off.”

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter


“Oh yes, I’ve been around the block more times than Mr Whippy and I know weddings can go either way.”

He looks unconvinced. Olds getting married, easy money, he’s probably thinking.

“It’s a long day and there’s a lot of hanging about drinking,” I say. “I remember in my day (cue for Eldest to zone out completely) there used to be something called a scramble, where the best man would chuck coins on the ground when the bride and groom arrived and all the kids scrabbled for them and that kept everyone busy for a bit. Sixpences were the best – it would be 5ps nowadays I suppose...”

He’s already vanished as I reflect that from the amount of coinage I accidentally hoover up around here, it’s obvious no one stoops to scoop up small change any more.

Hours later he’s back.

“All go off OK?” I ask.

“Yes, it was very nice.”

“Aw. No fighting at all?”

“Nah. Humanists.”


“It was an alpaca wedding.”

“A what?”

“They had two alpacas as the ring bearers and they stayed after the ceremony and mingled and got stroked by the guests while they had their prosecco before the dancing.”

“Aw what.”

“Here, see.” He shows me and Middle all of his pics, the alpacas arriving on their leads, selfies of him with the alpacas, the alpacas in their dinky matching bow ties and ring bags, the alpacas mingling with guests.

“Awesome,” says Middle.

“Aaawwww. They’re gorgeous,” I say. “But why didn’t you text me and I’ve have come straight round?” I say.

“Hmmm,” he says.

“I could have shoved on my fascinator, snuck in, edged my way in the door surreptitiously, mingled with the guests, had a shot of the alpacas, taken a few selfies with them. I can’t think why you didn’t,” I say.

Middle shoots him a look. It’s a look that says, unmistakably, ‘Yep, that’s exactly why.’