The Thing Is with Steve Canavan - March 20, 2014

Not the scene you usually see outside a wedding venue
Not the scene you usually see outside a wedding venue
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I went to a rather exciting wedding the other day, which I doubt is a phrase either I or anyone else in the human race has written before.

It wasn’t meant to be exciting of course.

It was meant to be the usual – arrive at church, sit through service (secretly hoping that when the vicar says ‘if anyone knows any lawful impediment why this couple cannot be joined in matrimony, speak now’ someone will jump from their seat and scream ‘I do – she’s having an affair with Derek Battersby from the golf club), pose for pictures, go to reception, drink too much.

But this one was a little different.

The marriage ceremony took place in a hotel and as the happy couple were exchanging their vows, a disturbance started outside.

No one could see what was happening – there were no windows – but it was clear a bloke with a very loud voice appeared to be shouting quite angrily.

Guests began to exchange quizzical looks, indeed even the vicar – who was aged about 93, wearing a hearing aid, and who looked like he’d been wheeled out of hospital specially to conduct the service – stopped speaking at one point and cocked his head to one side, like a dog who has heard the faint rustle of a pedigree chum treats packet being opened but can’t quite be sure which direction the noise came from.

The muffled shouting began to die down before, moments later, the back door of the room swung open and a harassed, red-faced man appeared, began to scream ‘can you move your god damn...’ before being grabbed by four members of staff and dragged away, still shouting.

At this point, the bride, who had managed to remain remarkably calm throughout, flopped into a chair and said ‘what the hell’s going on?’, a not unreasonable question in the circumstances.

The ceremony eventually continued in relative peace, the couple were married, then the door swung open again and the hotel manager appeared, flanked by a police officer.

‘I’m sorry about the disturbance,’ he announced, ‘but would the owners of a silver Volkswagen Golf and a red BMW 3 Series be willing to move their vehicles? They are parked over a driveway and the house-holder isn’t very happy about it’.

What had happened was this chap had returned from work, found his drive blocked and gone – and I think this is the technical term – bonkers.

He had demanded the wedding be stopped until the offending vehicles were removed and, after being told no, had punched one of the hotel staff in the face (a very decent right uppercut to the chin by all accounts) and ran up the stairs in a bid to halt proceedings himself.

It was at that point he’d been dragged out by staff and the police called.

By the time the service had finished and the guests traipsed out, there were two police cars and a riot van outside the front door of the hotel.

The bride and groom weren’t best-pleased but on the upside it ensured they will have something to tell the grandkids about their special day.

Stumped for honesty

Michael Vaughan has received a bit of stick for his article about Jonathan Trott.

Referring to Trott’s withdrawal from the Ashes tour in the winter, Vaughan says he felt “conned” to discover the batsman went home not because of the ‘stress-related illness’ claimed at the time but because he was out of form.

Many have accusing Vaughan of dumping from a great height on a former team-mate.

While I often feel uneasy listening to Vaughan on radio (like Nicky Campbell on 5Live, he’s very good at what he does but often sounds a little smug and smarmy with it), I think he makes a lot of salient points about the Trott situation.

Highly-paid professional sportsman have to take the rough with the smooth and can’t just run away when the going gets tough, hiding behind a made-to-measure excuse. As for Vaughan, it is refreshing to find a player-turned-pundit willing to make controversial statements and speak his mind.

All the big networks rush to sign ex-players on their sports shows who are, in the large, as hard-hitting as pundits as Audley Harrison is in the ring.

Alan Hansen, for example, steadfastly refused on Match of the Day to criticise Kenny Dalglish’s disastrous second spell at Liverpool. I wonder if the fact they allegedly regularly played golf together had something to do with it?

There is a broad rule in football, cricket and every other sport that you don’t criticise others in your industry.

It leads to some extremely unobjective and dull punditry, so well done to Vaughan for livening things up.