Nick and Sophie O’Sullivan


A couple of Saturdays ago I was honoured with the role of best man for the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Nick O’Sullivan, to his gorgeous fairy tale bride Sophie Seneviratna. There is a lovely story that goes with the meeting, courtship and wedding, and it really is a fairy tale. But it is not my story to re-tell.

One of my earliest memories of my friendship with Nick goes back to 1985, when we were in Year 8. I used to try and sit next to him in any classes we had in common, because it was always going to be a laugh. I was called upon to read out loud from the text book, and he decided to make me crack up by advising, just loud enough for me to hear

Your dick’s hanging out! Your dick’s hanging out. Everyone can see it, they’re laughing at you because your dick’s hanging out!

As good a way to begin a best man’s speech as this story may be, I decided I’d first take some of Nick’s advice – quite literally – and start with the last couple of paragraphs:

Ideally, I don’t want you to give the speech you think you should - but rather the speech you, and only you, can. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be the product of immense sweat and toil. It doesn’t have to be indulgently self serving or annoyingly arse-kissing. You don’t have to impress, out-do, outshine, or out-whine anyone. Whatever you do, just do it your way, go with your instincts and speak from the heart. That’s ultimately all we could ask for.

But if it’s not funny, we will cut your balls off.

The guests agreed that, as they laughed at that last line, technically, i got to keep ’em.

As far as other salient points of the speech, I must admit, I recycled gags from the weeks leading up to the wedding. As Nick and Sophie are already expecting their first child, and as pregnancy along with planning a wedding has been a tiring undertaking, I happened to point out to Nick one night that, at least they had already consummated the marriage; that was one thing less they had to worry about on the day.

When it was Nick’s turn to get up and thank everyone, I waited until the precise instant before he was to begin. And then I assured him:

Your dick’s hanging out! Your dick’s hanging out. Everyone can see it, they’re laughing at you because your dick’s hanging out!

The best response was from Mark, who is married to Sophie’s cousin, and who was supposed to be responsible for her on the evening she met Nick. When he spoke, his two little kids were rolling about around his ankles. After I’d finished he came up to me and said, “They understand what ‘your dick’s hanging out!’ means, but I think you’re going to have to explain to my children what ‘consummate the marriage’ means.”

The high point was Nick’s re-telling of the fairy tale. But it isn’t my job to re-tell it here – you’ll have to wait for the biopic.

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