Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Legend of the angry groom

South Africans were believing the tale of the angry groom long before the Internet arrived here.

Everyone knows someone who was at the wedding where the groom made a gracious speech before turning to his bride and telling her he had, in his pocket, two tickets to Hawaii - for his bride and for the best man, who, he announced, had been sleeping with each other for the past six months. In one version, he asks guests to look under their plates, where they find photos of the cheating pair, in revealing embraces, snapped by a private detective.

No one has ever been able to provide the name of the bride or groom, although I have been offered several names of people who were allegedly guests at such a wedding.

With the spread of the story onto the Internet, one would imagine that the vital details of name, place and date would finally be revealed. No such luck: the worlds greatest communications and research medium has resulted in only more variations on the same theme.

This version appeared in The Washington Post on 25 October 1995, written by Post writer Megan Rosenfeld under the heading "Dearly Believed":

Some stories are just too good to spoil with the facts.

Here's one: A big wedding, very lavish and stylish. At the reception, the best man gets up to make the toast.

The groom hops to his feet and says he'd like to say something first: Thank you for coming and for your lovely gifts. But I am going to honeymoon in Hawaii and the bride is going to Aruba, and when we come back the marriage will be annulled. And if you want to know why, look under your plates. (In some versions, he says look under your chairs.)

He holds up a picture of the bride and the best man in a compromising position.

... As with other urban myths (alligators in the sewer, people kidnapped for body parts, movie stars appearing in emergency rooms with gerbil troubles), many people swear this story is true.

She tracks the sources to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Chicago, radio stations and the Internet, and then concludes: "Now it has traveled to Washington. People love this story. They want to believe it. ... Something so delicious just had to be true."

1 comment:

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