Yesterday my girlfriend killed time by watching Don’t Tell the Bride, a horrific BBC Three programme in which a soon-to-be-wed couple are given a substantial sum of money to plan their dream wedding. The catch: that the idiot groom must plan the wedding, with absolutely no help from the bride. The couple on last night’s episode were Mark and Sarah, a pair intertwined not by love or shared interests, but by desperation: Mark needed Sarah to stop him spending all of his money of meat feast pizzas; Sarah needed Mark because, in her words, “he’s a man that doesn’t argue back.”
Like all fulfilling relationships, Mark and Sarah’s began on a night out. Mark, a typical lad, took a shining to Sarah having observed that she had breasts and a face. Second only to meat and Carlsberg, she was Mark’s reason for living. Sarah even admitted that, on occasion, she allows Mark to penetrate her, with his knob, as she sleeps. Yes, in Mark’s eyes, she was the perfect woman, and therefore deserving of the perfect wedding. So with twelve grand’s worth of license payers’ money in his pocket, he set out to make Sarah’s dream come true. Mark’s only wish: that there be a chocolate fountain and hog roast on their big day.
It was at this point that the true lad in Mark began to manifest itself. Over the next three weeks, Mark consistently failed to change his t-shirt and lived off nothing but takeaway pizzas and expensive restaurant curries. He looked like a man who’d been sleeping on the floor of a pub for months, enjoying time away from his partner because it meant that he didn’t have to urinate in the toilet basin or brush his teeth. Washing his mouth out with Relentless would surely suffice, he appeared to think. And “Spicy Beef”, that’s a vegetable, right? Of course it is. it’s good for you. It’s like nourishment or something.
As I was watching Don’t Tell The Bride, it suddenly hit me that the meat feast pizzas that Mark was so very fond of—the pizzas that looked like they were the victim of a particularly dirty protest—were a fitting metaphor for people like Mark. The meat feast pizza is one of man’s most disgusting creations, eaten only by testosterone driven über lads. It’s a symbol of excess and over-indulgence, enjoyed exclusively by people who have convinced themselves that more meat equals better. There’s simply no way that the mountain of dog food found on top of a meat feast pizza can taste good to anybody. To a lad, surely, eating one is less about satisfaction and more about being the alpha male.
The hog roast, too, is another sign of unnecessary excess. What could be more primitive and manly than indulging on the flesh and internal organs of an entire pig? Let us skewer a hog to a stick and slowly rotate it over a flame. Then, finally, we can fill our faces with its fatty tissue to remind ourselves that we are superior to livestock.
Mark, as everybody interviewed in the programme had expected, ended up spending too much money on chocolate fountains and meat. He forgot to account for wedding photography and had to ask both his mother-in-law and his own mother for extra money. Eventually, however, things didn’t turn out too badly, although Mark did make one fatal error. As the vicar asked for the wedding ring, Mark arranged for a owl to swoop down carrying the ring in its talons. In a haze of takeaway and lager, he had somehow forgotten about Sarah’s crippling fear of birds. “Oh, I forgot,” he said, as Sarah let out a scream, “you hate birds.”
Outside Mark had arranged for falconry to take place, much to Sarah’s unrest. This was followed, of course, by a hog roast and a chocolate fountain. “But doesn’t it look nice?” asked Mark, as the camera cut to a pig’s congealed rotating head.
“No,” replied Sarah.
Finally, the wedding and programme climaxed with Mark performing karaoke. He sang a strained version of Oasis’s lad anthem Wonderwall, as Sarah stared at Mark with a mixture of regret and contempt. Ugh.