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Being the ‘second-best’ man is unexpectedly fulfilling

By Graham von Carlowitz, The Miami Student

My brother Clay, who married his fiancé Asta just a few weeks ago, asked his best friend Matt to be the best man. Matt died, or so it seemed, as the dirty, rotten scoundrel refused to even respond to the honor bestowed upon him. Maybe, just maybe, Matt was saving himself from what he thought was a death wish. Allow me to explain.

Back in the times when the folk of the land were commonly asked to "bring out their dead" and ecclesiastical quests were undertaken like today's trips to the movies - essentially when "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" took place - things were a bit different. A bit.

Women's rights were hidden somewhere underground and thus "marriage by capture" was a thing. That's what the "in" crowd did. This was the act of stealing the bride-to-be from her supposed wicked and evil family, a task led and choreographed by none other than the best man. Like the name suggests, this guy must have actually been the best.

This brings us up to date, in a world where women's rights have begun to surface and this sketchy Matt, aka Mr. Unreliable, really doesn't have a reason to fret best manhood. Whatever, like I said, that guy is as good as dead. Enter Tucker, aka brother and new best man.

Sibling rivalry is well known among bigger families (I am one of nine), so I say without remorse that, at least at the beginning, I was skeptical of this choice for best man. Perhaps I was better. Why else, I contended, would Clay have asked that I prepare a speech with Tucker? I went forward with a slight chip on my shoulder; I could prove to be more than a second best man.

For my part, I played the crucial role of pacifier before the ceremony, calming my brother's nerves by bringing jolly Christmas jingles to him via Spotify Premium (thank you, Frank Sinatra). I intentionally flooded myself with coffee as a back-pocket ploy to distract Clay if anything went askew during the ceremony (yes, peeing myself, that was the plan). I even wielded a pair of pliers in my pocket, just in case, you know, pliers were needed.

My intentions were kind and fluffy, sure, but they were decent thoughts at best. The real best man, the one who was rightfully given the title, acted upon such thoughts, of course deciding that while peeing was all around a bulletproof plan, we merely had the wrong setting for such a spectacle.

Tucker blew me out of the water when we needed water direly. In the heat of the summer air, it was Tucker who provided the groomsmen with SpongeBob Popsicles. You can't beat that.

It was Tucker, with ice (cream) in his veins, who calmed the bridal party when we heard a turbulence of shots and sirens in the distance. In his mind, it wasn't anything to fret, rather a group of kids with a strange fixation on Michael Winslow - the "I can make any sound" guy from the Police Academy movies. It was Tucker who, at the conclusion of the speech/series of embarrassing events he and I presented, who initiated a chorus of Rhianna's "Please Don't Stop the Music," inciting a hysteria of violent "dancing."

Being the second best man, I was allowed to observe and take notes, but, more importantly, I was able to admire why Tucker was chosen. He could steal the bride from her wicked family upon request. He could stave off boredom and slay lulls in the party, not I.

At one point, I thought I could handle such duties. I also thought I could get away with murdering my brother with the pliers I had pocketed. But, as my thinking goes when I try to survive a day without coffee, after about 20 minutes, I give in and regret ever being so irrational.