Wedding Singer For Rent – Has Own Transport and Shoes

This is a first for me. Never before have I been asked to participate in a Postal Survey. I did once get embroiled in the Napisan Challenge, but that was more a ‘whiter than white’ rather than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ kind of thing. And despite my best efforts to remove stubborn household stains, my use of a domestic-strength cleaning product failed to result in any major legislative amendment. That I know of. Worse still, I strongly suspect my involvement made little difference to the overall result.

I’ve always had strong opinions, but I’ve not always had the right vehicle to express them. I did, for a time, own a Daihatsu Charade. Sadly, it was barely the right vehicle to get to the shops and back and certainly wasn’t much of a vehicle to express my opinions. Indeed, the only things my bile-green sedan communicated to the world at large were that I didn’t have much money and, quite possibly, was colour-blind. But owning a car that guaranteed my social ostracism was not enough for me. I felt the overwhelmingly misguided need to express myself through other means.

I’ve always been a big believer in writing letters to the newspaper. Back when such things required thought, contemplation and a whole lot of Liquid Paper, I’d fire off a missive to one of our major metropolitan dailies from time to time. As I recall, somewhere about Year 10 I took great umbrage when Angus Young from AC/DC appeared to pledge himself to the service of Satan. At the time, I took a dim view of anyone who declared allegiance to the Dark Lord. With the benefit of hindsight if not middle age, I suspect his tongue was firmly in his cheek, even as my fingers were rattling against the keys of my Remington Travel-Riter Deluxe typewriter. I had neither an AC/DC record nor a sense of humour then.

That I’m something of a ferocious correspondent should come as no surprise. It’s a trait I’ve inherited. My father has been responsible for more than his fair share of letters over the years. But whereas my epistles have generally been directed to the Editor’s desk, my father was more ambitious. When he purchased a Nissan E-20, he was deeply unsatisfied with the vehicle’s performance. (I barely remember it, but I suspect the E-20 wasn’t a patch on spleen-green Daihatsu Charade.) Unable to get a satisfactory response from the head of Nissan in Australia, my father chose to dramatically escalate his dispute by writing directly to Emperor Hirohito of Japan. To this day, my father will remark that the Emperor didn’t even have the decency to reply.

There have been other times since when I’ve built up a head of steam and seen fit to express my opinion wildly and with great passion. Often, I’ve cared little about what collateral damage might be caused. Even worse, there was a time I believed the best way to do this was in song form. When it comes to writing topical songs, the results can either been extremely clever or extremely painful. I was convinced I was clever. Having listened back to some of those old recordings, I am now prepared to accept that these musical diatribes were not so much painful as they were an affront to humanity.

That few people ever got to hear those songs seemed, then, to be an injustice. Now I regard it as a fortuitous mercy for all involved. All things considered, it beggars belief that, long ago, I actually sang at several weddings. More amazing still is that none of those couples are divorced. Yet. But at a certain point, I stopped committing everything to song and started to express myself through that most unrequited of formats – the unpublished novel. That those outpourings failed to materialize into print is something for which I am now oddly grateful.

For someone with opinions as strong as mine, the Internet has been a Godsend. Not only can I rabbit-on at length about anything that might tickle my fancy, I can communicate directly with those whom I hold responsible for any grievance I may hold. It is because of the Internet that Taylor Swift knows exactly how disappointed I am in her new single (It sounds like ‘My Humps’ by the Black Eyed Peas. Which is not, in any way, a compliment.)

All of which brings us in a roundabout way to the upcoming and snappily-titled ‘Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey’. I’ll be voting ‘Yes’. This time there won’t be a need to express myself in song, letters to the editor or by posting witty comments on a website. A simple tick will be enough. I’ve heard the arguments both for and against a change but am strongly persuaded by the fact that same sex marriage – to the best of my knowledge – won’t be compulsory. Which means it’s a matter of letting other people live the lives they want to and having their relationships recognized under law. Which is fair enough. I wish those hoping for change all the best. In the event it gets up, I’ll even dust off the monkey suit and make myself available for weddings. Please note that although all those who’ve used my services to date are still married, I won’t be playing the new Taylor Swift song. Sorry.