Season 3 Episode 2 – The Sign of Three
John Watson. My friend, John Watson. John. When John first broached the subject of being best man, I was confused. I confess at first I didn’t realize he was asking me. When finally I understood, I expressed to him that I was both flattered and surprised. I explained to him that I never expected this request and I was a little daunted in the face of it. I know that it’s promised that I would do my very best to accomplish a task that was, for me, as demanding and difficult as any I’d ever contemplated. Additionally, I thanked him for the trust he placed in me and indicated that I was, in some ways, very close to being moved by it. It later transpired that I said none of this out loud.
I’m afraid, John, I can’t congratulate you. All emotions, in particular love, stand opposed to the pure cold reason I hold above all things. A wedding is, in my considered opinion, nothing short of a celebration of all that is false and specious and irrational and sentimental in this ailing and morally compromised world. Today we honour the death watch beetle that is the doom of our society and in time, one feels certain, our entire species.
But anyway, let’s talk about John. If I burden myself with a little help mate during my adventures, this is not out of sentiment or caprice. It is that he has many fine qualities of his own that he has overlooked in his obsession with me. Indeed, any reputation I have for mental acuity and sharpness comes, in truth, from the extraordinary contrast John so selflessly provides. It is a fact, I believe, that brides tend to favour exceptionally plain bridesmaids for their big day. There is a certain analogy there, I feel, and contrast is, after all, God’s own plan to enhance the beauty of his creation. Or it would be, if God were not a ludicrous fantasy designed to provide a career opportunity for the family idiot.
The point I’m trying to make is that I am the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant, and all around obnoxious arsehole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet. I am dismissive of the virtuous, unaware of the beautiful, and uncomprehending in the face of the happy. So if I didn’t understand I was being asked to be best man, it is because I never expected to be anybody’s best friend, and certainly not the best friend of the bravest and kindest and wisest human being I have ever had the good fortune of knowing. John, I am a ridiculous man, redeemed only by the warmth and constancy of your friendship. But as I am apparently your best friend, I can not congratulate you on your choice of companion.
Actually, now I can. Mary, when I say you deserve this man, it is the highest compliment of which I am capable. John, you have endured war, and injury, and tragic loss. So sorry again about that last one. So know this. Today, you sit between the woman you have made your wife and the man you have saved. In short, the two people who love you most in all this world. And I know I speak for Mary as well when I say we will never let you down, and we have a lifetime ahead to prove that. Now on to some funny stories about John.