Wordplay with Marriage/Military
February 20, 2007 3:05 PM   Subscribe

Going to a wedding where I will make a humorous speech. The groom just got out of basic training for the reserves, so I've been brainstorming a on the theme of "he used to say [civilian speak], now he says [military speak]." Below is what I have so far (just the shorthand.) Any contributions would be most appreciated! Wedding ring => Chain of Command Orgasm=>Honorable Discharge "That time of the month"=>Defcon 3 Blocked Shot (basketball)=>Court Martial Wedding Day=>D Day ?=>WMD Urination=>Operation Golden Flow ?=>Flak Jacket "Yes Dear"=>Roger ?=>AWOL ?=>Going Below Decks SEX=>Sierra Echo X-ray
posted by jbradley to Grab Bag (22 answers total)
pardon the crudeness; fart=>WMD
posted by cardamine at 3:12 PM on February 20, 2007

? => Entrenching Tool
posted by cardamine at 3:19 PM on February 20, 2007

Semicolons next time please! 3 a.m. urination or late night partying => Night Ops; Foreplay => Lock and Load; Powerpoint => Powerpoint; playing off cardamine, bean burrito => W.M.D.; and if Orgasm => Honorable Discharge, then you should make a Dishonorable Discharge joke too.
posted by taliaferro at 3:21 PM on February 20, 2007

"Orgasm => Honorable Discharge ; (sotto voice) I don't think I want to know what a Dishonorable Discharge is."
posted by SpecialK at 3:28 PM on February 20, 2007

Oh, and a bit of advice on presentation: Read from notecards, David Letterman style, and then flip them away from you as you finish with the notecard...
posted by SpecialK at 3:28 PM on February 20, 2007 [2 favorites]

Sorry for the meta-answer but - having made three best man speeches, my very earnest advice to you is to avoid ANY sex or off-color material, no matter how cool you think everyone in the crowd is. Any one of those people might be perfectly comfortable with a sexual reference in general but be sharply uncomfortable hearing one while standing next to Aunt Betty.
posted by phearlez at 3:29 PM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Urination=>Operation Golden Flow

That may take on hinky kinky sexual undertones for some. But if the happy couple is into watersports, bang on!

Also: pick the best five-ish, and keep the list to that. Quality, not quantity. You want people to still be laughing at the list and its contents after you finish it, not before.
posted by cortex at 3:47 PM on February 20, 2007

Are you speaking at an event for men only? Because then the jokes you're noting are fine.

In mixed company, particularly in the kind of mixed company you're going to get at a wedding, I would avoid jokes about sex or bodily functions like the plague.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 3:53 PM on February 20, 2007

I'll go along with hmsbeagle and phearlez. I like the general idea, but the bodily-functions angle won't fly at a wedding. You'd make an equine pack animal of yourself.
posted by adamrice at 4:01 PM on February 20, 2007

or, if you want have the audience think that it's a bodily function joke, you can always have the one card that you squint at the front and say "Huh. Can't read my own writing." Flip it over and say, "Firing the Inspector General - actually, I'm glad I can't read my writing."
posted by plinth at 4:30 PM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

So do you think this speech will be humorous to the bride who will hear it in front of her parents? This sounds more like a bachelor party speech to me.
posted by Lockjaw at 4:32 PM on February 20, 2007

This might be mean, but:

Prenuptial => Flak Jacket
posted by Shecky at 4:34 PM on February 20, 2007

Look, pardon me for answering the implied meta-question and for raining on your parade. But this doesn't sound humourous (although a professional comedian might have the timing to pull it off, at least for a little while).

In the hands of anyone not experienced as a comedian, it sounds like it'll be incredibly flat and tedious.

Instead, speak from what you know, give the speech only you can give, which is the one based on your knowledge of and relationship with the groom (and bride). That's why you're giving it, instead of a professional M.C. or DJ.
posted by orthogonality at 4:49 PM on February 20, 2007

more mixed company appropriate

Grab the remote => neutralize C3I
Not asking for directions => maintaining operational security
Hogging the Covers=> rest logistics management
nagging => recurring personelle counselling

less so:

prepare for bed => fix bayonets
foreplay=>warm up the Hummer
posted by Megafly at 4:50 PM on February 20, 2007

All this is really not going to be funny to look back on in a couple of years if he's blown to bits in some shitty desert. Ditto on the sex and bodily function humor.

But if ya gotta:

Female orgasm --> bravo zulu
Visiting the inlaws --> TDY
Getting married --> PCS
Married bliss --> SNAFU
Wedding night --> FUBAR, or at least F-BAR...
Lingerie --> BDUs
[single friend]'s house --> BOQ
Condom --> MOPP suit
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:53 PM on February 20, 2007

Tread cautiously here dude.

Also, things are funny if there are three of them. Not funny if there are more or less. It's a law. There are few exceptions. You probably aren't one of them.
posted by Mozzie at 5:58 PM on February 20, 2007

Not asking for directions => maintaining operational security

That's good. Stick with old-lady-appropriate humor. How about this as a line up:

"I'm not asking for directions" => "I'm maintaining operational security"
"Yes, dear" => "Roger"
remote control => entrenching tool
passing gas => honorable discharge
triple bean burrito => dishonorable discharge
wedding ring => chain of command

Then on to the more touching, personal portion of the speech. And I like the Letterman index card approach.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:58 PM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

Etiquette Hell is full of stories about best men who thought a little risque, off-color, or just silly humor was fine for their toast to the groom. Most of the times nobody enjoyed it because a) there were children around, b) there were older persons around, and c) (in the case of in jokes) the majority of the people at the reception didn't have a clue what the best man was talking about. Don't be surprised if your jokes fall flat; most of the attendees will likely be civilians.

Stay away from in jokes and absolutely stay away from anything that you wouldn't want to say in front of your boss, your grandmother, and your four-year-old daughter (or niece) at the same time. You'll make yourself look boorish and immature and you'll probably offend more people than you'll entertain.
posted by watsondog at 8:38 PM on February 20, 2007

Another parade-rainer here: aside from keeping it squeaky clean, do not make hostile marriage jokes at the wedding. Marriage is not a Tom and Jerry cartoon, women aren't nags, men aren't incompetent. Your friend is doing a hard thing that could have scary consequences, the kind of consequences that could put wedding day memories in a whole new light later on. Bless your friends' marriage, don't curse it.

Plus, brides and grooms are usually pretty emotional and tired and stressed out from all the logistics, and it's really easy to put your foot in it. If someone had said grandmother-unfriendly things at my wedding, lasers would have shot out of my eyes and burned the offender to a little crispy thing - and I had a laid-back wedding.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:43 AM on February 21, 2007

Perhaps you can use your one or two squeaky clean ones and close the magic three that mozzie mentions by saying something on the order of "heck, when I told him I was gonna mention this behavior in my speech he told me to be sure to keep it clean and polite - no way was he going to catch any friendly fire during his own wedding!'
posted by phearlez at 12:25 PM on February 21, 2007

If needed, I will post again on "Help me keep from making an ass out of myself at a wedding". In the meantime, please assume:

1. I know my audience.
2. I know how to give a speech.
3. I'm only brainstorming funny corollaries, the actual text will draw these out more subtly, be limited to a handful of good ones and not be too blue.

Thanks to those who have stayed on topic! Those are great suggestions. I know the rest of you folks are capable of direct answers too so feel free to try again.
posted by jbradley at 3:00 PM on February 21, 2007

That's what most people who screw up badly think. You don't know your audience, you don't know your jokes, and you'll fall bloody flat on your face if everyone is worried about embarrassing the priest or Grandma Elva.
posted by watsondog at 1:10 PM on March 3, 2007

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