When Your Best Man is Your Twin

(May 2017)

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Fred and George Weasley, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito… there's something endlessly fascinating about twins; especially to those of us whose womb experience was of the single-occupant variety. 'Do you feel each other's pain?' we want to know, and 'Can you tell when your twin's in trouble?'; the answer to both of which is 'Don't be ridiculous - we're twins, not wizards!' (Unless the twins in question are the aforementioned Weasley brothers, in which case, they're both.)

About three per cent of the people reading this article will have a twin sibling. And, whether or not you have magical twin powers (you don't), the bond between you and your birthday buddy means there's a good chance that one or both of you will sooner or later end up on Best Man duties for the other… the fact that you're reading this suggests 'sooner' rather than 'later'.

If that's the case, you just lucked out! Your twin-status provides the basis for a veritable cornucopia of gags that will have your audience doubled over. That's a twin joke… not a very good one, I'll grant you, but the rest are better. Take a look:

If you're the older twin...
  1. Of course, I'm the older twin - by a whole five minutes - which means that I'm always one step ahead of Martin. Right about now, he's reaching the level of maturity and wisdom that I had back when I started this speech. By the time he catches up, we'll be on to the toasts. He can't win.

And if you're the younger…
  1. Phil's the winner today - he gets to be top twin for once. He's marrying the woman of his dreams, surrounded by the people he loves and who love him. It really doesn't get any better. But remember, Phil, however good life gets, I'll always be younger than you… admittedly, only by five minutes, but these things matter when you're keeping score.

  1. Following in your older brother's footsteps isn't easy. I'm never allowed to forget that Mike is a whole ten minutes ahead of me… although it has to be said, with such a head start in life, it's a wonder he hasn't achieved more.

On the subject of sibling rivalry...
  1. You know, even twins experience sibling rivalry - maybe more than normal, in fact. And some parents do little to discourage it… I think I first realised that David was Mum and Dad's favourite twin when they asked me to help deliver the invitations for his surprise 5th birthday party.

  1. Paul was raised as an only child… which, being his twin brother, annoyed the crap out of me!

  1. I know what you'll be thinking - some of you, at least. He's Paul's twin brother. Paul will have had his arm twisted to make him Best Man. And you'd be right. But bear in mind that while Paul had his arm twisted, I was subjected to four hours of waterboarding before I accepted. That shows you who the tough one is, I think.

And the ties that bind…
  1. Somebody here - I won't say who - asked me earlier whether I wondered what might have happened if I'd met Julie before Dave did, what with the two of us being so alike… All I'm saying is - Julie - can you be one hundred percent sure that you didn't?

  1. Of course, as twins Paul and I have so much in common, but I wonder whether Linda knows about all of it… Has Paul mentioned the diarrhoea, for example? That runs in our jeans.

Breaking news - twins are magical…

Icebreaker for a reluctant groom Okay, maybe we jumped the gun in our opening assertion that twins don't share magical powers. Take a look at this super smooth sibling as he uses his Best Man's speech to segue from myth-busting into an ever-so-slightly-saucy superpower demonstration: