A Speech for Dean General Nonsense 18 DEC 2007

DeanFor their wedding on the 15 December, Dean chose to forsake his best man Mark and instead ask me to deliver his speech for the wedding. A bad decision on his behalf I would dare say, but nevertheless, I was honoured to be asked. So I came up with a trademark speech of mine (Karl knows exactly what is coming) and delivered it with style at the reception, much to Dean’s chagrin.

And because I don’t feel that I should keep anyone in the dark as to what this speech contained, I’ve decided to post it up on the web (referenced photograph included).

Dean’s Wedding Speech


So Dean asked me to give this quick speech because he didn’t want the remote possibility of Mark embarrassing him too much – in my opinion that was a bad decision, because I can be soooo much worse that what Mark ever would be. Nevertheless, it’s a faux pas that Dean can’t escape, mainly because I’ve gone through the trouble of writing this’ fairly’ short speech now.

To all the mates of Dean who have ever had a telephone conversation the man, I’d like to start the speech as many of the telephone conversations would go. {with actions}
So Dean, how’s it going?

[Nice Stuff]

Firstly, I must say, it is an absolute honour to be here today. Honestly, I don’t think any of us in the group would ever have expected Staples to be the first of us to tie the knot – I think everyone always thought that the honour would probably end up with the Lady Killer Mark over there. However, Dean has managed to scoop an absolute beauty of a catch and we are all thrilled that he has found his someone special at last. (And yes, for all of those who are paying attention to my carefully chosen words, …catch’ was indeed a reference to the fanaticism of Dean’s fishing.)

For this little speech today, I’ve decided to tell a few stories, a few anecdotes regarding Dean, just so as to let Zania know exactly what she’s signed up for.


First of all I suppose I must mention Dean’s innate leadership skills. As our fearless leader back in the old under-15C Settlers High cricket team, Dean bemused many an opponent with his dead accurate Hansie Cronje impersonation, right down to the pose and Hansie’s trademark constipated gorilla look.


I remember he would stand on the field, arms folded, just sadly nodding his head as the ball would magically follow Evan, the man who couldn’t catch, around no matter where Dean placed him on the field, or roll towards the notoriously annoying Eric or even worse – travel to Clint Ogle. We lost a huge percentage of our games, okay we were crushed 99% of the time, but still Dean didn’t once give up on the task of molding us into the perfect cricket team.

In fact, true story, Dean was so motivated that the one evening we unexpectedly dropped by to ask if he wanted to join us for a spot of pool – only to find him glued to the cricket game on TV, pen and notebook in hand, recording every single stat from the game. Ball by ball he had a breakdown of the match and if that isn’t dedication then I don’t know what is. Though in hindsight he could also just have been extremely bored I guess.

Dean’s sense of leadership and instruction continues even today, when you’ll often find him trying to hustle at the pool table with his personal pool cue and copious amounts of advice and tips for all the newbie players around him. In fact, even the trademark Hansie pose survives to this day.

Dean is also a man of impeccable style and taste. For example, his musical preferences are unparalleled. First he was absolutely besotted with Britney Spears back when she was still the good-looking, wholesome blonde, then he upgraded to the whole Irish gang of good looking women (and their brother but he doesn’t count) in the form of the Corrs. And finally he developed a classier, refined taste, this time the classical violin-playing quartet of scantily clad women who called themselves Bond.

Of course, his passion for classic cars is just as much an indicator of his style, class and taste. First it was the ever so classy Cr’me/dirty white Volkswagen Beetle which then got replaced by the classic Chev El Camino. Of course now as his status in society continues to grow, he has got himself the king of vehicles – the work truck (free diesel included).

Dean is also always prepared for any and every eventuality. If fact so much so, that he’ll be the only guy dressed in full cricket gear for an impromptu game with a tennis ball. And I imagine if he still had his hockey keeper gear, he probably still be wearing that on the building site today. Still, it is nice to know the guy believes in protection.

Another good quality of Dean is that he is an absolute provider. If someone needs something he’ll organize. However, on the food front, I am a little wary of him myself. The man is a known danger behind the braai grid, wanted for excessive overuse of braai spices. Any of the guys that went with on our Mykonos trip can attest to this, and although I myself am no tong master, I don’t think Dean rates that much better neither.

Of course, Dean’s love for fishing is legendary, so much so he even used to keep a mud skipper as a pet in his room. But I must warn you – he does have a penchant from dressing up in his full rubber wetsuit, spear gun included, if the mood takes him. It is a horrible sight and I must use this occasion to warn Zania as best I can. In fact Zania, I have even included the picture as evidence in our wedding gift to you guys, so please get to it before Dean does.

I must admit though, I don’t relish fishing with Dean, particularly if he is having a bad day in terms of catches. I’m a novice fisherman, I’ve only done it once or twice, so I happily defer all decisions and requests for advice to the rod master Dean, but man the guy gets annoyed if you catch something bigger than him. My first catch ever, my one and only moment of pride, and Dean takes one look at it, takes it off the hook and tosses it back into the sea. And to further rub salt into the wound, he proceeded to pull out a much smaller fish and take that back home with us instead. Much sadness. So make sure you stop by a fishmonger on the way to the fishing spot first, just in case Dean gets a hold of your catch before you can get it to safety.

And seeing as I’m berating Dean just a little now, I think it is essential to ask you Zania to keep Dean hydrated no matter what. In fact, just check that his drink is still full now please. The fact is that Dean is definitely more like a sieve than a sponge. If he doesn’t get enough water, particularly on a long, 4 or 5 day hike in the bush, he tends to go white as a sheet, collapse, and send Mark and myself into absolute panic mode because we are stranded in the middle of nowhere. He maintains it was all a ploy to get us to carry his rugsack for him, but damn, next time we’re making sure he carries at least a water tower on that damn truck of his with. Oh and be warned, once dehydrated he also seems to have a nasty habit of walking around without any underpants on. Nasty stuff, or Commando as he calls it.

Nevertheless, Dean’s a good man – he just needs constant attention. And dressing. And feeding. And petting. I don’t know. You figure it out.


Anyway, thanks for listening to my rambling drivel in which I’ve done my best to paint the best possible picture of the man named Dean. I’ve known Dean since school and despite all my blatant embellishments (most of it was true though), he is a good bloke with a good heart and a head in the right place. I don’t know Zania as well as I would like to, but from the interactions I have had with her it is more than apparent that she is a lovely woman with her head and her heart in the right place and I am certain that both of them will make each other very, very happy for the years to come. They just seem so right together, and if you would like, please join me in a toast to our blissfully wedded couple.

{raise glasses}

Mr and Mrs Stapelberg. To forever! Cheers!


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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.