Saturday, 11 June, 2016
My friend John is getting married later this month and I nominated myself to take charge of the stag night many months ago. At the time, I pictured Bangkok. I envisioned getting him a private show with a ladyboy stripper and watching old women shoot ping pong balls out of their ‘private’ parts. You know, the dream.
However, the terrible groom was out to ruin it for everybody. John, whose most enjoyable nights are spent in the local pub discussing musicians of the 70s, vetoed all of that. He quickly dismissed the idea of leaving the country, and furthermore, strippers. What kind of stag night doesn’t have strippers?
I was left with the biggest challenge of my life, but with a little help from some friends (Monica, Thomas and Bobby mostly), I gave it one hell of a go. So, here is the story of John’s last night before being made to give up on fun forever.
We told him to meet us on the platform of the underground, directed him to put a shirt on and some nice shoes; wedding attire essentially (nobody else would be wearing anything beyond casual).
However, as we waited for him to arrive, his bloody fiancé showed up. Well, this is a pretty unconventional way to start a stag! She then stood alongside us and initiated some small talk for a little while. It was far from ideal.
The longer she stayed, the more concerned I was getting that she had little intention of leaving and my hints were verging on rude. Could you imagine though, “Hey John, later we’re going to strip you naked and tie you to a lamppost, and even better, your wife is going to be sitting alongside you holding your hand throughout the proceedings.”
Luckily for us, she jumped on the next tube and John was late. I guess he didn’t want a crease in his shirt or a smudge on his shoes, thus, we avoided the potential banana skin.
After a long tube ride and a taxi, we arrived at our first planned event – a private boat party. Now, with strippers out of the equation, and no women allowed on a stag night, we were looking at a boat slightly over crowded with todgers – that I can’t deny. However, it was still really cool to have our own pirate house for a few hours.
John plugged his music into the speakers and the drinks were flowing as we sailed the sea. Shortly into the ride, we informed him of the second surprise of his night – there was a list of tasks for him to complete on the boat with failure resulting in shots and a beer funnel.
What he didn’t know, is that we purposely made the tasks ridiculously tame to build up his confidence before giving him the real list after the boat. For instance, he had to steer the boat for ten seconds and sing a song on karaoke – oh, we were getting wild!
That said, his final boat task was to beat me in a Leeds United quiz. If you’re unaware, I’m a big fan and he is not. The odds were stacked against him – particularly as the quiz was rigged.
I had to think up the answer for, “Can you name the colour of the Leeds United shirt?” While he was left scratching his head in response to, “In the winter of 1996 which player joined the club from Oldham Athletic?”
Naturally, I won. Therefore, he was left to do his first funnel of the night and we weren’t even at the real challenges yet. Lovely!
The boat ride included unlimited drinks, so we were all pretty worse for wear by the time we got off. We drunkenly stumbled our way to some taxis and then passed over the real list. It was time for the big boy games to begin.
One problem about us all being pretty wasted, however, was that it made it tough to monitor and fully engross ourselves in the tasks.
For instance, one of the challenges was to ‘talk only in your best Australian accent for thirty minutes.’ Yet, as far as I can remember, he just said, “G’day, mate!” In his usual British tone twice before quickly moving straight into his next task, and we all forgot about the fact that it was a thirty minute challenge.
Truthfully, it’s only now as I reflect that I can’t believe we let him get away with simply two ‘g’days’. Sure, we got him good in other ways later in the night, but still; there will always be a part of me that will think the night was not fully complete with merely just a couple of ‘g’days’, instead of the half an hour’s worth our list promised.
The reason for the quick task switch was because we saw a group of foreigners outside the bar on our arrival – which gave him the perfect opportunity to get another task in (a large portion of the list included interacting with people he doesn’t know).
The second task on the agenda was ‘rap battle a stranger.’ These poor defenceless guys standing outside a bar casually sipping a beer and enjoying their Friday evening had no idea of the carnage that was only moments away. They were about to feel the wrath of LL Cool John.
Unfortunately, the guy he intended to lyrically take down couldn’t really grasp the concept of a rap battle and instead started to beat box – offering John a beat to spit his venom to.
So, essentially what we ended up watching was a nice man joining in with our fun and merrily giving the groom his musical support, as John shouted unpleasant rhymes about him and at him. It was all a bit weird, but we allowed him to tick it off the list anyway – mostly because we thought it was in everybody’s best interest that John didn’t lyrically offend another innocent bystander.
After that we went inside the bar and the tasks were in full force, within a few minutes, he was on the dance floor topless waving his shirt over his head. Well, until security came up to him and informed him that he was scaring away all of their female customers, thus, he must put his shirt back on immediately.
My memory starts to go a bit fuzzy after that. I definitely remember him climbing on top of the bar table and dropping a whole bunch of old man dance moves though. I also recall how mortified the bar staff were as they tried to serve customers around his shaky legs while he did so.
I think we did pretty well overall, considering. However, the next time he gets married, we’ll definitely be going to Thailand and letting it all fall into place with very little effort – as great as it was, planning a stag night can be a bit of a ballache.