Apologies for being four days late with this review. I know I say I post new reviews every Monday, but I spent the previous weekend on a stag do and I’m still hungover.
Stag parties are weird. They can vary from a dinner with friends in your home town, to renting a farm in Kent, to spending four days by the beach in Spain wearing retro goalkeeper kits. I’ve yet to go on one that I haven’t enjoyed.
Everyone who isn’t on the stag party wants to talk about how they used to be a few drinks with friends then back for dinner, whereas now they’re whole industries. That is true, but it misses an important point – we live in more enlightened times now. In my mum’s day holidays with her husband involved going away with his mates and waiting for him to get home from being on the lash. These days I don’t ever go on holiday with my friends, probably because there are only so many The Office quotes you can hear in a 48-hour period.
It makes a stag an exciting change. An excuse to spend a few days with your old friends. There’s the gag in The Simpsons about the men unleashing their real stomachs when they realise no women are around, and it does kind of resonate. I love my life, I quite like having responsibilities and needing to behave in a certain, socially-acceptable way, but for one weekend in a blue moon it can be nice to go back to being 18.
And returning to being 18 is exactly what happens.
Stag parties have a bad reputation, as people tend to look at it like you’re going to get drunk, get in fights and end up in bed with a prostitute.
In reality, this makes up a very small amount of stag parties. I’ve certainly never been on one like this. My theory is that on any stag party you resort to what the dominant friendship group were like at 18.
If you were 18 and out drinking, fighting and hiring prostitutes then, sure, there’s a chance you’ll go back to doing that again on a stag. But then again, you could go out with Jamie Vardy and experience two of the three on a standard Monday night out.
We, however, weren’t like that. I spent most of my latter-teenage years drinking, mucking about and shouting The Office quotes at my friends. And guess what? That’s exactly how I spent this weekend.
It’s remarkable how quickly people resort to type, like pulling on an old pair of slippers. Your life can evolve in some pretty amazing ways, but every now and again it can feel quite comfortable to burp in public and not be met with scorn, but laughter. You can end up laughing at things until you cry, and then try to explain to your other half when you get home and be left with a blank stare. Farting isn’t just accepted but actively encouraged. It’s brilliant.
But we all grow up for a reason. What makes these parties so special is that they’re so rare. It’s probably why you hear stories of people getting carried away. I wouldn’t want to spend every three-day weekend having twelve hours sleep, and having the sum of my vegetable consumption totalling at tomato ketchup, but for the odd occasion it’s so much fun.
So if you are attending a stag do soon, or should you be the partner of someone who is, then relax. There is a myth that they have to be these events where you become the worst people in the world and ruin your life, but it’s really not true. It ends up being you and your mates having the kind of fun you would have had you been 18. It’s awesome.
Unless you’re going away with Jamie Vardy. Then you can ignore everything I just said.
Check back in every Monday for the latest reviews. Unless I’m hungover. Then it could be anytime.