The Stag Do

I am getting married in April.  I’m also in the middle of planning my stag.  This should be one of the easiest things to organise, bearing in mind that (at least technically) I have a free-rein to do whatever I want.  The main problem here is that when I have the freedom to do whatever I want to do, one of the last things I would choose is to spend an evening/weekend in all-male company, with various friends from different stages of my life.  This is the eternal quandary of the stag-do, namely that if they’re so amazing, why don’t we do exactly the same thing more often? There’s nothing stopping us after all.  This is of course also known as the ‘Christmas pudding dilemma’, bearing in mind how many people claim to love it and yet only eat it once a year.

The first thing about the stag is that we are no longer in our early/mid-20s.  When men gather for stag-dos, they tend to regress into the person they were when they were about 21, which for most of my gathering is about 15 years ago.  When we were 21, we were keen to drink any sort of filth that would get you drunk cheaply, we thought shots were a superb idea (yes, even Goldschlager) and we went to dance in fairly gritty London clubs (please do not mistake gritty for ‘cool’ – we were firmly in the Loop/Oxygen/Crazy Larry’s end of the market).  The reasons that none of us do this any more are simple and complimentary.  Firstly, no-one wants to see a group of fat, balding 35-year olds dressed in chinos and a ‘party shirts’ attempt to chat to women around half their age whilst dancing like Geography teachers at the end of term disco.  On the flip-side, we don’t really want to put ourselves through this shame either, and this suits us (and those that have taken over residence in Embargos) just fine.  Until the stag that is, where it becomes compulsory to make this part of the evening’s entertainment.  For every married man with 2 young kids who chooses to go mental at the opportunity to do a Jagerbomb, there’s about another 15 looking about as awkward as those at a trappist monk convention in Vegas.

The evening entertainment of course has to follow on from the day’s activity.  The word ‘activity’ is one to be wary of.  It generally tends to mean one of four things – off-roading, clay pigeon-shooting, go-karting or paint-balling.  These are all quite manly, but they’re also things that no-one ever chooses to do unless they’re on a stag.  When was the last time you saw a group of grown men go go-karting or turn up at laser-quest?  It’s worth pointing out here that this is still better than the hen-do mentality, where women mentally regress even further (to approximately about age 9) and do arts and crafts stuff such as plate-painting and decoupage.

The other thing is the dynamics of the group.  Unless you’ve kept all your friends from School (and have made none more) you’re likely to have a pretty diverse set of friends with diverse interests, few of which have even met each other.  Has anyone ever said that their best night out recently was in a single sex-crowd, where each person knew only about 20% of the gathering, but really really well?  Somehow I doubt it.

Anyway, we’re going to eat a pig and if this doesn’t sound like fun to you, you’re not invited.