Stag Weekends

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“A husband is what is left of a lover, after the nerve has been extracted.”

Helen Rowland

I just don’t get Stag nights, or hen parties for that matter. A ritualistic night of humiliation at the hands of others who have gone before you, the initiation into a club that every man is expected to join and yet the initiation itself is a rejection of that next and final stage of male development, marriage. Every Friday, like clockwork, the stags and hens engulf town centres across Britain to offer up another glitter winged angel to the Gods of holy matrimony. But those little glitter wings aren’t enough to hoist them much higher than the vomit drenched gutter after the gallons of crap wine and cheap beer the stags and hens have ploughed down their throats.

What I really can’t grasp, however, is the fundamental lack of ambition that plagues stag weekends, given their cultural significance. You are supposedly performing a living wake for a friend who is about to have a noose tied around the neck of their social life, doomed to spend an eternity with someone they will grow to resent and despise, a life plagued by regrets, pointless compromises, and petty victories over trivial non-matters. And inevitably they are just bog standard Friday nights out with trivial paraphernalia thrown in for the ride, devil horns glowing in the haze of banality like warning lights that this is everyone’s last chance to finger the bride or be fingered by the groom. I mean, really, send this poor soul off with a bang rather than a follow through involving this sort of cheap tat:

Devil horns


Anything that sparkles (not including fireworks)


Custom print t-shirts


Shoreditch


A kebab 

Possibly, but not definitely going to a strip bar as long as the other halves NEVER know.

‘Commuting’ to a new part of your local area after work with the ‘lads’, ties off, shirts unbuttoned (later to be replaced by stag branded Ts) and an outside chance that one of them might pay a stripper (feminist role reclamation) to gyrate against your mostly limp boner (as long as no one ever finds out) isn’t my idea of the night out to end all nights out.

I want to set off fireworks from the back of black cabs, I want absinthes and bags of every powder imaginable. I want the sleaziest, roughest clubs the city has to offer and when they close I want the worst of the afterparties and the best bugging out corners. If we are going to strip clubs then I want to go to cheapest and dirtiest of the lot where UV lights show seats glowing and drenched in the jizz of no hopers and sexual deviants. I want to go to Kings Cross and buy each of my friends two hookers for a tenner to bring them in on the party as outside adjudicators who can interfere in ways the UN can only dream of. When we hunger, it won’t be for kebabs or vindaloos, instead we will barbecue a swan in one of the royal parks and as the sun rises we will joy ride to a mansion in Hamstead, washing off the filth and detritus in a pool whilst the family sleeps indoors, blissfully unaware of the sick orgy splashing about below. Somewhere in the night the whole party will have been thrown out of a casino, penniless, the croupiers abused to within an inch of their sanity. I want to draw a line under my life of freedom, I want to be completely regretless when I commit to a life of sanity, minor victories, effortless fury but pleasant contentedness. I owe it to my future wife. But, I can’t do any of that until I’ve done all the blow, all the hookers, all the fireworks and all the close calls a weekend can handle.

Marcus Harris

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