Monthly Archives: February 2015

The three-point stag do recovery programme

You’ve just woken up. Your head aches like it’s been sat on by a whole succession of elephants, your mouth tastes like an ashtray and you’ve almost certainly got something uncouth drawn on your forehead in Biro. Congratulations: you’ve just survived a truly epic stag do! The aftermath’s a killer, but you know it was worth it. Unfortunately, stag dos tend to precede weddings, so now you’ve got a marriage ceremony to get ready for. Whether it’s your own or a friend’s, you can’t really show up looking and feeling like you’ve been dragged through the gents’ toilet backwards. Which leads us to a question that has haunted men since stag dos began: how do you recover from a stag night quickly?

Step one

As with so much else in life, the trick lies in preparation. Make sure you’re equipped for ‘the morning after’ from the moment you step out the door the night before. Firstly: stock up on aspirin, water and face wipes. You can ameliorate the inevitable hangover somewhat by interspersing your alcohol consumption with drinks of water and other drinks that will hold booze-induced dehydration at bay. Since there’s no known way to avoid it altogether however (alas, science has failed us on this point), you’re going to need those aspirin. Make sure they’re on your person when you set out on the stag do so they’ll be within easy reach when you come to. If you woke up nowhere near your own home, this aspirin and fluid combo is what’s going to get you back there as quickly and efficiently as possible. But before you rush home, use the face wipes to deal with whatever’s been drawn on your forehead (my amazing psychic powers tell me it’s probably anatomical in nature and is going to make getting a taxi difficult).

Step two

Which brings us to step two of the stag do recovery programme: coffee. Specifically, coffee so dark that light can’t penetrate its surface. Don’t muck about making sure it’s a rich, dark roast with a hint of nutmeg – you don’t want it for the flavour. It has to be instant (because you’re in a hurry) and it has to be ridiculously strong (because the more awake you are, the more presentable you’re going to be at the wedding). Just buy it and stick it right next to your kettle before the stag night begins and then chug it until you feel human again.

Step three

Step three depends on how much time you now have to get prepared. If you’re in a hurry, deodorant is your friend. If you’re not, take a shower. Do not try to take a bath! If you lie down at this stage in the recovery process, all is lost because you’re going to pass out again. Just shower, get into your best clothes and…

Voila. You still feel dazed, confused and woefully unprepared, but you’re now a) hangover free, b) devoid of human graffiti and c) considerably fresher-smelling. At this point, any alarm, befuddlement and/or grogginess you might be feeling are just part and parcel of the human condition and I can’t help you with that. Now, you’ve got a wedding to get to. Go get ‘em, tiger.

Photo: Serious Hangover by Ktoine licensed under Creative commons 5

Casinos and stag parties: a fantastic idea or a disaster waiting to happen?

There are only two prerequisites for a stag party: you and the lads have to get black-out drunk, and someone has to wake up sans clothes and/or eyebrows. These are the timeless, immovable touchstones of stag do culture; everything else is in a state of perpetual flux. However, there are some frequent recurring themes in the way these rites of passage are conducted. One of these is the Casino. While not the most ubiquitous feature of a man’s fabled Last Night of Freedom, casinos do wind up featuring in a surprisingly large number of stag parties. But are these deliriously delightful dens of iniquity a stag-geringly good idea? Or is gambling a definite Stag Don’t?

As with many of life’s weightiest issues, there is a degree of ambiguity on this. On the one hand, London in particular has some incredibly flashy casinos that can add an air of suavity to even the most raucous stag do. You’re still going to wake up without your trousers or your dignity (again, it’s an important Rite of Passage) but you might as well take the classy route to get there, right? On the other hand, excessive consumption of alcohol and an all-you-can-squander buffet of slots machines, roulette wheels and poker tables may not be the happiest combination. To return to our theme of waking up trouser-less, it’s nice to know that you’ve regained consciousness without them because your mates took them as a prank, not because a bailiff repossessed them to pay off your gambling debts.

If you’re the Best Man (or have ended up with the duty of planning the stag party through other means), then one possible compromise could be to make sure everyone hands over their credit cards to you before visiting the local answer to Las Vegas – that way, your friends can only lose as much as they happen to have in cash at the start of the evening.

Ultimately, if you’re in charge of the delicate choreography behind a truly awesome stag do, it falls to you to decide what kind of role (if any) casinos should play in the evening.

Should you invite girls on your stag do?

We all love the ladies – after all, you’re marrying one. But do you really want someone from the allegedly fairer sex on your stag do to infiltrate what has traditionally always been an all-male preserve?

Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that this is an increasingly common state of affairs, with one of the latest stag party ideas apparently to rebrand these events as “hag dos” (charming).

Of course it’s up to you whether you want an exclusively male occasion, or to enjoy your stag do with female relatives and friends as well as the lads. A lot may depend on whether you’re from a particularly blokey family and social circle, as well as what sort of celebration you are planning on having.

But, whatever you decide, you may have to think few a through things first. There’s no denying that having women at a stag party could changes the dynamics of the whole occasion, just as it would if a guy rocked up at the hen. Some of your mates may not even want anything to do with stag weekends where there are ladies present.

Equally, if it’s an overnighter, will you need to reconsider the sleeping arrangements?

Is there any danger that any female you ask may accept your invitation out of pure politeness and end up not really enjoying the do anyway? Will she feel an outsider? Crucially, will she report back on any shenanigans to her mates, which may include the bride, breaking that old, sacred code among brethren of what goes on at stag dos staying firmly on tour?

How would you feel if you were invited to a hen party? Would you accept the invite?

One compromise may be to have some of your female buddies and relations along to part of the occasion. On longer stag weekends, for example, this may be perfectly possible. Have your sister along to the daytime activities but keep the evening for the lads, or vice versa.

Only you can decide, but think it through first, and make the decision that ensures the maximum number of people have a great time.