I remember, a few years back, stag nights just consisted of going out with your mates, getting pissed up, maybe getting a stripper involved and then possibly rounding it off with some enforced nudity and lamp-post bondage for the unfortunate groom-to-be. These days, the stag night has evolved into the stag weekend and this involves going away to a strange town for two days just to do the things I mentioned above. Is this progress?
My brother (our Marc, the middle one) is getting married on Friday, and I've just got back from his stag weekend down in Cardiff. It seems everyone else getting married this week had the same idea. Cardiff has stag and hen parties coming out of its ears. Whoever said all brides are beautiful obviously didn't see some of the brides-to-be I witnessed. Bloody hell. In one bar, there was one extremely rough-looking obese woman wearing L-plates and a veil (so I assume she was the bride to be) carrying a giant inflatable penis, 'dancing' and singing 'Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?'. The irony was obviously lost on her. Unless she was genuinely too warm.
The plan was to get there on Friday, have a few drinks, but take it steady, as the seven of us in the party had paintballing to do on Saturday. That plan went AWOL. We got wrecked. Some members of the party got told off by the hotel's management for making too much noise when we rolled in at about 4.30 in the morning. (not me, I'm a good lad, and anyway, I was too busy being passed out on my hotel room's bathroom floor!) So our Marc diplomatically sorted the situation by taking off his belt and hitting the transgressor with it while saying "Shut the fuck up, or they'll chuck us out, you daft cunt!" Henry Kissinger has nothing on my brother.
Saturday morning, we all get up feeling as rough as a badger's ballbag, so we decide to get a fry-up in a local greasy spoon on the way to the paintball. I didn't feel like the full English, as I was still feeling the effects of spewing my ring up the night (morning?) before, so I had a bacon butty and about four cups of tea. It seemed to work, as I felt okay afterwards, and the rest of the lads seemed to enjoy their fry-ups, and we all went on to the paintball site. Now, on Saturday morning, the weather was bad. It had been raining continuously since we got to Cardiff, so the paintball site was now one big quagmire, if your feet didn't sink in all the way up to your knees, you just slipped and fell on your arse instead. I didn't have any sturdy footwear, I just had a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors which gradually got destroyed as the day went on. I've not done any paintballing for years, not since I was a teenager, and I was a lot fitter in those days! I've discovered something else I'm rubbish at. The whole day I got shot to fuck. I looked like a plasterer's radio by the end of the day. The crappy weather didn't help visibility, as the masks we had to wear were either steamed up, covered in water or splattered with mud and paint. Also not helping the day, was another stag party from Scotland, who took it all a bit seriously and tried to give us tactics. We decided to take their tactics and stick them where the sun doesn't shine (which was Cardiff, that weekend!) and just basically run like fuck and shoot everyone you saw. It seemed to work as our team won quite handsomely at the end of the day.
Like I said, my shoes were destroyed, so I decided to bin them. We all drove back to the hotel, and we decided we couldn't walk in with our muddy feet (none of us were sober enough to think of bringing a change of shoes) so all seven of us walked through the hotel lobby in our sopping wet socks, and we all got admiring glances from the other guests because of our Brummie sartorial elegance. When I got back to my room, I took of my shirt and surveyed the damage. I looked like ED-209 had had a go at me for not complying within 30 seconds. I had livid red circular welts all over my body. Arms, chest, stomach, back, arse, legs were all covered in bruises. I looked like Superted's best mate.
After we all had our afternoon shushes (shit, shower, shave) we went to the Walkabout bar around the corner and watched the Villa play Newcastle on the telly. How Welsh was that? Standing in an Australian bar watching the Villa on the telly. We could never do stuff like that back in Brum. Hang on, that's EXACTLY how I spent the previous Saturday afternoon here in Birmingham! The whole weekend was like that-we had drinks in O'Neill's, Rococo, Edwards, Walkabout and The Prince Of Wales- and they all look the same as their Brummie counterparts on the inside, why the hell did we come to Cardiff?! Still, the Villa played well and should've won, but it was nil-nil and a point at St. James's Park is always a good one. Also, Wales were playing Argentina in the rugby at the Millennium Stadium, so Cardiff was full of drunk Welsh rugby supporters. I had on a T-shirt that said Empire Strikes Back on it, and was told by a drunk Welshwoman , while I was outside having a cigarette that she'd never seen a Star Wars film. She told me this about six times. "I've never seen a Star Trek movie either", she added as a little epilogue. How interesting!
After the match, we decided to get some din-dins because we all agreed that going out with a virtually empty stomach was what done us in on Friday. The noisy fuckers who nearly got us all chucked out all had McDonald's, but me, my brothers, and my brothers' mate Liam decided we'd have some proper food, so we went to an Italian restaurant and filled up on chicken and pasta. Our stomachs properly lined, we went back to our hotel, got changed and went out on the town.
The bit of Cardiff we were in was full of hen and stag parties. They stood out because most of them were in fancy dress. We couldn't be arsed with all that shite, as it makes you a target for other arseholes, and you also look like a prick. The stag parties tended to dress up in afro wigs, for some reason, whereas the hens tended to go with a theme, I saw women dressed up as pretend policewomen, sailors, gangsters, pyjama parties, and in one case, Quasimodo (though I'm beginning to think now that wasn't a costume!) my favourite group of hens, nerd that I am, were the group dressed up as Superheroines- Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Generic Superhero Woman whose costume I didn't recognise. I was willing to try and get Batgirl to slide down my Batpole, but the party told me to hurry the fuck up as we were going to a titty bar. It's a stag night, there HAS to be naked ladies, apparently.
Typical Brummies, we haggled to get a fiver knocked off the entrance fee to the lapdancing bar, and eventually, they let us in at a fiver off. This seemed a bit stupid in hindsight as we spent shitloads of money in there. Apparently, we bought thirteen bottles of Champagne in there, at over thirty quid a go. The ladies in there seemed to like us (besides the fact we were spending lots of money) as we were just in there to have a laugh and take the piss and not take it seriously as some of the other blokes in there, who think the girls really want to dance for them, and they joined in with our piss-taking of each other. Apparently, we spent more in there than Robbie Fowler (now a striker for Cardiff City) did, when he went in the other week. At the end of the night, when they let us out, it was through another nightclub, and could we fuck find our way out. It took us about half an hour to find an exit, but we managed it. While me and my youngest brother were finding the way out, my other brother, the groom-to-be, managed to stop one of our party getting glassed because the twat said something he shouldn't have. This rounded the night off superbly, because Marc was fuming and told his mate exactly what he thought of his behaviour. This nearly led to another punch up, but it was all settled fairly amicably, and we all went to bed for about three hours.
We left at about Twelve on Sunday, and the trip home was fairly uneventful, except for when our car hit the kerb the moment we got back into the Brum. We swerved into the other side of the road, and if anything was coming the other way it would have been extremely serious, but nothing was, so we were okay. The reason for the driver's collision with the kerb? "I was looking at that field over there." That's okay then. Worth dying for, that.
So anyway, I'm back now, covered in bruises and stiff as a board and dehydrated, but at least I'm still alive!