Published on December 5th, 2016 | by Staggered0
Surviving The Stag-Do
So your stag do is looming ominously on the horizon. You’re up for some fun, sure, but, quite understandably, you want to make sure you’re only mildly humiliated, not killed in the line of duty. To ensure the mutual satisfaction of both parties, some prior thought and cooperation is necessary. Here is our survival guide.
Your opponent in this scenario is the best man. He wants to give you – and the other stags – a night to remember, a night that involves ritual humiliation, borderline-legal activities and, more than likely, copious amounts of groom-to-be nudity. To ensure the mutual satisfaction of both parties, some prior thought and cooperation is necessary.
Part 1: Damage limitation
Have “The Chat”
Any conversation named “the chat” is never going to be easy, but it’s a good idea to let the best man know what your boundaries are.
“I chose a best man who I’ve known since I was a kid, and who knows I’d kill him if he left me chained to a lamppost,” says Ben, a soon-to-be married 28 year-old. “We spoke about the limits of my endurance before the event and it passed without major incident. No male nudity, no comedy strippers, no problem.”
The flipside of ‘the chat’ is that the best man, incensed at being asked to relinquish some control, might decide to go all out and unleash stag night Babylon. If that happens, well, hey, perhaps you picked the wrong guy.
An essential (and, these days, ubiquitous) precaution is to stagger the date of the stag do to a comfortable distance before the wedding – ideally enough time for an indelible marker gringo moustache to work itself off the face. Hilarious scenes involving naked stags running to the church carrying sawn off railings might make for a good TV cliché, but you don’t want it happening in real life.
Consider past precedents
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” said a wise Biblical man, and there’s a lesson in there for all prospective stags. If your best man is returning the favour, think back to his stag night. Whatever you did to him, he’ll want to give it back ten times worse. So if you let rip on his stag night, some serious buttering up may be required.
The secret weapon
If you suspect that your pleas are going in one ear and out the other, it may be time to unleash a secret weapon. Tell the best man you will be inviting your new father-in-law along, or her brother, or your granddad, or – best of all – the vicar. Basically, anyone who’s likely to be mortally offended at staggish excess or who runs the risk of having a coronary when the stripper shows up. No matter how much your stag longs to see you in a compromising situation, he won’t want to actually ruin future Christmases with the wife’s family.
If you’re worried about being covered in whipped cream by a granny in a PVC nurse’s uniform, suggest to the best man that you have the stag night in an upmarket club or pub where such activities are likely to see you given the boot. And don’t forget, you can always skip the drinkathon and have an adventure stag weekend instead.
What, a picture?
In today’s web-addicted world, you can barely pick your nose without someone filming it, posting it on YouTube and LOL-ing at you in the comments. Given that employers, future employers, bank managers and even your gran might conceivably negotiate to your Facebook page, it may be a good idea to impose a no cameras rule on the proceedings as a safety net. We’ve heard of stag-dos where people’s phones have been collected at the beginning of the do and returned at the end, bit extreme but worth considering.
Part 2: Booze Basics
Among the many expectations placed on a groom-to-be, one of the hardest to shirk responsibility for is the notion that you should drink your bodyweight in booze on the stag do. In today’s hard-drinking culture, stag nights can be like an alcoholic assault course, a marathon of pints, shots and strange, flaming drinks that account for lost memories and missing eyebrows the following morning.
Whether you’re the don of the local rugby club bar or a Pimm’s and lemonade guy, it’s worth knowing the risks before you get glugging. The last thing Staggered wants is for anyone to get hurt through over-consumption. Remember, you’re not just strangers to us, you’re valuable web traffic who we can sell to associated advertisers and, heck, we’d miss you if you died.
Booze: We’re all at it
According to recent reports, alcohol will claim over 90,000 lives in Britain in the next decade, and that’s not including accidental deaths of sozzled stags stumbling onto dual carriageways wearing nothing but a tutu.
Increased obnoxiousness, yeah, you.
Most of those deaths are as a result of sustained, long-term drinking, but there are numerous health risks associated with a short, sharp binge too. The NHS website warns of a sliding scaleof ill-effects ranging from “[becoming] more obnoxious to others” to lost bladder control, lost consciousness and an increased risk of heart attack.
A professional speaks
Staggered consulted a doctor – let’s call him ‘Dr A’ – for elucidation and to stop him losing his job. “The worst consequence of binge drinking is, as most people are aware, being asphyxiated beneath a large sea-dwelling mammal masquerading as a human female,” says Dr A. “Alternatively you could just choke on your own dirty sick.” Mmm.
Liver and oh-noes!
“Your liver is no more or less resistant than the next man’s, and it will respond exactly the same to sustained abuse: by attempting to fail and kill you slowly,” says Doc A. “It’s becoming more and more common to see people in their 30s entering potentially the last decade of their life because of the drip-drip effect of years of alcohol. The liver is a hardy organ, but once it starts to go down it goes down hard. People with end-stage liver disease can look forward to losing all of their mental faculties, turning yellow, sporting an ugly, distended belly full of their own fluid, and finally expiring in a pool of their own effluent.”
So unless your bride-to-be has a Homer Simpson fetish (a predilection for dim-witted, yellow-skinned men with bloated waists), it’s going to be worth keeping an eye on what you drink.
The recovery position
At the very least the best man should take responsibility for getting the stag through the night. And with the very real risk of a gurgling, vomit-y death, they should acquaint themselves with the recovery position before the tequila kicks in – it may just save the stag’s life once he’s passed out on the floor of the Travelodge bar.
The next day
Whether it’s a fried breakfast or Marmite on toast, we’ve all got our favourite hangover cures. The NHS recommend paracetamol-based painkillers, sugary food, lots of water and isotonic drinks and a steaming bowl of veggie soup.
Says Dr A: “The best way to ensure a speedy recovering is to eat something to soak up the alcohol before bed – bananas are better than kebabs – and a committed rehydration programme the next day.” And no, that doesn’t mean a hair of the dog down the Red Lion.
The issue of which is the most effective hangover cure is one that has concerned booze-riddled scientists since time began. If you’ve got any suggestions then do us a favour and what them on the forum (link below)…
Other than that – safe drinking Comrades.
Part 3: Drinking tactics
On your stag do, a Bacchanalian drinking session on the cards, how can you make sure you’re still standing at the bitter end?
Eating is not cheating
Food helps to slow down the body’s absorption of alcohol, meaning less chance of an early trip to the sub’s bench. The NHS recommends a pre-drink meal that’s high on carbohydrates (such as pasta or rice) or fats, so why not start the evening in an Italian restaurant? Eating peanuts or other snacks while drinking is a good idea too.
Important note: if you do have a pre-stag meal, remember the curry rule. It may be the manly option, but eating heavy, stodgy food will make for a lethargic, farty group of stags and no one wants that.
The white stuff
It’s not just an old wives’ tale – a pre-sesh glass of moo juice prevents irritation of the stomach lining and helps drinking stamina. Annoyingly, the same logic does not apply to White Russians.
Drinking a glass of water between drinks is a good way of keeping hydrated and preventing yourself from getting drunk too quickly but – top tip alert! – avoid fizzy pop as the bubbles speed up the absorption of alcohol into your system. Downing the occasional water might line you up for a bit of stick from the rest of the party, but you can just tell them it’s neat vodka and they’ll think you’re superman. Plus, when they pass out you get to write stuff on their face – Go Water!
The old switcheroo
The members of your stag party will want to see you imbibe as many drinks as possible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t apply a little sleight of hand to help you keep upright. If you’re being overloaded with more booze than you can drink, why not stash the spares somewhere inconspicuous, or pass them to a sympathetic accomplice for disposal? A well-placed potted plant may be useful for ditching unwanted shots too, but be sure to ham up the performance by slamming your glass down and pulling a face afterwards.
Don’t mix the grape and the grain
It’s likely you’ll become acquainted with the lesser visited regions of the top shelf during your stag, but try and limit the amount of different drinks you take. Different drinks contain different chemicals which, when combined, can cause worse hangovers as your body has to work overtime to deal with all the various substances.
Avoid dark coloured drinks
According to the NHS, dark coloured alcoholic drinks such as red wine, brandy, whiskey, dark rum and port contain natural chemical impurities called congeners that can irritate blood vessels and tissue in the brain. Best give that black sambucca a miss then.
The tactical vomit
OK, so this one’s not so pleasant, but when the time comes you may need to embrace your inner Roman and get the beast out of your belly in the toilet cubicle. This should absolutely not be a part of a regular night out as vomiting puts a lot of strain on your body, but in the battlefield environment of a stag do, things are going to get ugly.
Just remember to pocket some chewing gum before you leave the house so your breath doesn’t smell like a compost heap for the rest of the night.
Part 4: Chained to the railings
It’s the stag night prank that sends shivers down the spine of every groom-to-be: being stripped naked and tied – or worse, chained and handcuffed – to railings in public. Sure it’s a cliché, but you can be certain at least one of your party will be toying with the idea. So what do you need to know if you find yourself with your bits blowing in the wind?
The Police perspective
We consulted a police officer from the UK’s stag night capital – the North-East – to find out what could happen to you if you’re found with your dangly bits hanging out.
“If you’ve got genitals on show you’re indecently exposing yourself, and you could be outraging public decency. There’s a possibility of jail time for that,” says the PC. “If your mates were caught doing it, we could quite easily lock them up for all kinds of offences. It’s one of those situations where it depends which police officer finds you and what kind of mood they’re in.”
“The most likely thing to happen if we found someone chained to a railing nude is we would first laugh heartily then we’d free him, take him to the police station and give him a paper suit to cover his modesty so he could get himself home. Obviously, if it’s clear he had no choice in the matter he would probably just get help, not charges. If the victim has been out all night you’d probably need the ambulance out to look at him for exposure, as he’d be absolutely freezing. So theoretically, you might have police, medics and fire brigade involved – all for a prank.”
If your stag do is abroad, you could be in even deeper doo-doo. Different countries have different views on public nudity and most are unlikely to have much sympathy for a blitzed Brit.
So, how can you avoid a chilly walk of shame in a paper suit? Follow our four-point plan and you should be fine.
Cut and run
It’s the end of the night. You’re being led toward the town square / seafront / ferry port / the centre of a roundabout on the A22. Alarm bells are ringing. So, for goodness’ sake, cut your losses and run. If you can spot the signs, act on them – and quickly. If you’re really worried then a quick getaway in a pre-booked cab could even be in order.
Employ a mole
Tell a trusted member of the stag party that under no circumstances do you want to end the night with your little fella swinging in the wind. A sympathetic voice among the mob could be an invaluable resource. In the event that the prank goes ahead anyway, have a mole on the inside – an accomplice who’ll return to the scene in 30 minutes and free you.
Before you set off for the night, write the number of a local emergency locksmith on your arm in indelible marker. Your mates will probably have taken your mobile with them, but there’s a chance you could ask a kindly passer-by to dial the number and hand you theirs (it’s not like you can run off it).
Another extreme measure, but if you’re sure that the worst is going to happen to you, consider applying a thin veneer of Vaseline all over the body. It’ll help to keep you warm and maybe even assist in giving your stags the slip – literally. Then again, the thought of finding a pre-Vaselined naked man tied to railings might be seen as an invitation not to pass up for some, so best forget this one.
Take it in good humour
If it happens to you, it’s going to be deeply, deeply embarrassing, especially because there’s bound to be some, erm, shrinkage, from the cold. But just remember that every passer-by or policeman knows exactly what has happened and probably sympathises deeply. And with all that time on your own, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to think of how you’re going to get your revenge…
Part 5: An unwanted stripper encounter
It probably won’t make you popular with your mates, but there are loads of valid reasons why you might not want a stripper at your stag do. Maybe you’re a vociferous feminist. Maybe your wife-to-be wouldn’t like it. Or perhaps you just don’t want to be covered in whipped cream, smothered in 36G breasts and whipped raw in front of old schoolfriends, your boss and your future father-in-law.
As with much of our stag survival advice, the best way to ensure against strippergeddon is to have a quiet word with the best man while the stag night is still in the planning stages. It’s the best man who’ll be booking the stripper and, therefore, get to call the shots.
According to Dave Carmen of Essex-based strippergram agency Limelight, clients are more than welcome to make special requests and set limits at the point of booking.
Pick the right stripper
Dave reckons there are two types of stripper. There are good strippers, who are there to ensure a fun time is had by all, and evil strippers, whose sole intention is to humiliate the groom. A good stripper, says Dave, will put the groom at ease. “Lots of the girls will have a word in the groom’s ear before they start – they’ll tell them to relax and go along with it and everything will be fine. They’re professionals and they respond to the way the groom behaves, so they’ll know whether or not you’re comfortable with the set-up.”
But what to do if you’re faced with an ‘evil’ stripper? Simple: pass the buck. If you’re really not comfortable with being involved in a stripper’s domination fantasy, simply defer it to the best man, or any other willing member of the stag party. Let’s face it, there’s likely to be at least one. “You’ll find that the person who’s paying for it is the one who expects more,” says Dave. “And generally, the best man will be more than happy to step in.”
Just say no
If you’re not able to shirk the task and find yourself cajoled onto the stage, don’t be afraid to be assertive. Saying ‘no’ if the show goes too far may make you feel like a spoilsport, but that one-syllable word might ensure you go home with your trousers (and dignity) intact. Even the most outrageous stripper won’t want to be held up for human rights abuses.
Dad’s the word
One way of ensuring a more PG-rated show is to take a mixed group along, including the older generation. The strippers respond to the mood of the group, says Dave, so a genial party of varying ages in the back room will get a different experience to a baying crowd in a rugby club. If all else fails, you can, of course, do a runner.
“We had one instance where the groom bolted as soon as the girl arrived,” says Dave. “Straight out the back door and never seen again.” A case of extreme USE management if ever we heard of one.
Finally, don’t forget you’re free to tell us about all the gory details – we can change names.