Jeff Maysh breaks the code of silence to reveal the truth about a man’s last night of freedom.
The trouble all starts with The Rules. “No photos, no tweeting, no phone calls home,” the best man slurs, as his frothy pint of beer splashes onto the floor. “Tonight, eating’s cheating, and anyone who breaks The Rules gets a fine!”
The Rules are why all men secretly dread stags’ nights, and why women suspect terrible things occur during these messy parties. But I’m going to reveal what really happens when the stags hit the town.
Some recent war stories: I’ve bailed one stag out of jail, when he was arrested after passing out cold on a roundabout wearing only a G-string. I’ve watched a guy desperately wash his penis in a nightclub sink after being unfaithful with a stripper wearing red lipstick. And, while my girlfriend thought I was paintballing and driving tanks, I’ve been dragged to seedy lap-dancing clubs. But here’s the real secret: most of us just want to stay out of trouble on these ‘last nights of freedom’.
The usual suspects
On every stags’ night, the cast is always the same. The Stag just gets hammered and falls over. The Best Man hands out horrible drinking fines, like sucking beer through his sock. There’s The Renegade, who wants to score drugs or derail plans by going on a ‘mission’. And then there’s The Wild Card: always the groom’s distant cousin (or Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover). The last stags’ night I went on, a weekend away, The Wild Card arrived with no luggage – just a plastic bag with a bottle of tequila, a slingshot and a cowboy hat. It’s The Wild Card that really gives blokes a bad name.
There can be a much darker side to these bachelor nights.
In March this year, a man pleaded guilty to manslaughter after the death of his best mate during a stag do in Australia in 2009. The court heard they injected each other with heroin in what the judge said was a “misplaced sense of loyalty and mateship”. You see, some men feel inclined to do things they wouldn’t normally do and peer pressure makes us do it.
Rules of the ruse
I was ‘fined’ on a stag night and had to return to the group with a woman’s bra. I convinced a girl on a hens’ night to part with hers, with a promise I’d return it the next day. Swapping numbers with her, I realised I now had something to hide from my girlfriend. Yet secretly, this is what stags’ nights are all about – to make other halves think we’re up to stuff, when we’re not.
“The reason The Rules say you’re not allowed to take photos is that stags’ nights are often boring,” a mate confessed. “There are no tigers or police chases, just slaughtered guys in fancy dress who can’t decide which pub to go to next.” Stuff like ‘fines’, borrowing of bras, the radio silence and the big talk of going to brothels (that we never actually go to) are all just a ruse to make you girls think we’re dangerous and up to no good. Deep down, we are all just terrified that the real naughty stuff happens on girls’ nights.
The best stag do I ever went to? The best man thought it would be a laugh to organise a spa weekend, complete with manicures, facials and pink fluffy bathrobes. “Thank God we’re not going to a strip club,” said the groom, with cucumber slices over his eyes. “Promise, not a word of this to the girls.”