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David Miller Online: Planning That Ideal Night

A couple of months ago I was invited to a friends 21st birthday party, which was a huge success. It was not that he finished the yard glass after throwing up twice, but I have known this chap for a few years now and regard him as one of my closest friends and it was great to see his big night go so well. It is not often I get invited to 21st’s these days, especially as it was almost a decade ago that my friends and I faced up to the yard glass and it made a nice change, as it is mostly weddings and engagement parties that I attend these days. I guess it’s a sign of changing times and getting older, but then I cannot complain too much. After all if you are invited to the wedding there is a good chance you will be there for the stag night.

Last weekend I was asked by a female friend, about some of the stag nights I had been on. Like me she found it reassuring that even in an age when political correctness has infected almost every facet of life and one is surrounded by Sensitive New Age Guys, the good old stag and hen’s night lives on. For both men and women it represents the final time that a group of mates can celebrate the end of singleton for a comrade and even if you do not actually like the person, it is a great excuse for a pub-crawl. However these events need to be well planned before they can be well executed as my flatmate demonstrated when he stood as best man for a friend last year.

An ideal stag night for me would actually involve about 4 or 5 of them and take place in Surfers Paradise. If the budget will not stretch to that, and let us be honest it won’t, then there is always the “load the car with beer and head to the cricket” option. If you find this rather vulgar and distasteful then you could simply get everyone down to the golf course or indoor go-karting track and before you head off around the city’s bars.

My suggestion to anyone tasked with planning a stag night or bachelor party is get the order of events worked out and stick to it. This was the reason the night my flatmate organised worked so well and it would have gone even better had the bridal party not gotten home later than us. My flatmate worked on the plan for the entire week leading up to the big night and he and I even poured over a map of Christchurch for hours planning a circular route through the central city that took in every dodgy and sleazy bar in Christchurch, the casino and a good strip joint.

The theme for this event was James Bond and every sequence had a title that related to 007. The first of these was You Only Live Twice. This involved the stag party turning up at a paintball range at 2pm, dressing up in camouflage clothing and heading of into the bush for some combat. This was most enjoyable and every wannabe Rambo who played had a great time except for an old school pal of mine who took a round in the balls. It was also worthwhile as it provided for plenty of stories of courage under fire and missions behind enemy lines to tell some poor girl later on at the pub after several rounds of beer. That phase kicked off after the war games and my advice here is start slowly. I had been to one stag night shortly before this where the first order of business was drinking games and a competition where the aim was to see who could buy the groom-to-be the most potent drink. Needless to say we were all home by 10pm and the groom still cannot remember a thing.

After the preliminary drinks, the swapping of war stories, determining who shot whom and comparing bruises, it was time for Casino Royale. This was well worth the effort as the drink prices at the Christchurch Casino are among the most reasonable in town. Those of us who wanted to chat could do so while some tried their luck on the poker machines and the rest did really badly at the Roulette table. By the time we all headed down the marble staircase and into the warm Christchurch air the wheels where well oiled and everyone was in good stead heading into the nightclub phase.

This was a tricky phase of the operation as it is difficult to keep everyone together and finding a bar that everyone can agree on. The most common thing to do here is visit them all, although this gets expensive and can lead to trouble, as our South African guest discovered. We found him asleep in an alley. The other problem you face is that you always get the minority who want to head straight to the strip club when it is only one in the morning. Big mistake. Again I have been on a night out when this has happened and it soon gets very boring. My flatmate scheduled the “007 Meets Pussy Galore” part well into the night and it was past four o’clock by the time we arrived all ready for one last drink and waving our fake dollar bills around. The groom was well behaved, no one got thrown out and we where in bed as the sun came up. Little did we know the girls were still partying like 18 year olds. And when asked did he go to the strip club by his fiancé, the South African for some reason panicked and said “no”. It just goes to show that even the best laid plans don’t always come off.

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