Every Stag Weekend is different from the last. Each one brings its own unique sense of anticipation and expectation -sometimes mixed with a touch of dread, depending on the circumstances -as you burn the dates and location into your mind, thinking of little else as the time draws closer.
At the same time, there are common threads that run through many of them, and – depending on the friends, relatives and work colleagues that form part of each Stag’s guest-list – familiar moments or feelings that occur at various points of each trip.
There are also certain character types that pop-up on more than one Stag Do, and we thought we’d present a few of them to you here to help fire up a few memories and get you thinking about how many of these you will encounter on your next Stag trip…
No-one likes being pigeon-holed, but all of us have been at least one of these characters,at some point, to others in the same group. Who do you recognise, and who do you think you might have been taken for in various chapters of your Stag Weekend travels?
Firstly, there’s The Jekyll and Hyde Guy. He’s the one who starts off polite and mild-mannered. He sips his first pint more slowly than anyone else and spends most of the first few hours talking about his job and his kids. Seven hours, ten bars and one lap club later, and he’s turned into a cross between Jack Sparrow and George Best. His drinking pace is way ahead of everyone else’s, his voice and face have changed beyond recognition, and he is determined not to go to bed. Ever again.
Then, there’s The Only-Knows-The-Stag Guy. You think you’ve caught his name early on, but it escapes you throughout the weekend, and you don’t quite remember how the Stag knows him, but they seem to know each other well, so that’s good enough for you after a few pints.
The Guilty Married Guy takes various forms. Verbally apologetic to his wife from the outset, it can almost feel like she is an extra guest on the Stag Weekend, until his apologies become inaudible as the evening gets later and the alcohol is flying around, to the point where his profound guilt is simply written all over his face as he slopes off for a private lap dance with the look of a man who has just accidentally ran over a sackful of kittens.
Contrarily, The Mucky Married Guy – a very occasional but recognisable Stag Weekend attendant – has no such qualms, and delights in telling all and sundry how ecstatic he is to be away from his partner, using most of the first night to try and pull everyone from the tour guide to the older lady in the cigarette kiosk, and almost always disappearing very late to pastures unknown before a sly return to the hotel just before breakfast, where his continued lack of decorum puts one or two off their sausages and eggs.
One of the most lovable members of any Stag Weekend, The Young Wide-Eyed Guy On His First Stagis welcomed like a team mascot. This is the guy who makes everyone feel a bit paternal, and more experienced than they are, mainly because of the fact he looks about 14.
The Crashes And Burns On His First Night Guy is an evergreen Stag favourite. We all see it coming, and marvel at the fact he clearly doesn’t, so engrossed is he in making the absolute most of every second, from the moment he gets to the airport bar and orders two drinks for himself “to save time” to his insistence on not eating when the rest of you fancy a bite because “eating’s cheating!” At least half the group will remind him of that line at some point the following day when his ghostly white face and pained expression briefly graces the breakfast table or activity transfer coach before his insides force him to abandon all immediate plans. The next time you see him is in the check-in queue for the flight home, and he still looks like death warmed up.
The Accident-Prone Guy is unable to exit a bar or restaurant with spilling or smashing, tripping or mistakenly starting a brawl. It has nothing to do with drunkenness, and everything to do with luck, of which he seems in short supply throughout the weekend. This is the member of the Stag party who will try the odd local phrase, but at the wrong time, with the wrong intonation, to the wrong person. It may be that he is not an unlucky or accident-prone person in real life, but to the endless amusement of everyone in the group, he is the very embodiment of Frank Spencer on this trip.
The Still Thinks He’s Young Guy is an interesting phenomenon. This is a character who used to be considered as a bit of a party animal back in the day, the day for which being some 20 years back, a fact he seems to have forgotten or put into permanent denial for the duration of the Stag Weekend. Sometimes, this guy really does rise to old adrenaline levels to meet his old expectations on how much he can consume and how little sleep he can get away with. Most of the time, however, this guy – easily crossed over at times with The Crashes And Burns On His First Night Guy if he’s not careful (which he isn’t) –puts 99% of his battery energy into that first day and night, taking most of the rest of the weekend to recover enough to speak cohesively, let alone take it up a notch.
Other identifiable characters who may frequent your Stag guest-list at various junctures include The Tits Guy, who seems on the verge of obsession when it comes to ogling the female form throughout the trip; The Nothing But Booze Guy, whose capacity for alcohol makes Lee Marvin look like Ned Flanders; The Nothing But Food Guy, who has to have something stuffed into his mouth at every waking moment and NEVER misses breakfast; The Never Off His Phone Guy, who occasionally gets booed by the group as the pleas to “put it away!” become louder until everyone realises it is a forlorn hope and leaves him to get on with it; The Round-Avoidance Guy, who manages to spend the entire weekend just not quite being there when it’s his turn to buy the drinks, and who employs every trick in the book – from finding something apparently fascinating to look at in the pub window as everyone else files inside, to suddenly feeling the need to dance to something he would normally profess to hating in a club – to keep his moth-infested wallet from being opened; The Knows-The-Stag-Better-Than-Anyone Guy, who doesn’t miss any opportunity to tell all and sundry that he remembers going drinking with the Stag when they were both still a foetus; The Could’ve-Booked-It-All-Cheaper-If-I’d-Organised-It Guy, who is always the last one to organise anything but the first to tell you that whoever did paid over the odds for it; The Sleeping-In-A-Club Guy, who is capable of nodding off in the noisiest part of the noisiest nightclub you go to; The Ladies Man Guy, who simply has the magic touch with women and always did as far back as anyone can remember; The Hangs-Round-The-Ladies-Guy-Hoping-To-Catch-Whatever-Falls Guy, whose nocturnal tactics speak for themselves; and The Convenient-Amnesia Guy, who inaccurately summarises the events of the weekend to show himself in a far more positive or party-minded light than was actually the case.
If you don’t recognise yourself as any of those, your mates probably will, and doubtless there are scores of others we could add to the list. The only character who truly matters is the Stag, of course, and whatever combination of individuals it takes to make him view the weekend as a spectacular success is the perfect one for that weekend.
We can all drink to that!