Stag. Stag. Stag. Stag. Stag. Awooo. Awooo. Awooo. Apologies for the excitable start to this answer, but I am just back from a three-day stag in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. It was the second big bachelor party I’ve been on since our little man was born and I can confirm that I did indeed get absolutely, totally, completely, utterly and irresponsibly legless on the first night. It’s not something that I am particularly proud of, but it is something I want to write about for a couple of reasons. First, I want to make every other father who has made a similar mistake feel better about themselves. Second, I want to offer an explanation for our actions (note to all potentially angry partners: that says explanation rather than defence). Are you ready for it? You are. Fan dabi dozi, because here goes.
- We’re out of practice
In the same way that a footballer will only perform at his or her best when he or she is match fit, a stag do attendee will only be able to keep up with the beverage consumption of the rest of the group when he or she is stag fit. So how do you know whether you are stag fit or not? Simple. If, like old me, you arrive with three party shirts, a battle hardened liver and a rested mind, then you are stag fit and ready to perform to the peak of your hedonistic powers. And if, like new me, you arrive with one shoelace, four hours’ sleep and a hazy memory of drinking regularly sometime back in the early noughties, then you are not stag fit and ready to experience one of the worst headaches of your life on the second morning.
- We’re excited
No kid(s). Catching up with the mates you used to see every weekend, but haven’t talked to since DG’s wedding last August. Alcohol. Fancy dress. The opportunity to sick up rather than be sicked up on. Ooooohhhhhh Jeremy Corbyn. Drinking games. Challenges. Shots (of booze, American readers). Busting out the nicknames your wives have long-since banned. Seven consecutive meals that only involve bread, cheese and cold meat. Oh my goodness, someone pass the gin, vodka, beer and cider, because this is the weekend I have been waiting for all my life.
- No matter what happens, we get a lie in
Is six hours of uninterrupted sleep and a hangover the size of Mont Blanc preferable to four hours of interrupted sleep and waking up to feed the baby at 5am? Yes it is. Next question.
- We know we’ll get thrown the baby as soon as we get back*
Forget any ideas of getting home, being asked how your trip was and shepherded towards the couch with a glass of water and a packet of Haribo. If you’ve been away from parenting duties for two nights, then you are getting presented with your little pride and joy the second – and I mean the second – you walk in the door. This means that having a nightmare hangover after night two is a very, very bad idea. And this means that the new dad’s only option is to leave it all out there on night one. Or, you know, drink moderately on both nights. But let’s face it, if you were sensible enough to do that, then you would not have made it anywhere near the bottom of this article.
*note to social services: this is a metaphor.