Acquire beer. Beer, for those of you who don’t know, is an ancient and powerful concoction developed in the lush jungles of the Orient long before recorded time. The mystical herbs and potent elixirs contained within allow the mind to progress to a transcendental state known as ‘being a bit tipsy’. This stage of near-nirvana will clear your thoughts and steel the intellect for the task ahead. Drink the beer.
If you’re trying to organise the last night of a man’s freedom in now about 57 minutes then somewhere something has gone terribly wrong. Admitting the problem is the only way forward. You clearly should never have been chosen for this task if you’ve left it this late. Do not allow yourself to become paralysed by this thought. Drink some more beer. Pull yourself together and say to yourself ‘I am a man, a man of vision, and I will now rescue this utter trainwreck and turn it into a fine send-off for my brother/close friend/some guy who asked me to do their stag night’. Admit to yourself that this will not go down in the history of epic stag nights except for the fact that it was organised so quickly. You’re working with what you’ve got here.
DO NOT CALL A STRIPPER. At least, not yet. Instead, call everyone who you know likes the groom and put them on high alert. If they live far away tell them to get moving immediately. You’ll have time to think of what to do while they’re on the way. Do not tell them that you have no idea what you’re doing. Now put the phone down and instead think. Hard. While drinking the beer. What is your friend/brother/random stranger like? What do you know about them? What do they like doing? While a stripper may seem like a useful one-size-fits-all start point, there are some who may not actually want to have their home invaded by a be-glittered professional. Is this guy that kind of person? If they are, go straight to step four.
This is the hard part. One way or another you’ve crossed the stag night default off the list. Now you need something else to fill the remainder of the night.
For the quieter type, finding somewhere especially devoted to their preferred type of alcohol can be an excellent way to lubricate a night sufficiently without resorting to aggressive shot-drinking. Wine/Whiskey/Cigar/Champagne/Cocktail (if you must) Bars of a decent calibre are your friend here, serving a decent quality of liquor while accommodating the wishes of a groom who would be unhappy chugging shots in a grimy club.
If on the other hand he’s the type who would enjoy the aforementioned clubbing, go with that. Bear in mind that going somewhere new or at least slightly less local will make it look like you’ve put more work into this. Think, man, think! Do you know of any decent places the next town or two over? Can you get there quickly? And better yet, publicly, so everyone can drink? This is true for the bar option as well.
Attempt to organise some sort of special treatment. Ring the club or the bar. Mention you’re on a stag do and usually good things will come your way. If you don’t wish to ring, then mention it upon entry. Frequently this results in drinks and other Good Things being pressed upon you when you arrive.
Now you are out on your stag night, which should be going well at this point. Encourage drinking and conversation among the members of the group. It is up to you to keep a wary eye out for any opportunities that could propel the night into the realms of the legendary. Bachelorette party groups, touts offering good deals at the club down the road, trophies consisting of anything not nailed down, cheap transport allowing the group to wake up somewhere entirely different from where you started, all of these and many more are further garnish that serve as excellent banter afterward. Such opportunities may be elusive, and if not grabbed with both hands, may escape your clutches. Be vigilant. And good luck!
Alex Carden is a freelance writer who has occasionally faked the odd Stag Party for cheap drinks. He feels terrible, and would like to apologise to the good people of Birmingham.