I've been on more stags than I've had hot dinners, serious relationships or watched repeated episodes of friends. In that time I've also been involved in organising quite a few. These days it's almost quite an enjoyable experience as I have learnt to let things go over my head instead of having a breakdown in a post office because a booze cruise I've booked for twenty men has now gone out of business. My intention over the next few months on this blog is to guide you lovely best men through the agonising process of organising your first stag. There will be laughter, there will be tears and ultimately there will be two am phone calls to the brides brother in law who has decided that 'Prague' actually isn't his cup of tea, forty eight hours after you have paid a deposit for him. I know, I know, I've been there brother. It's time to take a deep breath, pour yourself a nice drop of mid strength lager and allow me to guide you through the roadblocks that you may stumble across on the first part of your journey to stag nirvana.
1: THE PEOPLE WHO NEVER EMAIL BACK
I'ts highly likely you have been handed a list of men who your friend would like to attend his stag. This list will encompass people he drinks with on a weekly basis, people he hasn't seen for fifteen years, his fiance's uncle, who loves a drink and an assortment of current work mates, five a side footballers and perhaps a cage fighter from Norwich who will kick off on the first night and never be see again. Regardless of these peoples occupations or family situations, you'd have thought they would be able to reply to an email within three months wouldn't you? Yeah so would I. What tends to happen is that you will spend half of your lunch break trying to get hold of someone you've never met called Barry as you need to know whether he would like to go paint balling with you in Tottness. It's important to set deadlines early and make sure that all the emails you are given for people are up to date. If they still choose not to reply then it's goodnight Vienna or Dublin or wherever else you are proposing on going. I don't care if they have seven kids and another on the way, are the CEO of Morgan Stanley or live in a cave in Peru. Everybody has email these days. EVERYBODY.
2: THE LOCATION SUGGESTERS
The only people that should have any discussion regarding the location of the stags should be the best men. Once it has been agreed on, that's what's happening. However you are now about to be besieged by all manner of suggestions as to what would be a better location. I used to smile and acknowledge these before politely explaining that the decision had been made. Now, almost ten years into my stag organising career I am more to the point.
"Oh you've been to Norwhich have you mate? Liked it there did you? Learnt how to paddle board and then have a lovely stone oven baked pizza? Smashing. Personally mate, I don't care if your niece had her eyes picked out by herons, we're going to Barcelona.
3: GETTING OVERWHELMED WITH THE TASK AHEAD OF YOU
Look, there's no denying that you will have some stressful moments sorting out this stag but always remember what it is you're doing. It's not life altering surgery, you're not sending a load of men over the top in 1943. It's a stag weekend and people need to remember that. You're real life will always take priority over trying to design a tshirt saying "Bills Last Stand Tenerife", if you can't get everything done in time you can't get everything done.
Now, drain that beer and go and watch some Netflix. We've got a hard few months ahead of us gentlemen.