Well, that was a weekend and a half!
My very good friend Jay Crowder has finally come to his senses and is going to Marry my other uber gorgeous and very wonderful friend (and his Fiancé), Alison Coombe. From the moment he punched way, way above his weight and asked her, and she really lowered her standards and said yes, Jay was set on a collision course with his Stag weekend.
Our destination was Oxford, we would be there from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, and right from the start, the epic scale of the weekend was evident. There were 10 of us in total - Jay (The Stag), David (Jay's Dad and Best Man and Stag Weekend organiser - big respect), myself (Tall, handsome and funny), Dan (Jay's friend from work), Patrick (a friend from Sturminster), Justin (a friend of ours from Wincanton), Marky B (a top bloke from Bristol), James (Jay's Brother-in-law), Brendan (James's Brother), and Mike (James's friend). Although most of us knew each other, there were some of us meeting for the first time - but it great mix of people and we all got on really well.
We were travelling to Oxford from various different places; James, Brendan and Mike travelled down from Birmingham, Marky B and Justin travelled from Bristol and Wincanton respectively, Jay and Dan travelled straight from work near Poole, and David, Pat and myself drove from Sturminster.
We (the Sturmunster 3) arrived at the Hotel at about 2:30, and while we waited for the rest of the group to arrive, we had a beer. However I publicly stated that I wasn't going to go mad on the first night, as I didn't want to miss the activities on the Saturday.
Remember that bit: it's important.
Gradually people arrived, and each person was greeted in proper manly fashion with either a man hug, a firm handshake, a punch in the face, or a swift kick in the flotillas. By about 4pm we were all there, with the exception of Justin who wasn't able to get time off work so would arrive later.
The plan for the Friday night was a simple one: go out for a curry, and a round of pub golf. It was to be a nice, enjoyable evening a good way to ease ourselves into this Stag weekend.
Before I go on, what do you think of, when you hear Oxford spoken about? You think about the seat of learning, the famous University, all those young intelligent minds, and would rightly assume that Oxford is a pretty switched on place, right?
Well, apparently not. They definitely have not grasped the concept of irony. Jay was given a T-shirt to wear which on the back said "The Stag", and on the front said "I love Cambridge". Which is funny because it's ironic, given our surroundings. And yet the number of people that asked Jay why he was wearing that T-shirt when he was in Oxford, was amazing. If this is the future of our country, we're in big trouble kids!
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with pub golf, here is a very simple breakdown:
It's all too much - I can't take it anymore.
Sorry, that was a joke (tell your face).
Pub golf is a follows:
In pub golf, a hole (as in the hole on a golf course) is represented by a drink. Different drinks (holes) are different pars. Par is the number of times you can raise that drink to your lips and drink from it. We chose to play 9 holes so each of us had a card with 9 drinks on it (the same drinks on each card). You can play 18 holes, but it takes much longer.
So as an example, a pint of beer was a Par 5, meaning you had to try and drink the whole pint in 5 attempts - OR LESS. If you did it in less, you were under Par, if you took more than 5 you were over Par. Understand? Good.
We each got a score card with the drinks listed on it: White Wine (Par 3), Shot (Par 1) etc. etc. and we went over the rules (drop shots for spillage, or vomiting during a hole - that kind of stuff). We were in the Indian restaurant, and decided to start there.
You remember how earlier in the day I had made a definitive statement that I would be taking it easy that evening?
We all ordered a pint of lager (Kingfisher I believe - other beers are available), and we started playing. James I think finished his pint in 3 goes, so he was 2 under Par. Other people were drinking too, but there was no early leader. Until of course, I picked up my pint, said "Fore!" (you have to - its in the rules) and downed it in one go. I got massive respect from the other players as I stormed into the lead. I felt great - so I ordered another pint, said "Fore!", and downed that in one go also. I was eight under Par after two holes, and was a clear favourite - but to be sure, I ordered a white wine, and downed that in one, just to strengthen my position.
Now the rest of the evening is a little hazy. I know we left the Indian Restaurant and went on to another Pub where Mike and I talked to a young lady from the Czech Republic, and try to explain the concept of banter to her and her friend. I know that at this Pub, Dan spent hours talking to a Czech guy called Nick, I think? (Nick? Norman? Greg maybe.....I can't remember).
I also remember going on to another small Bar type place and having a cocktail with David called a Chi-Chi, which was very nice - even though it had coconut in it (which I don't like). And I definitely remember sitting outside said bar on the pavement, with my head in my hands, and vomiting violently onto my shoes.
Soon it was time to go (you think?). We eventually got a cab back to the hotel - I say eventually, because three times a cab pulled up, we started talking to the driver and then it drove off without us. It's possible that the sight of me in my 'Vomit Clogs' may have been a deterrent.
I think I was in the Taxi with Justin, Pat, and Marky B. I'm not sure but I know that Justin (poor, poor Justin) was there because he helped me up to my room where I promptly vomited on the threshold, and then inside the room as I stumbled vomiting to the toilet. And he left me there while he tried his best to clear up my vomit.
And that is only the second time I've met the guy. What a hero he is. If Jacinda (Justin's girlfriend) is reading this, you have a wonderful man there, and I don't deserve him.
Somehow, I got undressed (Justin had left by now), and I got into bed and passed out.