For those with a nervous disposition or reluctance to hear a story of drunken antics on a stag do please stop reading now. For all you others please carry on….
Maybe if I’d have followed the advice of Kate Bush and been “running up that hill” I may as she suggests in the song have had “no problems” not ended up instead in the Accident and Emergency Department of Lincoln Infirmary: But I didn’t and thus I did.
It was all Brian’s fault..well he did decide to get married and thus of course there had therefore to be a ‘stag night’.
Picture the scene…
A balmy summers evening in Lincoln (East of England) not Connecticut. I am accompanied by four other men and we are making our way into the city (two of our group of protagonists didn’t seem to feature much in the nights proceedings as were infinitely more sensible or less drunk or less fun – so they remain anonymous in this post). This 2 mile meander into the city was not very easy as we have already been drinking at Brian’s house for about seven hours – basically since I turned up to fulfil my best man duties as host of Stag 2 (that’s Stag Night part 2 -we’d had an even bigger version the week before – this night was for just a select few).
Funny how despite the immense amount of alcohol consumed I can still remember most everything of what went on that night – I can laugh now but at the time…
At 6:00pm we hit the first pub – more or less literally as we were weaving somewhat – and I ordered the first round of the night – 5 bottles of assorted Belgian Fruit Beer (see even then I tried to have my five-a-day) – from memory I first ended up with Cherry which wasn’t exactly pleasant especially as we were also eating salt and vinegar crisps in a vain attempt to soak up some of the previously imbibed alcohol.
After several rounds of different flavours – trust me when I say Banana wasn’t my favourite either we moved on to another pub – at least I think it was us that decided to move on although as we were probably getting a bit lary by then may have been politely asked to leave.
It was still only seven o’clock and the tourists were still milling around. The first pub was just near the Cathedral opposite the Castle at the top of Steep Hill and so some very drunken blokes were probably spoiling some tourist’s trip of a lifetime (sorry !).
This new sport of appearing in as many tourist photos as possible became boring after a while so we decided, as was our original mission, to move to the next pub. All I remember from this one is that they wouldn’t serve quad shots of vodka – I had a cunning plan though so just ordered ten doubles (yes drunks can still do math !). This was followed by sambuca (lit of course) – I knew you were supposed to let it go out first but we all agreed it was a waste of good alcohol ! Is this where the term ‘Hot Toddy’ comes from?
So the newly formed Lincoln Fire Eating Troop moved on – I think we were the inspiration for Jackass – maybe I should sue. We played the ‘get to the next pub without touching the floor’ game – lots of Olde Worlde shops and houses with sticky out bits of window ledge and door furniture aided this process somewhat as did the traffic calming bollards spanning the road – Tarzan eat your heart out.
We now had quite a following with at least several young ladies in tow – don’t know whether it was our personalities or the fact we were semi-obliviously buying drinks for them that attracted them the most – it certainly wasn’t our conversation which had now I can only assume had got completely incoherent to anyone not as drunk as we were -amazing though how drunks can understand each other perfectly.
Lots more drinking games in the next pub – heard of the game ‘Bunnies’? By now we were so drunk anything suggested no matter how bizarre wasn’t seen as a challenge more of an obstacle stopping the next drink. I was ‘obstacled’ to swap certain items of clothing with one of the women in the middle of a pub and do remember ending up with her bra although it was attached rather than worn – I wasn’t co-ordinated enough with the clips. Because there was five of us (3 idiots and two sensibles), Andy had to eat 5 whole lemons-skin and all and Brian (the groom) had to go ‘trawling’, going round the pub pouring left over’s of drinks into a pint glass and then downing it in one – everything from Lager/Bitter to Pernod and Blackcurrant ended up in the same glass – if it tasted how it looked I don’t think as drunk as I was I could have kept it down -Respect to the man.
Lots more stupid things happened but the night was brought to a swift conclusion (for me anyway) by the next wonderful challenge. Steep Hill is the hill that leads down from the Castle towards the River. As it suggests it is steep – not just a small decline more of a vertical face (the photo above does not do it justice at all). Not only that but as you see it is cobbled so nearly impossible to navigate without holding onto the railings during normal perambulatory activity never mind after effective self-induced alcohol poisoning.
Someone – I later blamed Brian, he blamed Andy but whoever it was suggested we have a race to the next pub about 1/4 mile down the hill.
This started off at a swift walking pace but the competiveness in us all led us to start to jog (well fast wobble at any rate) – then it turned into a run and then a full blown sprint to the finish line. Surprisingly seeing we seemed to only just be able to walk I actually think we did really well as we managed over 100 yards before either gravity took hold and finally counteracted against our almost gyroscopic movements or our natural running talent ran out (or most likely a combination) and we collided – I think it was the bend in the road that got us.
This tumbleweed of blokes rolled down the hill for about another 20 yards or so before coming to rest outside a nice pavement restaurant. To the astonishment of the restaurant patrons who had witnessed the carnage we seemed ok. Brian had a cut on his nose, Andy had come off completely unscathed if a little dusty and aside from a bra now round my neck so did I – or so I thought until I used my left arm to lever myself off the floor.
I can’t remember actually passing out but I did swear – quite a bit. Needless to say the others were very sympathetic and just took the mickey. As drinking friends do they then walked off (even the sensible ones who must have been less sensible than I first thought) leaving me alone outside the restaurant and continued to the pub. Some kind soul who had seen the event called for a taxi for me and suggested I made my way to the local A&E.
Due to the fact I had had so much to drink they couldn’t give me painkillers (they probably could have but I guess A&E is bad enough without drunks (even rapidly sobering up ones) cluttering up the place so I was taught a health lesson) – I still can’t believe I could recognise pain after all the alcohol so it must have really, really hurt. I was x-rayed and it was established I’d smashed up my arm and in particular my elbow quite badly. They wouldn’t fully set it (the elbow) as it would potentially prevent movement in the future (I was informed they didn’t think it was badly broken !!) so was just given a sling and told to report back to out-patients for re-assessment some time later in the week once the swelling had gone down.
I somehow managed to get back to Brian’s house and go to sleep only to be woken up some hours later by him grabbing my arm shaking it saying it was him that traditionally would be wrapped up or bound with bandages. It took all my willpower to prevent me from using my good arm to thump him but as he was still drunk and didn’t seem to realise what day it was it would have been futile anyway.
Next day – my arm was black and blue from the bicep to my wrist – and hurt like hell.
In normal circumstances I would have just taken some time off work and pulled a sicky for a few days but was actually starting a new job on the Monday (it was now Sunday morning) and had to drive to London to meet up with the other new starters in a hotel in Shepperton. I had to drive all the way to London (150 miles -ish) in a manual gearbox car despite several sets of traffic lights and roundabouts on the way I think I only changed gear twice as I couldn’t use my left arm due to the pain – poor clutch !
Because of the induction week I never made it back to out-patients. I don’t think them seeing it would have made much difference but now I always know when the weather is turning wet or damp as I can always sense it in my elbow – I’m like a human dousing rod.
So to conclude, the moral of the story is…..well there isn’t a moral as such just a lesson to be learnt (or is that the same thing?)… Please never get me drunk and challenge me to a race – either in isolation is fine but the combination proves that women are probably right about men and me in particular…I can’t multitask.