Stags and Hens


The City of Nottingham where I live has been a constant source of sightings for this curious phenomenon for many years as one might imagine. With a tight and concise city centre with literally hundreds of drinking establishments within staggering distance this will perhaps always be the case.

It wasn’t always so. I’ve never had the misfortune to have been the subject of such a revelry (only the victim) but having experienced my 21st birthday booze up in the city many centuries ago I can tell you it was a pretty lame affair by today’s standards.

Two pubs (Ah the old Flying Horse) and a four-mile walk home with my mates as there was a bus strike on was the story of my wicked abandon that night. Why I was even fit enough to be on the golf course early next morning. The pivotal moment was the ritual offering of a pint glass full of various spirits and a rousing command to drink it all from the assembled thirty-odd friends. I took a few sips and further declined, passing the steaming elixir around and thus living to fight another day.

How things have changed. On any given night around the weekend* in Nottingham City centre (*this perhaps only excludes Mondays and Tuesdays these days) there are the colourful and joyous sights of groups of pink cowboy hats adorning ‘hens’ screeching away from the back of stretch limousines and much more. Nurses and French maids are always a welcome sight of course…

Member of hen party checks her mobile

Two parties took my eye in particular last Friday evening. Not just the tried and trusted ‘Devils Horns’ arrangement this, oh no! Firstly a large group of very young girls in flourescent gear that made them appear reminiscent of a box of liquorice allsorts. Suitably blinded by this light and stalking quickly past the group of lads wearing large red nylon afro wigs, (it’s a gag sure but it’s a one-trick-pony of a gag lads) I ventured further into the market square to see the most astounding sight – a group of mature? male adults dressed up in ‘Sgt. Pepper’ military uniforms. Fringed epaulets and tunics of every pastel shade imaginable stood on guard outside Yates’ Wine Lodge, (presumably to fend off any ‘blue meanies’.)

It was all very impressive in a ridiculous way I had to admit. It was also the reason why I wrote this entry – what on earth goes on these guy’s minds beforehand? “What shall we do three weeks on Friday when we go to town?” “I know – let’s ALL go out dressed in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band uniforms!”

The truth will always be stranger than fiction in my humble opinion.

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