Ollie's Modern Life

This issue, Ollie Peart laments the state of modern masculinity, as embodied by the orgy of awkward, mandatory indulgence that is the typical stag party
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Prague. Capital of Czechia. A smorgasbord of historical artefacts; Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter; sliced through the middle by the stunning Vltava river. History oozes from every alleyway and every building. The centre is of such historical importance, it has been designated a world heritage site by UNESCO.

To walk through it is a spectacle. The cobbles massage your feet as your wander the streets, your neck aching with all the looking up at towering architecture that baffles your mind as to how it was created. It’s a marvel, a wonder, a stunning place to visit. Except for one thing.

Stag parties.

I’ve been on a few stags in my time, and have even planned one: my brothers. My idea for a weekend in Wales jumping from cliffs and drinking some tasty beer was quashed in favour of titty bars and guns in Riga. It was as if having a fanny waved in our face and firing pump action shotguns somehow affirmed our masculinity. As if life couldn’t move on without this utterly pointless rite of passage. Nonsense, of course.

If you want to witness this car crash of a social phenomenon unfold, there’s no better place to visit than Prague. Its stunning backdrop serves as the perfect contrast to blowjob imitation on a toy polar bear, in front of kids (I actually saw that); uncontrollable bouts of “Whey!!!!” “Oi” and “You CU*T” bellowed from the lungs of sozzled twats, and shit dressing up.

The cheap but exceptional beer Prague has to offer inebriates these numbskulls into a state of swagger, a choreographed walk where the shoulders punch their way through the thick city air, their faces screwed up, chests pumped, ready to fuck or fuck up anything that gets in their way.

It’s embarrassing. Not just as a Brit, because a lot of them are British, but as a man. Stag parties used to be a drunken night in the local and getting tied to a lamp post in the nud; the only offence caused, mild titillation of a Grandma on her way to buy the Daily Mail in the morning. Somehow though it’s turned into a monumental twat-fest, fuelled by the expectation that your stag-do has to be the biggest, the best.

The result is an average price per head of £235 for a stag party abroad, according to stagweb.co.uk, and that’s not including drinks. But to rebut and question the logic of these hellish events, in the testosterone-fuelled pissy urinal that is a stag do, brands you a “pussy” or “poof”. I hate to use such profanities, and I love a swear, but there are genuine questions to be asked when a group of men are walking through a UNESCO world heritage site screaming homophobic nonsense.

I have nothing against stag dos in the sense of a bunch of mates getting together to celebrate what is a momentous occasion. Of course, that should be a celebration of an individual who, it turns out, is nice enough that someone else actually wants to be with them long term. Well done.

But the congregation that gathers in this pre-wed jaunt conform to some weird stereotype that they’ve subconsciously absorbed somewhere, I literally have no idea where. A prime example of this in action is the dads. Dads are now invited to stag-dos, I guess because the idea of watching someone else’s dad go red in the face while a woman 40 years his junior grinds herself on this wrinkly, shrivelled crotch is somehow amusing.

Watch them carefully if you see one. They will slip into a type of behaviour that is synonymous with stag-dos. It’s more obvious and cringey when they do it because it doesn’t fit. Watching a semi-hench vest-wearing bellend with cloned tattoos plastered over his arm dressed as a giraffe pretending to suck of a cucumber, kind of fits. You expect him to be a twat, because he is one. But the dads, not so much. What are you doing? Shouting “Oi Oi Oi” with your swollen, sunburnt head just doesn’t seem right wearing a Weird Fish t-shirt.

To all you men, especially those who are the ‘best’: Think twice before clicking through the ‘top destinations for a stag party’ and allowing your itinerary to descend into overt offence in a very public and beautiful place. If you want to get fucked up and yell homophobic profanity, find a wood somewhere or a large field with nobody around for 15 miles. Watching you parade yourself in front of families on holiday as if you’re some God’s living turd is horrible.

Stags are majestic animals. Their iconic shape familiar on the horizon of the Scottish highlands. Some of them are hunted, their beauty so revered that it makes sense to blast a bullet through their heart, cut their head off and stick it on the wall. Stag dos are the antithesis of this, sucking beauty out of otherwise beautiful surroundings. They should be renamed, virus-dos, a toxic, parasitic smear that latches onto its host like a cold. Every “Whey”. “Oi” and “Cu*t”, an audible sneeze, to remind us all that this place is sick.

It’s time to get rid of the cold.  

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