Hamill’s Beat - ‘Stagflation’ takes on a whole new meaning

editorial image

Don’t you think stag and hen parties are a bit overdone these days? People didn’t bother with them in my day. Now an English company has come up with a new idea for stag do’s.

Fair enough, young men about to get married often got what was called, “a doin’”. In country areas the future groom was stripped, covered in flour, tied to a trailer and driven around in a cavalcade of horn-blaring cars. The urban equivalent involved the victim being tied to a lamppost. It all seemed too cruel to be ‘fun’.

Then, at some stage, expectations moved on. ‘Stagflation’ used to describe inflation accompanied by low growth and high unemployment. Now it could be applied to stag parties. People wanted more fun and that led to stag do inflation. Driving a naked man around on a trailer or tying him to a lampost was boring. You had to get him drunk first and entertain him with a stripper before tying him to the lamppost. Then the girls began to copy the lads or even take things a stage further. They had to get drunk and call in a male stripper willing to engage in a certain degree of audience participation.

Now even that must be considered dull. An English company is offering stags and hens a riotous time. Thrill-seekers can experience all the “noise, fire, smoke and fear” of a riot.

“Learn the basics of riot control as a copper – then swap over at half time,” says the firm’s website.

There you go! We could have given the party-goers the authentic experience! That was my first thought. We could have held the UK City of Stag Do’s title for about 30 years.

Ah no, sure that’s ridiculous. People would have got hurt and real rioting isn’t fun. There’s a world of difference between themed games and reality.

Anyway, what makes a venue suitable for wild pre-nuptial knees-ups? We’re already the European capital for Hallowe’en but I’m sure most of us wouldn’t want Derry to attract the unedifying spectacle of more hen and stag do’s. It’s a strange phenomenon.

For instance, Carrick-on-Shannon is Ireland’s capital for hen parties. Carrick is an attractive riverside town but the lovely girls don’t flock to it for its riparian setting. Its lively bars and its easy accessibility from Dublin by train are its chief attractions. Isn’t it strange what makes a town fashionable?

In any case, wouldn’t it be better if people about to get married didn’t feel compelled to have a stag or a hen do? The TV soaps are probably to blame. Incidentally, I’ve only ever been to one stag do and all that enforced jollification was tedious but I’m only a grumpy old man. Maybe I should try one of the new improved, post ‘stagflation’ dos? Ah sure that’s stupid as well – I’ve already tried the real thing.