Can you imagine anyone less likely to be heading to Amsterdam on a stag weekend?
With images of strippers, tanked up lads and lost afternoons in coffeeshops filling my head, I boarded the Thalys with a trolley bag full of dread. Really, this wasn’t the weekend I would have chosen.
The problem is, though, that as best man I had absolutely no way of getting out of the stag weekend, nor did I have any chance of fading into the background and slipping quietly away. What I needed to do was embrace it. Start to look forward to it. Find a way to enjoy – more than enjoy, to love - this weekend.
If you look at it positively, then there are many things to look forward to. Spending the weekend with ‘the boys’, drinking the days away, the occasional joint, dancing late into the morning to crap music with a group of sweaty guys. Sounds just like any other weekend when I put it like that.
Well, it turns out that this isn’t what happened.
From a group of 9, only five turned up – including me and the groom. And the other three were fairly nerdy, pretty geeky and mostly looking forward to watching the Grand Prix on the TV on Sunday afternoon. Jesus wept.
So, it's Friday night and we're planning to go out on the town, but the groom has been smoking dope all afternoon and he’s in no state to go anywhere. I told you it was a classy weekend, right? In the end, I take the other three to meet up with my Amsterdam friend (thank the Lord for friends in ‘high’ places) who is playing in a band that night.
We have a pretty good night, except that at one stage, one of the geeks loses his phone.
"My phone has been stolen from my pocket" he said to me. "I need you to find it for me."
"Erm, that’s not going to happen. Are you sure it’s been stolen?"
"Yes, I am. And you’re in charge so you need to find it"
You can imagine how well this has conversation is going down with me. But it turns out that there’s a reason for his panic. It seems he works for a government ministry and there is sensitive data contained within the depths of his Crackberry. The data must have been pretty sensitive because the boy is practically crying.
Despite it being a lost cause, I enrol the help of my Amsterdam friend, and he heads off to ask around and see if anyone has handed it in. Like that ever happens.
Amsterdam friend came back ten minutes later.
"I’ve asked at the bar," he said, talking to the Lost Phone Boy, "and the barmaid said you’re a wanker".
"Wha….?" Said LPB.
"I also asked at the cloakroom, and she said you’re a wanker too."
"And then I asked the bouncer, but he just said that you’re a wanker."
And that was pretty much the exact moment that the little, weedy, geeky Lost Phone Boy punched my tall, solid, rock-god, Amsterdam friend. Right on the nose.
It was also the exact moment that I left the bar.
I figured that there was more fun to be found elsewhere.
It turned out that I was right…..
(oh, and the LPB had left his phone in his bedroom, so it had never been stolen. This didn't stop him getting a huge bollocking from his employers though....he he)