The English city of York is suffering. They have too many bachelor and bachelorette parties (or hen and stag ‘dos, if you want to be British about it).
If you’re a resident of New Orleans, Las Vegas, New York, Miami, Charleston, or just about anywhere else that experiences a regular weekend influx of bachelor and bachelorette parties, you can maybe commiserate with citizens of York. For these locals, the city center has become a “no-go” zone on Saturday nights, thanks to a bevy of drunk-ass hens and stags celebrating their supposed last hurrahs.
You know how it is: Give a girl a penis straw, and she’ll vomit in the street. Give a guy “one last night” of sleaze, and he’ll fight with a bouncer and piss on the sidewalk.
York is getting tired of the bodily fluids and, concerned about its burgeoning reputation as England’s Hottest Drunktown, the city council recently met with citizens, local bars, and clubs to discuss ways to curb the problem. Often the issues aren’t criminal, so police hope to institute some sort of punishment for when, according to one officer, “someone has just been an idiot really.” Another officer suggested banning “inflatables.” (Because blow-up dicks always cause trouble!) One resident suggested cordoning off an area for stag and hen parties that show up drunk. Another thought a code of conduct, distributed to all bachelor and bachelorette parties upon their arrival in hotels, could do the trick. (LOL. Fat chance.) And then there were concerns about venues that serve drunk patrons and help them to get even drunker: More licenses should be revoked.
All of these solutions may make a dent in the problem, but The Guardian’s Joel Golby has a different idea:
Do I have a solution to York’s feral stag and hen party problem? I do: Hag’s, a hen- and stag-friendly superclub built in a warehouse on the outskirts of the city. This will be the only legal place in Britain stag and hen parties are allowed to celebrate; far away from residential homes and streets, far away from normal people trying to have fun.
At Hag’s, herds of stags bump sexlessly into screeching broods of hens. At five-minute intervals, strippers are summoned from the baby oil-rich coop they are kept in out back, forced to undulate on stage to the strains of I’m Too Sexy while people throw their drinks in the air. At Hag’s, there’s always one lad per group who has got his curiously waxed arse out. At Hag’s, you’re literally not allowed in through the door without a penis-shaped straw or a blow-up sex doll. They have a designated zone where sterile lampposts are available for men to be cling-filmed to. The smoking area doubles up as a paintball arena. There is a special step for all the recently single women called Tina to cry on. A special soothing pen for all the bewildered mothers-in-law that inexplicably got dragged along. After a night in Hag’s, marriage seems like the natural conclusion, like one big funeral after a life well-lived.
Take this to Vegas and I think it could work. Seriously.
Goelby notes that “nobody really enjoys” bachelor and bachelorette parties: The usually cost a ton of money, are a headache to organize, and as you grow older, the “forced fun” aspect of these affairs practically guarantees that there’ll be no fun at all. The revelry often leaves the participants feeling empty inside (perhaps because they’ve often emptied the contents of their stomach during the course of their celebrations).
But as the average age of marriage ticks upward, maybe the point of these stag and hen parties—both here in the U.S. and abroad—has changed, even if we don’t realize it. These parties are actually convincing us that it’s time to settle the fuck down. Many of us have already sown our proverbial wild oats; we don’t need “one last night” of anything. After a weekend of heavy drinking with my oldest girlfriends and staring at one another the next morning, our mascara smeared to our temples, most of us feeling as if we didn’t really deserve to exist, I wanted nothing more than to run home to my then-fiancé and be done with the whole thing. “One last night” of my girlfriends holding my hair back showed me that I was ready for my husband to take over that duty.
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