Updated: Oct 21
There comes a time in a man’s life where he goes from being super-pumped to be going on a stag do, to dreading he has to stay up past 11:00pm, or in my case, 10:00pm!
My Cousin Becky Newton is soon to be wed to Martyn Newton, same name, not related, hopefully! I’m hoping they double-barrel their surname to Newton-Newton. I’ll suggest when I see them.
Anyway, Martyn was kind enough to invite me on his stag do in Manchester, which I had no choice but to agree to, based on the fact that I like him and he’s the most sensible man I’ve ever met. He designs traffic lights. I pointed out in the past that they have already been designed, but still, he persists bless him. At first, I thought this traffic light story was a cover-up for his real job as an MI5 Spy, but after talking to him for an hour I realised he definitely just designs traffic lights!
So, the day came and I filled my backpack with 20 cans of Strongbow Dark Fruits! OK, what I really packed was two pairs of Pyjamas (one Space Jam and one Rick & Morty), a large packet of Rennie’s, some hay fever tablets, a paperback copy of Dune, a packet of Tuc Sandwich Biscuits, a nice warm fleece, some walking boots (no one wants a twisted ankle in the pub), a packet of Top Trumps superhero edition and a couple of weather dependant outfits, sorted!
I’d agreed to pick up on Martyn on my way to Manchester so arrived as early as I could because it was the 6-weeks holidays and I had multiple children in the house, some of which weren’t even mine! I made it to his house at about 1pm to find him designing traffic lights, so I took the opportunity to have an afternoon snooze on the sofa whilst I waited. Afternoon snoozes are like gold dust, so you have to take your chance get one in whenever you can!
We finally set off for Manchester, arriving early evening at the Air BNB to begin the most sensible stag night in the history of misplaced machoism. I quickly established myself with Martyn’s geeky mates by revealing I am also a geek, despite looking very cool! One of the gents had brought a games console that had over 2,000 retro video games on from our childhood. It didn’t take long for me to dish out some whoopings on Mario Kart (Snes version of course), cementing myself as the king of the gamers (almost). As the evening progressed, we had a standard kitchen party with alcohol, pizzas and magic cards. I was asleep for midnight!
I awoke early the next morning at around 6am and ventured downstairs into the kitchen to find four of the lads playing cards at the table! One would assume that they were up all-night boozing and gambling. Nothing could be further from the truth. They all had young children so like me, their body clocks were set to 5:30am. Rock and roll! By 8am I was wondering what had happened to best man as he was nowhere to be seen? It turns out his roommate was a world-class snorer, so he had left the house in favour of a hotel around the corner, funny!
We ventured in Manchester City Centre on the hunt for a hipster bar to consume breakfast. If it’s one thing I’m good at, it’s finding hipster places. My instinct led us to the Blues Kitchen, which is one of the coolest places I've been in. The food was almost as good as the décor!
The stag had pulled off a blinder and booked us a table 7 Lanes smack bang in the city centre. 7 Lanes is basically an adult play centre with retro arcades, a bowling alley, Smarts (darts), a karaoke booth, basketball challenge, shuffleboard, beer pong and other cool stuff to do whilst enjoy a burger and pint. I believe there is one in Sheffield if you want to check out a local 7 Lanes. I’d highly recommend it. Once we had eaten it was time to dress the stag up as Hulk Hogan, which if I’m honest, I was a little jealous of. I would have killed for that costume in 1990!
Upon leaving 7 Lanes to go to the NQ64 Bar The Ultimate Warrior was walking up the road. The Ultimate Warrior is Hulk Hogans nemesis, so naturally, a massive fight broke out and someone got hit over the head with a chair after diving through a table! Of course, none of that happened, Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior exchange pleasantry's and we went on our way. Shame really!
We spent the next few hours playing more retro video games at the NQ64 Bar before spending the rest of the night walking about not being let in anywhere because everywhere was full. You’ve got to love city life!
The following morning, we awoke early, again, and systematically cleaned the house leaving it in a better state than we found it!
End of stag do.
Text & Images: Simon Paterson