My adult son Jonathon is currently on a stag do*** for his good buddy Phil, in Prague. Many will argue there was no need to include the word adult as a prefix to son in the first sentence. However, for completeness, I felt moved to point out to those thinking I don’t look old enough to have a 29 year old son that I’d not been reckless enough to allow an under-age offspring to indulge in a weekend of partying in the Czech Republic.

*** – AKA a Batchelor Party.

I’ve known Phil since he and my boy started Garforth Comprehensive (as it was then known) together in 2001. A polite lad with an engaging smile, on first meeting him at our Colton home, I recall greeting him with a polite “Hi Phil, good to meet you, lad!”

Nice to meet you Mr Strachan!” his sheepish, slightly nervous reply.

An encounter that was hardly akin to the historic meeting of missionary Dr Livingstone and New York Herald reporter Henry Morton Stanley on 10th November 1871, when the latter stumbled upon the formerly missing Scotsman in Africa. However, I concluded from that brief encounter with 11 year old Philip that he was a decent kid.

His amiable disposition and engaging nature remaining in tact even after I wrongly accused him of stealing my wallet, motioning for him to get out of my house until he returned my cards and cash….. Items later retrieved from my wife’s handbag.

Anyhow I digress, this morning while exchanging text messages with my Prague based offspring I thought back to the last time my boy was on a stag weekend. In particular a telephone conversation we had on the topic of drinking games. Something I captured in essay as follows:-

I spoke by phone to my son Jonny this morning, who informed me he was away on a stag do this weekend. Hungover, he confided through gruff tones and a backdrop of mooing noises he’d been cross-dressing yesterday evening….. Yes, last night he went out in men’s clothing for a change!

I’m not sure how the cow got into the pub, but I assume in the unlikely event of one of the party wanting a glass of milk it’d be incredibly fresh.

During our conversation my adult offspring questioned if I knew any good drinking games which the group of revellers could perhaps adopt on Saturday evening.

The first game that came to mind was one called Shazbat, which I played on the last stag do I went on. The format is straightforward, entailing the group shouting the word Shazbat at the top of the voice for the duration their time in the pub.

The winner is the first person to get thrown out of the pub for behaving like an asshole. A contest in which I’d the sweet taste of victory last time I attended a stag weekend, in Edinburgh. Although, to be honest, as I was the only one taking part, I’m not sure if that technically counts as a victory.

On hearing the format of Shazbat, Jonny wasn’t overly enthused about suggesting it to his fellow stag party members. He deemed the game facile; possessing a “shallow set of rules even for a drinking game”, and unlikely to be adopted as something that would hold the group’s interest.


With this in mind, he asked if I knew anymore beverage pastimes which they could possibly undertake during the weekend away. I mulled this over for a few seconds and suggested “How about Fluoride?”……. This led to the following verbal interaction with my boy:-

Jonny – “What are the rules of Fluoride, dad?”

Me – “The format is straightforward. The group shout the word fluoride at the top of the voice for the duration of their time in the pub….. The winner is the first person to get thrown out for behaving like an asshole.”

Jonny (sarcastically) – “Were you per chance also the winner of that game as the only runner in the race?”

Me – “Yes…. How did you guess?”

Jonny – “They don’t call me Jonny Great Guesser for nothing!”

Me – “They don’t call you Jonny Great Guesser!”

At this point the phone went momentarily silent, prior to Jonny questioning:-

“Look dad, do you know any proper drinking games where the object isn’t to stand in a pub repeatedly shouting a random word until you get throw out?”

Me – “No!…… For some reason after I invented Shazbat and Fluoride I never got asked on another stag weekend.”

Jonny – “I find that hard to believe, dad….. Your witty, erudite and urbane…… If you’d stop occasional behaving like an ass you’d be a great bloke!”

Me – “Seriously?!”

Jonny – “No you’re a chuffing idiot!”

My boy’s putdown was succeeded by another period of short silence, only broken when I enquired “Is that someone I can hear shouting Shazbat in the background?”

For some reason Jonny felt the need to end the call at this juncture. With the incessant whirring of a disconnected telephone line ringing in my ears, I felt moved to mutter to myself “Bloody ungrateful get!”