The people you meet on the way to the football – No. 1: A Stag Do for Alpha Males and Absolute Legends

16 09 2016

The cancellation of a Birmingham bound train meant a packed Manchester bound train. At Chester some of the hordes alighted but there was no time to heave a collective sigh.

They appeared.

A stag do had arrived.


I can usually sense a stag do created by Absolute Legends about half an hour before I first look at them with utter disdain. The tsunami of testosterone pollutes the ether like an East German chemical plant and their turned up to eleven verbal noise generation turns heads in the Faroe Isles.

On this day the tightly packed passenger mass had muffled the karmic waves and the banter was literally sat in front of me before I knew what was what. The Alpha Male was the first to use the deft art of social subtlety.

Do you mind if we sit here?….Well we are now.” (Behold the glint in my eye! All the all girls love my glint and voluminous self-confidence.)

“I bet you thought you were going to have a quiet journey!!!” (You’re transfixed by the sparkling glint in my eye aren’t you? You can tell that I frequently charm birds from trees can’t you)”

Cue the Stag! He had agreed to walk around the fantastic city of Manchester while dressed as a waitress from a generic “Hooters” type bar. How the crowd gasped at his off the peg fancy dress costume. Yes! The stag do organiser was an off the peg ABSOLUTE LEGEND with a fabulously off the peg sense of humour.

To be fair. this ABSOLUTE LEGEND had absolutely smashed it. He’d made one of his great mates travel in a train filled by sentient strangers whilst wearing one of the most disturbing off the peg fancy dress outfits created by the fancy dress industry.

To be fair like, you can’t expect the ABSOLUTE LEGENDS that organise off the peg stag dos to make the effort to source a bespoke fancy dress outfit when they can buy “Scouser Shell Suits” or “Waitress Outfit from a “Hooters” type bar” like everybody else.

Where the world saw a man in a disturbing costume, the Alpha male knows what he knows.



The assured manspreading eloquently announced that we were inferior to this collection of ABSOLUTE LEGENDS.

This was THEIR territory.

THEIR time.

THEIR banter patrol into the undulating terrain of superficial stag do bromance land.


The world was jealous.

In Banter Space no-one can hear you scream.

“So I sez to him get lager, and I told him anything but Carlsberg, so what does he turn up at the station with? Carlsberg!”

“Oh he’s called Beverley today and they’re his Mackers.”

“ALRIGHT MERT!!” (Delivered in piss poor cod Geordie accent)

“Don’t mind him, he’s just like that.”

“Carlsberg! Carlsberg! I say anything but Carlsberg Paul!”

“You’ll be in that outfit til 6”

“I thought it was 4, then it was 5 now it’s 6.”

“Yeah but that’s it.”

“You’re not going home in a taxi this time.”

“There won’t be any Oasis this time either lad.”

“Martin’s not coming, Gareth’s cried off and Dave probably in a caravan somewhere.”

“Dave’s a melt. End Of.”

“ALRIGHT MERT!!” (Delivered in piss poor cod Geordie accent towards a passing person, funnier with each passing repetition)

“Remember that Stag Do in Amsterdam. It was classic wasn’t it?”

“I remember the one when we went to Ibiza and I was sweating so much there was a swimming pool in my undercarriage.”

“This is horrible stuff, I said anything but Carlsberg.”

“Yeah I’d rather have Carling than this piss.”

“Yeah, what was he thinking about, was it too much trouble to go to the shop last night?”

“ALRIGHT MERT!!” (Delivered in piss poor cod Geordie accent towards a passing person, funnier with each passing repetition)

“Here he comes again, “Anything but Carlsberg.””

“What kind of tattoo is that? It looks like a horse skeleton.”

“What made you get Carlsberg Paul? I said anything but Carlsberg”

“No you didn’t.”

“I did, I said anything but Carlsberg.”

“ALRIGHT MERT!!” (Delivered in piss poor cod Geordie accent towards a passing person, funnier with each passing repetition)

“Yes I did, I said ANYHING BUT Carlsberg, could have been anything. Miller twist tops antything.”

“Who’s beer is this?

“Is that mine?”

“Mine’s the one with the tea bag in it! Fnar Fnar.”

“Oh this tastes like sandpaper, Bloody Carlsberg.”

“ALRIGHT MERT!!” (Delivered in piss poor cod Geordie accent towards a passing person, funnier with each passing repetition)

“Oh we’re going down Canal Street for a bit of fun later. Fanr Fnar.”

“I’m not homophobic, I’m interesting.”

“Bloody Carlsberg, Fnar Fnar.”

“I see that Mikitari…”


“Yeah Mkhitaryan, he’s is playing. He looks like a good player.”

“Will we be able to see the match?”

“Well we should if don’t hang about……….He wanted to get Penthouse apartments.”

“Alright Anything but Carlsberg”! Oh you’re still with us.”

“ALRIGHT MERT!!” (Delivered in piss poor cod Geordie accent towards a passing person, funnier with each passing repetition)

“Paul yours is the first round in The Bier Keller. You’ve got to make up for this beer travesty.”

“Yes, it’s going to be an expensive weekend for the lad.”

“ALRIGHT MERT!!” (Delivered in piss poor cod Geordie accent towards a passing person, funnier with each passing repetition)

“Carlsberg bloody Carlsberg I’d rather drink my own vomit.”

“I’d rather drink your vomit. Fnar Fnar,”

“I’d rather drink the gravel from the train tracks.”

“Look at that, he’s hammered already.”

“Carlsberg, what was he thinking?”

“ALRIGHT MERT!!” (Delivered in piss poor cod Geordie accent towards a passing person, funnier with each passing repetition)

“Right lads, off we go!”

“Time for some proper beers!”

You’ve ruined this weekend Paul.”

“ALRIGHT MERT!!” (Delivered in piss poor cod Geordie accent towards a passing person, funnier with each passing repetition)

………Ad nauseum, with the emphasis on Nausea.

The carriage offered no escape from their banter pathogens, everyone had been sucked into the Alpha Male’s Charisma Vortex. How the passengers loved the sparkling glint in the eye and voluminous air of self-confidence! The weak willed wanted to be him, the easily led wanted to be with him.

No-one could be him, he was an ABSOLUTE LEGEND and he looks down upon the non-legendary!

It was a scene the Paris Impressionists would have been happy to imortalise. The Alpha Male sitting proudly the wheel of the banter bus. The off the peg Stag sitting in contemplation of something, anything. The Alpha Male’s off the peg acolytes buttressing his schtick with cutting comments about so-called friends. Paul. the recipiant of bad beer banter, enveloped by an air of sad discomfort. A Banter Flag fashioned in the finest maritime quality material flutters in the background, its edges frayed in the Banter Hurricane.

I identified with Paul. He had tried to do his best for his mates. He had tried to be considerate. What benefit had he accured? He’d become the hostage of an innocent refreshment mistake. How was he to know that you could break the banter bus with “the wrong beers”. I like to think that he knowingly bought the wrong beers to annoy the Alpha Male.

Other passengers have may been trying to read Gruff Rhys’ American Interior or the Summer edition of When Skies Are Grey but resistance was futile, the Banter flag had been raised.

I was surrounded by them on the Piccadilly travelator. Thankfully the space outside Piccadilly allowed the Alpha male to lead from the front like a Victorian colonialist, sinews bursting, banter flying. They were real men, proper men. They were bloody blokes unconcerned with the locals’ clear disdain. I walked at half speed to let the space flow.

I can’t summon up enough contempt for Alpha Males.


A world that thinks “You’re a bit of a loudmouth dick!”

While most of us are 60% water they’re 97% ostentatious bravado. They wouldn’t know “understated” if Gok Wan stood at their side and slowly whispered the definition from a large print dictionary.

The idea that stag do invitees cry off because they’re irritating never occurs. The idea that someone bought the wrong beers by mistake, or to subtly irritate him, never occurs. They are MAN!

YES! THEY ARE MAN, even though there are the occasional moments when the bravado mask clearly slips and you can enjoy the briefest glimpse of an Alpha Male that’s just as pitiful as the rest of us. The metaphorical door quickly slams shut as soppy talk is for girls and Wahheyyy! It’s on with the pisstaking.

A stag do doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s the traditional farewell to single life ete etc. They don’t have to be four day debauched marathons in an ex-Warsaw Pact city or an excuse for happily married men to try and recapture their youth by acting like excitable twats. For example my stag do took place in Manchester and things were done with decorum; one evening, no banter, no cliched fancy dress, only friends having a few drinks in decent pubs and drinking establishments.

As a male on his way to another archetypal male social activity, the footy, I realise that I could be mistaken for one of these people. I’m not like them. I’ll never experience the slightest urge to act like the Alpha Male’s Banter Patrol. I’ll never emit an aura like the self-assured gobshite from the liquid Weetabix adverts. I’m happy being a delta male.




3 responses

17 09 2016
Jac o' the North (@JacotheNorth)

You’re too modest. If it were that easy we’d all be doing it.

16 09 2016

Diolch! It’s just sticking one word in front of another really.

16 09 2016
Jac o' the North (@JacotheNorth)

You have your moments. This is one.

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