Stag Party – Round 1: Vancouver

Posted by jswt | Posted in Canada - Vancouer | Posted on 02-07-2011


This post is the first in a combination of two events from the past couple weekends that fit together and are somewhat inseparable: my stag. I’m getting married in September, and have been blessed enough to have such wonderfully thoughtful friends (or just a bunch of drunk lushes looking for any excuse to party) that there were two parties organized: one at home, and one destination/kidnapping.

The first weekend happened in Vancouver, and I was picked up the day after Canada Day about noon with a mystery bag of tricks bag packed for me by my partner, a rental vehicle, and zero knowledge of what was to come. We made the rounds and picked up more friends along the way until the car was packed with me and 5 familiar faces that I’ve known for many years. The laughs started immediately, and I mentioned that even if the day were to consist of nothing more than us driving around, it would’ve been perfect. This was echoed by icy stares and the ominous statement that “you have no idea”.

It’d been a long cold spring, and July 2nd was the first day of the year in Vancouver where the sun had come out in full force, and we weren’t alone as the boys brought me to our first stop: Vancouver’s legendary clothing optional Wreck Beach. We lugged a bbq and supplies down the stairs, found an amazing spot with some shade under some trees, and got into the spirit of the day. Not long after settling in, C decided to reveal the 20lb weight attached to a metal chain and a vicious metal gauntlet, which was quickly clasped to my leg, locked, and the key thrown into the ocean. I may not have been the first impending bachelor to have this strapped on, but I was the first to have it done while not wearing pants. It didn’t take long to remove a good layer of skin, but luckily the boys had thought ahead to bring enough libations to numb the pain. At 2pm hippy-time (see: 3pm-‘ish’) some of us joined in for the “world’s largest skinny dip” attempt, which I have to recommend against while wearing a 20lb weight. After a few hours on the beach full of laughter, bacon, an unsafe bbq fire (the paint was flammable? made in china? who guessed?), and maybe some possibly illicit explosive charges planted in watermelons, it was time for us to climb back up the stairs (again – yay 20lb weight!) and continue on with the adventure.

We drove to Kits beach and had a quick rinse and cleanup at the pool, some additional friends showed up and joined us for a kickass japanese tapas meal at Hapa Izikayah. We laughed, had unexpectedly highbrow conversation, ate horse tartare, and drank the perfect amount of shots and Hello Kitty drinks (which put a decided low end twist to the highbrow chatter). At one point, I looked around the table and realized that I’d known every one of those guys for at least 10 years (most more than 15) and heartfeltedly toasted the fact that I’m lucky to have so many damn good friends/drunken bastards in my life.

After dinner, the clouds had rolled in and a light rain had begun when we moved across the street to the beach, had another friend show up, and the martini shakers start up for a waterfront cocktail party as the sun faded away and the night lit up.

Back in the car (yes – the driver was well designated) we were heading downtown when my buddy B, who was sitting beside me on the middle bench, said that he needed to hit a gas station to grab something. He hopped out of the vehicle, and we continued the buoyant banter while he was inside. When the door opened and he got back in, I looked over to say something to B, and realized that he was no longer quite himself, but had taken the form of a mime gesturing into a banana. My intoxicated friends continued on with our conversation without so much as a stutter, and I was doing my best to process this strange state of mimeness when B hopped back in the vehicle on the other side of the black and white addition. B told the driver we were good to go downtown, that he’d gotten what he needed, and continued our conversation where we had left off, but I was rather distracted.

For the next few hours, the 8 of us continued to drink heavily and enjoy some of Gastown’s finest offerings, while my friends continued to make absolutely no mention of the very mimelike mime swimming on the hood of our vehicle while using his umbrella as a snorkel, dancing on lampposts, fake-peeing in alleys with us… Zero. Mention. At. All. They didn’t miss a beat. The only recurring question was along the lines of “why are you so distracted? I’m talking to you!”, which does tend to happen when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder watching a mime and beginning to question reality, your sanity, and maybe what your friends may have slipped in your drink at the beach.

The mime did suddenly disappear during the hazy course of the memories that followed: Gastown drinking, tapas bars in Blood Alley, lovely australians, choreographed backup dancing for a woman singing about the unfortunate overlap of cunnilingus and spearmint gum… all while still carrying that goddamn 20lb weight.

Sometime around 2am, we were at another bar when we hit the inevitable point of the “last wise drink” when my friends made a call that clinched the night: a limo arrived to take me home, and we ended the night not with a fizzle, but on the perfect high note.

Gentlemen, to you I tip my hats for that, and the entire rest of a perfect celebratory day in Vancouver.

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