Last night was a lively one. Cathy's sister & friends were over from Ireland and having a hen night, so it was major party time. When I asked when the wedding was though, apparently not for a year.
This highlights a growing trend I have noticed in stag and hen parties. At one time it was traditional (if not very sensible) for these events to take place the night before the wedding. But then they started taking place a few days before, then a week or two before, and now it seems anything up to a year is par for the course.
Not only are stag/ hen parties getting earlier they are also getting longer. Hen weekends, even whole stag weeks it seems are now the order of the day. Piss-ups in Prague, or wherever the latest cheap beer destination is, no problem.
In my own case, I had a stag day which consisted of a round of golf in the day and then beers in the evening in Oxford around the route of the notorious and now defunct "Grand Annual" (see a blog entry from 2007 for more detail on that). Quite mundane by today's standards, but I enjoyed it.
Here's something I don't enjoy. Last night some beardy bore came up to me when I was setting up and decided to "tell me a joke". How I hate that outdated and outmoded form of humour. Stand-up comedians don't do it anymore - it's all observational humour with them - which I very much like. The sort of stuff Peter Kay, Frank Skinner etc have perfected.
Anyway this particular bloke who I had never seen before my life, came over and started telling his joke. Due to his level of inebriation I could not make out the words, all I made out from the first sentence was "mother-in-law". Cue two minutes of rambling while I have to stand there nodding politely, thinking "when the fuck is this going to end". Eventually the punchline, such as it was arrived, and the bloke started roaring with laughter. This was the point where of course I had to pretend to find it funny and do a completely unconvincing attempt at a laugh along with saying "yeah, good one". I then feigned some excuse to get rid of him, "sorry I think one of my fuses has blown" so I could hide under the table until he went. He then went off to tell it to someone else.
I suppose I am partly to blame. By pretending to find his joke funny I have flattered his ego, and merely re-inforced his behaviour, giving him the confidence to go and bore some other poor sod.
What I should have said was "No I am not interested in your boring, long-winded and un-funny joke. I did not ask you to come over here and waste two minutes of my life listening to your monologue. I can't join in the conversation as interrupting someone during a joke seems to be forbidden by convention. Which is a shame if we actually just had a free conversation we might actually generate some real humour. Piss off and never speak to me again". However as someone employed by the pub to entertain people it would be bad form to insult the people who put the money in the till in order that I can get paid, so through gritted teeth I endured it.
Maybe this makes me sound like a humourless bastard but nothing could be further from the truth. I love talking to people I'm on the same wavelength with and all the humour this generates - the little lines that generate a spontaneous quip, or bit of innuendo, or flirtatious banter - all generated from random words and phrases, never rehearsed, never planned, never the same twice, just a group of friends comfortable around a table laughing and enjoying themselves.
So pub bores with your jokes, take them elsewhere! I don't want them!
A few other bits and pieces from the weekend. Jamie is now officially walking, he can get right across the living room. I've just about got Ollie not to make a mess and now Jamie is taking over that role. He likes to sit by a box of bricks or pencils and systematically distribute them around the room. Ollie meanwhile is going through another moody phase. I went to a school assembly on Friday where all his class stood up and sang. Apart from one, who decided to throw a strop - guess who?
Saturday we had what may have been the last ever karaoke at the Prince of Wales, as very sadly, Jo, the landlady has been forced to leave due to the ever increasing financial pressures of running a pub these days. We've had a lot of fun over there these past couple of years or so. It was pity that due to a local band playing in Buckingham the last night there turned out to be a quiet one. With the exception of the crazy dirty dancing lady who me and Andy spent most of the evening trying to hide from.
OK folks, that's a wrap.
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Jason x x