It's around 8pm, and well over a dozen jugs of beer have so far come and gone. Three people are acting as human obstacles in the middle of the floor, while another three teams continue in a slightly modified boat race. We're using cutlery to mark a line on the floor, and the scene is basically one of chaos, while Tim tries in vain to organise a room of people growing more and more under the influence by the second. A few minutes later, we realise.

We've lost the buck!! *

I guess in hindsight, it wasn't such a good idea for him to attempt to combat roll over the people on the ground on his way to the table to down his beer...

Yes, after only a couple of hours into the night, the guest of honour's holed up in the toilets, the last round of the race involves previous winners tackling the remaining competitors, and things are getting very rowdy. In the next door function room, a radio station's running a special event, the prize of the night being the chance to marry a celebrity (using that term very loosely) in a special mock wedding. I can only imagine what the fuck they were thinking about the antics coming from our side of the wall...

A short time later, it becomes apparent that the buck's done his dash. He's sitting at the table, head in his hands, not looking at all like a happy boy. So it comes to pass that at 8.30pm or so, his brother takes him back to his mum's house for a shower, and a couple of hours sleep. The plan's that he'll have a chance to recover a bit, then head out again for the rest of the night. He can't go home to his place, the hen's night * is kicking off there. So it's back to mums.

There's a definite pattern forming, and by this stage we probably should realise that very few plans are going to come together. An hour or two later, three taxi's have converged outside the recovery house, in a valiant attempt to rescue the buck, and continue the night's festivities. His mum has other plans though...and she's not a happy woman right at that stage. Her son's less than happy too, and it seems that he's going to need more than a shower and a bit of a snooze to recover from this. Reports from inside seem to involve a lot of Tim being told off, and a rather final declaration that his buck's night is well and truly over.

This is a major setback for the whole night, but we're determined to carry on, to hit the town in his honour! I think we probably did him proud, and I'm sure everyone there had an extra drink for him - kinda a proxy drink. Every one of us has a bruise of some description, and a few were nursing quite sore and delicate heads after finally crawling out of bed some time in the afternoon. Somehow, I think their wedding next weekend will be a more sedate affair!

I'm not sure if these are international terms, or whether other countries have different terms for these traditional nights. I couldn't find any writeups describing them, so I'll explain them here until I have time to rectify their lack of noding.

ascorbic and heyoka have told me that this is called a stag night in the UK and US. heyoka says it may also be called a hen party, bachelor party or bachelorette party.

Buck/Buck's Night - Traditional pre-marriage night out with the boys. The guy who's tying the knot is the buck, and the nights supposed to mark his last big night out before settling into married life. Activities are many and varied, but pretty much always involve a fair deal of drinking. Other traditional parts of the night may include doing something to the buck that embarrasses him somehow, such as handcuffing him naked to traffic lights on a busy intersection. The truly hardcore may have their buck's night the night before their wedding...

Hen/Hen's night - Pretty much the same deal as the buck's night, with the pending bride and her female friends causing the trouble this time. Often easy to spot, as it seems pretty common for the hen to be wearing a wedding veil of some kind.

(ps - None of us went out to get the poor guy that drunk. Just he's pretty small, and doesn't do a hell of a lot of drinking. One minute he's having a great time, the next...not. We'll make it up to him at a later date. It was a great night, we're just feeling bad that he couldn't enjoy it too!)