It's been a loong weekend.
I'm dehydrated, there's a terrible taste in my mouth and various parts of my body that don't usually ache have come out in sympathy with the one's that do. I seem to have a mild case of dysentery and a visual inspection reveal marks that might be explained by an attack from an over amorous giant squid.
It's very simple really, they're all symptoms of a particular kind of self abuse that we know as "stag weekend". You would have thought that Cambridge was quite a sedate choice for "stagging"? Not one of the more favoured spots for a beer fest, like Dublin, Amsterdam or Marbella. And it was, quite a civilised affair really with something other than just binge drinking organised for each day; golf on the Friday, carting and then paint ball. The only problem was that everything we did was accompanied by excessive heat.
The golf was a long afternoon spent with too few healthy drinks in direct sunshine, (followed by beer, curry and lap dancing - it's so easy for naked women to separate drunken men from their money!). Then off to Cambridge the next morning, thoroughly hung over, to spend 5 hours in a boiler suit in 35 degrees at a go carting track. There were 59 rounds!! Long enough to cramp just about all of our enthusiasm muscles, and to make it worse none of the drivers can drink.....which I understand is a sensible precaution if you are going to hurtling around at 40 miles an hour with your arse 2 inches from the ground.....but to make it worse, they did have ice cold bottles of beer in the fridge, with instant disqualification written all over them. It had it's moments, the groom wore his gimp mask with good grace, I collected a seriously sore backside and a damp patch in the front of my overalls when a wheel came off my cart at speed.....and we did a fair job of joining in the applause when the final was won by an attractive blond girl that we had all been drooling over, (though there were shouts of "moon!!, moon!!" from our section of the crowd when she received her medal).
Cambridge is an odd place, where everyone seems to drive at 15 miles per hour, as if no-one wants to be the first to overtake a bicycle. I'd never really spent much time there before, I'd wandered around the University buildings many moons ago and been quietly impressed by the sculptured cloisters and ancient gentility of the buildings (but not by the corduroy jackets and home knit scarves - I'm surprised you don't hear of more students being dragged into the spokes of their bicycles. So I was quite surprised at how squalid the night club was, and the amount of very large, impressively drunken, tattooed women. It was if a herd of wildebeest had taken a wrong turn on the Serengeti. There was a rancid stench to the whole place too, and if you stood in one place for too long your shoes became part of the carpet. And the heat! So we did the only thing possible in the circumstances, we drank ourselves stupid, sweat a lot and danced like loons. Somebody said that there were couples having sex in the toilets but I think that they simply got stuck to each other on the dance floor and had to go with their bondee when he or she needed to pee.
They wouldn't serve us with any more alcohol when we got back to the hotel, which we whined about at the time, but were all very grateful for on Sunday morning.
Sunday saw a change of venue, a fresh set of overalls, and a new game, paint ball. The poor taste clicked in almost immediately, but it was impossible not to notice that one of the other teams consisted almost entirely of roly-poly Iranian looking girls in uniform and headdress. It did look very much as if we had stumbled into an Al Qaeda training ground. There were enough of us to form a team, along with another much smaller group - whilst the suicide bombers (as we affectionately called them) were joined with a group of pimply Goths who looked for all of the world like Hanson in negative, and one other young guy who had his own gun and the boxed set of Rambo DVD's.
All of the games were quite similar. We hid, ran, fell over in the forest while at the same time shooting the shit out of the Hanson's (doo wop now you motherf#####!!), and the wobbly, ululating and clearly unhappy Iranian ladies. I think I was a marked man after I'd joked to one of our new friends "the only good Goth is a dead Goth" without realising that they were standing within earshot. Fortunately they were easy too shoot, Goths seem to have the same aptness to self preservation as lemmings, which is I suppose what limits their numbers.
There was a free-for-all at the end to use up our paint balls. The groom was given a bright orange jacket and wisely ran away and the rest of rained bruises on each other for the next 5 minutes. If you've not played then trust me, those bloody things really do hurt and leave 1 inch wheals with bright purple rings of bruising.