I am not usually the world’s biggest fan of stag nights. It is probably fair enough to assume that I already drink quite enough alcohol without the need for a huge splurge in a very short space of time. But if that stag night is in Corfu, in the semi-lively resort of San Stefanos on the north west coast, and the reason you have changed your holiday dates in order to attend a wedding over here, it would be churlish indeed not to make the effort.
The stag, whom I shall refer to only as “Andy” in order to protect his identity (and his reputation), led us to our first bar, the name of which evaded me all evening. We sat around a circular table with a pool in the middle. It was surprising to find Sepp Blatter behind the bar, but even more surprising to find live cricket on all his televisions. No one was watching in the bar, of course, but you knew it was there if you felt the need to watch an Under 19s match between England and Australia. A closer inspection revealed there appeared to be no one at the game either.
We all put 20 Euros into a glass and the evening started. I stuck with generic lager to start with, as did most folk. “Andy” started on the Kopperberg which, I believe, is illegal in many parts of the world, or should be. We were plied with endless pots of salted nuts (I wonder why that was!) and the beers kept flowing.
For a change, whilst we still knew what day it was, we went to another bar which doubled as a restaurant. The poor diners as a stag party took to the floor. Then the karaoke started.
San Stefanos is a slightly noisy neighbour of Arillas – more full English/Sunday roast than Continental/Moussaka – and we didn’t make it any quieter. “Andy” was up first with an epic rendition of “Barbie Girl”, which was more Leonard Cohen than Aqua, followed by the In Betweeners who created a new band – Take This. And so it went on.
I was on the G&Ts by now and, to my great discredit, increasingly consumed with Liverpool’s very fortunate win against Bournemouth on the big screen. I joined the band for a Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop”, getting near some of the right notes on occasions but as the clock ticked,I knew I had a choice coming: stay and get completely bollocksed or quit while I was still able to walk. I chose the latter.
I started the long, dark walk up the hill to Arillas and a man leaned out of a car and said, “Arillas? Do you know the way?” “Mate, that’s where I am going. If you give me a lift, I’ll take you there!” And he did! I could not believe my luck. Judging by his driving, it appeared the driver had had as much to drink as me, but I felt it was just about worth risking the switchback roads to save my lack of energy for the next day’s lethargy by the pool.
As I write, “Andy” has not yet appeared. Judging from his, er, tired state as I left, I imagine his head will not be the best place to be this morning but the good news is that he has two days to recover for the wedding.
Oh, what a night!