I’m going to tell you a cautionary tale and it starts with…

We all have that one friend!

In the lead up to one of my best mates bucks party the best man hatched an insane plan by calling each of us Cannons in the invite urging us to get loose on our weekend away to Geelong, what could go wrong?

As a group of mostly over 30’s he assumed the party would not have reached its peak – as most of us were over ours – unless he pumped us up prior. And for the most part it worked – In Melbourne we loaded our bus (straight out of the 60’s) with cases of mostly mid-strength beer, but us cannons weren’t having a bar of that – we all started on the full-strength – watch out Geelong!

Everything was going perfect at our first and only pub and pee stop en-route: a beautiful old pub, welcoming staff and an increasingly chirpy group. Nicknames were being used and we started to realise the reason these cool guys were friends with the buck was the same reason we were friends with him – we’re all awesome – this is going to great!

But then there was cousin Gus!

In all honesty, everyone recognized that Gus was ‘that guy’ as soon as he rocked up to the bus stop with nothing more than a toothbrush in his pocket (I was impressed with his dental hygiene but who wants a toothbrush in their pocket all day and night?) At the mid-way point he noticeably had 3 pints to everyone else’s 2. No one was going to call it, as that would be very un-cannon like! And don’t get me wrong, Gus was a friendly, open and funny guy but you could definitely see that little bit of crazy behind his eyes.

We checked in to the only hotel in the area that would accept bucks or it could’ve been the only hotel bucks would accept checking in to – I’m not sure.

We decided to meet at the sports bar around the corner for dinner. You could see the weariness in a few eyes but no one was backing out – this was a refuelling station. It was casual, a few more beers and a couple of cheeky pick-me-up shots.

OK, here we go! Let’s kick this night off.

But then there was Gus! Someone told him they’d shout him a drink if he went and danced by himself by the pool table. Naturally, he did and with Gusto (parden the pun) but then kept going until the bouncers saw. They kicked him out, so we all had to leave, our first venue, at 7.00PM! It actually felt on par for a bucks party and to be honest: it sucked.

Our next venue was great, more sports on the screen, great banter, a couple of more shots but Gus was screaming at the dogs. More bouncers and exit number two for everyone.

Our third and thankfully final venue was also great craic, plenty of hens party groups and karaoke to classic Barnsey songs that we could all dance uninhibited too. I tried to cut the toilet queue and went to the seemingly free disabled toilet but the door was impeded by two feet blocking it – it was Gus giving an oral sacrifice to the porcelain Gods. Enter the bouncers once more!

This time we’d had enough and it was time for Gus to go – by himself! We knew moving to another venue was out of the question and for the sake of all the other bucks we had to let him go.

The final recommendation to end my cautionary tale? Plan activities for earlier on in the day that don’t include copious amounts of alcohol. Something like the Great Race Bucks Amazing Races or Survivor Olympics are perfect. They keep the guys entertained, they can still have a couple of drinks as part of it and even have a punt on the outcome.

This style of event means when 6.00PM hits that they aren’t be facedown in a gutter doing the old Warhol wail. It’s a great ice-breaker for those quieter types but above all is awesome fun!

**To follow up I ran into Cousin Gus again at the wedding. We didn’t know this but on the night of the bucks he had already been ejected from the venue before the spew incident and consequently on being kicked out again had been given a $600 fine for refusing to leave an establishment.

The loosest Cannon award goes to Cousin Gus! We avoided a Bucks Party upset or early eviction by letting him go but he did create some great fodder for speeches at the wedding.

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