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Pencil Neck - The Stag Do


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Saturday 28th January. A day that will long be remembered by all of those who opted to visit 'Bonnie' Scotland's capital to wish Pencil Neck a mighty fine send off. The day began in the traditional manner, as a number of bleary-eyed Bedlingtonian's made the short mini-bus journey to Newcastle's grandiose Central Station. The more mature (ie dull) members of the trip opted for Mochaccino's or Latte's, whilst the whackier fellows in the entourage got straight into cans of icy cold lager. Ginola opted for a pastie. And a bacon sandwich.

The train journey itself passed without incident, save for a fine collection of newly-purchased magazines of the more 'artistic' variety being passed around, commented on and then hastily flicked through, much to the chagrin of our fellow passengers. No matter, we soon arrived in Edinburgh, and then had to ascend a flight of stairs that Chris Bonington would have baulked at. Ditto the stairwell to our apartment, but more on that later.

After a short period of deliberation, everyone found their beds and we headed for the famous Grassmarket area, to the Black Bull no less, to settle down and watch Newcastle United stumble their way past a bunch of no-hopers. The beer flowed swiftly, and some members of the party expressed a desire to visit the beautifully named 'Pubic Triangle'. The Western Bar proved particularly popular (imagine The Percy with lapdancing) and we filled our boots, metaphorically speaking of course.

We promised to return as we tearfully bid our farewells, stopping off at Jackson's bar for a quiet pint. We had another quiet pint, then we headed back to the Western Bar again, money swiftly changed hands and more 'private dances' were enjoyed. Strangely, everyone wanted to 'gan back for a shower' after that, so splinter groups headed for various takeaways, before we landed back at the apartment.

Obviously the grime of the Western Bar took some washing off, as several of our troupe had long hot showers, but we were soon donning our best tapping shirts and legging it up to the pub round the corner. We sated our thirsts before using the tried and tested technique of asking a taxi driver where we should go 'How mista, where's aal the !*!@# the neet'. Though the Standing Order was the size of Wembley Stadium, it was also crap, so we piled back into a fleet of Joe Baxi's and headed back to the Grassmarket.

My memory begins to dim at this point; a posse of voluptuous Welsh girls caught the attentions of several of the partygoers, though I do recall having a pizza. However, the real fun began back at our apartment, when our policy of having only two keyholders for 11 people proved to be, shall we say, insufficient for our needs. Priesty opined that the best way for us to get in was to yell randomly at the intercom, but this served only to rile the occupants; Sos and Ted meanwhile, were fast asleep, and oblivious to numerous threatening telephone calls. However, Jonna soon turned up and let us in. You may think this was the end of our al fresco nightmare, but instead of being cold outside, we were cold on the 5th floor landing. Indeed, one of the gang opted to urinate down the stairs, but thankfully Sos awoke from his slumber and let us in.

Back in the warmth of the apartment, Jamie and I opted to sip gin and tonics and await the arrival of the rest of the gang, and sure enough, they stumbled in; swiftly followed by two members of Leith Constabulary, alerted to the noise and stair-related urination. They left satisfied by my explanation, and thankfully unaware of Ginola's request that they should 'fuggin fug off'. After much gigling at his spotty !*!@# we all turned in for the night, ready for sober stories the next morning.


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Part 2

It's always good to have a lie-in on a Sunday morning, perhaps cuddled up to Liza Tarbuck. My day began in a not dissimilar fashion, as Ginola wheezed cheerfully in my air, breaking the silence with a particularly good fart. As it was obvious that staying in bed alongside buckshot bum wasn't the ideal scenario, I clambered out and went in search of mischief. Jonna and Scott had ensconsed themselves in the living room; whether there was any impropriety, I can't say, but they did look particularly satisfied. You make your own mind up.

A further wander found Sos and Ted, both in classic 'fly-catching' position in bed, whilst I discovered the Ginger Ape emptying his back in the upstairs bog. Hairy Heed seemed to be doing a particularly good impression of a corpse, whilst Jamie and Priesty snoozed away pleasantly in their bunk-beds. Everyone soon reconvened, and much hilarity then followed when we heard of the previous night's scuffle between groom-to-be Dicky and best man Jonna. An altercation occured over a missing front door key, and after much wrestling (Dicky kindly mopped up some sick from the pavement using his jacket) Jonna uttered the immortal words 'do not doubt my strength'. Possibly the booze had made him think he was in Castle Grayskull; whatever, it's quite possibly the funniest thing I've ever heard.

Anyway, after much giggling about the 'Big D-D-D-D-Dicky Splash' we all craved a traditional breakfast, and were overwhelmed by Auld Jock's cafe; the name was a bit of a misnomer, as the slightly camp owner minced around as we listened to Classic FM. We also discovered that there was in fact no point ordering food; you got a full breakfast no matter what you desired, plus, if you opted for a sandwich, you got that as well. But, appetites sated, we went for a pint. Except we didn't. You can't get a drink in Edinburgh on a Sunday before 12.30 - madness. Jamie and Priesty went for a wander to find Mad Kenny's All-night Drinker, but returned half an hour later when they discovered it was shut.

In the meantime the rest of the gang prepared to depart, Jamie opting for a large G&T as a pre-train aperitif, and we stumbled our way down to the station. We managed a quick snecklifter in the bar, and boarded the iron horse, only to have to tell a pair of shirt-lifters to get out of a couple of our seats. The train journey proved lively, particularly when Jamie bellowed 'HOW MAN!' at a Japanese tourist who had his iPod so loud my contact lenses cracked. But thankfully we avoided any Tenko-style humiliation, and we disembarked back in sunny Newcastle.

Beers were necked back and we soon landed in Bedlington's salubrious Black Bull, where a warm welcome awaits the bleary-eyed traveller. A couple of the partygoers lasses arrived, and why wouldn't they? It's not a proper stag-do unless your lass turns up is it?

Ginola was soon on top form, and the arm gesticulations became wilder as he consumed his 400th pint of Wartface's Owld Smeg. True to form, he then collapsed, much to the hilarity of the gathering crowd, and after being helped to his feet his aggression dissipated and he went into 'Emotional Mode'. Basically, he told everyone how much he loved them, and they are great lads, etc, etc. Apart from me that is. He used a sexual swear word to describe me, because I had laughed when he fell over.

By this point the list of attendees had dwindled to the 'Famous Five' of Ginola, Jonna, Jamie, Priesty and your correspondent, so we zig-zagged up to the Northumberland Arms, only to meet up with Bedlington's very own kings of arseing around, Christopher and Richard Hay, lapping up the adulation after a fine win against the North. Ginola took the huff with me again, but thankfully Priesty and Jonna took him home. I finished my pint, and duly followed suit.


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Jonna and Scott had ensconsed themselves in the living room; whether there was any impropriety, I can't say, but they did look particularly satisfied. You make your own mind up.

I was in the room but dead to the world so I can't add anything else.......

but my bullet wound was untouched <_<

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