Is there any tradition more tired than the average bachelor party? Strippers, steaks, shots, repeat. Been there, done that (not that it isn’t pleasurable). But in an era when women are rivaling the holy male triad of pre-wedding indulgence with penis cakes and pole-dancing classes, the whole ritual feels so provincial.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a range of alternative bachelor-party ideas that span the sophisticated, absurd, childlike and, naturally, fully soused. None of them inherently necessitate naked woman or counterproductively exhausting feasts at Brazilian churrascurias, but these suggestions aren’t hard and fast. All can be customized and amended to your brotherly liking, and depending on the chosen adventure, your BFF will thank you for either feeling refreshed, cathartically battered or good-naturedly humiliated. We think.
It takes balls to get hitched, so why not honor your buddy’s commitment by hiring a paragon of professional sports? Virtually every MLB franchise has their mascot available for private-party rental. Granted, they’re probably more accustomed to surprising toddlers or suffering through weird corporate retreats, but compared to the latter, having them at your shindig will be a dream. For whatever reason, the Wall Street Journal actually conducted an audit on the cottage business earlier this year, and found that the original costumed team cheerleader, Mr. Met, asks $600 an hour. The Pirate Parrot, on the other hand (no word on whether his gimmick is merely mimicking other mascots), will fulfill your childhood whims for 90 minutes at the same price. Truth is, all you’ll really want them to do is show up, take some pictures and generally sate the groom’s inner little leaguer, but the going rate is roughly that of a trip to the champagne room—and you can actually share this memory with your fiancé.
Pamper that man!
Hey, if the ladies can tap into their inner pervert, guys can begin classing up their rites of passage. Besides, behind all those Axe ads and refurbished beauty products nebulously repackaged and marketed for men is a 21st-century reality: Guys deeply desire to be preened and doted on. After all, it’s not like we diapered our own asses those first few years. Plus, plenty of salons either offer bachelor packages or standalone male-care services (a la national chain Bliss Spa re: the latter), and oftentimes they make sure to up the dudeness with beer, video games and other distractions from the inalienable fact that mani-pedis and facial scrubs envelop one in a lightness of body and mind. Or, to look at it another way, they’ll make you appear handsome and smell nice, and your partner will want to have relations later that evening. And the awaiting groom will feel a lot less stressed out about his infinite plunge into cohabitating, which is of course what’s most important.
Remember that episode of The Office where Michael took his Dunder Mifflin staff out for a day of employee bonding, including an ill-fated sumo competition that left Andy hobbled and helpless? (Man, a lot of these ideas could easily go lame if fallen into the wrong corporate hands.) Fear not—one needn’t reside in Scranton, PA, to simulate this exotic sporting experience. Anybody with a latent desire to play dress up as a morbidly obese Far Eastern grappler and spastically collide with their mates can see witness ideal bachelor activity become reality via sumo-suit rental outfits like Sumo Nationwide. Granted, it’s not the same as competing against real Japanese rikishis, but you will get to take out those decades of built-up tension (sexual or otherwise) between you and you’re your closest pals, all without parading around bare-assed and top-knotted. And no one likes a top-knot.
Roast the groom
Most peoples’ friends aren’t funny. That’s all the more reason to put them in a scenario that absolutely depends on a deft sense of humor to cut through what’s essentially an honest outpouring of jealousy, hostility and sheer debasement. There are companies out there who will organize and help write/perform a roast for you, but we say just rent out a bar or restaurant, choose a groomsman with the most charisma as emcee and stage your own DIY skewering ceremony. Think of it as dry run for your eventual champagne toast, or a simultaneous affirmation that these guys know you better than any bride-to-be, but are also huge assholes who you’d never want to spend the rest of eternity with. And, per one of the more infamous lines in televised-roasting memory, certainly not fuck with Bea Arthur’s dick.
Cabin in the woods
If it were possible, and not illegal and murderous, we’d absolutely advocate staging a game of mortal wills a la the movie Cabin in the Woods. But, even without elaborate booby traps and the fatal intentions of notorious horror villains, an actual weekend in the wilderness with some whiskey, hearty chili and firewood offers a perfect medium between rugged companionship and softer reflection. The main snag with even the aforementioned suggestions is they don’t really allow for quality bonding time, which a bachelor party symbolizes just as meaningfully as the finality of one man’s single epoch. Go about it with some grit—i.e. no faux-natural environs with modern amenities and flawless cell reception—and all participants will leave feeling like more of a man as individuals, tighter as a unit and ready to send their longtime amigo off to state-authorized union-hood.