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Tips for When Your Bachelor Party Shenanigans go Too Far

Tips for When Your Bachelor Party Shenanigans go Too Far

Bachelor parties are a last hoorah and an “anything goes” excuse for men to act like young boys again. Things often go way too far, and it’s fine unless you get caught up in the shenanigans. Angry spouses, agitated police officers, and black eyes are some standard outcomes. While your shenanigans may make you a legend among your buddies, they can be taken out of context by everyone not involved in your bachelor party. What may be intended as some innocent bonding time can be misconstrued. To avoid any backlash, there are ways to minimize the damage to your fellow comrades and yourself.

5 Examples of Bachelor Party Shenanigans That Went Too Far

1. The Disorderly Conduct Misdemeanor of the Staal Boys

During Eric Staal’s bachelor party, he and 14 others, including his brother, Jordan Staal, wound up getting arrested. Jordan and Eric play for the NHL team the Pittsburgh Penguins, so their arrest made headlines. They were screaming, yelling, and playing loud music at a resort and were warned multiple times to quiet down. They were ordered to leave the resort they were staying at, so they went on a walk, which lead them to the highway. There, they began to harass motorists, which led to their arrest. Jordan Staal, who was only 18 at the time, was charged with underage drinking.

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2. Moroccan Dress-Up Misunderstanding

In Morocco, a French man dressed up as a woman and paraded around in Marrakesh’s famous bazaar. This might not be a criminal offense in most places, but it’s seriously offensive in some. They were put in custody, and their actions were said to be irresponsible and disruptive to public morals. Morocco’s penal code outlaws homosexuality, and I guess dressing up as a woman as a prank crosses that legal line. Moral of the story here, I guess, is make sure you know what the customs are in the country you’re traveling to for your bachelor party shenanigans.

3. Mile High Bachelor Shenanigans

If you’re flying elsewhere for a bachelor party, you may not want to follow the lead of this crew. Twelve Brits were flying from London to Bratislava for Joshua Mariner’s bachelor party. They were loud and obnoxious, even throwing punches at each other. The crew stopped giving them alcohol. The end result was the captain landing the plane in Berlin, an unscheduled stop. The worst six of the bunch faced charges of up to 20,000 GBP under the Aviation Security Act. The saving grace in this story is that Ryanair should have never let them on the flight in their already drunken conditions. This is the kind of thing that has the potential to stand up in court when presented properly.

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4. Bachelor Party Bar Brawl

In Spokane, Washington, a groom-to-be hadn’t even made it to the altar before he made his first appearance in court for a bachelor party gone wrong. He and two of his friends were a part of an all-out brawl during their party. Multiple calls occurred stating that a man was jumping up and down on the hood of a car. When the police arrived, they found more than 25 people fighting outside of the bar. When police tried to separate the groom and his two buddies, they pushed the officer. Police backup was called and more than 25 officers arrived to break up the madness. The three have been charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer as well as other misdemeanors.

5. The Groping Groom

Police arrested a groom to be in Stillwater named Steven Bryce Meduna after allegedly groping women on the dance floor at a bar. Meduna was asked to leave but he resisted. In his drunken stupor, he grabbed a railing and refused to let go when they attempted to drag him off the dance floor. Several employees finally managed to get him onto the patio area but he continued to aggressively attempt to punch a security officer. Meduna was arrested for disorderly conduct and was booked into Washington County Jail.

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Stealing Someone’s Garden Gnome

It may seem hilarious at the time to steal someone’s property like, say, a garden gnome. However, the owners may not take it so well, and they may call the police. If you’re found with said garden decoration, you may end up in more trouble than you bargained for. As you didn’t cause bodily harm or threaten anyone, the charge will be theft. Theft is a felony in most cases, and it’s possible you could be sent to prison for 3 months to 2 years. Most people are going to understand that you made an error in judgement at a bachelor party. First, plead forgiveness from the owners with a formal apology. If you are unable to sweet talk the police and owners into the innocence of your theft, you’re likely going to need a defense lawyer.

Criminal Mischief

Criminal mischief includes silly things you would never normally do. Anything goes at a bachelor party while you are out on the town for the night. Maybe in your half drunk lack of judgement, you kick someone’s property or maybe you want to commemorate the night with a graffiti memorial. That’s all well and good until the police drive by and catch you mid-spray (or mid-kick). It depends how much damage you’ve done in dollars, of course, but you could end up with jail time for your momentary lapse. Don’t run. This will only incur additional charges. Drop the can, raise your hands and be prepared to answer some questions. It’s likely you’ll be taken down to the police station as you’ve already proven you can’t be trusted on this particular night. Be cooperative but don’t give up too much information as it can be used against you later. You may be charged, and if this occurs, immediately ask for a plea deal and say you will fix the damage you caused. This should eliminate any possibility of a criminal record.

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Indecent Exposure

While it may seem innocent to urinate in the streets or go streaking during a bachelor party, it can be taken up in the wrong way completely. You could end up in prison or fined a lot of money with an indecent exposure conviction if you don’t get your story across correctly. It’s probably best if you skip right to finding a lawyer so they can argue your case for you. It’s possible that your charges can be reduced or dismissed if defense strategies are played out well.

Disorderly Conduct

Just the act of swearing in the streets (which may be perfectly acceptable according to bachelor party etiquette) can land you in jail for the night. By law, you’re breaching peace, and you can be considered a threat to the public. If you’re convicted under the charge of disorderly conduct, it’s a permanent stain on your record. If you’re charged with a class B misdemeanor, you could face prison time. You may be asked to provide a statement by the police, but if you’re under the influence, you may want to keep quiet. Many times, drunken ramblings only make things worse.

Drinking in Public

There may be drinking in public involved with your bachelor party, or you may just be drunk getting from one place to the next. Being arrested for public intoxication is a buzzkill to the whole night. While you’re drunk, the police may decide to release you from prison, provided you plead guilty or no contest. While you may want to get back out and party with your friends, you’ll actually be convicted if you agree to their terms. It’s publicly put on record, and it can influence your career later on. Even if you’re guilty, this small act shouldn’t change your life. If the police press charges, get a defense lawyer and contest it.

Evading Arrest (i.e. running from the cops)

Evading arrest is a fine line and you have more rights than you may realize. If a police officer starts talking to you, you’re not required to respond. You are free to decline questions or searches as long as you haven’t been placed in custody or formerly arrested. If they have reasonable suspicion, they must order you to stop. If they do ask you to stop and you don’t, you could end up with high fines and potentially some jail time. The best way to avoid the charge is to say you were confused, and if they didn’t take the necessary steps towards a proper arrest, you can contest it.

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Loraine Couturier

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

You may have heard someone say they are “totally right brained” or that they’re “a left brained person.”

There is a pervasive myth that’s been making its rounds for over a century: people have two hemispheres of their brains, and if they have a dominant left brain, they’re more analytical; and if they have a dominant right brain, they are more creative.

Before we go debunking this theory and then giving some tips for how people can access their creative brain centers, let’s first take a look at where the left brain/right brain lateralization theory comes from.

The Left Brain/Right Brain Lateralization Theory

In the 1800s, scientists discovered that when patients injured one side of their brains, certain skills were lost.[1] Scientists linked those different skills to one side of the brain or the other. Thus began the left brain/right brain myth that continues to this day.

Then, in the 1960s and 70s, Roger W. Sperry led 16 operations that cut the corpus callosum (the largest region that connects both brain hemispheres together) in order to try to treat patients’ epilepsy. Sperry wrote about the differences in the two hemispheres as a result of those surgeries.[2]

Sperry’s work was popularized in 1973 with a New York Times article about his lateralization theory—that people were either right brained (read: logical) or left brained (read: creative). From here, Sperry won the Nobel Prize for his work and numerous other publications spread the right brain/left brain myth.

Debunking the Right Brain/Left Brain Myth

If anything, the lateralization theory of the brain is a gross exaggeration. It is true that people have two hemispheres of their brains. It is also true that there are differences in the composition of those two hemispheres.

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However, the hemispheres are actually much more interconnected than Sperry’s work initially made it seem.

In a 2013 study,[3] scientists scanned over 1000 people’s brains, checking for lateralization. They confirmed that certain brain functions occur predominately in one hemisphere or the other but that, in reality, the brain is actually much more interconnected and complex than the right brain/left brain lateralization theory makes it seem.[4][5]

A New Metaphor for Right Brain/Left Brain

How do we get past this right brain/left brain myth?

First, let’s look at what contemporary cognitive science says about brain regions, and creative and logical modes of thinking.

My background is as an improviser and improv researcher. I wrote Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition and think looking at improvisation and the brain can shed light on a new model for talking about unlocking the brain’s creative potential.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans have shown that while trained improvisers improvise (musically on a keyboard, rapping, and comedic improvisation) an interesting shift happens in their brain activity. [6]

A region called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex decreases in activity and creative language centers such as the medial prefrontal cortex increase in activity. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is linked with conscious thoughts—that inner voice that tells you not to say something or criticizes you when you do.

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The medial prefrontal cortex is among the brain regions linked with creativity. So, instead of thinking about right brain and left brain, perhaps it’s more current and correct to think about more specific brain regions instead of hemispheres. Perhaps, it’s more useful to think about which activities and strategies will allow us to inhibit our dorsolateral prefrontal cortexes and allow our medial prefrontal cortexes to flourish.

How to Enhance Your “Right Brain” — Creativity

Whether we’re talking about right brain versus left brain, creative versus logical, or medial prefrontal cortex versus dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, we still know enough to talk about strategies to tap into your creative brain’s full potential.

So, now that we’ve dispelled the right brain/left brain myth and looked at a more contemporary, cognitive neuroscience theory of brain regions and creativity centers, let’s look at how to tap into the potential of your creative brain.

1. Performing Arts

One way to tap into your creative brain centers is to participate in the performing arts. Whether you improvise, act, or dance, the performing arts allow you an embodied experience that will help you snap out of your habitual, logical thoughts.

Another benefit of the performing arts is that it changes your attention. Attention and creativity are inextricably linked. When we improvise, act, or dance, we have to focus intently on our fellow performers. This means we are forced to focus less on our conscious, logical thoughts. This frees us up for more creative thinking and expression.[7]

One of the conclusions of my research on improvisation is that focusing intensely on fellow improvisers and the task at hand makes it more likely that we experience a flow state. Dr. Csikszentmihalyi,[8] a Professor of Psychology and Management defines flow as an optimal psychological state when our skills match the difficulty of the task at hand. Our perception of time is altered as we get into the zone and become more present and in the moment during our chosen activity.[9]

A flow state is a creative state. It’s the opposite of crunching numbers and forcing ourselves to work out a problem with the conscious regions of our brain. So, get up, improvise, act, or dance to access your creativity.

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2. Visual Art

Art teacher Betty Edwards[10] wrote a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Here again, we see that a shift in our attention can lead us to an increase in our creative thinking.

Edwards’ book gives art students tricks to shift the way they see the world. For example, one exercise encourages students to literally flip whatever it is they’re drawing upside down before they draw it. This forces budding artists to literally see the object in a new way. This shift allows them to focus more on the individual components and patterns of the object, which allows them to draw it better.

Shifting how we see things is another way we can access our creative brain centers. Take an art class to shut off your conscious, critical thoughts and start seeing things from a new, more creative perspective.

3. Zone Out

If there’s one thing creativity doesn’t like, it’s being coerced.

I think we’ve all felt that awful feeling of trying to force ourselves to be creative. When we force it, we’re really trying to force our logical brain regions to be creative. It’s like asking your gardener to perform your appendix surgery. It’s just not what she does.

Instead, stop forcing it. Take a break. Take a long walk or a relaxing bath or shower. Let your mind wander.

Whatever you do, stop forcing it. This break lets your creative centers rise to the surface of your attention and get heard.

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4. Practice Mindfulness

The final trick to start accessing your so-called right brain is to practice mindfulness.

Now, there’s a lot of different ways to go about mindfulness. You can take a more physical approach with a yoga class. Or you can try meditating to become more aware and in tune with your thoughts and feelings: Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly

You could also try to incorporate fun mindfulness exercises[11] into your everyday routine like forcing yourself to go on detours or pretending you’re a detective who needs to examine people and places closely.

Any way you do it, mindfulness exercises and training can help you become better versed in how your brain works and what your normal thought process is like on a day-to-day basis. If we’re ever going to reach our optimal creativity, we have to become an expert in how our individual brain functions. Mindfulness is one way to become your very own brain expert.

Mindfulness also has added benefits like calming us, slowing our breathing, and helping us become more observant, which are also great ways to start tapping into our creative potential.

Final Thoughts

So, it may not be correct to say that our right brain is our creative brain, but it is still a valid pursuit to try to optimize our creative brain centers.

The key to do so is to relax, become observant, shift your perspective, move your body, try something new, and, whatever you do, don’t force it.

Creativity can feel slippery. It can abandon us when we need it most, but by slowing down and looking at things from a new perspective, we can give ourselves a better chance of tapping into our ultimate creativity, even if that doesn’t exactly mean our “right brain.”

More Tips on Boosting Creativity

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

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