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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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Published on November 23, 2020

How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

Your neighbors downstairs are playing loud music. Again. How do they not get tired of partying? And why do they choose songs with such a heavy downbeat that the glass in your cupboard is vibrating every two seconds? What can you do to get some peace that you deserve? What should you?

Human mind tends to go in circles whenever faced with a problem without a clear solution. It becomes easy to forget the big picture and get lost in anger and self-pity, wasting our precious time, energy and enthusiasm.

Would it not be nice if we always remembered to put things in perspective?

Would it not be more efficient to face all kinds of problems, from tiny annoyances to life-changing emergencies, with a calm demeanor, sharp focus and fearless determination to promptly take the most efficient action possible?

Alas, humans are not like that. All too often we let anxiety or greed get the best of us and make a rushed or shortsighted decision that we quickly come to regret. Other times, we spend weeks or months at an impasse, rehashing the exact same arguments, unable to accept the compromise required to move forward with any of the available options.

Buddhists talk about getting lost in the “small self.” In this state of mind, we literally forget the big picture and focus on the small one. We start taking our daily problems too personally and, paradoxically, becomes less capable of solving them in an efficient manner. And this is the opposite of big picture thinking.

Let me share with you a story related to big picture thinking…

In 1812, the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia.[1] After a decisive Battle of Borodino, the capture of Moscow and therefore Napoleon’s victory in the war seemed inevitable.

Unexpectedly, the Russian Commander-in-Chief Mikhail Kutuzov made a highly controversial decision of retreating and allowing the French to capture Moscow. Much of the population had been evacuated taking supplies with them. The city itself was set on fire and large parts of it burned into the ground.

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After waiting in vain for Russia to capitulate, Napoleon had to retreat in the middle of a bitterly cold winter. He won the battle but lost the war. The campaign ended in a disaster and the near destruction of the French army.

What can we learn from this historical lesson?

1. Focus on the Consequences

Napoleon focused on the important part: capturing Moscow. Nobody could accuse him of thinking small. Yet he overlooked that the Russian army could still fight even after giving up the country’s most important city.

So was Moscow not an important target after all?

Success expert Brian Tracy has a litmus test: things are important to the extent that they have important consequences. Things are unimportant to the extent that they have no important consequences.[2]

When faced with a choice, ask yourself, what would be the consequences of each option?

  • Want to spend an hour studying or watching the new series on Netflix? What would be the consequences of each option? Netflix can sometimes be a better choice, but it helps to put things in perspective.
  • Want to maintain your apartment by yourself or to pay a cleaning service? Would would be the consequences of each option?
  • Want to meet up for coffee with this acquaintance of yours or catch up on your work instead? What would be the consequences of each option?

The choice can be different for different people. An aspiring filmmaker may have a legitimate reason for choosing Netflix. Personally, cleaning your own apartment can be relaxing and nourishing even if the economics of hiring a cleaner looks compelling because you are earning a high hourly rate.

This is where you will need a basic idea of who you are — what are your goals, values and aspirations.

2. Flip Defeat Into Victory

Kutuzov managed to turn Russia’s defeat into a historic victory by recasting the problem in a wider context: losing Moscow need not mean losing the war.

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Despite the symbolic meaning attached to the Kremlin, the churches, the priceless treasures that had been stored in the city for centuries, the outcome of the campaign was ultimately determined by the strength of the remaining armies.

If you can adopt this result-oriented perspective, many of your personal defeats may be flipped into victories as well. Few events in a human life are absolutely good or absolutely bad, and it usually takes many years to recognize in retrospect, what role a particular encounter did play in your story.

Therefore we have every reason to look for the good in the things that happen to us.

This is a very practical attitude, far from baseless “positive thinking.” After all, if something unfortunate has happened to you and you find good sides in this circumstance, you will then be better positioned to take advantage of those good sides.

Say your noisy neighbors are affecting your productivity. What if it is a blessing in disguise? How can you turn this defeat into a victory?

  • Perhaps you are too serious about life and could learn how to have more fun. Join your neighbors or go out for a walk instead of working;
  • Perhaps you only wanted to be productive while instead procrastinated on social media. Now that your procrastination has been interrupted, stop and acknowledge this much greater obstacle to your productivity;
  • Perhaps you are too sensitive to interference. Take this opportunity to practice ignoring the noise and doing your best anyway;
  • Perhaps you have a victim mentality and the feeling of unfairness drains you more than any actual nuisance your neighbors might have caused. Try accepting this lapse in your productivity the way you would accept bad weather.

Get used to finding opportunities in your problems. This is the quintessential big picture thinking.

3. Ask for Advice

Both Napoleon and Kutuzov had trusted advisers to discuss their affairs with. In general, getting a different perspective — or several — can only help inform your understanding and lead to better decisions. Just ensure that the people giving you advice are competent in the particular area where experience is needed.

Paying money for advice can also be a wise investment. Lawyers, tax accountants, medical doctors spend years learning how to assist people like yourself in living more successful, more fulfilling lives.

A quick legal consultation can save you a fortune down the line or even keep you out of big trouble. A medical check-up can uncover potential issues and help keep you healthy and active for years to come.

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Even big, complex dilemmas at your job or in your romantic relationship can be tackled more effectively by partnering up with a coach or a therapist or, of course, with the help of a wise friend.

4. Beware of Biased Advice

Many imperfect decisions occur in response to an imperfect piece of advice that you choose to act on. This advice often comes from a biased party.

For example, we are often encouraged to buy something that we supposedly need:

  • Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by using a special lotion.
  • Fortify your health by taking multivitamins.
  • Connect with your friends by sending them elaborate gifts.
  • Brighten your weekend by consuming a delicious pastry.
  • Become more productive by getting a faster computer.

However, most purchases are unnecessary.

Some, such as the sunscreen, do have legitimate benefits when used properly.[3] Others, such as multivitamins, only make a difference for a small group of people.[4]

Advertisers of those benefits inevitably want to narrow your focus in order to overstate the importance of their product. They frequently present it as the only solution to your problem, whether real or imaginary.

After all,

  • Skin can also be protected from the sun by wearing appropriate clothing.
  • Health can be better fortified by consuming a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
  • Spending time or talking on the phone with your friends is the foremost way of connecting with them, and it is virtually free.
  • Your weekend can be brightened by doing something that you love.
  • You can become more productive by focusing on the tasks that have the most important consequences. A faster computer can, in fact, decrease productivity by making it easier to multitask and by enabling your favorite distractions.

There are other sources of imperfect advice. Politicians also frequently want us to focus on a particular “big picture,” to the exclusion of the alternatives.

Even loving parents can be guilty of the same. They can advise their children to pick a career path that is safe and respectable, based on their “big picture” that in life one has to make a living. A child may disagree, however, based on another “big picture” that one’s life has to have meaning and fulfillment.

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Bottom Line

It is human nature to make rushed, emotional decisions based on incomplete information, then regret those decisions later on.

You can protect yourself from poor judgment by striving to attain the big picture when careful consideration is called for.

Focus on the consequences of your decision before considering how you feel about it.

Play with the cards you’ve been dealt, but look for opportunities in each situation and you will find them.

Ask knowledgeable mentors for advice, but beware of biased people who have an opinion, but do not necessarily have your best interest in mind.

Yet remember, true big picture thinking comes from hard-won experience. Legendary military commanders Napoleon Bonaparte and Mikhail Kutuzov were both injured on the battlefield.

Clear thinking comes from putting your big picture to the test of reality.

More Tips on Thinking Clearly

Featured photo credit: Haneen Krimly via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Wikipedia: French invasion of Russia
[2] Brian Tracy: No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline
[3] American Academy of Dermatology: Say Yes to Sun Protection
[4] Harvard Medical School: Do multivitamins make you healthier?

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