Chained to a lamppost?

Mar 31st, 2005, 04:05 PM
  #1  
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Chained to a lamppost?

There is a very funny article in the Guardian about a photo-op with Prince Charles and his sons.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/st...449893,00.html

This sentence made me LOL :

"His [Prince William's] father's claims to connect with modern life were further dented when his sons had to explain to him, in answer to another question, what a stag night was."

But then it goes on to say:
" Asked whether they had chained their father to a lamppost, the princes laughed loudly while Charles was heard wondering why they would have done that."

I gather that this is some British custom (or expresssion) that I've never heard of. So for the Fodor Brits: can you explain this to a clueless Yank?
nonnafelice is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 04:17 PM
  #2  
KT
 
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I'm not a Brit, but I believe that that's one of theose drunken stag night pranks: the groom-to-be gets chained to a lamppost. Also, I think, covered in shoe polish or greasepaint.
KT is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 04:21 PM
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nonnafelice, thanks! That was funny!
" I hate these people, bloody people" LOL
Scarlett is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 04:22 PM
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It's generally what every bride dreads on her wedding day - waking up to a phone call explaining that her husband-to-be has been left chained to a lampost - usually far from home - with no keys, money and in extreme circumstances no clothing!

Which explains why Stag Nights are generally held a couple of weeks in advance of the Big Day
alya is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 04:24 PM
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ira
 
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>...his sons had to explain to him,...what a stag night was."<

I find it hard to believe that anyone his age, even a British Royal, did not know what a "stag night" was.

ira is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 04:42 PM
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KT
 
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Perhaps he thought it involved going out riding on the royal horses over across the royal park and shooting the royal deer.
KT is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 04:46 PM
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or, KT, wakes up to discover he was shot by a "stag"
cigalechanta is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 06:50 PM
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That article is brilliant. Somehow this father-son moment strikes me as quintessentially British:

'The mumbled exchanges began with Charles asking his two sons: "Do I put my arms around you?"

'Prince William replied: "No, don't, but you can take the horrible glasses away."

'Charles said: "Do not be rude about my glasses, I couldn't bear it if you were."

'Urged by a member of the press to "look like you know each other", the two princes leaned into their father, who put his arms around them.

'Charles then muttered: "What do we do?"

'William replied: "Keep smiling, keep smiling."'
jahoulih is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 08:23 PM
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"I find it hard to believe that anyone his age, even a British Royal, did not know what a "stag night" was."

When we went on a London Walk in St. James a couple of years ago, the guide mentioned that Charles had his stag party at White's, the famous gentlemen's club. And I know those guides would never make up things.
Kayb95 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 08:35 PM
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I'm sorry, but this is a man whose Mother put her role of Queen before being a mother. How do you expect him to be?

Parenting is generally learnt. If you're raised in an unloving atmosphere how can you relate to your children? The fact that his sons can laugh and joke with him while under the gaze of the paparazzi is a good thing, Perhaps his sense of humor isn't really understood.
alya is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 12:01 AM
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I certainly think this morning's story is a non-story. I am no Roylist, but if I had to deal with those b******s, I doubt I could be as civil as he usually is.

As to the lamp-post chaining, it's a pale reflection of the Scottish "blacking" or "blackening".

Here's one version, I nicked off another site. We still see this here, in the big city, but usually now only when the groom works in one of the traditional industries.

There still exists within the islands a pre-wedding tradition simply referred to as "the Blackening".

The Blackening is a fairly rough ceremony in which the groom-to-be is waylaid by his friends. He is stripped (winter and summer!), bound and "blackened" using a messy mixture that usually contains treacle, flour and feathers. The unfortunate groom is then paraded around on the back of a truck, while his comrades make as much noise as possible by blowing whistles, shouting, beating sticks, banging drums and generally creating a din with anything they can lay their hands on.

The parade through the streets can last a few hours and it is not uncommon for the party to end up in the sea.

The sight of a blackening in full swing is usually something that causes visitors to raise a quizzical eyebrow. The tradition described in recent years by the Sheriff as an "accepted breach of the peace."

As to the origin of the Blackening - that I cannot say with any degree of certainty. An interesting idea is that the current Blackening ceremonies may be a corrupted variation of the old feet/hair washing traditions, the purpose of the Blackening being to ensure the groom is dirty before the washing takes place. The washing element has perhaps been forgotten over the centuries - unless, of course, we can count the unfortunate groom's dip in the cold sea water. However, now the aim is simply to get the groom as messy and drunk as possible.

The general din created during the Blackening may also have some connection to the tradition of noise-making common not only during the Wedding March but at other Orkney festival times. In these cases the noise was thought to keep the trows or fairy-folk at bay, otherwise they might attempt to spirit away the bride or groom.

In the realms of pure speculation but could the Blackening itself be symbolic of such a fairy abduction? It is highly unusual for a groom to go to his Blackening willingly.

Off course, at the end of the day, one is also left wondering whether the noise generated is simply another way of humiliating the groom and ensuring as many people as possible see him in his sorry state.

sheila is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 02:45 AM
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Sheila wins the entertaining cultural nugget of the day award.
Nikki is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 03:09 AM
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It's a staple of comedy programmes on TV, and there was a cinema film a couple of years ago about a bridegroom who finds himself stranded naked on a beach in the Western Isles...
PatrickLondon is online now  
Apr 1st, 2005, 03:09 AM
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Oh, the ritual humilation of the groom-to-be is one of lifes passage rites that all us British males have to endure.

Chaining to a lampost is the classic.

I escaped lightly with a mild concusion after falling with my trousers around my ankles and hands tied behind my back.

From victim to perpetrator; I have been guilty of shaving off an eyebrow of a groom-to-be. Fortunately she still married him but only after he had to pencil in an eyebrow!

Surely it's not just the British who do this?



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Colin is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 04:06 AM
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I think perhaps nonnafelice should also have read to the bottom of this morning's Guardian front page:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/monarchy/s...449949,00.html
PatrickLondon is online now  
Apr 1st, 2005, 07:34 AM
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Its not just for men! Many 'hen's' are tied up and hit with raw eggs and flour. It usually happend on a Friday afternoon in our town. I was saved slightly and only dressed up as the statue of liberty and driven in eth backof a truck covered in silly spray - PHEW! We then had the 'hen' night the following evening Droll!
mousireid is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 07:43 AM
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Patrick,

Are you saying that the whole Prince Charles story was an April Fool's joke? If so, a whole lot of the world press also ran with it. If you do a Google news search, you will find many papers carrying variations on the story of Charles being PO'd by the press.

Anyway, thanks to those who supplied the entertaining elucidation on the subject of the lamppost. I have never heard of lamppost-chaining or body-blackening as part of grooms' rituals in the States. Maybe I'm just naive or travel in innocent circles, but I don't recall hearing of any such hazing customs here as pre-wedding events.
nonnafelice is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 01:00 PM
  #18  
KT
 
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I was treated to a live exhibition of "blackening" last year while strolling in Kirkwall. And I can confirm that "The sight of a blackening in full swing is usually something that causes visitors to raise a quizzical eyebrow."
KT is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 02:08 PM
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I don't think there's any chance of people chaining Prince Charles to a lamppost. I think most would fear that no one would be able to separate him as they couldn't tell which one was the prince and which one was the lamppost. Actually though, it should be easy to tell. The lamppost is the brighter one.
Patrick is offline  
Apr 1st, 2005, 02:15 PM
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Wow, you Brits put our excessive drinking and mild humiliation to shame! At my bachelorette party (hen's night) I was only subjected to wearing a t-shirt with a less than flattering photo of me on it while also being forced to wear an ugly veil with a fake bird on top!
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