The Prize

‘You don’t want to know.'

‘Why wouldn’t I?’

‘Believe me, you don’t want to know.’

But you won. There was a prize for the winner, what was the prize?’

I can’t tell you. Anyway, it was a fit up.’

‘You mean they let you win. Why would they do that?’

‘Because we are getting married; it’s some scheme they’ve put together for my bachelor night out. Like I said, you don’t want to know.’

‘You’re not going to end up naked and handcuffed to a lamppost?’

'They wouldn’t do that. Besides I don’t drink that much that I wouldn’t know what they are up to. It will all be related later in the Best Man’s speech I’m sure. Especially if there’s anything that will embarrass me, it’s traditional. Now, let it be, I promise I won’t do anything stupid.’

The darts team and Adam’s other invited guests gathered in the car park of the Woolpack waiting for the bus. It must be an overnight sailing, Adam mused as he placed his bag on the floor.

‘I’m surprised you agreed to Amsterdam,’ Steven, his Best Man commented as he drew up beside him.

‘It wasn’t my choice; it was a prize for winning a competition amongst the team. It coincided with my planned bachelor weekend so I put the two together and didn’t have to do anything. They’ve been running a raffle all season and the profits have apparently paid for the whole weekend for both of us.’

‘Wow, some raffle. Still, I’ve never been against a freebee. But Amsterdam, hardly your scene I would have thought.’

‘I know and Trish gave me a hard time over it, the prize, ‘cause I wouldn’t tell her what it was. I made the mistake of saying she wouldn’t want to know. And now she’s worried sick they’ve got something awful up their sleeve.’

‘Here’s the bus and everyone has to deposit their mobile with the driver. Don’t want anyone sending Facebook messages about where we are or what we are doing.’ Jerry, the organizer, made the announcement as he produced a cardboard box to collect the phones.

It was a surprisingly short bus ride to a Motel on the other side of the nearby city.

‘Are we not going to Dover tonight?’ Adam asked Jerry.

‘Dover! What makes you think we’re going to Dover?’

‘Amsterdam, the prize ticket said Amsterdam.’

‘How much money do you think was in the raffle kitty? We couldn’t afford to sail to Amsterdam in Holland. We are going to Amsterdam tonight though, after we unpack, for dinner, and the adjoining club next door. It’s all booked so don’t worry.’

It was an excellent meal. Mostly beer was consumed although one or two did opt for wine and seemed eminently satisfied. At ten the restaurant was abandoned as the group moved to the club next door. Adam was ushered to a table near the front along with Steven, his hesitancy overcome by the darts team pushing along behind. He sat down and turned, first to Steven, the question clearly visible on his face, then to Jerry on his other side just as the band started playing the introduction to the nights show. He turned momentarily on hearing the music then turned back to Jerry.

‘A pole dancing and lap dancing club?’

‘Jerry put on his posh voice, ‘relax old boy, you’ve led a sheltered life with no man about the house to educate you in the ways of the world. It’s time to live a little, let your hair down, before that gorgeous little wife-to-be of yours closes and locks the door for good.’

‘But-----.‘ His protestations were cut off as one of the darts team placed a hand on his and Jerry’s shoulders before nodding towards the stage.

‘She’s a bit fit don’t you think!’

They both turned and looked at the pole dancer.

Adam jumped to his feet shouting, ‘Mum, you’re supposed to be doing office cleaning.’

The room descended into silence, Adam’s Mum dropped to her feet and put her hands to her face before running from the stage.

The look of horror on the faces of the darts team would have been funny on any other occasion.

Jerry turned to Adam. ‘We didn’t know; honestly, we didn’t know. You’ve got to believe us.

‘You don’t think we could live the way we do on an office cleaners wages do you.’ Was the explanation offered by Adam’s Mum later, to justify her pole dancing?

The wedding went off as planned. Needless to say there was no mention of the bachelor night out in the Best Man’s speech. When the subject crops up from time to time, as it does, it now raises a laugh, partly to hide the horror and embarrassment felt on the night.

© 2016 Yeadon Writers

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