Destination Bachelor Parties

We can't wait for Stacey Bell of Fox 8 to decide where she'll go for her destination wedding next year. Stay tuned right here and I'll let you know.

In the meantime, my children are into Destination Bachelor Parties.

Last summer my son Joe's bachelor party was at Put-In-Bay. When I was their age, it was de rigueur to go to Put-In-Bay and spend the weekend in jail. Never me, mind you, but most people I knew did that. Luckily, nobody at Joe's bachelor party was arrested, through no fault of their own.

This weekend my son Mike's bachelor party is at a cabin in a state park somewhere in central Ohio, generally southeast of Columbus. Who knows how they found this place? They'll lug in enough beer and food to cater a NASCAR race. If a state park is patrolled by state troopers, I don't have a good feeling.

I am reminded of my bachelor party several decades ago. The police were involved.

I was picked up and driven downtown in a hearse borrowed from Berry's Funeral Home. They told me to stretch out in the back and occasionally sit up and wave to the people in the car next to us at a red light. That worked out nicely. There was a good turnout of old pals in the back room of Pat Joyce's Tavern on the Green, which was on Chester Ave. between East Ninth and East Twelth, across from the Chester Commons. The name was later changed to Perk Park, where that tragic shooting took place a year ago.

My bachelor party did not get dramatic until the Lakewood police had me paged on the phone.

"What's up?" I said when they handed me the phone.

"You'll find out when you get home," the police dispatcher said. "Do you know anybody who keeps goats?"

I had a bad feeling. Those were the halcyon days when Chevy dealer George Lamb, left tackle Doug Dieken and saloon keeper Pat McIntyre were at the peak of their skills as practical jokers. Those three guys had too much money, too much time and too much imagination.

Sure enough, when I got home, there was a goat tethered to the front bumper of a junker with four flat tires in my driveway. You would have described the junker as "abandoned," except that the title was on the front seat and it was titled to me. Naturally, it didn't run, either. We shoved it into the street overnight and in the morning it had a parking ticket on the windshield.

I would have been smarter going to a cabin.

This article reprinted from, through a partnership between Dan Coughlin and The Cleveland Leader. To read more of his writing, visit his website.