You have had an extremely stressful week full of meetings, appointments, errands, e.t.c and luckily, your friends have invited you out for a night with the boys. You really need some sleep, but hanging with your guys, without the voice of your wife/girlfriend in the background, would actually be a better way to unwind… so you accept the invitation.
‘A night out with the boys’ or ‘Boys night out’ as most would call it, is sacred to most men. The Urban dictionary defines it as ‘a harmless activity that male friends participate in for the purpose of reinforcing friendship, or simply getting together to do something positive. Such activities include, but are not limited to: consuming alcohol, discussing business and finance, watching or playing sports, playing video games or card games, occasionally talking about women, or watching a movie that doesn’t suck.‘
The thing though is, while a night out with the boys’ can fun and exhilarating, it can easily turn sour and sad if the right precautions are not taken. Certain safety measures have to be taken to ensure you all go out, have a good time and make it home by the end of the night in one piece (physically and emotionally).
Keep someone informed of your movements.
Yes, you have been invited by your guys. Maybe all they did was send you a name and address, with a hint that you would be bar hopping, but before you move out, make sure you notify someone – maybe your parents, your wife, and family, another close friend e.t.c – of your intended movements. Even if what you share is a general idea, it is better than nothing. Ensure someone knows where you are at all times.
Carry the essentials
Before you leave the hangout, ensure you have all you need to survive, in case of an emergency. A fully charged phone is imperative, so you can stay connected to people at home or the person keeping tabs on you; A power bank, in case the phone’s battery gets drained; Your keys and ID – you never know who would stop you and ask you to identify yourself (the police); and most importantly, cash. A general rule to go by is to have enough cash to cover a round trip cab ride. Even if you have your bank card which you plan to use for expenses for the night, have cash on hand so that you can easily use it to take care of anything that may come up.
Know where the exits are
Once you get to the venue, figure out where the exits are and different ways to get in and out of the location you’re at. In case of an emergency such as fire or gunshots, you’re going to want to get out as quickly as possible. Knowing where the exit is helps.
Also, if your exit strategy for the night involves sneaking out, it is easier to execute it when you know where the exits are.
Do not consume unknown substances
When you are hanging out with the boys, there sometimes might be pressure from one or two of them to try something new. While it is good to be adventurous, you do not want to try something you are not sure of when you are not in the safety of your own home. You don’t know the effects it will have on your body and your mental state of mind. There is a chance that you may end up in an incoherent state and not be able to manage your own safety afterward. You don’t want that to happen to you.
Likewise, do not accept alcohol (or weed) from people you don’t know and trust. You might think you know what is in it but really, you don’t. They may have added an additional substance to the drink or wrap to make you much more intoxicated and vulnerable than it originally should have made you.
Never leave your drink unattended
The fact that you are with your guys is not enough reason to leave your drink unattended. No matter how much you trust your friends, keep in mind that while you’re not holding your drink, it is at risk of being drugged, poisoned, stolen or spilled. Alcohol is not cheap, you don’t want to cry over it being stolen or spilled; being drugged or poisoned is definitely way worse than. On that note, never leave your drink unattended; someone could spike it or put an unknown substance in it. This could cause you to be in an undesired mental state or even unconscious.
Eat before you drink and know your limits
If you are sure you will be drinking with your guys, make sure you eat before heading out. Eating beforehand will help you stay sober enough to enjoy the night. You do not want to be the one who gets drunk and climbs the tables or they have to carry home.
Also, know when to stop drinking. Know your limit and don’t allow yourself get pressured into taking more shots or going more rounds. Put your foot down and the others will respect your decision. There is shame in saying you have had enough of alcohol. Alcohol poisoning is real; you don’t want to go down like that.
Never leave with someone that you don’t know that well
There is the thing about scoring a one-night stand – it gives you a good look in front of your boys, but it also exposes you a lot of risks. Besides the possibility of him/her being infected with an STI, they could have ulterior motives. They could be robbers or ritualists. Do not travel alone at night with them or let them take you home either. Exchange numbers and meet up in a public place at a later time. However, if you must spend the night with the person, ensure you have people checking up on you and you spend the night in a public space.
Do not drive if you have had alcohol or drugs
Do not take the risk of driving yourself if you know you have been taking alcohol. Get one of your friends who is sober to drive, and if you can’t find any, call your wife at home or your sibling to come and drive you home. It’s better they get angry over that than cry over your demise.
If you have no other options at all, take an Uber or Taxify then return the next day to pick your car. If, however, you managed to stay sober and you are driving back at night, ensure you keep all your windows and doors locked; refrain from hitchhiking or picking up a hitchhiker, and keep to the average speed limit.
Check to make sure you still have all of your valuables before leaving
In the course of laughter and argument, you may get distracted and drop something important. It could be your driver’s license, your ID Card, your wedding ring, your sunglasses, your wallet, e.t.c. It can be frustrating to already have gotten home before you realize it. To avoid such, ensure you check for your valuables, including your cell phone, credit card, driver’s license, house key, chapstick, e.t.c before you leave. You can even run through the list with your friend too so that you are sure.
How do you stay safe when spending a night out with the boys? Do you have any stories, tips or advice for other guys? Let us know!
Photo Credit: Mark Adams | Dreamstime.com