Viewpoint: Dear Stags...

Dear Dazza, Bazza and Gazza,

Thank you for choosing to visit Latvia. The fact that you did so shows that whatever else may be said of you, there is at least some microscopic vestige of sense buried within you. Admittedly, buried pretty deep, but still.

It was disappointing and yet at the same time quite a relief to see you bundled into the back of a police van a few days ago and driven to the local cop shop.

We felt, almost, a sort of sympathy as you disappeared, knickers around your ankles, make-up running and tiara all squiffy. It is a similar sympathy we feel when we see a fox caught by the hounds in that sport which was once so popular in your country.

It's not a very pleasant sight but the fox is, after all, a pest and there is little entertainment in quietly shooting it. Better to dress up, make a lot of noise and annoy everyone else for miles around in the name of fun.

Just like you did.

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Fortunately, you were not ripped limb from limb and your blood was not ritually daubed on the foreheads of children. You were simply told to sober up and handed a €250 fine. Latvia is a civilized country.

We had hoped that you had all outgrown stag parties. Riga has enjoyed a few years of peace after the last invasion of incontinent transvestites, with visitors from more wealthy countries than yours, such as Sweden and Japan, walking the streets and looking at architecture.

It's true that they do not spend lots of money on beer, which you seem to think is equivalent to a Rockefeller's charitable donation or the purchase of long-term government bonds and for which locals should be eternally grateful.

On the other hand, these Swedes and Japanese stay in upmarket hotel rooms which they very rarely, if ever, smash up. When they go out for a meal in a restaurant (imagine if you can an upscale version of the fast food joints you frequent in which customers sit down while eating and cutlery made of real metal must be returned at the end of the meal) they have usually done more for the local economy than you before they have even reached dessert.

You are right, there are no deserts in Latvia.

Similarly - and we fear this will offend you to the very core of your being - your choice of beer is execrable. One day, try buying one really, really good Latvian craft beer instead of five pints of cheap factory lager. This is the principle of quality over quantity, of which you have perhaps heard when accidentally switching on BBC Radio 4 for a few seconds.

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The tragedy of this situation, apart from the fact that I just emailed a link of your arrest to the woman who will very soon become your mother-in-law, is that all of this could have been so easily avoided. If only someone had thought to inform you in advance of a few simple pointers:

1) No-one thinks you are funny, regardless of your costume.
2) We have seen it all before. Many times.
3) We understand every word you say. You understand nothing we say.
4) Given the popularity of this behavior among your compatriots, one day someone is very likely to vomit/urinate on your front door. You will need a tenable moral position from which to criticize them.

Research by scientists ("boffins") has revealed that it is possible for the human being to enjoy itself even while not in a state of advanced intoxication and moreover, that interactions between members of the species Homo Sapiens, to which you belong - to our surprise as much as yours - can be successfully carried out at low decibel volumes with word lengths that stray well over your four-letter norm. Philosophers ("eggheads") have even suggested that these so-called 'con-ver-sat-ions' can be a source of pleasure.

Try it perhaps? We will not think you less manly. How could we?

Oh yes, finally we should mention Brexit. Our Baltic neighbors down in Vilnius have launched a #HugABrit campaign to try to persuade you to stay in the European Union. We haven't launched any similar campaign, possibly for the reasons listed above.

So, you know, do what you think best. We're not that bothered, to be honest.

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