Will Novak got off the plane at Boston’s Logan International Airport Friday evening and was greeted in baggage claim with six cases of Night Shift beer from a local brewer.
The 35-year-old Phoenix man doesn’t drink.
When he went to pick up his rental car from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, they upgraded him to an $75,000+ Maserati SUV.
Novak isn’t a big guy car, preferring public transportation. He drives a 2006 Pontiac Vibe with 200,000 miles and three hubcaps.
On the way to a ski cabin in Ludlow, Vermont, Novak stopped, twice, for more free beer.
Novak is no Instagram influencer. The project manager for a Phoenix suburb counted his Instagram followers in the hundreds at the start of the year.
He’s the guy who turned a Vermont bachelor party viral when he responded to an email invitation that was meant for a Bill Novak, in Brooklyn, New York. Will Novak, a former stand up comedian, decided to have some fun and replied that he’d like to attend. The organizers agreed. Will Novak started a GoFundMe account to pay for travel expenses for the last minute trip. The hashtag #AngelosBachelorParty was born.
When the two-night bachelor party wrapped on Sunday, Novak was up to 11,700 Instagram followers and exhausted, unshowered and still dressed in the white-and-rainbow striped ski suit he wore most of the weekend.
And the trip wasn’t over. Novak’s flight back to Phoenix Sunday was canceled due to winter storms so he was driving the Maserati (with Enterprise’s permission) to New York City where he had a last-minute national television interview scheduled Monday morning with groom-to-be Angelo Onello before flying home to his wife and 10-month-old daughter.
“Even though I’m documenting it all (on social media), I don’t think I could swear in a court of law to a timeline of what all happened,” he said Sunday.
The stranger meets the bachelor
Novak, who spoke to USA TODAY from a McDonald’s in Troy, New York, said he met Angelo at 3 a.m. Saturday morning when he arrived at the group’s ski chalet. Despite the social media storm surrounding the accidental bachelor party guest, Novak said Onello didn’t find out until shortly before the party. The organizers wanted to keep it a secret.
He was wearing a the red-white-and-blue get up he wore on the plane, inviting comparisons to Olympic snowboarder Shawn White, because the invite called for ’80s attire and “ridiculous awesome get ups.” Angelo came prepared with bags of wigs and costumes to change into throughout the weekend.
The group greeted him with fireworks from the cabin.
Novak was then treated to a heavy metal concert, with the groom on guitar.
“We basically all jumped around,” he said.
There were no get-to-know you conversations with Angelo that night or the entire weekend, Novak said. It was a raucous bachelor party, after all, with Angelo the honoree and ringleader. On a scale of 1 to 11, he’s an 11, Novak said, a reference to “This is Spinal Tap.”
“I couldn’t get him to sit still,” he said. “I haven’t had more than a three-sentence conversation with him.”
He did get to know the other William Novak, who goes by Bill, and some of the other attendees, many of them, like him, who had families with young children. (Angelo and his bride to be are expecting their first child and the leftover GoFundMe money, estimated to be about $3,000, will go to them.)
The group didn’t get to sleep the first night until 5:30 a.m.
Novak slept through a ski lesson he had scheduled for 7:30 a.m. at Okemo Mountain Resort.
The group finally made it to the mountain about 1:30 p.m. Saturday. It was his first time skiing since he went on a church trip when he was 14. The ski resort invited its Instagram followers to snap photos with Novak at the resort for some swag in a contest it called “Where’s Will?”
Novak took a lesson while Angelo and his buddies, experienced skiers including some who were on the University of Vermont ski team, hit the double black diamond trails.
Novak’s only mishap: he ran into a man on one run and they tumbled together into a fence.
“I would call it more of a fender bender than a crash,” he said.
Bill Novak wasn’t so lucky. He dislocated his shoulder on a run and had to go to the infirmary for a sling.
Saturday night was a blur of bar visits. Novak and another non-drinker in the group ended up as what he called “Uber” drivers, shuttling bachelor party attendees and a few girls they met along the way to other bars and home so no one drove drunk.
Novak had joked before the trip that he rented a car in case Angelo & Co. turned out to be bad guys, but it was the rental car that almost got him in trouble.
Late Saturday, he shared on Instagram, someone who shouldn’t have been driving took the Maserati for a spin while Novak was preparing to shuttle party goers home. The weather was bad.
“Things have broken really bad,” he said on his Instagram story.
It turned out to be a prank and he was back in no time.
Sunday morning brought more troubles in the form of snow. The Maserati didn’t have snow tires. It had performance tires, and they were spinning in the snow. Some of the bachelor party attendees helped dig him out and he left for Boston.
He didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Angelo in Vermont.
“When I left today, Angelo was still asleep,” Novak said. “He was just done.”
Is Novak invited to the wedding on Feb. 1? It hasn’t come up. He said he was mindful not to make #AngelosBachelorParty about him but it was hard not to when it went viral and followers wanted updates and companies from American Airlines to Jack Link’s Jerky. The attention also benefited the bachelor party, of course, because of all the free beer and other goodies the attention attracted.
“I felt like Forrest Gump, where he runs across the country and a bunch of people run with him,” he said.
Novak’s comedian roots — he and a friend traveled across the country doing stand up in their 20s — came through in all his social media posts, prompting some followers to say he needs his own travel show. Novak is embracing it and hoping for the best.
He took the scattered negative comments on social media to heart — some wondered why he people would donate to such a frivolous cause when GoFundMe fund would be better used for those with big medical bills — and responded that he was sorry about their individual situation.
He also knows his bachelor party crashing gave plenty of people a good chuckle. One furloughed government employee following the trip reached out to him and said thanks for making me laugh, Novak said.
“I know this is silly and stupid,” Novak said. “No one gets that more than me.”
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