Ever had one of those nights when you just couldn't sleep?

I'm sure you know what I mean.

You'd done everything right beforehand. Not eaten too late. Avoided coffee. Bit of air circulating in the bedroom. Saturday night Superman satin boxers on to impress your beloved ... oops, that might just be me.

Anyway, all the signs were positive you'd be getting the necessary eight hours or whatever it is and awake refreshed, full of vim and vigour, ready to tackle the challenges of the new day.


Groan. How wrong can you be.

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Whether it was too hot, too cold, worries over job security or Dr Bladder seemingly conducting tests spaced 20 minutes apart I know not.

All I do know for certain is it seems the other night I was not one of those selected for slumber.

Naturally this resulted in a lot of tossing and turning, counting sheep and composing snotty mental letters to the council and that rude twat at the servo the other day, until eventually, Mrs P let out a slurring semi-dozy yet annoyed: "Ohforgoodnesssakeeitherstoptossingandturningorgetup".

And so I did. And seeing as she was now wide awake anyway, and presumably there was an opportunity for some sort of retribution against me, so did she.

So we sat there, having a cuppa, engaging in a sort of "what now?" discussion.

After a few minutes George the Dog ambled in with one of those puzzled teenaged "what's going on" expressions befitting a pooch who has just been woken by owners who, well, really should know better.


Anyway. George's entry into the conundrum basically solved it.

It was just becoming light outside so we'd take him for a walk somewhere different to the usual park. And before you knew it there we were walking down an empty main street.

Now I don't know if you've done it before but walking through town at such an early hour is actually quite interesting. You see it in a different light. Literally.

And then there are the other early morning risers.

Obviously there's some lycra clad power walkers who never seem to sleep anyway.

Then there's an Asian tourist on a whistle stop bus tour perplexed New Zealand isn't all 24 hour shopping, a council worker emptying the rubbish bins and two guys crouched down on all fours in the middle of the footpath like a rugby scrum balancing a can of beer between them on their foreheads.


Yes, you may be as surprised as we were.

Naturally being an inquisitive (read: nosey) journalist. I felt I should enquire as to what was occurring while Mrs P walked on.

"He's Ireland, I'm the All Blacks," grunted one of the scrummagers as it became obvious these guys had had a fairly long night out and were trying to pressure the can into collapsing.

The possibility of the can bursting and spraying one or both with beer appealed to me so I settled in for the long haul on a close by seat as the battle continued.

Then the Asian tourist came back to watch and stood there, hands behind his back, completely bewildered as the drama continued.

By the time Mrs P and George returned to us the pair were near breaking point. Sweat trickling down their foreheads as the forehead pressure continued unabated.

The two protagonists had been heaving away, rock solid steady now for quite a while and still the can showed no sign of collapsing.

Then suddenly there was a slight falter from one of the pair, the balance on the still intact can shifted and it was all over. The whole thing collapsed in the middle of the footpath with bumped heads, fits of laughter and polite clapping from the tourist.

And then we all went on our way, content in the knowledge this had been an interesting start to the day.

"Who were they?," asked Mrs P as we walked on.

"Just two guys putting a scrum down," I said, happy that we'd taken the time to change our usual early morning routine.

I did wonder though whether I'd run into those two guys again. Through my sleepy eyes they didn't look like particularly familiar locals.

But I reckon I'd probably be able to pick them out easily if I saw them on the street again.

They'd most likely look very hungover and have a firm imprint of a round beer can right in the middle of their forehead.

■ Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to kevin.page@nzme.co.nz .