I am writing this column under the effects of alcohol. The long-lasting effects that is. I have a hangover.
Now before you go all judgmental on me dear reader - or worse still shout with a mouthful of cornflakes - let me explain it wasn't my fault.
Well obviously it was. I mean, nobody forced me to drink too much last night, but it was really out of a set of circumstances way beyond my control involving a Scottish Plumber, a peeved publican and what felt like a marathon run.
Anyway, I'll start at the beginning.
My mate, the said Scottish Plumber, has passed the audition after 30 odd years and become a New Zealand citizen - or as he likes to say, he's been pasteurised.
Naturally this called for a celebration and so he organised a bar for the festivities, expecting 30 or 40 of his mates would be boosting the establishment's profit margin not inconsiderably, if you get my drift.
Trouble is while he was doing that his two daughters who live in Australia were organising, with the help of a few of us, a do at another bar where they would be the surprise attendees.
Needless to say there was a fair bit of confusion over the rival functions with some not getting the "it's actually at this other bar but don't let on" nudge nudge, wink wink, secret message.
This meant on the day and at the allotted time the guest of honour was at one pub with one crowd and his daughters, myself and others were at the other bar.
Naturally someone had to pull it altogether. Guess who got the job? No surprise really. I mean I was captain of the West Coast under 13 league team in 1976.
So, with a gin and tonic or two under my belt, off I trotted a kilometre down the road to sort it.
Upon arrival a gin and tonic was promptly thrust into my hand as the Scottish Plumber bemoaned the unexpectedly low attendance. This continued for say 10 minutes until he went off to get us some more drinks.
I took the opportunity to appraise as many of the attendees as I could of the need for them to head up the road. And so they did, one by one.
After our third, or maybe it was fourth, drink. He finally cottoned on to the gradually falling attendance.
"Let's go up the road," I said. "We'll have a drink there". He agreed and so we downed our drinks. As we headed for the door my phone rang. It was one of the daughters.
Not wishing to be overheard I made an excuse and slid outside.
"We're on our way," I said in response to her query. There was small talk about the required entry for about three minutes but finally I could get him up there.
But he had vanished.
I'd seen a cab pull in and disappear while I was on the phone so I thought he'd grabbed it and headed off without me. In a panic I raced as fast as I could back to bar No.1 in case he got there first and ruined the surprise bit. You may have heard the gin swishing inside my belly as I ran. I sure did.
Anyway. I get there and he's not there. Somebody thrust a drink into my hand and we waited. And waited.
Ten minutes later he's still not there. So I run back, weaving down the footpath this time.
Sure enough there he is still at the bar.
"Where'd you go?" I said.
"I was in the toilet. When I came out you'd gone so I thought bugger it, may as well have a drink".
At this stage he was midway through another one and decided it would be impolite to drink alone so he bought me another one. And we downed those. He was also a little embarrassed because the publican had been expecting a bigger crowd.
To help out he made me (honest) quickly down another couple. Then he agreed we could go.
Finally I had my man and was able to escort him off the premises. Though in reality by this time I was probably the one who needed most propping up.
Eventually we got to the real party. His daughters surprised him and a great time was had by all.
I went home for a sleep because I knew I had to get up early and write a column for this newspaper.
• 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 firstname.lastname@example.org .