SRNZPA: Harewa resident Mark ‘Gates’ Gately is cautiously optimistic of staying awake to watch television coverage of this weekend’s Super 14 Semi Finals from South Africa. With the Blues and Sharks kicking off at 1am NZ standard time followed by The Bulls versus the Crusaders at 3.30am, Gately sees remaining conscious for both matches as a realistic goal, despite getting right off his chops. “This is where the years of experience start to pay off”.
Gately, who lives alone, admits to mistakes in the past. “I thought I did everything right for the World Cup Final in 95 – came home early, TV on, I’d just sat down and cracked open a Tui… next thing it’s 6 o’ bloody clock in the morning. Those two steak and cheese from the servo did me in – schoolboy error, that.”
Golden oldies team mate Dave McFee clearly believes “Soft bollock” Gately will fall asleep. “If he makes it through both semis, I’ll go to prize giving in farkin’ make-up. He’s piss weak, that’s his problem”. McFee feels he’s identified some fatal flaws in the plan despite Gately’s optimism. “He’ll have a few pints, couple of pies, lights out. Same old story – he’s got no show.”
Gately feels meticulous preparation is crucial to enjoying rugby when totally shitfaced. “I’ve got the lounge all kitted out. After Dawn moved out I moved the ‘fridge and microwave into the lounge – I’ve heaps of coke, coffee and baked beans ready to go. And Bourbon. As long as I leave the club rooms across the field and avoid the service station and the pies, I’ll be right”.
Any rugby watched after 8.30pm will be a reversal of recent form, following his protracted snoring through Chiefs v Crusaders, the second half of Hurricanes v NSW, almost all of the Cricket World Cup and his nephew Daryl’s 21st birthday celebrations.