ANYONE of a certain age reading the title of this blog entry will think "Ah, right, he went out, had a shedful, ended up in Kiwis, then stopped off in Caroline Street on the way home". Caroline Street, by the way, is known more commonly in Cardiff as chip alley.
I can tell you now that the above scenario is totally without foundation. Some bits are true, of course, but I can categorically state that I actually visited Dirty Dots - the most renowned of chip alleys eateries - in the middle of the day while sober. Not stone cold sober, though. For the rest of the story we must rewind 15 hours or so.
And where do we end up? The new old O'Neill's on the Hayes, of course. Having managed to find a parking space right outside the office I opted to leave the car at work overnight and stroll into town to meet Smashy, Jarhead and the Blair Witch. And before long I was getting well into the lager on a spirited mission to "catch up" my Meeja Wales colleagues, who had been inbibing for a good few hours.
As the evening went on and we were joined by Danny Boy (the poipes, the poipes) Dave the Suit and Sarah "Not guilty" Me Lud, we were informed there would be some musical entertainment. Asking one of the barmaids who this might be, she answered: "You know the one. He's a kind of paedophile Santa Claus." Hmmm. Surely the little Bowling Ball hadn't secured another gig?
But no. Shortly, this ramshackle bloke with tattoos and long grey beard, aged around 140 I should think, took to the stage and started playing a number of trad songs. He got through House of the Rising Sun by the Animals (which I informed him was the first song most budding guitarists, including moi, learnt to play), I Walk The Line by Johnny Cash and Fairytale in New York without the benefit of the lovely Kirsty McColl.
His guitar was wierd, to say the least. It had the overall guitar shape but only the wooden fretboard was solid, the rest was just empty air. But, unfazed by the serious heckling coming from our table and a nearby stag party, he continued to strum away to his heart's content.
Then it dawned on me. This folk singer who really belonged in a folk museum might know the one folk song that is dear to my heart. And sure enough, after my request, he played the whole uncensored version of Goodnight Irene, the prayer of all true Gasheads.
Afterwards, he informed me he was playing a gig in Bristol the day after. It was taking place in Brislington. I told him Irene would go down very well there if he played it. I didn't inform him that Brislington was, in fact, at the centre of Sh**head territory and he might not escape alive if he performed it. Well, I didn't want to alarm him.
Strangely, though, when I later went to the bar, one of the staff approached me and asked if I was, indeed, a "gashead". Imagine my surprise when, after answering in the affirmative, he informed me that he was, too! Bliss. We do, indeed, get everywhere.
After that it all became a bit of a blur. This morning I stirred from a deep slumber and looked at the clock. 10.30! I am normally in work by 10 on a Friday. I quickly checked my phone. The alarm hadn't been set. Oops. Not only that but there were absoluted NO text messages for me, informing me of my terrible tardiness. Not a one. Which got me thinking... Does this sum up my value to the whole Meeja Wales operation?
A good six years ago after a famous Sunday Mirror Christmas Party I remember a similar coma engulfing me and waking the next day to find 40 missed calls! Late for work at Meeja Wales? None. I could have been ripped limb from limb by Cannibal seagulls and no one would have noticed. Alarming really.
Anyway, enough of this. I jumped up, showered and set off for the bus stop and managed to get into work for 11am. No one batted an eyelid apart from the Wonderful One, who said: "You went out last night without me? Why didn't someone ring?"
Because, dear boy, you informed everyone very loudly at work last night you were going home and even insisted: "I am ALLOWED to go home now and again, aren't I?" before heading for the exit.
Then I kind of coasted through the rest of the morning before heading off for a spot of lunch. Then, as if from nowhere, this craving came across me. Chicken Curry off the Bone and chips from Dorothy's in Caroline Street. I haven't had it for about four years and, my, it still tastes good. They even advertise it outside this salubrious establishment. "The original home of Chicken Curry off the bone" it says. Not sure, but they may have been pipped to it by some establishment on the sub-continent, if I were to hazard a guess.