THE preparations have began.
This correspondent is getting ready to celebrate our first Mad Monday since sometime in the 1980s.
We can only thank the generosity of our boss, Editor Bell, for this.
"You deserve a holiday,'' she smiled the other day.
"Why, you carried this newspaper for two and a bit weeks while I was cavorting overseas. The strain would have broken a lesser journalist, but you performed stoically. You are an inspiration to you colleagues - no wonder they idolise you. Take two weeks off, starting the day after the NRL grand final. And enjoy yourself. I'll even book your accommodation. Where this time? The Manning or Exchange?''
Well, that's sort of what she said. In the interests of honest reporting it was more like:
"You have a fortnight's holiday coming up. I'll organise a work experience kid to come in and do your job - at least we'll get some decent sport reports for a couple of editions.''
Anyway, we won't be here for a while in early October. And as mentioned, this includes the day after the NRL grand final, so we might as well have a Mad Monday.
Again, as mentioned, we haven't been Mad Mondaying for more than two decades. Not since the grand old Taree Old Bar Rugby League Club days. We seem to recall slipping away from work after the Lifesavers (as they were known) won a Group Three footy comp back in 1988 or thereabouts. To be honest we haven't really missed them because as we recall Mad Mondays were magnificent. But unfortunately they led to Terrible Tuesdays. And they could be long, medically challenging days.
Still, we have nothing better to do on October 7, so why not? Of course it will be all the better if the Roosters play in the grand final. If the Roosters win the grand final it will be even a greater cause to have a celebratory drink.
However, times have changed since the last time we went Mad Mondaying. Back then you'd just head off to the hotel for the duration wearing whatever as often as not the same attire from the previous night. These days those involved seem to enjoy fancy dress coming as Super Heroes and cartoon characters and the like.
So what will we go dressed as? And given that we'll possibly be the only one participating in Mad Monday, we're going to look pretty silly walking around on our own done up as Fred Flintstone. However, we've come to enjoy watching the Vikings on SBS (9.30 Thursdays excellent viewing). So we might go dressed as a Viking, for those Vikings knew how to party.
But there's a further problem. As we said, Mad Mondaying back in the 1980s involved a day at the hotel. Really that was just like every other day back in the 1980s, but we digress. Now all the action seems to take place at obscure locations away from the public glare. Around here, we're told, the players head to a footy ground.
So that's going to be our Mad Monday eh. Sitting around the Jack Neal Oval, turned out as Thor and drinking on our own. What if it gets cold? Suppose we could always light a fire.
Either way, doesn't sound like much fun even if the Roosters do win. We might just stay at home and celebrate or commiserate. We're becoming very anti-social in our dotage. Anyone know where we can get a Viking outfit?