Sunday, 20 July 2008

A place called Nowhere

No idea on the weight front; I guess 5.0 units of alcohol yesterday; 1,295 more days to fill; Mouldsworth (and what did those goons from the Milk Marketing Board think they were about, dreaming up the made-up name “Lymeswold” for their new, soft, blue cheese in the early 1980s, when the cow-filled county of Chester already offered the perfect solution?)

The LTCB and I took the dog for a walk by the river last night, between the showers, and ended up Nowhere. Outside a house called Nowhere, that is; the name proudly carved on stone plaques outside the gates. It made me wonder about their chances of ever successfully summoning the emergency services.

“And where are you calling from?”

“Nowhere.”

“Oh, f*** off. I’ve warned you before.”

Which would be a bit of a bugger if one’s golden haired children had their adorable curly heads poked out of upper storey windows at the time, as they screamed to be rescued from the encroaching flames.

The LTCB expressed a desire to buy the house next door and re-name it “Somewhere”. I fear that her competitive instinct may be quite a bit stronger than mine.

Today she drove me to a country pub for lunch to meet a lot of her friends, giving me two powerful incentives to drink a lot of beer: (1) to overcome my shyness and catastrophic lack of social skills, and (2) so that I would be slightly less terrified by her driving on the way back. We were marginally late and a gentleman she called a “coffin dodger” came in for a certain amount of abuse for holding us up. Yet funnily enough, at that precise moment coffin dodging struck me as being an eminently sensible hobby.

She certainly has a lot of friends; the table had been booked for 17, though attendance was a bit down on this owing to an outbreak of a stomach bug. (Or, perhaps, to well-sourced reports of what I am Really Like.) I reflected that only obesity would prevent me from holding a comparable get-together for my friends in a telephone kiosk. I was originally seated with the girls, but they started talking about bras and I felt a bit out of it, so I was given a free transfer to sit with the boys instead. Unfortunately they then started discussing golf and football, which made me realize that I was actually more interested in, and indeed more knowledgeable about, ladies’ support garments. But by then it was too late and my application to rejoin the girls’ team was denied. One of the husbands, who I had been warned was a well-known pervert, told me at some length about the LTCB’s enthusiasm for bondage and other forms of kinky sex. He had a faraway look in his eyes as he developed his fantasy, and was clearly disappointed when I did not pick up and run with it with the words “Not only that, but last night …”

This evening we took the dog for another walk by the river Dee, and met a couple coming the other way with a pair of light-coloured mongrels containing rather a lot of Alsatian; one on its lead and one off. The unsecured one lunged at my peaceable little dog, snarling, and far from calling it off its owners then allowed the dog that was actually on a lead to join in, sink its teeth into my Border terrier and toss him into the air. They did then take some belated steps to drag it off, and I dare say I placed myself in the wrong by inserting the word “f***ing” into my suggestion that the owners might have done more to keep their dogs under control. Still, I was shocked by the response: “P*** off, you c***. You started it.” Which was the most complete untruth I have come across since I last read a Labour election manifesto.

Say what you like about the rude inhabitants of the North East (and I have said quite a lot in this blog), I have never encountered anyone with a dog on the other end of a lead in these parts who has even come close to such a pitch of unpleasantness. I suppose it’s an entirely illogical thing to say when there are individuals out there with pit bull terriers and the like bred for the express purpose of putting the fear of God into people, but I have always thought that owning a dog has a somewhat mellowing effect. Believe it or not, mine have certainly softened my edges. As Evelyn Waugh remarked when people asked how he could reconcile his Catholicism with being such a total bastard, think how much nastier I would be if it were not for that. Without my Border terrier, in fact, I’d be barely human. It was lucky for both of us, then, that he survived the attack.

1 comment:

Robin Ashby said...

What you need is BigDog.

Doesn't have to be taken for a walk. Indeed, when your diet is fully operational, it will take you on its back.

See my blog entry today on http://ukdf.blogspot.com/