I'd been watching him while I approached. He was standing with his two young children, and had bent down to groom his big hairy dog with the palm of his hand. I heard him saying, 'Look at all this moulting fur, boys. Look at this.' As I walked past the group, the dad obviously thought I was his wife (who was in fact walking behind me), so he stood up suddenly and thrust a large clump of fur right into my face, saying, 'Will you look at all that?'
It's only after the event, isn't it, that you think of all the things you could have said in reply? I wished I'd said, 'I will, if you like, because I haven't had such a kind offer in ages' or 'No, thanks. I've already had my dog fur fix for the day' or 'Only if you promise I can show you my treasury tag collection in return'.
But of course I said none of these. Embarrassed, I did one of those very silly laughs that you make you feel ashamed afterwards for even daring to exist, and walked on.
The only redeeming factor was that, as I continued down the path, I could hear his wife and kids laughing like drains at his mistake and taking the mickey out of him good and proper.
|For yet another year, Fido had won the 'Dog That Would Look Silliest with a Bald Patch' prize at the Dog Show|
While we're talking about dogs, which have legs, let me, in a seamless link, mention last night's World Cup football, which was played by men, with legs.
Did any of you see the England v Italy match? It didn't start until 11pm, so I sat up in bed, with my laptop on a chair beside me tuned to BBC1, and a pile of urgent marking on my lap. I turned the sound down low on the game, started marking, and every time I heard the intonation of the commentator go up a notch ('He's running down the wing, and he's just passed it to Rooney, and Rooney's just passed it to Sturridge ...') then I glanced at the screen, and caught the good bits.
The good bit.
While we're talking about football, which has two Ls in it, let me, in a seamless link, tell you that you must read Daphne du Maurier's chilling story called 'The Lordly Ones' (the title of which also has two Ls in it). It is haunting me, since I read it a few days ago, and stories that haunt you need to be recommended. It's in a collection called 'The Breaking Point' which was apparently written when she was going through mental anguish. And it shows. The stories are harrowing but brilliant.
Let me know if you've read it. What did you think?