The Bee Gees
We were returning home from Manchester Airport yesterday morning. It was raining. It was foggy. It was Greater Manchester followed by West Yorkshire; it was raining and cold, wet and bleak, dark and empty satanic mills, green and damp sheep-studded fields and hills.
“I wouldn’t want to be a sheep here,” our youngest said.
“I wouldn’t want to live here,” the wife added.
“Some people would,” I added some more.
“Nobody would,” my wife countered.
“Some people would,” I replied.
“Look, nobody would,” she threw back. It was a warning that I ignored.
“Some people would.”
“Are you trying to get me angry?
She ought to have said ‘get my goat’ because that would have added to the wordplay – she didn’t.
“I was just saying that some people, perhaps like me, probably would.”
It was weak and meagre, but I was withdrawing from conflict, veritably legging it across the defensive lines and into the oh-too-far-away cover of promised timber.
My rout complete, my better half and youngest third started a conversation about dogs. Fair enough, I had been beaten like a hound and was now turning tail and lifting my back leg in surrender. What a pisser!
Saturday Night Fever
Anyway, back to the new conversation that had nothing to do with John Travolta. Incidentally, a relative of ours once had such a vivid dream about my wife having an affair with said Saturday Night Feverist. The dream was so convincing that he actually believed that it had taken place. It must be explained that he was high on post-operatonal drugs and wasn’t thinking straight; Travolta lives on the west coast of America and not in Northern England.
Digressions to one side (as they generally are), the story of the conversation of the dogs.
Roughly (good canine related lexical-field), it centred around the choice of gender. My wife wants a female dog, bitch for those of you who are less politically correct (dog not wife). She doesn’t like the fact that some male dogs hump anything that falls into their paths. Legs, cats, fluffy toys, sofas…you get my meaning. Our youngest, who we thought ought to get our meaning plainly did not.
“Why do they ‘hump’ things, Mum?”
It’s good to have a wife in these situations.
“Well, it’s because…” she tempered her explanation with a direct referral to me. “You tell her, Mike.”
I was quiet. I had not yet reached the woods by this point and that left me exposed. Safest thing was to recall an anecdote.
“When I was a lad (yes one of those anecdotes based in the Middle-Ages) we had a friend called Terry (that was his last name not his first. We never used first names as that was seen as being a bit soft) and he had a golden Labrador.”
So far, so good.
“Anyway, we used to play football and we used our jumpers and coats for goal-posts.”
I could have gone on to tell them about the numerous arguments that this entailed with the:
“It was in.”
“It was out.”
“It was over the bar.”
“No, it wasn’t.”
This last one was subjective, depending on how tall the keeper was at the time.
Anyway, whilst we were arguing the minutiae of pre-goal-line-technology, Terry’s dog was busy humping our assortment of goal posts. If our arguments went on for too long and we didn’t chase the mutt off, we were left with a rather sticky situation.
Let me clear this up before it goes too far. I didn’t tell my daughter this. Instead, I hid behind a huge oak of a compliment,
“Dear wife, you always explain things better than me.”
Undeterred by my cowardly behaviour, she launched into something about the outcomes of dogs and things that cause friction on their private parts.
The youngest managed to enunciate.
“Yes, ugh,” conclude the wife. “And that is why we are getting a female dog. Not a dirty boy one.”
She said this as she more-than-glanced in my direction.
“You should already know this. Did they not teach you this in Biology?”
“No,” the youngest managed through disgusted vowels. “Why would they teach us anything like that?”
This, my friends is where I shall draw a temporary close to my story. You may think of it as an interval. It’s time to go off, get a cup tea, a cup of latte (if you are so persuaded), or partake of a choc-ice.