Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Here, boy...


The night before last, H.I. and me were slightly perturbed at the loud sound of what might have been someone inexpertly trying to pick a lock with a coat-hanger, down in the little lane at the back of our house (I could not be bothered to type, 'compact but adorable city apartment').

It was about 1.00 a.m. and the noise was intermittent. I leaned out of a window to listen intently the next time it happened, and came to the conclusion that it was a large animal like a dog, trying to scratch its way through a wooden door. I could not tell from which direction.

So I called the police, and they told me to call the RSPCA - this is their standard response if you ever mention animals to them, because they are scared of dogs. They know what dogs are capable of - they train them themselves to do damage to armed villains of a slightly different kind.

Eventually, the operator reluctantly agreed to try to persuade an officer to haul his fat arse out of a car and take a look, when he had a spare moment.

About half an hour later, they called me back to tell me the noise was being made by a badger, but could not say if it was trying to get in, or trying to get out. The noise stopped, so I guess they let it in/out, as appropriate. A badger, right in the middle of - admittedly, this small and semi-rural - town. Whodathoughtit?

I was once walking home late at night, down a dark alley leading to the canal where I was living. I heard a dog whining and howling from the other side of a hedge, so I called out to it. Big mistake.

In an instant, a massive, lean and muscular Doberman Pincer tore its way through the hedge and began chasing me up the dark path. I tried calmly walking toward the safety of my house about 100 yards away, knowing that I could not outrun the dog, and knowing that to try to do so would set off a primal urge in it to run me down and tear my throat out.

Once inside, I called the police and told them that there was a dangerous dog on the loose, right outside my front door. The copper's response was to tell me that if I wanted to go around interfering with other people's pets, then go ahead, but he had better things to do - like sitting in a warm station drinking tea, I expect.

So I decided to go back out and calm it down before it ripped someone else's throat out. Big mistake number two, but I had just come from the pub.

Once outside in the darkness, I could neither hear it nor see it, so I walked to a park bench by the canal-side and sat down with a cigarette. Big mistake number three, though sitting down might have been the best thing to do.

As I sat there shivering in the winter air, I heard the unmistakeable sound of an eight-stone dog clattering up behind me on the path, and - for a moment - I stopped breathing and began to take stock of my life whilst I still had the chance.

It ran up to the back of the bench and began loudly begging me to stand up and face it like a man, so it wouldn't feel so guilty about tearing the throat out of a seated human. I stayed put, refusing to make the final mistake.

Eventually it got bored with taunting me (as I hope a certain woman from Norfolk will soon) and sloped off back to its own house to continue howling and whimpering through the night. I ceased feeling sorry for it and locked myself back into the cottage - once I had mustered the courage to stand up. I think I even poured myself the 'stiff drink' of popular myth.

Not heroic, just stupid. I won't be doing that again. Not willingly, anyway.


16 comments:

  1. Hello Tom,

    Well, as you know, we have been looking closely at the Marchesa Luisa Casati and wondering how we can perhaps add a little spice to life. However, we think that, especially in the light of this cautionary animal tale, we really need to give the live animal jewellery and panthers on leads a miss. We have only kept cats as pets and perhaps that is where we should stop.

    In our Herefordshire days we shared our house with bats who often kept us awake at night with their rustling about in the attic. No getting rid of them, though, they came with protection and they provided great nighttime sport for the cats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that the gilded youths would probably end in tears as well.

      Delete
  2. At our Brighton home, I once watched a tramp trying to break into a neighbouring house. I was in our bedroom; about 30 metres away. After a while he decided to have a shit instead, at which I thought it was time to call the cops. Basically they told me all was OK, and unless he'd killed someone he was doing no harm. I do hope they kept a recording of my reply, as there were probably more expletives per nanosecond than had ever previously been witnessed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not compared to this household there weren't, I'd bet.

      Delete
  3. Gosh but you were foolishly brave...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Once bit twice shy, actually, and I'm not friendly with dogs. One time I came home from vacation to find my sister was boarding two dobermans, which put me against the wall when I entered. Having been bit in my youth, I obeyed them until my sister appeared and told the big idiots to cease and desist.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Time to carry some pepper spray Tom. If not for the dogs then for the "fat arsed cops" I would suggest though you wear a black mask and goggles, bothe to hide your identity and prevent self mutilation.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I once had a rat run in front of me over the pavement in London. It stopped, turned and gave me a smug look and scuttled off to terrorise someone else. I'd rather approach a dog than a rat but the rat is probably a safer bet. Nice to have a city badger - probably on the run from Gloucestershire culling experts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am now worried about tuberculosis.

      Delete
  7. Em I see those rats every week. At a bus stop in Kennington, a rat out of some shrubs on to a mans shoe and when someone tried to make it move on it reared up at them. I don't like that at all

    Tom, gee whizz I would of sh ate myself with that dog. Although I wouldn't have gone back out

    ReplyDelete
  8. Blogger is playing up for me tonight - I'm giving up now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We had a power cut - maybe the badger bit through a cable.

      Delete