Friday, December 27, 2013


“Kids sleeping in his kennel, so tread lightly, as you wont want to wake him up.”

I looked askance at the woman who had spoken to me. Her purple jodhpurs had put me off her even before I had heard the hoity-toity voice.

“Is he dangerous, then?” I asked tentatively, expecting the woman herself to bite me!  You know owners can get very uppity about other people making critical implications about their pets.  This woman was probably no exception.  

Id better explain. I was a professional plumber  a scarce breed in those days  and I had been called in to fix something pipe-ish on this womans property.  (By the way, I am not a professional plumber any more, but thats another story).

“Kids not dangerous, I simply dont want him woken, thank you,” she announced with some pre-emptive waves of the hand.

What a silly name for a dog, I thought.  Kid!

I looked warily into the kennel as I passed it  and I seemed to sense a huge bulk that literally seethed and humped with dangerous pre-waking symptoms. It seemed also to give off old yellow-smelling steam.  Kid was no kid.

So, did I tread lightly?  I sure did. One part of me wanted just to scarper. Plumbers were indeed thin on the ground.  I could get a better customer simply anywhere.  Could she get another plumber at short notice? Probably not.  But another part of me thought I could not risk retreating past Kid without having done the job.  So I plumped on towards the outhouse where the woman told me the pipe-ish problem awaited a so-called working-mans attention.  I saw myself as a man with professional skills.  She saw me as a navvy, Im pretty sure.  I bet she would never have guessed I later retrained as a Solicitor.

You will have guessed (by what Ive already told you) that  whatever else happened  I must have escaped Kids clutches to live another day. Well, half true.  And if half true, your assumption is also half false.  Stands to reason.  

I have taken my own working-class brand of verbal expression into the World of Jurisprudence, but I am now slightly better spoken simply by virtue of there being a higher class of folk with which I now mix.  Thats my way of explaining to you why all this seems to be half basic working-mans chitchat and half sophisticated description worthy of any old posh book.  

But not exactly half of what I say is pure basic chitchat, while the other half is pure posh talk.  It's more a mixture of both.  A hybrid that probably when I come to think of it  doesnt sit well on the page.

I mended the pipe-ish thing.  It didnt need much to do.  Just a teeny-weeny leak that I gummed up with plumbers tape.  And I did remember to tread lightly on my way back past Kids kennel.  And he did not wake up.  I over-charged the woman, because ... well, I simply didnt like her hoity-toity voice.  Id hate to think I over-charged her simply for the money.

But I had not trod lightly enough.  Because that night I had a dream of Kid waking up as I trod lightly past his kennel.  You cant tread lightly in dreams. But thats enough about dreams.  Dreams have no place in what I have to tell you.  Dreams are fads and fancies that some of us simply use to spice up the style of telling things, by diverting truth into fiction. Dreams are mere chimeras.  They simply bend reality in the direction theywant it to go, rather than in the way reality wants itself to go, by its own default, towards a predetermined end. 

Forget the dream, then, forget the image of Kid as a huge looming yappy monster of doggish form, eager to maul me with its furry fondles.

 The dream was leaking sheer doggedness within a great spurting force of yellow-eyed sleep ... despite all my efforts to wake up from it, to staunch its canine flows. The question is: did I ever wake up from it? 

Today, I sit at my desk in the Solicitors Office, idly fingering tangled ribbons of plumbers tape. I then let my nicotine fingers lightly walk through Yellow Pages seeking a good professional shrink. Far and few between. My secretary smiles as she sits typing nearby.  Unaccountably, she wears purple jodhpurs.

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