Bad Dog II
Never trust dogs. They may be cute, fluffy, slightly damp-of-the-nose, but they are just as evil – if not more so – than cats. My current dog – the doe-eyed, cutest-pup-in-the-world Lucy can be sweet and cuddly for England, but as soon as you turn your back she’s wiping her arse on the carpet or taking a leak in a corner of the kitchen. The terrible little.. but she’s SO cute…
Previously in the Duck household was Harry. He wouldn’t even wait until your back was turned, and treated everything as his personal toilet and chewing post. But he was SO cute…
However, the original Bad Dog was Snoopy. Yes, like Charlie Brown’s big-nosed genius, he was a beagle. A beagle crossed with Satanic Hell-Hound. Not even the removal of the doggy bollocks (and I thought I had it bad) calmed him down, and his life was spent either planning to escape (which he did once by throwing himself through a plate glass window, only to realise he didn’t have a plan of what to do next), or eating treasured personal possessions whenever he felt a bit peckish. Which was all the time.
His finest moment came when he once escaped through the hedge at the end of our garden into the school field.
During the Loddon District Cubs Five-a-side tournament.
In which I was playing.
In which he intercepted a goal-bound shot in the quarter finals.
In the last minute of the match.
By one goal.
At his doggy peak, the fences round our house were over six feet high, and he’d still jump over them, and there was chicken wire buried right around the house, and he’d still dig his way to freedom, like a canine Steve McQueen.
Suitably chastised after a spell in the cooler (his one good trait was that he knew damn well when he’d been evil, and didn’t even need to be told to head for the cupboard under the stairs), and grown up rather, we thought we were over the worst of The Evil One. Not a bit of it – he was simply biding his time.
Come the day, I invited all my schoolmates back to my house one lunchtime to view a certain video. Getting hip with the new technology, we’d gone out and bought one of these new-fangled “video recorders” (top loading, huge ker-plunk press buttons), and had done the decent thing by recording the dirty bits out of Ryan's Daughter. It had been on television the previous night, and we were delighted to learn that it included various scenes of naked wobbly parts, and – good grief – a man Doing It with a lady.
As news got about of free scud, our living room was filled with about ten kids, cushions on laps as I freeze-framed on the norks. Enter Snoopy. In fact, the chair wedged under the doorhandle to get the maniacal mutt out had given way, and he burst in in a frenzy of nose, fur and whipping tail.
Lawks, as they say, a lordy.
Like an Exocet missile, he zeroed in on James Annal* – the poshest, cleverest and most excellent boy in the school - and gave his leg the rogering it deserved. James was so posh, he was the only boy in our year to regularly wear the school blazer. It took us ages to get it cleaned.
If there’s one thing that puts a pubescent kid right off high-brow illicit videoed jazz, it’s a hound from the darkest pits of Hell going at you with what appears to be a fully extended lipstick in his loins, spittle and slobber going in all directions, rounded off with his favourite wiping-arse-on-the-carpet trick.
“Don’t worry,” I said “He’s had his balls off - you won’t get pregnant.”
* The poor bastard went through hell, especially as our headmaster was crap with names. "And the school prize for Best Kid Ever goes to James Anal." He had an older, just as excellent, brother. Phil. Phil Anal. This is all true, for once.