The phone rings…
“I’ve been bitten by a dog!” screams my wife.
“Where?” I ask.
“On my ankle.”
“No, where were you?”
“I was delivering a salad.”
“What have I told you about delivering salads to dogs?”
“It’s not funny. It’s a serious bite on my ankle.”
Anybody in this type of situation – pumped-up on adrenalin – can be prone to exaggeration, but I needed to know exactly how bad it was in case I had to leave work and pick up the kids.
“Has anyone else seen it?” I probed.
“Yes. The plasterer.”
“The plasterer! Where the hell are you? The Annual Plasterer’s Dog Show?”
“This isn’t helping.”
“What did he say?”
“He said it looked: ‘Nasty’.
We’re venturing into unknown medical waters here. I’ve never seen a dog bite story where a salad was involved and the victim was left so delusional that they asked a plasterer for a medical assessment.
“Do I need a tetanus jab?” she asks.
“I don’t know. What does the plasterer think?”
The only thing I know about dogs is that if you run one over you have to call the Police. I found this out after my mother knocked one over. She called me the day after the incident. Her voice was still trembling. She described how she’d just been out on a late-night shopping trip to Sainsbury’s. About how the dog had scampered out from a bush and bounced off the front nearside wing.
“What did the Police say? Are you in trouble?” I asked her.
“No, I’m not in trouble,” she said.
“Did they take pity on you because of your age?”
“No, I told them it was a fox. You can run them over.”
To be honest, I think this is very specific knowledge. You’re only going to know the legal requirements surrounding the hitting dogs, as opposed to foxes, if you’re doing it a lot. And judging by the amount of dents in my mum’s car, it looks like she’s on a mission.
The adrenalin surging through my wife’s body is starting to fade and is slowly being replaced by fury.
“The owner hasn’t even apologised,” she snarls.
“She’s probably embarrassed,” I reason. “She must be mortified that her dog has bitten someone. Now everyone in the village is going to be scared of approaching her dog with a salad.”
My wife lets out a chuckle. “Can you pick me up?” she asks.
“Sure, and to make you feel better, would you like my mum to take another ‘late-night trip to Sainsbury’s’?”