It’s Sunday morning and I am sitting with my wife on the patio. It’s a blissful scene: sunshine, croissants and just behind her head, I can see the dog humping a teddy bear.
“Quick question,” I say. “The dog’s a girl. So why is it humping?”
“We’re living in enlightened times,” she replies.
“But it’s the weekend,” I say. “I need a break from being enlightened.”
“OK,” she says, picks up the teddy bear and throws it to the bottom of the garden. The dog bounds after it, brings it back and starts humping in front of us again.
“It enjoys having an audience,” I say.
“It’s dogging,” says my wife and laughs at her own joke. This goes on for a while, and then my wife begins the agonising process of trying to get her dogging joke onto facebook.
“Why is it so hard,” she says. “I should be just able to type it in and that’s it. Why does it want to know my location?”
“It’s easier to just do what the internet demands,” I reason. “Just type in ‘patio’.”
Our teen son pokes his head out of the bedroom window. “What’s all the noise?What’s happening?”
“It’s OK,” I say. “Your mum’s just trying to be funny online.”
“Meh,” he mumbles, and his head retreats back into the shadows.
I glance at my wife, who is angrily tapping away on her phone. This arouses the dog: Hump, tap. Hump, tap. Hump, tap. I find myself praying for my elderly neighbour to fire up his petrol lawnmower to drown out all the angry sex on the patio.
Eventually, my wife tosses the phone to one side and stares into the mid-distance.
“I had a dream about you last night,” she says thoughtfully.
“You were really mean to me, and to be honest, I’m still cross with you.”
I look over to the dog, lost in the heady swirl of a fledgling romance with an unofficial Disney character teddy bear, and think, don’t get married, just keep it casual, or else twenty years down the line, you’ll be apologising for being unreasonable in the dreamworld.
I shuffle over to the dog, in order to throw her love interest into the bushes, but before I make my intervention, I lose grip of my left slipper and it shoots off towards the dog. I fear it will view my slipper as the missing part of a wild threesome. It’s imperative that I retrieve my slipper before it embarks on an ill-judged relationship with no long-term prospects. I see my wife relishing this turn of events, and adding it to her list of things I do that annoy her: Mean in dreams, can’t control slippers.
As I bend over and prise the bear away from the dog, I hear the familiar click, whirr of a picture being taken. And then my wife begins the agonising process of trying to get an embarrassing picture of me onto the internet.
Who’s next on the hump list?
It seems my dog has a thing for poorly-stitched black market replica toys. I checked the dog’s phone and found these two candid pictures of my unofficial Hulk toy, who was brazenly showing off his buff torso and startled hair. When pressed, the dog admitted that they had been texting each other for some time, and that the texts were innocent at first and then became more flirty.