Oh boy. This was fun. Not.
I was walking the beagle around the block. The beagle enjoys this and it’s good exercise for me to get up the hills and try and get my lungs working again.
As we reach the top of the first hill, a gate rolls open and out comes a guy with his two dogs. They clearly also enjoy their walk and they are bouncing and yapping all over the place. They are very excited to see the beagle and the beagle is very excited to see them. I say hi to the the man and a moment of mutual smelling ensues (the dogs, not the humans) (really? please…). A black BMW X5 drives past faster than it should and I hold the beagle and one of the dogs as it does so, and the man thanks me and then he and his dogs head across the road onto the grassy area which has been left fallow for the spring flowers to bloom. It’s now very deep (like thigh-high on me) in grass and weeds and ex-flowers and really needs a mow.
The beagle wants to go with them, and I say loudly – in what I consider to be a humorous voice – to the beagle:
Ha! You’re too old and fat to keep up with those two, hey?
And then I turn slightly to my left and I see the man’s wife, who I hadn’t noticed before.
And she is just staring at me.
And then there’s this sudden realisation that she thinks I was talking to her.
So I quickly turn to where the beagle is so that I can show her that I was talking to my dog.
But the beagle has long gone into the thigh-high grass and is nowhere to be seen.
I was waiting for the ground to open up and swallow me whole. It didn’t happen.
Honestly, where’s an extremely rare local seismological event when you really need one?
Thankfully, I do have the lead in my hand and I kind of gesture towards it and I call the beagle and – incredibly, given some of the well-documented disciplinary issues of the breed – it emerges from the bushes some distance up the road. I hurriedly remark something about “Oh look, there she is!”, collect together what’s left of my shattered dignity (doesn’t take very long), and leg it as fast as my chest will allow me.
I don’t dare look back.
Anyway, I’m typing this from about 5km from my house and I could really do with a lift back home so that I can never go out in my neighbourhood again if that’s ok?