From the genteel parks and terraces of Leamington to the cab of my bus this morning. "Ee's doin' is teef." Came the voice from the 23rd floor. Regular readers will know that this is the standard response when I call to pick up a particularly time challenged student. "Could ee do is teef before the bus comes?" I reply.
"Wah? We dunno when you're gonna be 'ere?"
"Get 'im ta do is teef when ee gets up." I reply in dialect
"Ee does - ee gets straight aht a bed and does 'is teef."
I wonder if I'll ever meet the voice from floor 23. I suspect she has a hard life up there. At least the dental hygiene should be OK.
I'm never really sure how to feel about animals. I always keep in mind how much I enjoy eating quite a few of them. I know that as a Romantic novelist I should be a cat and dog lover with at least a frilly poodle called fartio. I can never quite get over the knowledge that cats torture little birds. Dogs on the other hand roll in dung and lick their own and other dogs' bottoms before moving on to your face. Both species can be infected with parasitic worms that cause severe illness and blindness in children who are apt to pick up cat and dog faeces. If this kinda stuff worries you check out Toxocariasis here. I only mention this because a friend's daughter lost her vision on account of this problem. I suppose that my attitude to animals is unsentimental, practical and culinary.
All the same, I can see the charm of dogs. In the yard where the buses sleep there is a rag-bag of sheds, grease pits, vehicle repairers and various oily humans who appear to have been absorbed in an osmotic process by their overalls. All sorts of welding, car cutting, foreign tongues, hammering, revving engines, paint spraying and diesel smoke merge to form a synthesis of something I call Fumanity. I adore the place. In amongst this mechanical stew lives Alf - the workshop dog. He is a terrier and looks like he is a kinda mobile wiping rag. So many lubricated hands pat him that he has taken on the colour of sump oil. He kinda growls out with lop-sided white teeth through an axle grease beard. Most of the time he runs about with an old football begging for anyone to kick it for him to chase. Then he dives under or into trucks, bins, piles of scrap, greasing pits or buses to retrieve it. He also attacks any kind of water hose - the water just beads off the grease. If anyone wants me to investigate the full story of Alf please let me know. I believe he has lived there for many years.
Just as an aside I must admit that since I have been back on the buses, grinding out a working life, all that romance fiction seems wonderful, yet for me un-writeable. I just can't imagine swooning in the arms of a billionaire hunk. I dream of traffic and hooting road- ragers. If a spillionaire (saturated with uncountable wealth) hunk cut me up in his Ferrari I'd probably smack his smug orthodontically perfect gob.
Emma thinx: Do it doggy fashion. Collar him and take the lead.