The dog ate my footwear

A contemporary reworking of the classic excuse offered up by lazy school children who couldn’t at least be a little more imaginative. A bloke I was at school with would regularly regale the terrifyingly northern Mr. Baxter with tales of alien invasion, a small boys’ single handed saving of the planet and the unfortunate collateral damage of his “Algebra 20 Hard Questions” being discombobulated by a frazzling death ray.

He still received the standard punishment of detention and a meeting with Baxter’s much feared “metal slipper“, but fair play to the fella for trying. It was only last night I remembered my oft slippered pal, during some ‘excuse brainstorming‘ for why my next day London meeting would be conducted in suit trousers, formal shirt and flip flops.

The dog has previous, redesigning Random’s week old trainers into fetching open toed sandals with custom chew motifs. His recent freedom from overnighting in his cage allows access to all sorts of interesting things that can be slobbered, chewed and then eaten. This includes a book – appropriately entitled – “Natural Disasters” which he took some delight in shredding.

Already, I wasn’t in the best of moods after my first bike commute of the year. Exactly half of it had been fantastic, cold and dark but immensely satisfying and reminding me why cars are just so rubbish. As are trains, especially the ones run by London Midland that can apparently teleport between platforms.

Because otherwise, why would I be chasing trains all over Birmingham New Street with my bike on my shoulder and innumerable flights of stairs blocking my progress. Some thirty minutes after this jolly game had started, I had ended up parking the bike in the correct carriage, divested myself of outer garments and courier bags, plugged in traveling tunes and opened the paper.

At which point the driver gleefully informed us that this train was giving up at Worcester, and poor saps heading West of that better get over to platform 7 sharpish. My frantic reassemblage of commuting collateral begat an elbows out charge up two punishing stair sets and a plunge down the far side. Excellent training if I ever considered Cyclocross racing,* but not an absolutely ideal way to spend most of an evening.

Especially since the overcrowding on this final train morphed me into a bikey sardine, trapped between two overstuffed carriages. The next hour was gainfully spent shuttling the bike between suitcases, tired looking passengers and train doors as I’d hurriedly parked it in the main thoroughfare. I feel my smile of acknowledgment, when being politely asked to shift IT AGAIN, may have become somewhat forced after a while.

So when Murphy greeted me with his standard arse cantilevering tailwag and slobbery hello, I sternly rejected his advances with a steely accusing finger and an admonishment of “YOU. SHOE EATER. YES YOU. WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?”. His confused expression suggested the evidence of mouthy shoelace had been planted, and it was all a stitch up. Honest Guv.

Two seconds later, having conveniently forgotten his telling off, he dropped to the floor and began licking his willy in a “Bet you wish you could do this” happy manner.** This is the default position of the Murf assuming there isn’t any footwear to be chewily mangled. It’s hard to be angry with a pet which clearly takes so much pleasure in basting his testicles in slobber. I mean there is an animal which clearly knows how to have a good time, and no amount of telling off is going to change that.

I have avoided potential disciplinary being cited due to inappropriate footwear by ballasting myself down with the spare pair from the office. Climbing the last gruesome hill before home , I couldn’t help thinking if that dog continues to suffer “separation anxiety”, he’ll more likely be suffering “sharp rap on the nose with the remains of my shoe“.

Not that there is much left. He’s going to be pooing leather patches for days.

* Which I won’t. As I’ll die of heart failure or embarrassment.

** Not really. Fond of the dog as I am, there are limits to my affection.

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