Christmas Eve I cleaned the bikes and the car, moved junk around and generally tidied the Man-shed. Sat down in my swivel chair with a cold Coopers Sparkling Ale from the Man-fridge. Mick and Paddy jumped up onto my lap and sat looking out the door – we like to do this while Jane mows the lawn. But she wasn’t mowing today as she entered to grab something from the Man-fridge which was, begrudgingly, being used for Christmas overflow.
Two things happened simultaneously. Jane dropped a stubby onto the concrete floor which shattered…and my daughter appeared unexpectedly silhouetted in the door.
In unison and in commotion, my two guardians leaped for her throat like the trained assassins which they aren’t. Digging their hind claws deeply into my thighs for maximum purchase, the black poodle-wraiths launched, howling with vituperation, eyes flashing red, They were two-thirds along their implacable trajectory when their tails started to wag.
Bent over in pain, trying to stem the flow of life-blood, I observed out of one eye the flow of frothy cider over my pristine, oil-stained concrete floor, and out of the other, the wriggle-bummed apologies of that traitorous breed.
Sucking down Coopers for its anesthetic properties, and refusing to waste it as a disinfectant, I was grateful that Christmas comes but once a year.
Christmas Day dawned sunny and windless. The Chief and I went for a fang around the backroads for an hour or so, including a “spirited” run down our secret fanging strip.
The “got to get to Mum’s for lunch” crowd were just getting on the roads as we returned home.