Saturday, December 11, 2010
the business end
here is a picture of young dave on the beach. my more observant readers will note that he is searching for something to eat. this is one of young dave's favourite pastimes. unfortunately for the rest of us, young dave is not discerning in what he eats. or rather, he is discerning, but not about the same things as the rest of us. whereas i might choose to eat something because it tasted nice, or because it represented a challenge to my skills in craftiness and thievery, young dave selects his foodstuffs on the basis of their microbe content. the mouldier the better would seem to be his motto, especially with things found on the beach or the farm.
this has led to some interesting outcomes. usually they are limited to those of the gaseous variety, but occasionally young dave's gastronomy leads him into more dangerous waters. such was the case last week. i have no idea what morsel set off the reaction but young dave was dashing outside with rather more urgency than usual. this would not have been cause for comment had it not coincided with thick snow.
young dave was introduced to snow some while ago but, as is his way, he had filed the experience under "not particularly edible" and not given it much further thought. so when we had a thick covering of snow in the garden he had pulled up sharp with surprise, before teetering across it looking like someone in stiletto heels. to watch young dave trying to answer a rather urgent call of nature without putting too much weight on his back legs made me laugh until my old sides ached.
the snow remained for several days. this meant that young dave's outpourings left the garden looking like a jackson pollock painting. i had to pick my way carefully round them when leaving my more modest offerings. eventually the snow thawed and the peeps were able to make some effort at clearing up the damage. young dave continued to burble inwardly and produced further colourful delights on the newly cleaned deck. by now he was on a diet of plain boiled rice, having been starved for 24 hours, but there was apparently still scope for artistic endeavour. then we had a very sharp freeze.
by now herself was a little tired of the jackson pollock thing and was pleading with young dave for a move towards the techniques of frank auerbach. frozen pools of colourful dog soup were doing nothing for her already rather low mood. one particularly cold morning she was coming into the house and came across mr next door on his way out. she thought she had better explain.
"in case you see me kneeling in the garden scraping the paving and the deck with a paint scraper, its not what it looks like," she said. i am not sure what this behaviour would look like. the possibilities range from a new found interest in archeology to a case of rapid-onset obsessive compulsive disorder.
"its just that i've clearing up frozen puddles of dog diarrhea," she went on, proceeding to explain about young dave's internal difficulties in more detail than necessary.
"i wouldn't have dreamed of drawing any adverse inference from your behaviour," mr next door assured her, no doubt making a mental note to refrain from offering to assist.
it is just as well that we have kind and understanding neighbours...