Blogger Barb Taub had a dog/drug experience recently which triggered a buried memory. Now it’s bubbled to the surface, I think it is time I confessed
My name is Geoff and I drugged my dog
We need to go back to 2008 and a period when I regularly invited my team at work to a Sunday barbecue in the garden. It was intended to be a way of saying thanks and letting my colleagues’ other halves and children a chance to meet those people who they heard about, but in many cases never had the chance to meet and berate for keeping their loved ones away from the family bosom (other mammaries were available).
I would hire a small marquee/tent thing and tables and chairs, buy in a load of booze, twist a few arms to run a couple of barbecues and then, in time honoured fashion, let people get on with it. If I host a party I’ve learnt not to stress. If people come then it’sup to them to have a good time. My philosophy, so far as being a host is concerned, is best expressed thus..
This simple arrangement had become a feature over a few years, when my daughter, the Vet, hit her teens. She and I are similar in that we both love hosting and, well, let’s say I’m a bit of a soft touch. So when she asked if she could have a few friends round on the Saturday, to take advantage of the tent/marquee before the Sunday lunch party…
and I promise, daddy, we will clean up after…
I said yes, before the Textiliste had a chance to add a sprinkling of common sense.
That first year she had about 25 people and they had a good time, were well behaved and cleaned up. Well, apart from half a dozen cigarette butts under the apple tree. She was 14 and we had a word about the evils of tobacco.
it wasn’t me, daddy but I’ll make sure…
The next year the guest list grew north of thirty; no ciggies, but an empty half bottle of vodka nestled in a Camellia bush the morning after. Another clean up, another word about the demon drink and another promise
I told them but it’s difficult to stop someone bringing it, if they hide it. Next year…
The garden was tidy though, so, after discussion we agreed that we’d there could be another year.
This time, though, we would be vigilant. We were always present, but this time we’d circulate, keep a weathered eye on proceedings.
Factoid Number One: The Textiliste lost her sense of smell years ago.
Factoid Number Two: There was cricket on the TV.
We parents agreed on the following strategy. I’d watch the TV in the room above the garage, keeping an eye put across the garden; from time to time the Textiliste would wander around the ground floor and garden. It was sunny and warm; mid June and they were a lovely bunch of 15 and 16 year olds. I glanced out at the occasional laughter, the dancing on the lawn.
At 11.55 I sat up, collected the dog that had been snoozing at my feet and headed for the kitchen to unplug the music and send the little darlings home.
Factoid Number Three: the dog and I competed for the most intense sense of smell. I’d just opened the door to the kitchen when a cloud of what can only be described as condensed skunk hit me. I hadn’t been so enveloped in a pot storm since sitting through the Bob Marley Story at the Brixton Ritzy in April 1992. My brain gyroscoped into a fifth dimension while innocent faces turned to look at me.
Just then the Textiliste appeared from upstairs where she’d been working. ‘Is it a bit smokey?’ At least she detected smoke even if not the variety of Salvia.
I may have suggested to the watching teens that I, at least, was aware we were dealing with something greater than an excess of Silk Cuts this time as in ‘What the fuck have you been smoking?’
To cut a long story short, our downstairs loo had been hot-boxed and it was only when the party ended that the toilet door was opened wide enough to let out this decapitating miasma.
The Vet swore blind she knew nothing about it
I spent the whole party in the garden…
Which, to be fair, did seem to fit with my occasional checks.
By the time the last of the guests had gone, it was 1 am. We’d thrown all the windows opened but since the plaster seemed to have become impregnated with Rwandan ready rubbed it would need longer to get the smell out.
‘Let’s hit the sack’ said a discombobulated Textiliste, ‘and have another go in the morning.’
We locked up – this is London, you don’t leave doors and windows open – and set the alarm for 8. In the morning we threw open every aperture and scrubbed the walls and tiles. The drinka nd helpers appeared at 11; the guests at 12. It went well. No one noticed until…
You dog is so lovely
I smiled; Janan was Sri Lankan, a charmer.
I’m terrified of large black dogs but Blitz is so placid, so calm.
It had been so busy, I’d not noticed the dog; he’d not moved form his bed, his head rested in his paws, a short line of dribble linking floor to jaw. It was then it hit me. The old fella had passively smoked the equivalent of three days at Glastonbury; more potted than a Baltic of Shrimp.
I didn’t say. I just decided that, this year, we’d give the obstacle course at the Dulwich Dog Sow a miss; no point risking a random blood test.
And the Vet? We discussed the ramifications at dinner. She put up a spirited defence and asked her brother what he thought. The sage 19 year old took a moment before offering:
Ciggies, then booze, then dope… if I were you, parentals, I’d rent a condom machine next year; that way you’ll have covered all the options