Warning: some may find content offensive.
Snouty was told to sit. And, obediently, he sat.
Gertie and her daughter smiled at each other.
I looked first at mother, Gertie, and then at daughter, Gertie.
It had to be said: “What the hell is that?”
Gertie senior looked at me and asked, “What are you talking about?”
“Oh come on, you know what I’m talking about. That dog is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen! Look at his fucking nose! It looks like a huge chocolate muffin! And its bollocks are almost dragging on the floor! The animal’s a freak!”
Gertie’s daughter smashed a pint glass over the back of my head. “Don’t call my little puppy a freak! He’s cute and he’s better looking than you!”
“That, Mister eez, is because you have a piece of glass in your head. If you insult Snouty again, you’ll have a piece of glass in your scrotum.”
I turned to her mother. “Gertie, which finishing school did you choose for this one, fucking Auschwitz?”
Gertie let Snouty off his lead.
Snouty charged at me and rammed his head into my groin; any other chocolate muffin stuck to my bollocks would not have been a problem for me—in fact, Gobbling Gertie has been known to entertain with various foodstuffs throughout her career. However, a chocolate muffin underscored by teeth presented me with a dilemma.
“Gertie, darling, is there any chance you can call off the puppy?”
“Snouty’s not my dog; he’s hers!” She gleefully announced, pointing at her daughter.
With Snouty still clenched, and copying my movements, I slowly turned to her daughter. “Gertie, darling, is there any chance you can call off the puppy?”
She smiled and said, “Snouty, down.”
Snouty dropped obediently to the floor. I followed him to the floor, my whisky glass smashing as I landed. “The bloody animal’s got one of my spuds in his mouth! Call him off!”
As rare as it is for a female, let alone two, to show compassion, the two Gerties shouted in unison: “Snouty, let him go!”
Unfortunately, Snouty was having none of it. It appeared that Snouty was more than happy to have Mister Lefty clamped in his teeth.
The pain was appalling. My eyes misted, but a survival instinct kicked in and I reached for my broken whisky glass and grabbed Snouty’s bollocks with the other hand.
I held the jagged edge of the glass to his ball bag and quietly said, “If I’m going to lose one of mine, this bastard’s going to lose both of his…frankly, I’d have a lot more understanding of the present situation if the bloody animal had a gash between its legs!”
Mother and daughter looked at each other nervously.
“Ten seconds!” I shouted. “You have ten seconds to get this poxy animal off my conker or I’m cutting the puppy!”
“Give me an ashtray.” Gertie ordered her daughter.
“Gertie,” I enquired, “what are you going to do with that?”
“I’m going to thump Snouty on the head. That should make him loosen his grip.”
“No! If you whack him on the head, then his jaws will clamp down! Can’t you just stab him or something?”
Gertie hit me on the head with the ashtray. “Don’t be so cruel! That’s a horrible thing to say! I could get you arrested for that!”
“For God’s sake woman, he’s got one of my knackers in his fucking mouth. Do you really think I’m worried about being arrested at the moment? Get a knife and stab him. Nothing else is going to work!”
Suddenly, Snouty let go of my left testicle and started to hurtle round the pub.
“Thanks Gertie,” I said.
“I didn’t do anything, eez. He just sort of unclamped and began running round the pub.”
I got to my feet, gently swung towards the bar and asked for a drink. “Dear Gertie’s daughter, I would like an extremely alcoholic drink in an extremely large glass. If you fail to provide me with this drink, I will kill your puppy and your mother and then set fire to you.” I looked at her. “Do you consider this request for a drink to be a reasonable one?”
“Coming right up, eez.”
With an intact scrotum, I settled on a barstool and watched Snouty charge round the pub, with Gertie in pursuit, as he continuously sniffed the air, ate furniture and ripped a radiator from the wall.
“Tell me,” I said to the daughter of my good friend Gertie, “where did you get the bloody animal?”
“Mum got it from a home for retired police dogs.”
“So, it’s most definitely not a puppy, then?”
“Well, no. But he’s kind of cute, don’t you think?”
I didn’t answer her.
I watched the unfolding scene of destruction as Snouty continued to pull apart the pub.
I turned back to her. “Look, I know your name’s Gertie, but I can’t carry on calling you Gertie. You’re Gertie, your mum’s Gertie; it’s all very confusing.”
“So what do you suggest?” She asked.
(It was tempting.)
I thought for a moment and then asked, “What would you like me to call you?”
“Well, I’ve always liked the name Katie. But it would be daft if you called me that; my name’s not Katie.”
“Katie? Yeah, that sounds like a good name. I think that from now on I’ll call you Katie…And I’ll let you into a secret: my name’s not eez.”
Katie laughed and topped up my glass.
I took a gulp of my drink, winced as the alcoholic concoction burnt its way to my stomach and said, “Katie, I don’t suppose you know just what exactly Snouty did while working for our fine law enforcement officers?”
“Haven’t got a clue.”
“Well, considering he’s just discovered what looks like three kilos of cocaine hidden in the fixtures and fittings of this shit hole of a boozer, would you be at all surprised if I suggested he is a sniffer dog trained to look for illegal substances and narcotics?”
Katie looked at Snouty as he ripped some panelling from a wall, behind which was a hole containing rather suspicious looking packages.
“eez, I think I’d better put my handbag outside. And by the way,” she called as she left for the car park, “you’d better get rid of the joints in your trouser pocket or Snouty’s going to be having another chat with your gonads.”
I followed her into the car park. “Katie, one more thing.”
She walked back towards me. “What’s that?”
“Your mother’s the nicest woman I’ve ever known. Of course, as with most women, she’s a complete bitch, but she’s good at it. I think the world of her…don’t hurt her.”
“Mum loves you to bits eez. She’s always spoken about you. I just felt like giving you a hard time. Of course, as with most men, she thinks you’re a complete cunt, but you’re good at it…don’t hurt her.”
It had been a hard way to gain a friend, but I figured it would be worth it in the end.