Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Shut That Door!

“Could you please make sure you keep the doors closed?”

“Yup, ok, no problem.”

“Only I know he looks old and slow, but he will run away if he gets the chance.”

“Yup, ok, no worries.”

“So please try to keep the door shut so he can’t get out.”

“Will do!”

I return to my office, having briefed the alarms engineers on the dog/door situation at some length. They are upgrading the entire system, so are in and out of every room in the building, including the domestic side, my accommodation. The house is in chaos, with colourful coils of wiring looped in each corner and fine plaster dust powdering the surfaces. Stepladders loiter menacingly in the shadows, while unfastened floorboards await their moment of slapstick glory.

I try to continue with the business of the day, but soon realise the futility of attempting to use the phone when the alarms engineers are drilling holes in the walls and testing the sounders at random intervals.

I head to the kitchen. The door has been left open! I scan the room quickly and, to my relief, the dog is still there. He is sprawled on the floor in apparent deep slumber. I close the door, firmly, noisily, point-makingly behind me.

Reassured of the dog's continued presence in the house , I go into the utility room, check the status of the laundry, and re-emerge. The kitchen door is open. The dog is gone. Where once I let a sleeping dog lie, an alarms engineer now stands.

Oh, for fuck's sake.

I stomp off, grumpily, to look for him. For an elderly canine, with a touch of arthritis, he can still outrun me for sport. He loves to stay just out of my immediate reach. It’s funnier that way.

I don’t catch him. He disappears over the horizon. I give up, return home, stomp grumpily through the house, solely to give the alarms engineers the opportunity of reading my eloquent body language, and discover the dog waiting to be let in at the back door.

I let him back into the kitchen and go to find the alarms engineers.

“Right, I’ve got the dog back. Please try to keep the doors closed from now on.”

“Yup, OK, no problem.”

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