Monday, October 24, 2005

Monday with the zoo

I was going to buy a new mattress at the weekend, but I was lazy and didn’t get around to it.

So I set off for ye olde bedde shoppe tonight full of purpose and resolve. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, but it was, to find out that they were very well endowed in the mattress department. If they’d had a selection of three mattresses I would have been perfectly fine, but there appeared to be hundreds of them. It’s intimidating isn’t it? Because you don’t want to be seen making eyes at the budget, wouldn’t be seen dead in a prison cell or a hotel in Margate mattress, and by the same token, don’t want to pay over the odds for the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow version. So I made a token gesture of sitting on a few beds, wearing the same face I do in the supermarket when I try to look as if I really do know my avocados.

One of the assistants took pity on me after a while and came over: “Can I help you?” she said. “I’d like to buy a mattress” I replied confidently. “What size?” she asked, “Double” I said, (I really had the trick of this mattress buying malarkey). “King or Queen?”………”I’ll see you tomorrow” I said and slunk off.

So, full of mattress loss, a kind of ‘presque mattress’ I went home and took the dogs to the park.

It’s quite dark for our evening walks now, and it was later tonight so it was quite, quite dark, although in London it never goes entirely pitch even at the dead of night because the sky is suffused with a rosy glow of house and street lights. In one corner of the park there’s a pathway that cuts through, between overhanging trees, from some rather nice houses. There’s a solitary lamp at the park entrance to the pathway and at night it always reminds me of the entrance to Narnia.

Tonight another person was walking a dog in the opposite direction and it was obvious we would meet under the lamp light if we both carried on at the same pace. There’s a protocol here, if the other person hesitates or calls their dog then there’s every chance that they don’t trust their pooch or yours to behave, and it’s as well to detour or delay. But we both walked confidently on, and met under the pool of light.

Under the pool of light, I exchanged “good evenings” with a rather well to do, tweedy and expensive wellie boots looking lady who I supposed lived in one of the big houses down the path. She had an immaculately groomed King Charles spaniel with her, who sat down 6 feet behind her as soon as she stopped. “Dreadful weather isn’t it” she said. “Yes, awful” I offered, “and very dark too”. We exchanged a few more pleasantries about the weather when Toffee plonked himself down at her feet. He was right in front of her and looked up with his best winning gurn, “Oh he’s a dahling” she said and played with his ear…”we very nearly had a Springer, but decided on William instead, they’re just much better house pets, you know?”. I looked at Charlie who was weighing up the, well behaved, perfectly groomed poppet “what the f#ck have you come dressed as, and you’d better not do any weeing around here without asking me first”..

…she was saying something else, about how she hated the way that they cut back the trees at this time of year. And she looked down at Toffee again, “you are a good boy aren’t you?”

Toffee was looking back at her with his big brown solemn eyes, which had begun to cross, and when his tongue rolled out to one side I suddenly wished we were elsewhere. For a dog Toffee has quite a range of facial expressions and I’ve become used to reading most of them, the placid dopey looking expression on his face that she was observing at that moment was a certain precursor of something far more unpleasant going on at the other end.

“That’s luvvly”, “Keep playing wiv me ear missus….I’ve got a four pounder in the bomb bay and the doors are openin’”

“Ere we go, bombs away” and he shuffled forward into her hand.

She looked down and finally realised what was happing. Toffee smiled back at her from the wrong end of a foot of brown cable.

“Oh dear” she said, “oh dear, oh dear”….”William come along”

And as I fumbled around for a baggy in my pocket I almost, very nearly, apologised.

And then I thought, what the hell, he’s a dog for goodness sake, so instead I pointed at the offending turd and looked at her, and then at Toffee and said, “that’s a corker!!”

“Good boy!!”


Amy said...

When I wanted to special-order a new mattress for my silly-sized antique bed (try asking them for a 3/4 size, not a single, not a full) the guy at the mattress store made me lay down on all of the mattresses in the shop and when I finally selected one (as you said, more for budget than anything else) he made me lay on it for 15 minutes with a pillow and a blanket! I was mortified!! I will never buy another mattress again. Unless I can just catalog order it... I guess that goes on the list of things a "boy" must come with now. A truck, a goatee, and now a good mattress.

Just Some Gal said...

Sorry about the mattress...ugh thats the kind of shopping I don't like at all. I get offended at prices & sizes...just all of it bothers me. Its why I have old faithful. Its also why I can never feel my left arm when I wake up either. lol

OMG about Toffee... I about died laughing. "corker" hahahaha

Too funny!

Ariel1980 said...

A corker indeed! I fell off the bed reading this---speaking of which, at home in the states I have a new mattress as well; and you are correct, very bewildering. The thing that always gets me is pillows. How do you test them? By laying on the floor in the store and imagining your normal sleep habits? Ever pursuant of a commission, I was talked into a Tempurpedic with the matching pillows, and although more than I had planned to spend, has been well worth it. Heaven. Sheer heaven.

Wendy said...

Well, you've done it again. I needed to retrieve my inhaler, as you had me laughing so hard it spurned an asmtha attack! Thank you so much. I was so tired, and 'dreary' and actually sulky tonight (don't know why) and I figured I'd read your post before heading off to bed, and well ... I'm just dying. "Corker"!!! LMAO! I just pictured the entire scene and man ... oh .. thank you.

Deranged Doctor said...

I think a new song could come of that, eh?
My mattress? $19 Canadian, brand new. Got two of 'em at the same time, too.

Magpie said...

i've not bought a mattress for years, its probably infested with bed bugs, but it does its job *itch itch*

and i love the pooch story, be thankful it wasn't a sloppy


leesepea said...

I think I can hear it now...

"Let's poo on it!"

AJH said...

You are a fantastic writer or should I thank your muses - good boys toffee and charlie!
Just remember, you are smarter than the mattress.

Magpie said...

whats that oscar whatchmacallit said, dust doesn't get any worse after 5 years, and its