Went out for limpage with lovely Esther and her dog, Henry. Luckily (for me), Henry is walking so slowly that, as MF remarked: 'Much slower and we'd be going back in time.'
Poor Henry is now an entire cube with a leg at each corner and a teeny head sticking out one of the sides. He was never a slim dog to start with but since the arthritis he is more ottoman than dog.
'Poor old Henry,' I said, 'He's ballooned up, is it the steroids?'
'No!' Esther goes, 'It's all the biscuits. He is very fond of those Jules de Strooper butter ones.'
Those Jules de Strooper's are a good £1.50 per pack; I'm quite fond of them myself.
'I've given up on the steroids for him,' she told us, 'I just give him a paracetamol, half hour before we go out for a drag around the estate. The biscuits are just to cheer him up, poor old bugger. Don't think he's got long, keeps staring up at the wall.'
Miss Gladiola said: 'Ah, mebbes he's got a sixth sense.'
'Toof!' goes Esther, 'He hasn't got the full five, leave alone a sixth. He's half deaf, half bind. I think he's got a touch of the old dementia.'
Then as we all hobbled along (me, Henry and Miss Gladiola, with her veins) we had a conversation about how could you tell if a dog had dementia or not; after all, they attack their own reflections in puddles and eat old bits of poo - if you let 'em.
We didn't go far (maybe a few hundred yards) but as Miss Gladiola said: 'Who wants to run a marathon anyway? Complete waste of resources to no good end.'
On the hobble, Ginge, Corn Rows and Charlie walked past us - all nice and friendly now (unless Corn Rows and Charlie were the cause of the cast on Ginge's arm). Amazing. Kids, eh? You can't take 'em seriously.
It was only a couple of years back, I had to rush out of the back door cos about a dozen kids had gotten Corn Rows on the floor and were giving him a kicking.
'Hoy! You can't kick people in the head,' I told them.
'Nah, it's all right,' one of them goes, 'It's just friendly.' During which exchange Corn Rows had escaped and jumped into Britzy's garden.
'Promise you, ' I told 'em, 'Kicking people in the head is never considered friendly. The head is very delicate.'
'Not his, missus,' another informed me, whilst simultaneously dragging Corn Rows out of Britzy's (along with a few other rough herberts) and back onto the path.
I was at my gate by now and the mob was a little disquieted, giving Corn Rows a chance to leg it and the mob to yell: 'Tosser!' at his fleeing back.
Britzy came out.
'You should leave them to it, little barbarians.'
'Well, I have to draw the line when they're kicking each other in the head.'
'Hmmmm. I think, survival of the fittest. If one little bastard kills another little bastard, I think, good - one little bastard less.'
Britzy had a (brutal) point. But, as I pointed out to him: 'Sods they may be, but there might be a potential Einstein amongst 'em.'
He couldn't stop laughing.
And now, the kids are all mates with each other! Mebbes they needed to fight it out amongst each other (whatever 'it' was).
Hobbes was a bit harsh, I thought; but William Golding had it pinned down all right.