Someone once told me that before you name a child you should stand on the back door step and shout out the name repeatedly to see how it felt.
Obviously, nobody had ever done the backdoor step test before naming my childhood dog ‘Fish’. I should add here that Fish came to us already named so no member of my family was actually responsible for her name, but still. Standing in the middle of a park yelling “Fish! Come here!” to a dog is just not cool, no matter which way you look at it.
Anyway, one day Fish fell in love – in the way that bitches do when they’re on heat – with a local dog. We called this dog ‘Big Dog’ because, well, he was big and he was a dog. Big Dog was drawn to Fish – in that way that male dogs are drawn to bitches on heat – and took to hanging outside our property a lot.
One night, my father woke suddenly and flung open the back door in time to catch Fish and Big Dog in flagrante delicto (or “At It”). Big Dog was so startled by my father’s sudden shouting that he took off before he’d finished, dragging poor Fish along with him all the way to the fence, where he finally extricated himself and jumped for freedom.
Sadly, Fish never saw Big Dog again and 62 days later, she gave birth to seven puppies and spent the remainder of her life sighing with the distinct air of someone who had been extremely hard done by.
Chance would have it that a recent incident made me think of this story. As it would.
I was just finishing the dishes when my friends KC and MM arrived (bearing wine) and I showed MM the two cups I had found, trapped together in an act of unholy union, who I had been trying to rent asunder all day.
“Should I be soaking them in hot water or cold water?” I asked MM.
“Hot water makes it expand, so … uh… yes,” MM replied, somewhat distracted. He had only just arrived and was still unpacking the wine (there was a lot of it).
“Really? I’ve had it soaking for a while now and it’s still stuck,” I remarked and started running it under the cold water tap to no avail. “Should I put it in the freezer?”
“I think that would just make it worse,” MM said. He was no doubt thinking – like I was – of that scene in Dumb and Dumber where either Jim Carrey or that actor who I always think is Bill Pullman but who isn’t Bill Pullman got his tongue stuck to a chairlift pole. But actually, I think it was probably just me thinking that. MM is a bit more highbrow and was probably just thinking of one of the later Police Academy movies in a totally unrelated fashion – as is his wont.
I was just about to put the cups aside in the hope that the situation would resolve itself when KC entered the kitchen.
I explained the situation to her.
“No, not warm water! That’ll make the cups expand,” she said. “Cold water didn’t work, eh? What about the freezer?”
“You know, you’re pretty much saying exactly the opposite of what I said,” MM remarked.
And so of course, like any husband and wife, they had to fight it out, tug-o-war style…
… but to no avail.
“I think you’ll just have to call it your ‘Double Cup’,” KC concluded, with the air of somebody who’d found a Proper Solution for the problem.
However, my face must have shown that hell would freeze over before I could drink out of two cups fucking, because she secretly kept working on the problem for the next half an hour. Finally, using methods unknown, she freed them.
Phew! Our problem seemed to be over, but then… 62 hours later…