Sometimes with amusing tales you had to have been there to ‘get the joke’ and sometimes things which tickle your personal funny-bone just don’t seem that funny to others.
Nevertheless, for what it’s worth, here’s a true story that appealed to me yesterday.
I was speaking to a lady who owns a youngish small dog. She’s one of those females who is over-protective towards her animals and showers them with at least as much smothering love as she once did her own children. She was recounting an allegedly horrendous incident that happened to her at the weekend.
Her pooch has propensities both to escape from her garden and also chase balls. On Sunday morning, he had done both and – as she pursued him along the tow path – the ball he was after fell into the river, some four feet below. In a flash, instinctively, he had jumped in to retrieve it.
Soon the lady was making a spectacle of herself, beseeching the dog to forget the ball and make its way to the bank, notwithstanding the fact that she couldn’t get down to the edge of the water to pull him out because of her age. She stopped a first middle-aged passer-by to ask him to help, but he declined the invitation, apologising that he had a gammy knee.
By now the dog had thrashed its way to the river bank, looking a bit bedraggled. I could not help myself smiling at her earnest description of the scene – “He practically had his elbows on the bank but hadn’t the strength to pull himself up”.
Our heroine then told of how she had then turned to a second middle-aged passer-by for assistance, adding in passing that he was a most unpleasant man.
How so, I wondered.
Apparently, in phlegmatic fashion, his opening response had been a question – “Can your dog swim?”
“I don’t know” she had replied.
“Well … we’re soon going to find out” he said.
[At this point your author suffered a severe attack of helpless mirth which, it transpired, was not a reaction that the lady was expecting or particularly appreciated.]