Who made the Dirty Mark on the Sofa? Asks the Man.
The Owner and I say nothing.
It will not come out, says the Man.
I am sure it will, says the Owner, I have Chemicals.
It should not be there in the First Place, says the Man.
Leave it to me, says the Owner.
It means that Someone or Something has Been on the Sofa when they should not, says the Man.
Excuse me, Are you There? Says a Disembodied Voice which I Immediately Recognise as Part of the Man’s Working Day.
I must go, says the Man. But, he adds in a rather Meaningful tone, I hope you will get to the Bottom Of It.
Of course, says the Owner. The Moral Dog and I will Set About It at once.
I cannot imagine what he is Getting At, I say to the Owner after the Man departs for his Teleconference, I have never seen Anyone or Anything Reclining on the Sofa that should not be there.
I see, says the Owner. She is Amassing a Range of Chemicals.
Should we be wearing Respirators? I ask.
Possibly, says the Owner, but we do not Have Any owing to a Shortage of PPE across the Country.
We could phone the Health Secretary, I say, he says there are Telephone Numbers for People without PPE that allow them to Report their Deficit.
I bet there are, says the Owner, shaking a large pink can in a somewhat Menacing Fashion, and I detect a hint of the Resigned Pessimism which usually characterises her comments when the Health Secretary is her Subject.
You do not like the Health Secretary, I say to the Owner.
A journalist in the Guardian commented today that the Health Secretary is better watched on Mute with James Blunt playing very loudly, says the Owner, but even this is not enough.
Despite a complete absence of PPE she Prepares for Action. As I watch from a Safe distance she Squirts Vast Quantities of White Foam onto the Sofa. It is like the scene in Ghostbusters where they Crossed the Stream, but without the Reassurance of knowing that Bill Murray has been in Other Films since then so it Must be Okay.
What are you doing? I ask.
I am removing the Dirty Mark, says the Owner, squirting a Whole Series of Equally Noxious Chemicals onto the Sofa to follow the first. If I were the Sofa I would by now have followed Houdini on his latest trip to Epping Forest, but Sofas do not generally do that and this one does not appear to have decided that Today is the Day for a Change.
The dirty mark disappears into a Mound of Chemical Foam.
There, says the Owner. The Dirty Mark will soon Be No More.
Who or What could have caused it? I ask.
I cannot Imagine, says the Owner. Have you seen Anyone or Anything sitting on the Sofa recently?
Not at all, I say, and I would Definitely have Noticed, I say.
Why is that? Asks the Owner.
Because I spend most of the day On It Myself, I say. I cannot imagine how Anyone or Anything could have Sneaked Past.
I see, says the Owner.
I watch as she Foams and Squirts and Hoovers and Wipes and Scrubs, as she Mops and Sponges and Soaks and Dries. I watch as she Inspects and Checks and Retouches and Scours again. I try not to Breathe, given that we do not have any PPE and, even if we did, Nobody has had the Presence of Mind to make a Version for Moral Dogs.
I think that is Better, she says Eventually.
It is Better, I say.
We gaze at the Sofa Together. The Owner opens the Window.
Oddly, I say, the Area you have treated, I say, is Rather Dog-Shaped, I say. Isn’t that Strange? I say. Isn’t it Almost a Coincidence, I say, given the Presence of a Moral Dog in the Household?
Very, says the Owner. Very.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.