What is that? I ask.
It is a Sausage, says the Owner. In a Bun, says the Owner. With Embellishments, says the Owner.
I can see that, I say.
Why, then, did the Moral Dog ask what it was? Asks the Owner.
Because the Moral Dog heard what you said to That Man, says the Owner.
I asked him for a Hot Dog, says the Owner. For Lunch, says the Owner.
Oh Good God, I say. Have I stepped into a Dreadful Dystopian Universe, I say. Was the rest of the Moral Dog’s life a mere Dream, a Desperate Escape from a Terrible Reality in which he is being Fattened Up for Tomorrow’s Breakfast? I say. My Owner is planning to Eat a Hot Dog, I say. Dogline will not even Believe Me, I say. To feast upon some Poor Dog just because he is Hot is beyond even Cruelty, I say. With Morals like That there is Nowhere to Run, I say. Even if it is a Dachshund, I say. I hope you did not Have It with Onions, I say.
What are you talking about? Says the Owner. I asked for no Onions, says the Owner. I know the Moral Dog does not Like Onions, says the Owner.
Does not Like Onions? I say. I am talking about your Plans to Consume a Dog, I say, I hardly think the odd Onion makes a Moral Difference, I say. Although Frankly once you have Eaten that Sausage I do not know where you will Put a Hot Dog, I say. It seems you are adding Gluttony to your Many Moral Failings, I say. You will look like a Number 23 Bus, I say. People will attempt to Hail You when you Step out of the Park, I say. It will Serve you Right, I say. I hope you are Climbed Upon by Numerous Very Heavy People who demand to be taken All the Way to Peckham, I say.
This Is the Hot Dog, says the Owner.
What is? I say.
The Sausage, says the Owner. In this Bun. With these Embellishments.
Seriously? I say. The Sausage in a Bun is called a Hot Dog? I say.
It is, says the Owner.
Embellishments? I say. That is So Disrespectful, I say. You have named a Sausage Sandwich after a Dog, I say. I am not Interested in your Embellishments, I say. It is a Disgrace, I say. It is both Hottist and Doggist, I say. How could you, I say. I hope you are Aware of the Moral Dog’s Opprobrium, I say.
That is a shame, says the Owner, given that the Embellishment is Cheese.
It seems to the Moral Dog that he may have Misjudged the Owner slightly. What sort of Cheese? I say.
The Kind the Moral Dog prefers, says the Owner. But no matter, says the Owner. I will eat it Alone, says the Owner. Bathed in the Opprobrium of the Moral Dog, says the Owner. And Condemned by the Inappropriateness of having been Doggist in my Approach to Sausages, says the Owner.
Perhaps the Moral Dog has been a Little Hasty, I say. I can see that, from a Certain angle the Resemblance of the Sausage to Certain Dogs is Undeniable, I say. I could be prepared to Make Allowances, I say.
There is Clearly some Linguistic reference to Dachshunds, says the Owner. Given the Size and Excellence of the sausage, says the Owner. But I would not want the Moral Dog to force Himself to make Allowances, says the Owner.
Now that you mention it, I say, Any Dachshund would be Flattered by the comparison to a Sausage of such Quality, I say. Particularly with Cheese, I say. The Moral Dog is prepared to Offer his Help with the Sausage, I say, in order to prevent any Possible Park-Bus Incidents, I say. Despite the Opprobrium, I say.
That is very Gracious of the Moral Dog, says the Owner, but I am sure I can Cope, given the Excellence of the Dog and the Particularly Cheesey nature of the Cheese..
You clearly Cannot Cope, I say. It is the Duty of a Moral Dog to prevent such Disaster, I say. I would not want the Owner to find herself in Dispute with Persons heading to Peckham, I say.
Well, says the Owner, if the Moral Dog is prepared to Swallow his Opprobrium, says the Owner, that would be Very Kind, says the Owner.
I shall give it My All, I say. It is my Moral Duty, I say.
The Moral Dog and the Owner share the Hot Dog. Fortunately he finds that Opprobrium goes down very Well with Cheese.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.