We have to go to the Shops, says the Owner.
I am not coming out, I say. It is Too Dangerous, I say. I may be hit by a Meteorite, I say.
Nobody has ever been Hit by a Meteorite, says the Owner.
On the Contrary, I say, on November 30, 1954, a Meteorite Fell through from the Sky near Sylacauga, Alabama, crashed through the roof of a house, bounced off a Radio and hit Ann Elizabeth Hodges as she Sat in her Living Room, causing severe bruising to her Hip.
This has Never Happened Since, says the Owner.
That is Almost Certainly because she has Moved House, I say.
I think she has since Died, says the Owner.
Oh Good Grief, I say, you did not say she was hit by a Meteorite and then Died, I say. the Dangers are Greater than I thought, I say.
She died 18 years later, says the Owner, and it has not Happened to Anyone Since, says the Owner. You have a better chance of getting hit by a Tornado and a Bolt of Lightning and a Hurricane all at the Same Time.
And you expect me to come to the Shops? I say. What Kind of Owner are you? I ask. Offering your Moral Dog to the Elements like some kind of Inca Sacrifice, I say. I am surprised you have not Shown your Colours Before, I say. Although you have always had a Funny Twitch, I say. When the Moral Dog gets Too Close to the Truth, I say. I See it Now, I say.
It is not a Twitch, says the Owner, it is a Spontaneously Incredulous Eyebrow, says the Owner. The Chances of the Moral Dog being hit by a Tornado and a Bolt of Lightning and a Hurricane all at the Same Time on the way to the Shops this morning are Somewhat Less than the Chances of him being Eaten by a Shark on the way Back, says the Owner.
This sounds like All the More Reason not to go out, I say. Last Year the International Shark Attack File confirmed 64 Unprovoked Shark Attacks on Humans and 41 Provoked Attacks, I say. They do not even Bother to Mention the Undoubtedly Numerous attacks on Moral Dogs, I say. Moral Dogs are always Left Out of these things, I say. As if we Do Not Count, I say. Even to Sharks, I say. Any Shark would be Proud to eat a Moral Dog, I say. I imagine we are Positively Tasty, I say. Do you think they would start at the Tail and Work Upwards? I say. They would never Manage a Whole One, I say. Imagine the Tragic Leftovers, I say.
There are No Sharks in Highgate, says the Owner. They cannot Swim on the Pavement, says the Owner.
They are Probably Lurking in the Drains, I say.
The Moral Dog is confusing Possibility, Plausibility and Probability, says the Owner. Things can be Possible without being Probable because they are not Plausible, says the Owner. It is Possible to be Swallowed by a Mutant Vending Machine, but it is not Plausible given the Laws of Physics, Biology and Evolution to which we are currently Subject, and it is not Probable, and it is Possibly in fact not Possible, that these Laws can ever Change, says the Owner.
The Moral Dog is not Easily Tricked by Semantics in the Presence of such Dangers, I say. To speak of Future Events that are Probable, Possible or Plausible, according to some set of Deceptive and Personal Internal Criteria, leads to less Clarity rather than more, I say. Is a Future that is Plausible more likely than a Future that is only Possible? I ask. Is a Future that is Plausible also a Future that is Probable? I ask. Can one Future be more Plausible than another? I ask. Does that mean they are Mutually Exclusive? I ask. Should we consider Any Future we are able to conceive as Potentially Possible simply because we have Conceived It? I ask. Are there other Equally Possible Futures that are all Conceivable, yet Completely Implausible and not even Probably? I ask. Could the Moral Dog be Eaten by A Shark even As he is being Struck by a Meteorite during a Hurricane? I ask. It is Probably Plausibly Possible that The Vending Machine would Consume the Tragic Leftovers, I say. I would Say More but I realise I have Run Out of Words.
Fine, says the Owner. We can stay here, says the Owner, where we will find it is Possible, Plausible and Probable that there is No Cheese in the Fridge. That is why I was going to the Shops, says the Owner. The Moral Dog’s friend the Butcher says he has some delightful Isle of Mull Cheddar.
We head to the Shops. The Moral Dog is fully Aware of the Risks that he Faces, but for Some Things it is Worth It.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.