Is there Something Wrong with my Fridge? I ask.
You do not have a Fridge, says the Owner.
When we Ordered It you said I would have a Fridge, I say.
I said we would have a Fridge, says the Owner. One does not need to be Quite So Specific about such things amongst Friends, says the Owner. That would be Pedantic, says the Owner. The Moral Dog is surely not a Pedant, says the Owner.
You are Dodging the Question, I say. That is what I have Come to Expect on Matters of Fridges, I say. Owing to having the Kind of Owner who Claims to Subscribe to Socialist Principles like Equality and Fairness whilst In Fact adopting a Thoroughly Thatcherite Attitude to Fridges, I say. The Cheese Fridge whose Ownership is Now in Dispute owing to these Unfortunate Capitalist Tendencies seems Unaccountably Filled with Other Things I say. Green Things, I say. It is Not Right, I say. What Matters is not so much the Ambiguous Legal Title to the Fridge, but the fact that there is Insufficient Fridge Space Allocated to Cheese, I say.
I am sure the Moral Dog is not being a Pedant about Legal Title, says the Owner. It is Simply a Matter of a Surfeit of Beans, says the Owner. There is Nowhere Else to Put Them at This Point, says the Owner. The Ocado Man was Relentless in his Determination to Deliver Them, says the Owner. And we had Not Yet eaten the Ones from last Week, says the Owner. Owing to Still Working through the Ones from the Week Before, says the Owner. We are Overwhelmed by Beans, says the Owner. It is Not My Fault, says the Owner.
Do not Blame the Ocado Man, I say. The Moral Dog was not Born Yesterday, I say. The Humiliation of Insisting to the Other Dogs that the Ocado Man knows when they have been Naughty or Nice and, on This Basis Alone, Determines what to Deliver still Festers in the Moral Dog’s Trusting Soul, I say. Houdini laughed so much he was Left behind by his Owner and was Caught by the Warden even Before he had Escaped, I say. How Could You, I say.
It was a Joke, says the Owner. I did not expect Moral Dog to Truly Believe that the Ocado man lives at the North Pole and his Lorry is Loaded by Elves, says the Owner. Besides which the Moral Dog appears to be Harbouring Unnecessary Grudges, says the Owner. Given that the Incident he Describes was Well over a Year Ago, says the Owner.
I was a Trusting Fool, I say. The Shame may Never Leave Me, I say. I should have realised Santa would Not Have Space for the Ocado Man, I say. Particularly given the number of Beans he appears to Possess, I say. Which is why I do not believe that the Ocado Man brings Beans when you do not Order them, I say. Man Up, I say. Spill the Beans, I say. That should be easy, I say. In the Circumstances, I say.
Alas the Moral Dog is Right and I shall Confess, says the Owner. We have a Regular Weekly Order, says the Owner. If I do not Remember to Cancel the Beans on a Sunday then they Arrive on a Tuesday, says the Owner. Relentlessly, says the Owner. It started with just a couple of Packets on the Repeat List says the Owner. Then it was four, says the Owner. Then Five, says the Owner. Now Seven, said the Owner. Family Packs, says the Owner. What is required is a Single Organised and Punctual Touch of the Keyboard on a Sunday night, says the Owner. Without such Intervention the Default is set to Bean Invasion, says the Owner. I am Guilty of Failing to Act Punctually and Organisedly, says the Owner. I was Working Too Hard, says the Owner. I am so Deep in my PhD that I have Lost Control of the Beans says the Owner. It is a Matter of Organisation, says the Owner. And Punctuality, says the Owner. And Beans, says the Owner.
A Regular Weekly Order, I say.
Yes, says the Owner.
And a Single Touch of the Keyboard each Sunday could Control the an Overwhelming of Relentless Beans, I say.
Yes, says the Owner.
Or Indeed lead to Ever Greater Numbers? I say.
If One does not Take Care, One can order in Kilogrammes by Mistake, says the Owner. It is easily Done, says the Owner. There Appears to be no way to Decrease the Repeat Order, says the Owner. Without Action I may soon have to keep the Cheese in the Man’s Sock Drawer, says the Owner.
Action on a Sunday night? I say.
Exactly, says the Owner. When I am at my Most Busy, says the Owner.
Then it is Simple, I say.
Is it? Says the Owner, sorrowfully.
The Moral Dog can Help, I say.
How can he Help? Asks the Owner.
We Dogs Excel at being Organised, I say. Does the Moral Dog not gather the Equipment for his Twice Daily Walks with Remarkable Efficiency? I say.
The Moral Dog is Certainly Organised in the Matter of Walks, says the Owner. Indeed he Inexplicably organises the Equipment for them Five Times a Day, says the Owner.
And the Moral Dog is Punctual, I say. The Moral Dog’s Routine is reliable to the Second, I say.
The Moral Dog is certainly Punctual when it comes to Weeing on the Park Bench, says the Owner. They are making a Sign to Remind Everyone not to Sit on it at 7.02, says the Owner.
Exactly, I say. I have an Inbuilt Alarm, I say. We can Rely on it to Organise You, I say. Vis a Vis the Ocado Man, I say. And the Ocado Elves, I say. Whom Houdini Informed me Actually Live in Peckham, I say. Although he was Still Laughing, I say. Inexplicably, I say.
That is a Very Good Idea, Says the Owner. I could rely on the Moral Dog’s Inbuilt Organisation and Punctuality to Adjust the Regular Weekly Order, says the Owner. That way We could Cancel the Unnecessary Beans every Sunday at 9.59, says the Owner. Catching the 10pm deadline by a Whisker, says the Owner. We might even Order Extra Cheese, says the Owner. Out of Gratitude for Stemming the Flow, says the Owner.
That is a Plan, then, I say.
You are a Moral Dog Indeed, says the Owner.
The Moral Dog is aware that a Certain Ambiguity remains as to Exactly Who will modify the Ocado Order, and Exactly How its Modification will be Determined, but One does not need to be Quite So Specific about such things amongst Friends. It will be a Nice Surprise for the Owner when the Ocado Man arrives with the Modified Order next week and she discovers it is Without Beans. And This will of course ensure that Sufficient Space is again Allocated to Cheese in the Jointly Owned Fridge. Indeed I am sure the Owner will not wish to be a Pedant about Legal Title to the Fridge at That Point, nor Bear Unnecessary Grudges if the Moral Dog orders in Kilograms by Mistake. It is easily Done. And if the Fridge cannot quite manage it then, as she says, there is always the Man’s Sock Drawer. There will be nowhere else to put it, after all.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.