Friday, 7 September 2012
"Can I ask you something?" Kelly said this morning. "You being a dog lady and all, you know about such things. I had a really big row with this woman yesterday".
"Did you? Of course, you can. What was it about?"
"Well this woman always brings her dog to walk in our cul-de-sac, when there are fields all around. I've seen her before. All she needs to do is leave the estate and she could walk for miles."
"So what is it you don't like about her?"
"Well, when it says 'no fouling', what exactly does it mean?"
"It means that you have to clean up after your dog".
"I saw that she let him go into next doors front garden and he actually peed on their grass".
"Kelly, peeing isn't fouling. Fouling is leaving dog poo behind".
"Well, to be honest, she did pick up the poo. But it just shouldn't be allowed. I had such a row with her. I told her that she should take the dog to the fields. That our kids play in the street and could pick up her dog's germs. She said she cleaned up after him, 'here's the bag', she said. It was disgusting. So I said to her did she have a bottle of disinfectant so she could wash it off, because even if she picks it up there are still germs left behind".
Kelly was working herself up into a state of breathless indignation all over again.
I couldn't help myself, I laughed, long and loud. I was tempted to go into a long discourse on 'germs' but came up with nothing but "Oh Kelly". There would have been no point. I have noticed how she sploshes disinfectant generously around my house, but I've stopped her using it on kitchen surfaces. Kelly sees the world's salvation in the eradication of 'germs'.
She is in her very early forties, her children are still in junior school; I've seen them, they are pale and pasty-faced puddings who instantly fall victim to any bug passing by the school gates. The whole family coughs and splutters and belly-aches its course through winter.
Oh Kelly. Is that what young women do? Destroy their children's and the world's immune system?