– SHORT STORY –
Not all of Routine Ron’s daily routines were welcome. Whilst most of his regular day-to-day activities were for a good reason and were conducive to a healthy and active lifestyle, some of these regularities did not help, in any way.
One of these was the Yorkshire terrier Ron encountered on the journey from his house, to his girlfriend’s flat half a mile away. Every Wednesday and Friday, Ron would take his girlfriend, Alice out to dinner. Always he’d take her to their favorite restaurant, VF’s, and always he’d order his favorite meal, Pork Meatballs in red wine sauce. But, on the journey to Alice’s flat, he was always forced into an encounter with the aforementioned terrier.
Part of the fifteen minute journey took Ron past a long row of large 1970’s bungalows, with enormously long driveways. Whenever he approached number 38, the dog would appear out of nowhere, bolt down the drive and skid to a halt behind the iron gates, just to bark loudly and incessantly at him as he passed in that annoying yap-come-bark. It continued it’s annoying “YAW-YAW” noise until Ron had passed completely out of site. The tag on the dog’s collar identified the noisy creature as Mowgali.
Being a sensitive kind of chap, he wondered if he was somehow frightening the dog, suddenly encroaching on its territory. There was a chance the barking was a reaction to his sudden appearance in front the gate so. Not wanting to alarm the dog, he stepped out one Wednesday evening, taking care to slow his normally brisk pace, as he approached number 38. He walked slowly and got halfway past the gate when it started. “Yaw-yaw-yaw-yaw!”. The little dog jumped up and down but Ron completely jumped out of his skin as the little dog launched an assault of barks and yaps until Ron had long since departed.
“Try making friends with the dog,” Alice said. He tried this too, throwing little morsels or doggy biscuits through the gate as he passed. The dog was too busy barking and making him jump out of his skin every time to care about food.
Still keen to preserve the dream of a walk uninterrupted by mental little dogs, he wondered if cycling past Mowgali would surprise the animal less. Cycling fast, he could be away before the daft dog knew what was happening.
Cycling along the side of the road with the bungalows, he quickly neared Mowgali’s house. He gripped the handle bars tightly and pushed himself up to get a better look. There was no sign of life anywhere on the long drive. Regardless, he cycled faster.
It was sudden and loud. He nearly toppled from the bicycle in surprise. Mental Mowgali continued as he launched himself like wild thing at the gate, deafeningly and incessantly “yaw-yaw” yapping until Ron peddled breathlessly from sight.
This was not a welcome addition to Routine Ron’s life. Even though he was wearing a bicycle helmet, it was worrying to think he could fall off the bicycle and hurt himself. What if he sustained an injury that made bed ridden for a while? His entire complicated system of routine would go to hell, and then where would he be? This wasn’t about the damn dog any more, it was about his personal safety.
This time he was too embarrassed to talk to Alice about it, he’d have to think of something on his own. After a few days, he hit upon an idea. It was a simple plan, and Ron executed it perfectly.
It was 18.46 on a Friday evening when Ron closed the front door behind him and blinked as the rays of the setting sun shone brightly in his eyes. Knowing Mowgali as he did by now, he could imagine the godforsaken animal lurking near the gate – ready to launch an avalanche of barks and growls, the second he went by. It clearly wasn’t stupid, it knew Ron’s habits, and it knew he’d be along any moment now.
As he approached number 38, Ron stopped walking and waited. Looking around to check nobody was watching, he slowly got to his knees and again, checking there was nobody watching, he quickly crawled past two similarly gated driveways, until he was able to see through the gate to number 38. There it was! He could see the dog! Parked on the drive was a small trailer, laying beside one of the wheels with its head up, ears cocked and sniffing the air, waiting for the arrival of its prey. But, this time it was Ron who had the advantage of surprise.
It must have heard something because it got up and dashed toward the gate. But, even on all fours, Ron was faster. Mowgali’s face was suddenly level with his. For a moment it looked shocked as they almost came nose to nose. Ron took his chance. “YAW-YAW-YAWWW!!” he barked, “YAW!YAW!” he barked again. The dog’s ears went back and his eyes opened wide. It took a step back before opening it’s mouth and launching forwards again. “YAW-YAW-YAW-YAWWWW GRRRR. GRRR. GRR.” Ron barked angrily, until the Mowgali turned and ran, defeated towards into the house.
Ron got to his feet, brushed some dirt from his trousers and strode the rest of the way to his girlfriend’s house, a big smile on his face.
Mowgali the Yorkshire terrier never bothered Routine Ron again. The next time he passed number 38, he was lying peacefully by the gate and just blinked listlessly as he walked confidently by. “See,” said Ron as he recounted this story to his girlfriend over dinner, “you can teach an old dog new tricks, you just have to shock the shit out of them!”
Photo credit: The terrier https://img.neoseeker.com/v_concept_art.php?caid=13589
MORE ROUTINE RON:
Ron’s lunch gets obliterated by a stray football, and then things take one disastrous turn after another. Read what happens when Routine Ron deviates from his daily routine.
All work copyright Martin Gregory 2018
(they say he smells of oranges!)