Sunday, 18 September 2011

World War RizZa

I hadn't seen my friend Rizza in a long time. I was beginning to think he was dead. I couldn't smell him around and no one had seen him. But I needn't have worried. He wasn't dead, just nearly undead. 

Rizza, a staffy virgin, has had many innovative schemes to get his end away, all unsuccessful. They usually involved raising cash to buy time with a doggy dancer at the elusive Diamond Lap Dog Dancing Club in Glasgow. When he did once find a wallet (his master's) he couldn't locate the club and was eventually caught by a dog warden and returned home. Dejected at coming so close, he almost gave up the dream, until one day he noticed a newspaper article. Hollywood was coming to Glasgow. A new plan was born.  

Brad Pitt was in town to shoot scenes for his new film, "World War Z", a zombie movie, and he had brought Angelina and their brood with him. Rizza's plan was to get adopted by the couple as a family pet for one of their children. All he needed to do was manufacture a way of meeting Brad and make him fall for him. As a pooch of the rich and famous, he'd have no end of 'doggy' offers.

With his owner staying at her majesty's pleasure* (why do they call it that? I'm sure the Queen's not exactly delighted at being responsible for buildings up and down the country full of criminals. Couldn't she just ship them off somewhere else like her ancestors did or is there still an export ban?), Rizza was residing in Mount Florida with his Granny Jean. She was no match for his cunning ways. A scrape at the door and an eager-to-pee look and he was off: under the fence, through a neighbour's close and off to catch the 31 First Bus to the city centre, hopping off at Hope Street, then scurrying eagerly towards George Square to make his break into stardom.

The sight of such a huge crowd initially intimidated him. How was he going to find Brad among all these people? There were security too, and police on crowd control. And why did the square have banners for a Philadelphia museum? And yellow traffic signals hanging from wires across the street? Had he turned a corner too many and found himself in the Twilight Zone? Then a tramp with a bulging carrier bag and an odour to die for wandered by, cursing in broad Glaswegian, attempting to join the throng. It was still Glasgow. As security guided the tramp away towards the police, Rizza took the opportunity to disappear into the mob unnoticed. 

Weirdly everyone was just standing there, making small talk but not mingling, as if waiting. The crowd also had an unusually diverse ethnic mix, with all colours, ages and races represented. Rizza noted, 'not a lot of gingers though'. Trotting along, spying from floor level, wasn't going to find him Brad. He mustn't get distracted. He was going to have to use his nose. Figuring Brad would be the most attractively aromatic actor present, Rizza sniffed around for the most expensive scent he could find and made his way to the source.

Then, just as the scent seemed at its freshest, a loudhailer announced, "Action!" and the crowd starting running and screaming and it was terrifying, so many feet trampling around him. A woman tripped over him, but Rizza didn't pause to be crushed. He belted as far as he could away. A few more tripped in his wake as he belted for the safety of the security barriers. A waiting security guard scooped him up and passed him to a nearby police officer, who carefully dropped him into the back of a police van. Rizza was too shocked to argue. He could have been killed. He watched as the crowd stopped running and shuffled back to their starting positions. From his new viewpoint, Rizza could see the cameras and spotlights illuminating the scene. Men in 'Crew' jackets were moving through the crowd checking for injuries and a body of them had centred on one spot. In the centre Brad stood beside a young woman with a cut on her head. That was the woman who'd tripped over him. He'd been so close, it hurt. (Actually it was the kicks that hurt but he'd live). Rizza watched fascinated until the dog warden van pulled up and he was transferred to the dog cages at police headquarters, same one as before. "The Rizza room," he sniggered.

Next day Rizza was gutted. The incident had made the papers. But there was no mention of the little brindle dog that had been the cause. He wished now he had been trampled. Perhaps then Brad and Angelina would have visited him in the pet hospital and, tinged with guilt at indirectly causing his injuries, agreed to adopt him into their family, making more press stories and fuelling the celebrity machine. It could have been Rizza's photo in the papers. Oh well, there's always the Halle Berry movie coming soon. "I wonder if she likes dogs," he quipped to me with a twinkle in his eye.

* a story for another time.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

The Empty Child

The mistress has put my master on a new diet. He had asked her to let him know if his belly ever got as big as a neighbour's and it had. She hadn't even finished reading the explanatory book before she started him on it. I joked he should skip to the end of the book to see if he survives. It didn't sound very healthy. Eggs and bacon for breakfast, salad and soup for lunch and lots of meat and veg for dinner. But no bread, cereal, potatoes, fruit or snacks are allowed. 

He's been following it but he's not happy. He's been complaining about being hungry and weak, but really he's just suffering sweetie withdrawal. He's not used to having an empty stomach. He compared his situation to that of being a child again, having to ask permission to get a biscuit but always being refused. "But I'm hungry!" he would whine. 

Pah! What about me? I don't think they considered the full implications of his diet when they started it. I survive on his scraps: crusts of toast, luncheon meat, nibbles from biscuits and cakes. My sad eyes could always persuade him to save me a portion. I was doing my bit to watch his weight. But now he covets every crumb, every slither of fatty bacon, every lick of the natural yoghurt pot. I get nothing. It's not fair.

I think I'll write my own book, the Figbane Diet, and download it onto her Kindle. It will involve lots of dog walking and ball throwing and giving equal shares of your dinner to your dog. The dog won't get fatter because of the extra exercise and as the owner will be on half meals they'll lose weight. Amazon bestseller list, here I come...