The Hound of Satan got run over and I’m afraid the news isn’t good.
I was changing a wheel on the Bockmobile, so I didn’t see it happening, but I heard the screeching and the howling as he thrashed around in the middle of the road and I saw the appalled driver pulling up white-faced and in shock.
I’m sorry, he said.
Don’t be, I answered reassuringly. You’ll get him next time. Tell me, did you just hit him, or did you roll over him?
The driver shruggled. Over, I think. There was a bump …
I was in a hurry. I had to deliver a lawnmower to a friend’s house, and I had to meet a mysterious Frenchman in town about an assignment, so the last thing I needed was when the fucking dog started hopping around on one foot with the other three up in the air, simultaneously snarling and whimpering. This is never great when all the neighbours just happen to be out leaning on their walls, watching and nodding with narrowed eyes. The way neighbours do.
Fuck, I thought. Better look concerned.
There seemed to be some blood on his paw, so I reached towards the dog, Come here till I have a look at you, but he made a go for my hand and I had to club him senseless with the car-jack.
Tut, said the neighbours silently.
It’s all right, I told the neighbours. I have a plan. I’ll just drop off that lawnmower, and then I’ll meet that French fella in town. If the dog is dead when I get back we’ll know he was hurt.
All the neighbours frowned. Tut.
All right, I said. I’ll go to the vet. All right, already!
So I coaxed Satan onto a beanbag and carried the whole whimpering, snarling, bloodied, flea-infested pile out to the Bockmobile.
The vet was the essence of polite professionalism, even when Satan decided to shit on his floor. Don’t worry about that. I have a machine to clear it up.
Thanks, I gagged.
Look, he said. There could be some internal injury. I’d better put Satan on a drip and keep him overnight for observation.
A drip? What the fuck is this — ER?
What I really said was, All right.
I’ll call you later, he said.
Off you go now.
And he did. He really did call me that night, when I was asleep in bed after taking a pile of paracetamol for the headache that paralysed me all day since the fucking dog got knocked down, and which was not necessarily unconnected to my having been out carousing on the town all the previous night .
Hi Bock. This is Mike. The vet?
It’s about Satan. I think he’s going to be ok.
Oh. Right. Great. Now fuck off. I’m asleep.
I send a text to all my friends: Vet thinks Satan will be ok.
Parkenstein replies: Is that good or bad?
I know what he means.
Next morning, I collect the bastard from the vet’s place and the nurse is going all cuddly and ooh-aah about the fucking killer dog.
Isn’t he lovely? Oh coochie-coo, there fella, oh he’s gorgeous.
You want to take him home? He’s yours.
The nurse looks at me strangely. I’ll just print out your invoice.
It comes to a very large amount of money, more than I’d spend on myself if I was sick.
I hold it up. Are you fucking serious? This is a joke, right?
The nurse looks at me blankly. ‘Fraid not.
Jesus Christ, I complain. For a fucking dog!
I know, says the nurse. Things have gotten very expensive.
I get an idea. Tell me something, I ask.
Certainly! chirps the nurse.
How much would it cost to put him down instead?