Friday, 7 December 2007
Dinner at the beautiful country house of a young, successful, wealthy, fulfilled couple, with whom Mrs Combo and I have so much in common. Mrs Combo had spent all afternoon preparing a special pudding. We took two decent bottles of wine as well. The automatic gates slid back, we parked the car and I got out. I had the two bottles of wine in a small gift box in one hand and the precious pudding in the other. There was Max, their big guard dog, on his chain. Barking and wagging his tail as usual. I skirted him and was about at the door to the house when Max sank his not inconsiderable teeth into the calf of my right leg. I was in mid-stride and slightly off-balance. I tried to swing around and hit Max on the head with the wine. I could feel myself going over. Which should I drop? The pudding or the wine? One would have to go. Max was still tucking in to my leg and emitting a low constant growl. I was flailing around. Just as I was about to let go of the wine, Max decided enough was enough, relaxed his jaws and ambled off. Fortunately, I was wearing a stout pair of moleskin trousers from Cordings so no flesh was actually removed. Our hosts were especially solicitous but asked me not to identify the dog when I went to A&E, as this time the authorities would have to give Max The Final Injection. "What do you mean this time?" I spluttered. Big silence as young, successful, wealthy, fulfilled couple looked at each other. At least I didn't drop the wine.