Came home lastnight – late and bloody knackered after 95 mins sitting in the vast carpark of the M80. Kitchen was still strewn with the wreckage of the morning’s mayhem; there was a unmopped sticky spillage on the floor (which I was stuck to later by my stockinged feet); Meg and Lew were conspicuous by their total absence from the scene and there was an unpleasant smell.
The smell of old dog.
In fact, the smell of old wet dog.
I do not own a dog.
I shouted on Meg and Lew. Not moderately or calmly or… but with the full passion of a mother who has walked into a complete hovel (a howf, a veritable pigstye) and is obviously and unfairly expected to simply clear it all up…
Lew had the good grace to appear, shame-faced, from his bedroom. And he began to wash dishes (more of a dip dishes in tepid water routine but…). Meg was recalcitrant. It ‘wasn’t her mess’. What was I ‘getting so uptight’ about? I should just ‘chill’.
It was then that I asked what the smell was. ‘What smell?’ they chorused. They could smell nothing. There was no smell.
I remonstrated. Surely they could smell it? It was like old wet dog. It was stinking. Bloody awful. Surely they could…
But no, they couldn’t.
And so passed my night and so has passed this night. With me catching the occasional whiff of something pestilential and spending minutes sniffing every nook and cranny of the kitchen before giving up and sitting down.
It has been like groundhog day in here tonight. Meg and Lew have resolutely refused to acknowledge the old dog – and I can almost – but just not yet – touch the phantom mutt…