For some stories, truth is as much a hindrance, as is time a marinade that only makes them better. I suspect this to be one.
It was some years back when a young man by the name of Dennis McAnonymous was walking along a beach, on a blustery day in Holyhead, Wales.
Having had, by all Welsh accounts, a large one the night before, the need for fresh air was critical, and along with the sound of the wind whistling in the long grass of the beach knoll, was that of his person; producing a turbulent melody not dissimilar to Mozart’s Concerto in F minor.
He was completely alone, however, and so he let fly with the freedom of a thousand birds released, until, when one particular note – unwantedly generous in nature – near reached the periphery of the back of his left knee, our dear friend Dennis decided to be at one with nature and contend with the long grass of the beach knoll.
Looking first to the left, and then to the right, his predicament was a fraction closer to nature than made him his happiest; still he unzipped, whipped his tweeds southwards, and let nature take the wheel.
Masked by the sound of the crashing waves, all went to plan, as it were, but before our dear friend Dennis could straighten his bend, from out of the long grass sprung a Labrador. Frightened, literally, shitless, Dennis put his hand fast to his chest, before he hastily wiped, zipped, and stood up.
The dog, simply delighted to be there, jumped and wagged and thrashed about, at which time our dear friend Dennis – still veiled in the long grass – noticed a young lady yelling fretfully a hundred metres down the beach. ‘Barney?’ she shouted, ‘Baaarney?’ she shouted again, to which Dennis, steered towards being the Good Samaritan by his malt whisky-affected brain, emphatically waved over to her.
Greatly relieved to locate her beloved Barney, the young damsel came galloping towards the beach knoll, but when our dear friend Dennis turned back to his crime scene – to be sharply reminded of his work lying dead on the sand – his brain came promptly back online. Panicked, he was just about to kick a generous dose of sand over the evidence, but it was then, that in a breathless mess, the young lady arrived, and she – mistaking the sordid spectacle as the work of her dog – swiftly reached into her pocket for a dog-bag. ‘Oh I’m sooo sorry!’ she leached, dropping quickly to her knees and making right the misguided wrong by way of a valiant scooping motion, ‘Barney must be feeling “a wee bit off” today?’
Dennis, his brain suddenly offline with shock, made an involuntary squeal befitting of a seven-year-old girl, as the young lady awkwardly tied the bag. ‘Oh Barney! You big smelly wretch!’ she said affectionately while patting her dog, ‘what the hell have you been eating?’
Dennis, wide-eyed – and even more offline – breathed as little as he spoke.
‘Thanks!’ said the young lady as she and Barney skipped back up the beach, swinging the bag as though in time to her favourite song.
‘Ahhhr.. you’re welcome..’ said Dennis, coming back online and simultaneously concluding that truths with the upshot of irreversible emotional scarring – like those that thwart the telling of such a story – are perhaps best considered optional.
By David Kerrigan