Miss Maude has always been nervous – puppy farms do that to furry critters – but she's reverting to the out of control yapping she did when she first joined our pack 5 years ago.
Anything sets her off, lately. She yaps when junk mail is delivered, when the neighbours talk in the street, when a car she knows pull up in the driveway, and even rushes to the front door yapping if I walk in the back door.
I don't know if it's annoying for the neighbours, but it is certainly beginning to annoy me.
Thusly was I rudely awakened from a curious but not disturbing dream this morning when someone dropped one of those catalogue thingys on the front mat.
Just when I had drifted back into La La Land, there was another "warning" that someone was at the front door.
They come not on waves but definitely in waves, these people.
They would like to speak to the man of the house about energy saving light globes? Sorry, he's not here at the moment.
They are not selling anything, they are actually doing us a favour by offering good prices for gas and electricity.
Even the local council sent a lackey one day, who warned us about letting animals off our property – then left the bloody gate open.
Readers, I cannot tell a lie. They piss me off, and I am rarely nice to them.
Most of the time they are rude, and I can be really competitive.
Or they are stupid, and I can't compete.
When I encounter both rude and stupid in one person, it is altogether too much.
The ones I hate the most, though, are the ones who stand at the door for ten minutes but don't ring the door bell.
There must be some passage in the new testament that forbids the use of doorbells.
This morning when the creepies stood back without ringing the door bell I yelled some very rude words to Miss Maude as I stomped down the stairs in my jim-jams, then opened the door to find somebody's sweet, kindly old grandfather standing there - the usual missionarette standing respectfully 5 paces behind him.
The good lord knows I'm sick of Maude's yapping, perhaps he had sent them to cheer me up?
I was tempted – sorely tempted – to say I was relieved to see them; to ask what had taken them so long. That for the last ten years I have been too scared to do any of the following, in case I missed them:
Yell hello 50 times into the phone before hanging up on a phantom phone call.
Hang the washing out [cos the clothesline is so far from the front door].
Accompany people to hospital in an ambulance.
Give drink to the thirsty, feed the hungry, or have a Rodney Hogg.
Have a life.
So scared to go anywhere, talk to anyone, or do anything that would delay me from answering the door just to talk to them, that I sit bolt upright 24/7/365 rigid with anticipation.
But I didn't. I just said "woddyawont" in that certain, aggressive tone that never works.
Grandpa dithered and smiled patronisingly, saying nothing while he fondled the small tract that gave his right hand something to do.
I raised my voice and paraphrased my "Woddyawont?" to "Just tell me wotchawont this is not a good time…"
"Oh," gramps said, "I'm sorry to hear that…"
"Skip all that", I sez, "just tell me what you want…"
"Well, we saw the sign that said you didn't want sales people calling, but we are kind of selling something…"
"WHAT?" [You can tell by the caps I was shouting]
Some years ago I commented to my FB cousin that I was embarrassed for having made derogatory remarks about born agains to her born again sister. "No," said FB cuz, "she likes having a chance to rise above it all and take one on the chin for Jesus. It's character building."
Well, I didn't want to reward Gramps and his accessory, so I just slammed the door.