Wrong Place, Wrong Time – A Vignette

An approximation of the villain in question

As I’ve mentioned previously, I work (when work is to be had) in the television industry, in and around production offices mostly. One thing you may not have known about the entertainment industry? There’s a HUGE proliferation of dog people.

By which I mean people who luuurrrvvveee their dogs. Not… you know…

Ugh… the 2nd Assistant Director has fleas again…

Anyhow, it’s not at all unusual for the office to contain the odd dog or two, as peeps bring their pets to work. Generally these furry new employees will be your smaller breed of dog, your Pomeranian, your Pug, your Chihuahua.

Not at the moment though.

One of the other staff here has bravely put her hand up to train a labrador pup on its way to becoming a seeing eye dog. A big responsibility, made even more difficult than you’d imagine by her canine ward, whom for the purposes of this blog we shall call ‘Spice’*.

* Not Spice’s real name

Because Spice is proving to be more problematic to train than almost any other puppy you’ve ever seen. Which is troubling considering that he will soon be responsible for not killing his owner on a regular basis. Even now that he’s a few months old, Spice stays when he should be coming. Stands when it’s time to sit. Has some bizarre aversion to going outside. Doesn’t carry the one when he does basic multiplication. That kind of thing.

Every day I watch my co-worker drag Spice towards the exit door to do his business, usually cheerfully exhorting ‘Spice! Come on Spice! Let’s go! Outside! Outside!’, as she drags this dog across the carpet, him resisting every inch of the way.

Except yesterday, as I was getting something from the photocopier, I heard her racing towards the exit, and flinging open the door, chanting encouragement which went something like ‘SpiceComeonSpiceOutsideHoldonOutsideWaitSpiceNOOOOO!!!’

A beat.

‘Monkey? Help!

I’m the closest person she can see. So I walk to the door, which she’s deftly holding with one hand, half inside and half out. She yells ‘Watch out!’, pointing at the carpet.

Yup. Spice didn’t quite make it. RIGHT in front of the door.

And to make matters worse, this agoraphobic dog, the bane of her existence, has taken advantage of this momentary distraction and decided ‘I’d actually quite like to go outside, just not with you’. Spice has bolted, she’s lost her grip on his lead, and he has charged outside onto the road.

Sure, he LOOKS cute… but he’s actually a calculating, ruthless monster. Trust me.

‘Please… help?!’

Of course I do my best, and hold the door as she dashes out into the street to save this dog from traffic. Presumably so that she can kill him herself.

But even as I’m playing Good Samaritan, I’m shrinking inside. And it’s not the dog poo I’m straddling that bothers me. It’s the knowledge that this door at my workplace is alarmed. And for SOME reason, if it’s held open for any longer than… say… 12-15 seconds? It starts beeping.

By beeping, I mean it BEEPS! It SCREECHES! It WAILS! It is an ear-piercing, headache inducing SIREN!

And I know it’s about to —

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

‘Close the door!’, comes the helpful suggestion from the other end of the office, those lucky souls who remain oblivious to this ridiculous chain of events.

From outside: ‘Spice! Come here!’

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

‘Shut the door!’

‘Spice! Come! Coooommmme!’

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

‘Who’s keeping the bloody door open?!?!’

Here I stand. Between a rock and a turd place. I can’t even temporarily close the door, then re-open it, because Spice’s well-placed leavings are positioned just so, so that if I tried to do this, I would end up smearing the carpet with a perfect, fragrant, racing stripe of shit.

Well played, Spice.

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

‘WOULD SOMEONE CLOSE THE DOOR!’

Thankfully, my co-worker, on the verge of a breakdown, wrests this idiot pup from the street, and dashes back to the door. Holding on to this animal as it spastically flails with one hand, she plastic baggies her other hand, reaches down whilst I stand frozen, like a moron caught in the world’s most high stakes games of Twister. Right foot, Brown.

‘I’m soooo sorry!’

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

She deftly grabs one turd, two turds, three… dashes out the door… and I finally close it.

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.

Silence.

And now I am left with no dog, no stressed out co-worker… not even any evidence to prove any of this ever happened. Just an office full of disgruntled staff looking for someone to blame for their brand spanking new 10am headaches.

I wander up to half a dozen of them, their desks circling me, my teeth gritted.

‘Why didn’t you close the door?’

‘Spice. Didn’t. Quite. Make. It’.

With this, I turn, and trudge back to my desk.

And that was Thursday.

BPM

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