The Man Who Eats Dog Food

February 26th, 2007



Dear Mum,

I got up at 6am yesterday and took the dog for a walk. Nothing unusual about that; I do it every day (not necessarily the 6am bit though!).

We went to the football pitch where I exercise her twice a day, and then went down to the seafront as it was a beautiful morning. We walked back along the palm-lined promenade before heading home through a maze of backstreets which took me past a small shop where I buy groceries a couple of times a week. I like shopping there because there’s a rather scrumptious girl who works in there occasionally. She’s gorgeous! The first time I saw her, I immediately fell in love.

Anyway, I usually buy dog food at the pet shop, but there was one occasion a few weeks ago when I’d run out, and I happened to be in this particular shop, but I could only see tins of cat food on the shelf. So I asked the proprietor if he had any dog food out the back. He said,

Nah! Only got cat food. Give him that. He won’t know the difference, innit.

Well he’s absolutely right about that – the dog doesn’t care what it says on the label. And I would have bought a tin of cat food. But for some reason I just didn’t like his attitude, so I thought ‘Sod it, I’ll get it somewhere else’, and I replied, 

Sorry, it has to be dog food. Cat food somehow doesn’t taste quite the same in a stew.

He looked at me quizzically. He wasn’t sure if I was being serious or not. And I was as puzzled by his reaction as he clearly was about my gastronomic persuasion. Did he really think I ate dog food?

So just for a laugh, I perpetuated it by buying some carrots, onions and tomatoes, whilst musing out loud to myself “What else would taste good in a stew?

In the first few weeks that I’d been going in there, he’d always been very chatty and very friendly. But his attitude towards me definitely changed after that day. He kept me at arms length  –  the nutty Englishman who eats dog food!

So anyway, as I was walking home past his shop yesterday morning, there he was putting the sign and other bits and pieces outside. He saw me, saw the dog, and you could see a wave of enlightenment pass across his face, and he actually said with a measure of excitement in his voice,

Ah, you got a dog, innit!

There seemed little point in denying it as the evidence was currently wagging its tail and licking his outstretched hand! So I just said,

Yes! This is Cleopatra“, adding, “Watch your fingers, she hasn’t had her breakfast yet!“, and left it at that.

But I did go home and look in the mirror and wonder if I really look like the sort of person who would eat dog food! Then again, what does such a person look like? To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never met one! Maybe some of my closest friends are closet canine cuisine connoisseurs! Who knows? Chacun à son goût, as they say in Gaul  –  and as Robbie Williams bizarrely has tattooed across his chest!

Oh well… Each to his own!

But I bet that shopkeeper has told a few of his mates about me over a pint. And it was probably such a good yarn that I bet he doesn’t unravel it now that he knows I do actually have a dog!

I’m probably known all over Larnaca now as the man who eats dog food.



©MPB 26/February/2007
(except for the photos)


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