"She's so beautiful..." sighed Ewan (for it was he - the gangly dog belonging to my partner's colleague, Ewan being irresistibly lovable and seemingly eternally youthful, despite having a small broccoli floret in his head where the brain should be), "Who would have thought that someone so very small could be SO lovely?"
I frowned, feeling a little confused. Fizzy, Ewan's black labrador wife, was certainly a handsome woman (if a little prone to fluctuating corpulence) and, although diminutive for a labrador, could certainly not be described as "small".
"Fizzy?" I queried.
"No! Not Fizzy - Gizzy!"
Well, I couldn't deny that he was correct. Little Gisèle is exceptionally pretty. I have yet to see a photograph that has captured her exquisite beauty with even a modicum of accuracy. It is remarked upon by almost everyone she encounters and, last year, she even won a sweet pink rosette in a dog show for being "Prettiest Bitch" (which we keep carefully hidden whenever Betty comes to stay. Though she carefully guards it, I believe that I can detect within Betty a certain jealousy over Gisèle's beauty). Fizzy, however, is OPENLY a jealous woman, immediately apparent were her muddy paw-marks on Giz's back and sides where Fizzy had "brushed past her" a little too vigorously. But Ewan was quick to confirm that Fizzy had no cause for concern.
"I mean, Gizzy is lovely, but Fizzy is my true-love. I loves Gizzy as a friend. She's funny and she makes me laugh." explained Ewan. "But listen to me! I's wasting so much time! Jaspey, it's nearly summertime and I has got an ALL NEW business plan!"
With a rapidly sinking heart and the deepest sense of foreboding I recalled how, last year, Ewan, was inspired (by overdosing on a new "home-business" channel on his owner's television) to become a producer of artisan cheeses. Cheeses made from dogs' milk. The whole sorry débacle is described in a previous blog post and was thankfully brought to an end when Fizzy got wind of what Ewan was up to and beat him to a pulp until he agreed not to act on his plans.
"Ewan." I said sternly, "Please assure me that your new business plan has nothing to do with making products from canine bodily fluids."
"What, hahaha, oh right. No. Of course not!"
"Good. Because I'm sure you remember the thorough hiding that Fizzy gave you when she found out what you were planning."
"Ohhh..." said Ewan, wincing and absent-mindedly raised a paw to his cheek where Fizzy had delivered a particularly sharp slap, "I do remember that. I don't want that again."
"Well, think on." I barked, "So what are you planning this time?"
I don't know why I asked; I ought to have known better.
"Well," yapped Ewan, his eyes shining as he launched into what was clearly a well-rehearsed speech, "On a hot summer day, when you's out for a long walk or a game, what is the one thing you will want? Yes, indeed, a cool refreshing delicious drink! And everyone everywhere will thank me because I have invented the best one of all: Ewan's Tasty Doggie-Drink!"
"This wouldn't be a milk-based beverage, would it...?" I asked suspiciously.
"Hahaha! No, of course not! It's juice."
"What sort of juice, Ewan?"
"WHAT SORT OF JUICE, EWAN?!"
"Here's the thing," replied Ewan, lowering his voice to a whisper, "What I has noticed is this: If you pee in a clear bottle, it looks like tasty apple juice!"
"I beg you to tell me that you aren't thinking of selling urine labelled as fruit juice, Ewan..."
"You've guessed it, my very clever friend!" grinned Ewan, with a demented cackle.
"Your own, or is there any clobbering of unsuspecting parties involved in this one?"
"Probably to start with just me. And, you know, you can get different colours and that. So if it's nearly clear then it's lemon, if it's darker it's apple and if it's green-"
"Ewan, if your wee is green then I urge you to see a vet as soon as possible. And I thought you said that this plan had NOTHING to do with bodily fluids?!"
"Urine IS a bodily fluid, you muppet!"
"What? Oh right, hahaha... Brilliant. Yes. So anyway, here is the REALLY genius bit of everything. I gets juice from Fizzy..."
"Good luck with that..."
"...and calls it 'Fizzy Juice' - but it isn't fizzy, it's a still drink! So it's called Fizzy but it isn't fizzy! Hahahaha..."
I'll be honest with you, dear Reader, I was not impressed. Ewan was watching me closely, clearly expecting me to collapse with helpless laughter at his mastery of wit.
"What's the matter Jazz?" he queried, "FIZZY - but NOT fizzy! Don't you get it?"
"Oh, I get it Ewan. And you will certainly get it if Fizzy hears about this."
Ewan adopted a sulky expression.
"I thinks you is less intelligent now you is dead." he muttered, as he stalked off in a huff. I watched him go, but didn't follow him, grateful that he was wandering off to a place where I was not.
After passing the remainder of the morning much more peacefully, watching Gisèle snoozing in the New Teal Megane (not so new these days), we got out and saw Ewan at the edge of the car park talking animatedly with Mac the spaniel in the next-door garden. Mac was wearing a very forced, fixed smile and his eyes were glazed. Ewan hadn't noticed this as he chattered away.
"...so, you see, it's Fizzy but not Fizzy..."
"Help me!"croaked Mac out of the corner of his mouth. Sweet Giz immediately trotted over to Ewan and, before I could stop her, asked him what he was talking about. As soon as Ewan's attention was off him, Mac leapt up and fled back into his house, kicking the door closed behind him with a heartfelt cry of "Thank G*d!"
Ewan, oblivious to this, was explaining his plan to an increasingly confused Gisèle. When he'd finished, she shook her pretty head.
"Eurrrrgh!! Ewan, that is gross! It's disgusting, how could you even think of it?!"
"I wouldn't even drink my OWN pee-pee! Not even if I was really thirsty! So why would anyone drink that horrible muck?!"
Ewan looked crestfallen, almost as though he might cry. The always-gentle and kind Gisèle patted him on the paw and tried to encourage him.
"But look, Ewan, what might be good is if you don't sell it for to drink!"
"Sometimes it happens when you're out for a walk, you know, and you want to leave a scent-marker but you haven't got any pee-pee left in you any more - well, you could use some from the bottle instead!"
It took Ewan several long seconds to process this idea. Suddenly, his eyes lit up again and he sat down.
"Ohhhh... Ohhhhhh.... OHHHHHHH!" he cried, raising a fore-paw and frantically waving it up and down. This was a gesture that I had seen before - indicating that Ewan was so overcome with the genius of an idea that he was unable to express himself. Finally - "That is GENIUS Gizzy! Genius!" he panted. "I will call it 'Message in a Bottle' Yes! YES! And there is that song by a singer that my mummy likes, can't remember his name, it's Waspy or something-"
"Sting." I muttered quietly, annoyed that this madness was continuing and glaring at Gisèle, who had sufficient experience of Ewan by now that she really ought to have known better.
Oh, for goodness' sake.
"And he did this song called um... erm... err..."
"Message in a Bottle."
"Yes! And we can get him to do the adverts and sing his song! He can even be on the bottles if he wants!"
"I'm sure Sting will view that as the very pinnacle of his career..." I muttered dryly.
"Well, yes!" grinned Ewan, oblivious to my sarcasm.
"But the irrefutable fact remains, Ewan, that - regardless of any involvement by Sting - it would be humans who would buy this product for their dogs. And, at the end of the day, it's STILL a bottle of rancid old p*ss... No-one will buy this. Stick the idea in the bin with the dog-cheese plan - and go and get your football."
"Yaaaayyyy! Football!!" And with that, Ewan and Gisèle enjoyed a frantic game of football, stepping up the pace even more when Fizzy came out to join in. And there ended another nightmare encounter with the mind of Ewan.
Next time - Betty returns! Plus, Peaches the Hellcat reappears - and Gisèle has plans for him; but they are not at all what you might be expecting...