Early rising, barking dog causes dark times inside the cave
And the fight has been on, so one of my colleagues felt the best way to let people in on this epic battle was to write this column film noir style.
Forgive me, this could go down like a fart in church, or I could be up for best screenplay writer at the next Observer film writing awards.
Anyway, here goes...
The dawn hadn't even filtered through the blinds, but I was already wide awake.
It had nothing to do with the scotch-induced headache or the tobacco smoke still spiralling from the ashtray, laden with butts and regret.
That damn black dog, he'd got me again. Not the Black Dog, local Mafioso hitman, no, no, the damn black dog.
That little f#$%&r that has been barking his head off at me for weeks.
Who needed sleep? Definitely not this guy!
I dragged myself out of bed, fumbling for the light in the pre-dawn darkness.
Bang! Not a gunshot, no, I'd just stubbed my toe on the washing basket.
The showerhead squealed, spraying cold water on the dank tiles. It too was clearly not an early riser, unlike our canine nemesis.
As I waited for the water to heat up, light started to creep its way through the inky black of the retreating night.
Morning was upon us.
I hopped under the hot water, letting it soothe some of the simmering rage I could feel. Another night, another sleep cut short by that persistent, hacking bark.
I reached for my razor, before remembering I hadn't shaved since January, and no longer even owned a razor.
Dawn had broken and, like the Grim Reaper himself come to kill my sleep, that black dog sat triumphantly in his driveway across the valley, safe behind his Fort Knox-like fence.
I knew there was no way I could get near him. He was untouchable.
He turned to face me, and I knew I was cooked as I stepped out of the shower.
Opening his mouth, he barked, almost in disdain, at the mere mortal in the bathroom window up the hill.
I shook my fist at him through gritted teeth. The bastard had me again.
A noise shattered the tense moment.
I realised the towel was still on the rack and the window was wide open. While that damn dog had ruined my sleep for weeks, I'd just given my neighbours nightmares for years.
Well, that was that. The dog still barks, and I make sure the window is closed at shower time now.
Credit must also go to my colleague Luka, who helped hatch the idea for a film noir-style column, and we'll claim the award together if successful.
Question of the fortnight:
Would you rather be forced to leave your home country, never to return OR never be able to leave your home country?
*Note: I love dogs, mainly mine, who is of the Jack Russell Terrier variety, does not bark and is named Monty. Little buddy, you know who you are.