Ted and Gary came round to the café earlier this morning. They wanted to show off the new addition to their happy family and I’m not talking about their BMW coupe. He’s a Jack Russell they’ve rescued from Battersea Dogs Home. He’s called Brian. Ted thinks Brian is possibly the cleverest dog in the whole of Pimlico if not the whole of Bankside. The five of us sat in one of the café booths and got to know one another. Brian was the only one of us who didn’t have a cappuccino, apparently his preference is for a flat white with a raisin muffin on the side.
“I think Brian may possibly be the cleverest dog in the whole of London,” said Ted, unexpectedly cranking up the cleverest dog stakes to the wider edges of the entire capital city. He looked at Gary. “He’s so clever we don’t even need to use the leash any more,” said Ted.
“I assume you’re talking about the dog and not Gary,” I said making one of my jokes. No one laughed. Brian looked at me and blinked. I don’t think he liked being described as merely, the dog. He nibbled his muffin disapprovingly.
“Yeah,” said Gary, “Ted’s been sitting Brian down with picture boards to try to familiarise him as quickly as possible with all the things we think are important in our lives. Like Colonel Sanders, and a map of Great Peter Street so that if he gets lost he can find his way back to our apartment.”
“That’s hilarious,” I said, “are you guys seriously planning on sending Brian out all alone on a cold dark night to collect a bucket of chicken?” No one said anything. “I hope he knows you like your wings super crispy.” I noticed Brian looked mildly amused. This was good. I felt we were suddenly bonding.
“Oh he’s so clever he brings me my shoes when he knows I am getting ready for my morning jog,” said Ted. I looked at Brian and Brian he looked at me.
“Can he mix a decent Martini?” I asked. No one said anything. Not even Brian. But I suspect he could easily rustle up a Margarita or a Screw Driver if you asked him nicely. It was also around this point in the conversation that Guido began to unfortunately keep referring to Brian, as Brain. After ten minutes we were all doing it.
“Brain is so clever,” said Gary obliviously, “I think he’s worked out my flight schedule. If I wear my scarf with my airline uniform he realises I’m flying to Glasgow.”
“Brain is so clever if there was a canine Mastermind he’d win it paws down,” said Ted laughing loudly. Everyone joined in, including Brain.
“Well, if we ever got a dog it would be just be our luck to end up with the most stupidest dog in London,” I said looking at Guido. “He’d be so stupid we’d actually have to call him, Stupid.”
“Yeah,” said Guido,”and when we took him to the park we’d call – Hey Stupid!” Brain thought this was very very funny. In fact he almost choked on his flat white.
When the three of them left the café I noticed Ted and Gary turned left out of the door but Brain turned right and seemed to be making a run for it.
That dog is smarter than anyone thinks.