So I'm telling my father in law (John) a boring anecdote about Minnie Three Legs (my dog), jumping into the muddiest part of the river a day after she had her stitches out following her leg amputation. She came out as BLACK as the hobs of hell. Filthy she was. She looked VERY pleased with herself. John decided to return my tale with anecdotes about his granddaughter who is called Hannah.
John said: 'Oh Hannah (his young granddaughter) always used to do that.' Me: 'Really?! John: 'Oh yes, Hannah always used to get in the river and she'd get out and be COVERED in black mud and that sort of river slime.' Me: 'Oh. Umm..... Why would Hannah jump in the river, was it an accident? Was she ok?' John: 'Oh yes, she'd do it all the time. We'd take Hannah to the place near Summers Lane and she loved it.'
At this point I'm thinking that they just let Hannah have a bit of summer fun and they are the sort who don't mind kids getting mucky because it's what childhood is all about right? We have soap and water and washing machines these days. Let kids be kids!
John: 'Oh yes, she'd jump straight in, get SO slimy but she loved it. She didn't care. The dirtier the better. She'd find the dirtiest bit of river and jump right in. It was SO dirty it was probably a chemical disaster area. Dirt and slime everywhere. Filthy and the SMELL, oh the smell. Hannah loved all that dirt and slime. In the river. The dirtiest part of the river. She LOVED it I tell you, LOVED it.'
I may have enhanced the last part of that conversation.
Me: 'Oh. Er..., blimey. You really are carefree letting Hannah get so filthy on a regular basis in the name of fun. Hats off to you.' (I never actually said hats off to you)
John: 'Yes, then we'd get Hannah home and we'd have to hose her down in the garden.'
Me: 'Really?! Bloody hell John she must have been filthy. Seems you know, quite excessive. Wow.'
John: 'Oh yes. We couldn't have her walk through the house like that. So we'd hose her down in the garden (now John is laughing at the memory) and she'd snap at the hosepipe with her teeth to catch the water. "Gnash gnash gnash". This was his impression of Hannah this now seemingly feral child, wild and dirty trying to catch water with her TEETH.
I now picture her in rags and loin cloth with wild searching eyes, crouching in fear when she hears loud noises and howling on a full moon. She eats with her fingers, ripping food apart with a desperate ferocity of a child who is wild and hungry.
Me: 'Are you sure you are talking about Hannah and not your old dog who was called LUCY. Who was a DOG. Because quite frankly John if you are talking about your granddaughter and not your dog then I might have to call social services.'
John: 'Oh. Yes. I meant Lucy. Not Hannah.
Me: 'I was half hoping I could call social services.'