Access denied

No EntryFlower Girl had lots of her squealy friends round last night so that they could all get ready together for a party. She locked herself in her room and I was desperate to get in there with them… sounded like brilliant fun.

I tried slapping and banging on the door for a bit but they just ignored me, so I spent nearly an hour sitting outside her room with my face pressed up against the door and my fingers pushed under the bottom edge, but no luck. Eventually fell asleep in that position.

Does this make me sound too needy?


(Not) Swimming with Dolphins


What is it about dolphins?

A very good friend of mine (well, I say a ‘very good friend’ but then I value friendships in the same way you might value your refrigerator) has been awarded a trip for the whole family to swim with the dolphins in Florida.

Why do people go all funny whenever dolphins are mentioned? They’re quite dopey looking and they’re not exactly fluffy and cuddly. I don’t even know if they taste good because I’ve never eaten one (as far as I know).

I can’t see what all the fuss is about; I wouldn’t get any more excited about splashing about with Flipper and his pals than I would mixing with any other group of mammals, but I don’t suppose they’d sell as many trips to ‘Mingle with a Herd of Cows’.

Anyway Frowny and Flower Girl really like the idea and are quite envious about it.

Smiley said that they ought to consider the realities of taking me on a flight to Florida for 9 hours. And then add in the 3 hours or so that they’d have to keep me entertained in the airport beforehand, the taxi rides, the hotel accommodation, the sleeping arrangements, the restaurants…

Eventually he said it would be far easier to bring the dolphins here.

And for once I think he was serious.


Social Graces


I have never once said thank you.

I never say please. Or excuse me, or pardon, or sorry.

I’ve never said hello, goodbye, I love you or I’ll miss you. I have never remembered anyone’s birthday or sent a Christmas card.

I fart, belch, pick my nose, chew my toes, put my hand down my trousers, urinate, and empty my bowels whenever and wherever I want.

I never queue. In fact, if I’m in a hurry and someone’s in my way I’ll just push past them. I ‘don’t do’ waiting. I’m impatient. When I’m hungry – whether it’s a meal time or not – I complain loudly until the food arrives. And when I’m done with the dish, spoon or drink I just throw them on the floor. I steal food from other people’s plates by the handful whenever I’m within arm’s reach.

You think that’s bad? I also have a history of petty shoplifting, helping myself to the contents of women’s handbags, breaking people’s spectacles, twanging women’s underwear and dunking small children’s heads in the swimming pool.

I truly am “B-b-bad to the b-b-bone”.

Alright, I will admit that I’m also capable of being nice; I’ll smile enchantingly at people I’ve never met, greet those I like with more enthusiasm than a big, bouncy dog; laugh and scream with delight when people talk to me. But I’ll do it on my terms and only when I’m in the mood.

It’s safe to say that I lack social graces. I don’t have any time in my life for good manners or politeness. I should point out that none of the above is done with any intention of malice – I simply don’t care to observe society’s rules.

But why would I? I see people everywhere I go saying “please” and “thank you” and “excuse me” and “I’m sorry… no, I’m sorry, no, really… it was completely my fault”. But where does it get them? People torture themselves with guilt over a missed Mother’s Day phone call or forgetting an anniversary or stepping on someone else’s toe.

But what would happen to you if one day you suddenly decided to give up on all the pretence? Haven’t you ever – just once – wished you didn’t have to conform with social niceties? Would you be universally despised and hated by everyone you know? Would an angry lynch mob follow you through the streets, hurling abuse and rotten fruit?

Er, no.

In my experience I’m loved and adored wherever I go. People bring me food whenever it’s demanded and cater to my every whim. They bathe me, dress me, change me and keep me warm. If I can’t be bothered to walk they carry me or push me in a buggy. If I can’t be bothered to stand they hold me up. And although I never acknowledge birthdays and other celebrations I often find that cards and presents have been dispatched on my behalf.

I am not sworn or shouted at when I push my way to the front of a queue – in fact people often seem amused and gladly give up their places for me.

Why should this be? I’m handsome, undoubtedly, but I can’t really believe that people are so awed at my looks to forgive all my rudeness. Is it my undeniable charisma and charm? Possibly, but half the time I might ignore people (even those I know well) in favour of a squeaky toy. Does this offend them?

Not at all. It’s very odd.

So if you’re fed up with conformity why not give rudeness a go? I can’t recommend it highly enough. Trust me, life’s too short to spend it saying please, thank you and sorry.

But it begs the question: what exactly do I have to do to offend someone?



Baby Dribble-447083

Dribble is a big, wet part of my personality.

Most people seem to regard dribble as a problem. A fault. An eyesore. A distraction. An unpleasantness. An embarrassment. A vulgarity. Social suicide. Something repulsive that immediately needs wiping away.

Oh, please… just get over yourselves.

I regard it as a pleasant fact of life. It doesn’t bother me at all, in fact I rather like it – it makes the process of chewing unpalatable foods, toys, excrement, horticulture, furniture, and pets much easier. So what’s the problem?

As regular readers will know, I’m a modest type who doesn’t like to boast about his achievements, but when it comes to dribbling even I have to admit I’m a bit of an expert. By some odd quirk of biology the amount of liquid that comes out of my mouth during a day seems to be around two or three times the amount that goes in. Climate change scientists worried about rivers drying up could learn a lot from me – I’m often to be found sitting in entire puddles of dribble, which is no easy task… just try it yourselves and see how long you can go before being desperate for a drink.

Of course dribble by it’s very nature is a clear liquid, so it can be difficult to monitor the amount produced. The addition of milk chocolate to the mix makes it far easier to track the flow, in fact it’s surprising how even a small amount of chocolate can turn a clear stream into a muddy river in no time at all.

I thought people would be impressed by my achievements but instead they spent a lot of the early days trying to turn back the tide. I couldn’t help feeling they were backing a loser on this one – hadn’t they heard of King Canute?

I once heard Smiley going on about how he’d talked to this ‘expert’ on the subject of dribble (Is this really what people devote their lives to? And why don’t these so-called experts ever talk to me?). Anyway it turns out that if you’ve had the same advantages as me of dribbling beyond the age of babyhood, your facial nerves will have developed differently and the presence of liquid on your face won’t immediately repulse you. Or something… I wasn’t actually listening very closely, got bored halfway through.

But it reminded me that back in the early days Frowny used to have a speech therapist come to the house. This woman reckoned that if she drummed her fingers gently around my mouth she could stimulate the nerve development, I would then become aware of the ‘unpleasant’ wet sensation on my chin and deal with the problem myself…

Yeah right, like I’ve ever done anything I don’t want to.

Frowny managed to keep up the drumming for a couple of weeks but she soon got tired of it. The doctor suggested some kind of sticky patches, but I ate several of these and they didn’t seem to make a difference. Eventually they settled on giving me something called glyco-pyro-something-or-other every day, which didn’t seem to stop the dribble but it satisfied their need to ‘do something’ and soon everyone decided to go with my strategy which is – as with everything –  to ‘go with the flow’.

So, having won that little battle I think it’s important to share my benefits with those less fortunate than myself. I like to spread the dribble, and the best way to do this is to attempt a kiss on the lips. Of course I don’t do this to just anyone – I have to really get to know a person first – but 10 minutes is more than enough time to assess any new relationship.

If I get the timing and the angle right I can often dribble directly into someone else’s mouth. Failing that I can usually hit an eye or an ear, or at the very least deposit a substantial quantity in the hair. I think this must be what’s meant by the term ‘shared bodily fluids’.

The only real downside to dribbling is that it tends to make the front of the shirt a bit on the damp side. I don’t mind this socially but it can get a little chilly in winter. Some of my school friends (or more likely their vain parents) have addressed this in the form of silly little bandanas tied around the neck. This was tried on me very briefly, but really… you’ve got to be kidding! If I wanted to dress up like a cowboy I’d wear a stupid hat and a tin badge… and they think dribbling is social suicide? Anyway I was having none of it and quickly let them know what I thought of their bandana by attempting to eat it.

Speaking of vanity, Smiley’s even been known to re-touch photos of me to remove all traces of a dribbly chin. The camera might never lie but those using it often do – I ought to sue for misrepresentation.

Anyway, the other night I got my own back with a spectacular success; while Smiley had his head slouched back on the sofa I managed to dribble right up his nose.


I’m not sure how far it went in but it must have been quite a way because he was dancing around blowing his nose for ages afterwards.


Pink Ball, RIP

Letter P - flower alphabet isolated on white

I had a pink ball.

It was my favourite thing in the world, and now it’s gone.

Well, not gone exactly but it’s all kind of cracked and broken and has a big hole in it that I can stick my thumb in. It doesn’t bounce down the stairs like it used to, it doesn’t roll properly and when I drop it on the wooden floor it doesn’t make the nice clickety-click noise any more.

I can’t understand it. Pink Ball is nearly as old as I am, which is… ok, I don’t know exactly how old that is but I’ve had it since I was a baby and it’s always been there for me. Well, not always, sometimes it would disappear for months behind a cupboard or under the sofa, but that’s not the point: Pink Ball has always come back.

Of course they’ve tried to fob me off with pale imitations: other TOMY balls that are just the wrong shades of pink, orange or purple. Yes they can do all the things Pink Ball used to do but for some reason they’re just not the same.

I have other toys: crinkly books and musical light-up things and teddies whose fur I like pulling out with my teeth, but they’re just a passing phase. Pink ball was The One. My soul mate.

I still have Pink Ball and I pick it up from time to time in the hope that it’ll be its old, fully rounded self but somehow I don’t think it’s going to happen.


But never say never – if there’s one constant in the universe it’s this:


Pink Ball always comes back.



What is it about Smiley?

I mean, why exactly does he smile so much? It’s not as if he has that much to smile about; as far as I can tell he seems to spend all of his days sitting at a desk without anyone else to talk to or play with… just listens to the radio and taps away on his computer. Perhaps that’s why he has all those little hobbies I was telling you about – in an attempt to stave off the boredom. Yet there he is, every day, grinning like an idiot. Maybe it’s a nervous thing.

But the best thing about Smiley is that he plays with me.

Now that might not seem like such a big deal to you, but I’m not talking about sitting there and occasionally handing me a toy; anyone can do that (and that’s what most people seem to think constitutes ‘playing’). I’m talking about a real game like Toe Monster where he gets down on his hands and knees and chases my bare feet around the room. Or finding a blanket to put over my head, which if you haven’t tried it I can assure is just about the funniest experience known to man. Or proper Rough and Tumble on the living room carpet.

I really like all this physical stuff, but most people who look after me think they might hurt me (yeah, right…) or cause me to fall over or some other nonsense excuse. Come to think of it maybe they’re more worried I’ll hurt them, which is a fair point – I do get quite excited and sometimes I don’t know my own strength. But Smiley just gets stuck in and goes for it.

Of course Frowny’s great in her own way, and isn’t too bad at the playing lark, but when Smiley’s in the right mood – which is not always – I sometimes laugh so much I can hardly breathe. If he can get Curly Top involved in the games as well it’s even better.

Let’s see, how would I describe Smiley? Well apart from the idiotic grin he’s not very tall, only an inch or so taller than me and I’m gaining fast. He’s quite skinny and has a hole in his head. Well, not exactly in his head, a hole in his hair would be more accurate. Bit like a monk. He also keeps his hair very short which is a big nuisance for me as I can never grab a handful like I do with other people. No idea how old he is, he’s fairly wrinkly so… 100 maybe?

He’s surprisingly strong for someone who looks so wimpy, though these days he huffs and puffs a bit more than he used to when he’s carrying me. Ok, I’ll admit he shouldn’t have to carry me, I can walk perfectly well, but sometimes I just can’t be bothered or don’t particularly want to go where they’re trying to take me. But I’m quite happy if someone else is willing to make the effort. Smiley’s still a little bit stronger than me (unlike Frowny) and can just about hold me down during the whole changing and medicine ritual, but it won’t be long before I can sit on him and see how he likes it.

Another of the other things he does that makes him different from Frowny is all the singing, humming and whistling. It drives everyone else completely nuts when he gets a tune stuck in his head but I rather like it because I always know when he’s in the house.

Anyway I’m sure he must be lonely when he’s working, so I like to seek him out at every opportunity to see if he’s up for some playtime. And I really do mean every single opportunity. He used to work in a bedroom upstairs which made it easy for me to see him over the glass gate (Did I mention the glass gates? Maybe I’ll save that until another time). If his door was locked I’d just rattle on the handle or lie on my back and kick the door for an hour or more until he eventually gave up on what he was doing and came out to see me.

These days it’s a bit trickier as he has this enormous shed thing at the bottom of the garden. I don’t usually go in the garden during the winter (possibly because I use my hands to dig in the wet soil then wipe them all over everything inside the house. Hugely entertaining for me, though nobody else seems to like it) but in the summertime if I’m outside I go straight for the shed to see what he’s up to. He doesn’t usually come out straight away but if he’s left the windows open I can get a hand in and do my best to yank down the blinds or pull wires from the back of his computer. That makes him come out pretty quickly. Usually he keeps the windows closed – which is odd because he must be sweltering in there – so I just slap on the glass until he comes out – usually muttering something about not being able to concentrate.

One of the best things Smiley does is talk to me…. no, it’s more than that; I don’t really talk (at least not out loud), as the words get all jumbled up inside my head so anything I want to say just comes out in a series of funny noises. But Smiley has a way of doing the talking for me; he sits there chattering away to himself keeping up both sides of the conversation and most of the time he’s spot-on with exactly what I was thinking. Uncanny. Even when he doesn’t get it right I’m quite happy to sit and listen… it’s a lot easier than bothering with the effort of making my own conversation. I’m not so keen on the daft voice he seems to give me, but hey, you can’t have everything.

Bad points? He gets very angry sometimes; shouts at me when I’m pulling a door off its hinges or when I stick my finger in his eye or grab a handful of the skin on his neck and twist it… that’s possibly why some people are wary of playing rough and tumble with me, but Smiley always comes back for more. He’s also not very good at the whole ‘sympathy’ thing, so if I have any aches, pains or broken bones I go looking for Frowny.

But all in all I could probably do a lot worse.

I think I’ll keep him.


How old would you be…

Smiley has lots of little hobbies.

A less charitable word for his ‘hobbies’ would be procrastination; mostly they’re a way of distracting him from the tedious task of making money to pay the bills – in fact he has so many little interests that it’s a wonder he gets any work done at all.

Anyway, one of his little hobbies is collecting quotes. I can’t understand how quotes work: apparently when you don’t have anything clever to say on a subject, instead of just shutting up, you say something that someone else has already said… is that right?

Well a favourite that he likes to trot out with tedious frequency is: “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” (I don’t who originally said it but even if I did I wouldn’t tell you because that would make me as dull as him).

But I do like the quote. And it brings me to a question I often ask myself: How old am I?

Would you believe me if I told you I have no idea? I’ve had lots of birthdays but I get distracted every time the cake arrives and forget to notice the number on it. A couple of years ago someone said I was a ‘teenager’ and that I should be getting up really late in the morning, but that can’t be right because I’m hardly ever tired. In fact I often like to get up at around 3am.

I had a test a couple of years ago and they said I had a mental age of around 8 months. Cheek! Anyway that can’t be right either because I sat on an 8 month old baby once and it was rubbish, couldn’t even kick the cat.

Having said that I will admit to having a childish passion for baby toys: y’know, primary coloured plastic, rattles, crinkly books and things that light up or play music… all very cool. The only trouble with baby toys is that they’re really fragile: you throw them down the stairs once or put them in the bath and they’re finished. Still, I can’t imagine anyone not being entertained for hours by these but my cousins (who are around the same height as me) are all too busy playing on their X-station-boxes which, as far as I can tell, involves controlling the TV with your thumbs. What’s that all about?

I’m much taller than Curly Top and he tells everyone he’s seven and three quarters. Flower Girl flops around too much for me to get an accurate idea of her height but I’m currently about the same size as Frowny and gaining fast on Smiley… so am I as old as them? I hope not, they’re ancient and wrinkly.

I heard Smiley’s sister saying that her dog ages around seven years for every human year. If I were to apply that sort of maths to myself, well, my head would probably explode.

Hmm. This is trickier than I thought: it seems I’m somewhere between 8 months and ancient.

But the real point is – I don’t care.


A list of things I’ve eaten:

Cat food
Cat litter
Cat poo
Dog food
Dog biscuits
Dog poo
My own poo
Ceramic coal
The inside of a pillow
Wrapping paper
Foil wrappers
Plastic wrappers
Cardboard boxes
Other people’s hair
Small stones
Inflated balloons
Uninflated balloons
Entire bars of soap
A large rubber chewy toy
Raw chicken (taken from a stranger’s basket in the supermarket. Bonus!)


A list of things I’ve attempted to eat:

(some things are just too big to swallow, even for me)

The sofa
A comfy chair in the Doctor’s consulting room
The mantelpiece
The banister rails
The contents of a Hoover bag
Plastic bags
Plastic syringes
My toes
My fingers
Anything Velcro
Anything rubber
Toy soldiers
Barbie’s feet
Lego bricks
Lego minifigures
Brio wooden railway track
Tubes of toothpaste
Car seats
Felt tips
Pillow cases
Duvet covers
The insides of a duvet