This is Rumpole.
Rumpole is a plaster of Paris statue of a real dog that wandered away nine years ago and never came back.
We tell tales of where he might have gone, what mischief he got up to and the puppies he might have sired.
We still think one day he will find his way back home which is why we leave the side gate open.
Meanwhile the statue is comforting. We know he’s not really there
But every Halloween he cocks his leg and pisses on the pavers to remind us he still is
I go down the shop to buy a packet of cigs for a friend. I tell the cashier the brand.
What colour? she says. Blue, gold or red?
I dunno, I say. The one with Bryan on the packet.
The poster boy of lung cancer. On the rack of his deathbed. Skin sick as pus, emaciated, eyes wild, pleading.
Sounds terrible, she says.
It is. Cancer porn. Spookier than anything you’ll see on Halloween.
What are we even doing here?
You took us from the cool supermarket shelves and abandoned us on this warm table.
Because some kids might rock up on Halloween and say “Trick or Treat?” and you don’t want to come across as the bad guy.
Well, take a look around. No one’s knocked.
What are you going to do with us? You don’t even like chocolate.
Oh God, you’re not going to dump us, are you? Can we appeal to your better nature and take us back to the supermarket? They’ll be glad to see us.
Wait. Did you hear that? There’s a knock at the door. I see three goblins peering through the window. They’re for us.