"Janet raced over to Hamish and picked him up. She held him up to the ball-shaped paper light that hung from the ceiling and examined his belly...."
fiction by kevin saidler
Janet MacTavish was lying on her couch watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire when her two year old Labrador spoke for the very first time. Do we always have to watch this crap Janet? Isnt there something else on? Oh shut yer face Hamish. Im watching this, replied the sixteen-year old without even thinking.
is it: A) Bognor Regis, B) Blackpool, C) Skegness or perhaps D) Rome
Janet sprung out of the couch into which she collapsed with alarming regularity after an eight-hour shift at Woolworths. What the hells going on here? Did you just speak to me Hamish? Well, well, well! uttered the MacTavish family pet. One of the buggers can actually understand me! After two long years in this house, someone has finally decided to start listening to me! To be honest with you dear. I was beginning to think the whole bloody MacTavish clan was stone-deaf.
Janet grabbed the remote control, switched the television set off and lit a Marlboro Light that shed stolen from one of her colleagues at work. She sucked deeply whilst looking intently at the Labrador. Shite. Have I lost it or what? she thought. It must have something to do with all them Es Im taking at the weekend. Hamish tilted his head and stared back at Janet. Oh god, she continued. Maybe Im even becoming like that space cadet Sandy Cummings from next door: an LSD casualty!
unless, paused Janet -
some funny so-and-so from work has set me up!
Hot on the trail of an explanation Janet began to rummage around the living room. She looked behind the curtains, on top of the empty bookshelf and under the coffee table before an irritated Hamish interrupted her. Listen you silly cow. This isnt Candid bloody Camera. You wont find a miniature camcorder in the room if thats what youre looking for.
Janet raced over to Hamish and picked him up. She held him up to the ball-shaped paper light that hung from the ceiling and examined his belly. Nothing suspicious there, she remarked as she lowered his cuddly frame to eye level. What on earth were you looking for Janet? The bloody battery compartment?
Janet dropped Hamish and started howling hysterically, Oh my god. Mum. Get in here quickly. Youve got to see this so you do HAMISH CAN BLOODY WELL TALK!
Mrs. MacTavishs voice soon filled the nicotine-stained living room even though she hadnt even managed to reach it yet. Wheezing and coughing her way along the junk cluttered hallway of their recently purchased council flat she bellowed: Listen Janet. Whats all this nonsense about the dog talking. Cant you see Im busy getting yer Dads tea ready? You know what hes like if his dinner isnt on the table when he gets home from work.
Janet bent down to where she had dropped Hamish on the ground whilst tucking her floppy dyed-blonde fringe behind her ear. Now listen Hamish. Just talk to Mum like you spoke to me. Okay?
Janet MacTavish Senior slouched into the living room without even looking at Hamish. Now listen here Janet. Dont you think its about time you stopped all this drug taking rubbish? Youre obviously losing the plot, arent you?
No mum. I swear. This has nothing to do with me taking E an all that. Hamish can really talk. Honestly
I know it must sound madbut please just listen.
Both faces swung around in Hamishs direction. Go on Hamish. Say something. Anything. Like
tell Mum that you think Who wants to be a millionaire is a load of shite, encouraged Janet. Listen Janet! If she can finally understand me after two years then Ive got a lot more important things to tell her than that. For example: why did you have my willy snipped off? Do you realize what that does to a young man
Oh Janet. Get that dog to stop barking will you. Its giving me a headache, interrupted Mrs. MacTavish as she rubbed her index and forefinger against her creased forehead. You really have gone mental havent you? I mean. There are more drugs inside you than in Boots The bloody Chemists and now you think the fuckin dog can talk as well. You know. I actually thought it couldnt get any worse after I got the bill for your abortion when you were in Malaga. I mean. Most people just send their mum a postcard when they go to the Costa del Sol on holiday but no, you had to...
...But Mum! pleaded Janet. Hamish did just talk. Didnt you hear him? He was moaning about you having had his willy cut off last year.
He barked you mad bitch. Thats all. Woof. Woof. Thats what dogs do, growled mother of six, thirty-one year old Janet MacTavish Sr.
Hamish leapt up onto the couch and nestled into the large hollow Janets bottom had left behind. And as Mrs. MacTavish slavishly returned to the kitchen to finish preparing her husband Dougalls fish fingers and baked beans, Hamish lifted his head and sighed. Never mind what yer mum says Janet. Coz, I dont think youre barking mad in the slightest.
Janet MacTavish turned her head away from Hamish and tried to focus on Chris Tarrents voice that boomed out of the television. I really need to change dealers so I do.