You go round your friend’s house and as you walk in the hallway there is a dog the size of a zebra, foaming at the mouth and baring its teeth.
It’s growling that most gut-wrenchingly scary growl that you know is a precursor to a savage attack.
This pet, clearly, is not that fussed about your arrival into its home and will stop at nothing to ensure you do not continue your passage into the residence it has been charged with guarding.
‘Oh, don’t worry about him, he’s harmless.’
At the insistence of your host, you take a solitary step forward and in an instant you have become the reluctant lead in a police dog training video. Benji is coming at you like Ben Johnson before a dope test and within two tenths of a second your hand has a fairly good idea of the contents of this canine’s previous meal. While you make attempts to stop the pet swallowing your whole arm, your former friend makes a pathetic appeal to its better nature by saying the word ‘down’: a negotiation that proves utterly fruitless.
At this point you realise all bets are off and the only way you can ensure your forearm does not end up looking like a photograph from a Floridian shark attack is to fight fire with fire and employ straightforward violence.
As soon as you sink your molars into Benji’s ear he is now well aware that you are not be messed with and that if he relies on any kind of assistance from the owner he will come out of this second best. After a brief struggle the animal relents, thereby freeing him up for his second most favourite pastime, which is to go and dump on the lawn.
Your host, who you are fairly sure you will never visit again, says: ‘Oh, that is a surprise, he’s never done that before.’
That’s a bare-faced lie. The reality is Benji has done that before and, like any hardened terrorist, will continue to do so again.