Every day for the past few weeks I've come home from work to find the TV on and my wife and (alleged) daughter glued to programmes about cute puppies.
Not content with four mangy horses, two cats and several million fleas, she now wants a dog!
But not just any dog. "Oh, why not, dad?" she pleaded with me last evening for the eighty eighth time.
Don't get me wrong, I love dogs. Specifically I love Belgian Shepherds. They're less in-bred than Alsatians and German Shepherds and subsequently stronger. Unfortunately our present house is so small, that anything larger than a gnat would concuss itself if it turned around too quickly.
But, and it's a big BUT - I am not getting one of these.
I don't even know what it is. And it's giving me exactly the same grimace of longing as my daughter.
I might be persuaded to curry it and enjoy it with a bottle of claret, but what little street cred I still retain isn't going to be destroyed by getting whatever that is.
No. And that's my final word.
Apparently stage two of the inducement will begin tonight. If you don't hear from me for a while it'll be because I'm residing at Her Majesty's pleasure in Dartmoor or somewhere equally inhospitable for doing something really bad. Mind you, considering the alternative, breaking a few rocks for my daily bread almost seems like an attractive deal.