1. I will floss my teeth.
2. When I floss my teeth I will not spray old food debris all over the mirror.
3. When I spray food debris all over the mirror, I will wipe it off immediately.
4. When I wipe it off immediately I will use a tissue or facecloth, and not the Dragon-Lady's expensive (not) lingerie which has been drying on the edge of the bath.
5. When I use the Dragon lady's underwear to clean the food debris I should not have sprayed all over the mirror, I will not carefully replace it on the edge of the bath.
6. I will go for a walk every day.
7. I will go for a walk every second day.
8. Twice a week, then.
9. When I take my weekly walk I will bring with me a dog in order
9.a to give the lazy animals that infest my house some badly- needed exercise.
9b to give me something to curse as I am driven mad by boredom. I hate walking. You're going nowhere – if you were going somewhere you'd use the car; and when you got there you get to see all the tedious things you just walked past from the other side as you go home.
9c to boost my macho image in the community. To this end I do not walk with Papillons, as they send entirely the wrong message, in this part of Dublin anyway. No, I stride manfully through Howth accompanied by Bucket, our largest Tervueren (which is a kind of E-type German Shepherd, sexier, sleeker, and without those ridiculous little short back legs that make them slanty).
9d to protect me from any other fierce creatures, four - or – two – legged, I may meet on my way. My son Will has an interesting variation on this, using, instead of a dog, his fiancée, Petra, who decidedly isn't. On what he intended as a romantic moonlight walk along the Seine recently he was lunged at by a passing Rottweiler and instantly jumped behind his beloved. That's my boy.
10. On my fortnightly walks with Bucket I will not use one of those useless slip-lead things. They are dangerously insecure for large dogs. The last time out, we encountered a Pomeranian and Bucket slipped the lead and ran under a parked truck where she remained until the danger had passed. This was in clear conflict with 9c above.
11. I will bring with me on my walks a roll of toilet paper so that I may, like a good citizen, prevent the village of Howth disappearing beneath the contents of my Bucket.
12. On second thoughts, better bring a tablecloth.
13. Better still I will campaign for a Dog Crappery to be provided. They have them in Belgium, or certainly in Ypres, where there's a little paddock at the side of the road surrounded by a little white fence over which is an official road sign bearing the silhouette of a straining dog. I took a photo of it for you,but I can't find the bloody thing, so I'll include it in a future Corner when it turns up.
14. I will not poke fun at people at dog shows who spell catalogue “catalog” (see photo below, Cloghran). They write “catalog” in America. I know they are strange people over there, but arg might cause fatig, so sod it.
15. I will also not poke fun at German Shepherd undercarriages, as I am now advised that their owners are frequently huge, with studded jackets and, for all I know, bolts through their necks.
16. I will not apologise for this being a short Corner.
17. Happy New Year