Category Archives: The Fangs

The Official “Hoax” Letter

I expect the Scruff’s literary heroes are The Borrowers as they themselves can’t seem to help acquiring things – wood, bikes, lawn mowers and of course dogs and cats. It doesn’t seem to be a consideration that they live in a tiny house that can’t really accommodate it all and it’s certainly too small for 7 animals.

A fourth dog appeared – a tiny King Charles puppy which Mrs Scruff fussed over as she does with every new young animal, losing interest as they grow. It’s fairly rare for Mrs Scruff to go beyond the boundaries of the property and she seems to spend her days watching TV and endlessly draping washing on the line for it to trail through mud or be left out overnight regardless of the weather. The dogs therefore, are in and out all day long. No sooner does the pack appear outside than they wait to be let back in which they communicate initially by staring through the patio door, then scratching at it before eventually barking. Occasionally, she fails to notice that one hasn’t gone back inside which surprises me as it’s a tiny garden although perhaps understandable given the amount of junk there is.


Mrs Scruff did leave the house and wasn’t aware that the boxer was still outside. Although it could see the rest of the pack through the patio doors, it couldn’t actually get to them. Inevitably the barking began and didn’t stop. One of the neighbours shouted for it to “shut up” but of course it didn’t. Later, that afternoon the doorbell rang and Mrs Scruff was at the door to apologise for her dog barking and to explain that she had left it out accidentally. It transpired that a few days previously she had received a letter purporting to be from Barratt Homes themselves stating that there was a clause in the deeds preventing buyers from owning more than a certain amount of dogs. She recognised it as a hoax and had gone to the police with it who most likely just logged it on to the system and did nothing especially as it was a civil matter. She contacted Barratt Homes who denied sending it and told Mrs Scruff that they were “concerned about misrepresentation” but I imagine also filed it under B1n. She didn’t know who had sent the letter so she was visiting each house to apologise and perhaps see if she could gain any clues. Prime Suspect’s Helen Mirren/Jane Tennison she aint!

That evening, when I happened to mention it to my immediate neighbour who had been unaware  of what had happened whilst he was at work, told me that he didn’t have a printer. That must have been true as months later he did ask me to print something for him.

So who sent the letter? I can only guess but whoever did was most likely someone who had originally bought their house from Barratt Homes to have known of the existence of the clause. After ruling out my immediate neighbour that only left two suspects. I can’t imagine that it had been sent by “Lily” (he of the unexplained police search – see earlier blog entry, “Whose been a naughty boy then?” That only leaves Megane Man, so named as he had a Renault Megane. He is at home all day enduring dialysis as he waits for a suitable kidney so I expect he is very aware of any extra noise. He does not make eye contact and I’ve never seen him smile either. The missus isn’t that much better but at least they are quiet and outwardly tidy.

The fuss must have died down over the months as Mrs Scruff has felt confident to add to her menagerie. One cat disappeared so she replaced it with a kitten. She had it in the crook of her neck and I thought it was a new mobile phone until she handed it over the fence for Mrs Fang’s inspection and approval when she was still in residence. The spaniel also disappeared but not happy at owning just three dogs she soon acquired a border collie puppy to bring the pack back to four sticking two fingers up to the hoax letter writer!

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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in The Fangs, The Scruffs



A Des Res with a Laundry room

As time went on and the Fang baby grew ever larger, the time approached for Mrs Fang to don her bright yellow T Shirt and return to work as a self employed cleaner. Around the same period a dog kennel arrived and was immediately assembled. Mrs Fang had clearly lured White Fang in to it, slammed the door shut and left him. No introduction, no period of adjustment – nothing. Clearly distraught, Fang howled pitifully and loudly for the entire afternoon.

Mrs Scruff’s dogs were upset and spent time at the fence separating them from the incarcerated Fang. Even Mrs Scruff was not a happy bunny, for whilst she might be a stranger to a damp cloth, she doesn’t mistreat her animals.

Eventually, Mrs F returned and released White Fang who understandably wouldn’t go near the kennel again. Whilst the kennel appeared large, it was in fact partitioned so that the other half could double as a shed – a sort of “man cupboard” for Mr Fang!

Although I wasn’t involved, I was party to the conversation which took place later when Mr Fang returned from work and a complaint was made about the failure to slowly expose Fang to his jail and lessen his distress. Mrs Fang didn’t appear in person but cowardly hurled insults from inside the house culminating in the declaration ” ees a friggin’ ‘usky” (for those for whom northern isn’t a first language, I translate – He is a frigging husky) as if the possession of a thicker coat and David Bowie eyes would naturally prepare him for all canine hardships. The fact that he was outside was not the issue but she ranted on aggressively although she wouldn’t appear in person to discuss it rationally. I do know that the complainer was actually going round to offer to exercise him whilst she was working to help but didn’t actually get that far as Mrs Fang was so keen to state that they’d just had a baby and she had to go back to work. No mention was made of the extra financial burden of their own making in having just bought a large brand new car in which to transport her mop bucket and dusters. Mr Fang slammed the front door shut bringing the conversation swiftly to an end.

I’m guessing that they did feel some pangs of remorse and guilt given that they wouldn’t open any curtains for two days. It transpired, sometime later, that someone had posted a letter through their door also complaining. I don’t know who exactly but my money is on Megane man two doors up who is at home all day waiting for a kidney.

One morning, the curtains opened! Enter Granddad Fang as chief child and dog carer. Like some aged keeper of the Waltzers at the local fairground (think more Status Quo than David Essex), he appeared each day in his stone washed denim jacket and jeans. Every hour, just like his daughter before him he went outside for ” a fag”. But, at least, the situation for Fang was resolved happily and Granddad Fang did play with him a little during the “fag” breaks.

The kennel remained unused as Fang wouldn’t go near it. Mrs Fang made a public display of filling it with his toys but Fang wasn’t having any of it. I actually saw Mrs Fang sitting hunched up in there to shield herself and her fag from the rain! A Lilliputian smoking shelter!! You couldn’t make it up. It was probably at that point she bitterly regretted the fact that the kennel door faced her neighbours!

So, what to do with the void? A dilemma. But not for master of invention and he of the power tools, Mr Fang. A bit of modification later and Mr Fang together with his new Bob the Builder tool belt had created a laundry room. Never mind it was only 4ft high – it was functional and they were going to use it. An extension reel clad in a plastic bag trailed from the house and a palette donated from Mr Scruff’s collection to keep the dryer from the actual patio flags were the chief safety features. Mr Scruff was called in to help manouevre the tumble dryer in to position. Ta da!

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I witnessed Mr Fang virtually bent double on his knees actually using it and folding the laundry before putting it in to the washing basket. A few modifications to the roof later after a heavy downpour must have highlighted the faults…and leaks and MKII was created!

It didn’t last too much longer and the kennel was noticeable by it’s absence. All their belongings piled into a tranny van and a few trips later they were gone. But, to be fair, Mrs Fang did return and clean the place thoroughly before vacating for a final time. The patio slabs, now devoid of the laundry room positively gleamed.

So that was it, the Fangs reigned no more and that chapter finally closed. The house wasn’t empty for all that long but that’s a tale for another day.

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Posted by on March 10, 2012 in The Fangs, The Scruffs



The Fangs

When a rental property is due to be let it is with some trepidation as we herald the approach of the first of the month that I wonder what circus of horrors will be unleashed.

Pacman’s house had been tidied and all of the rusting detritus removed from the garden which could only signify the imminent arrival of new occupants. A young couple appeared together with a large white Alsatian dog whom I called “White Fang” and so “The Fangs” we’re duly christened.

Initially, I had quite high hopes as they didn’t immediately move in. Most of them make a few trips in a tranny van, unpack the telly and sit in the manner of The Simpsons, wolfing down pizza from the box. But no, The Fangs spent the first part of the month decorating, painting and surprisingly, cleaning or given the previous occupants lifestyle, mucking out.

An assortment of Knicks knacks, or as my mother terms such things, with a derisory snort, ” muck collectors” soon adorned every available surface and windowsill. Pacman’s former “study” became the nursery and as the amount of blue toys increased as we awaited the arrival of Master Fang.

Not realising at first, that Mrs Fang was pregnant as she had a very similar looking thinner sister, it became obvious to all that she was. I was surprised that she continued to smoke heavily, but then they all seem to on the estate, going on to produce perfectly formed, if slightly feral children.

Master Fang turned out to be Mistress Fang and was dressed in pink and the toys replaced. Perhaps the scan was wrong or they had resorted to the dubious abilities of great Auntie Fang suspending a needle and whose claims at predictive sexing had never yet been challenged over the generations. We shall never know.

The Fang baby spent much of it’s early months in a powered rocking seat which as it reached speeds worthy of the local theme park I did wonder if they had replaced the usual half a dozen Duracells with a 12v battery. I’m surprised the milk intake it had didn’t turn into butter as it churned so rapidly in it’s white knuckle ride chair but then you probably can’t make butter out of SMA.

Latterly, it has spent most of it’s time suspended from the doorway in one of those elasticated bouncers. I haven’t seen those on sale in years. I had assumed that the demand had plummeted as they’d probably been highlighted on something like “That’s Life” where Esther Rantzen would heap guilt on the nation’s parenting skills. They in turn would would look shamefacedly at the 70’s shagpile whilst being lectured about the madness of suspending junior in the doorway below a metal bar. All before moving on to the next feature in the programme, usually a phallic shaped vegetable that a viewer had sent in, oh, how we tittered on a Sunday evening.

Mr Fang meanwhile took to completing his manly duties with great gusto. What he lacked in experience he had in enthusiasm – mowing the frozen lawn when it was white with ice, building a fence to contain Fang and having to add chicken wire as the gaps were too large, having to start from scratch when the green paint he was using ran out and he replaced it with brown….and so it went on.

Mrs Fang stopped bothering to get dressed and so when she was indulging in her hourly cigarette she would position the baby on the other side of the patio doors whilst her and White Fang would be stood outside. The occasional wave from a pyjama clad arm cementing the maternal bond. Well, what’s a couple of sheets of Pilkington K between mother and child?!

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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in The Fangs


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