It's not often I post requests for help on this blog. It's not often I post an all-points bulletin in such a global fashion. But the snooty people at BBC news have refused my request to borrow their satellite link-up and Claire Marshall for a few hours to advertize my campaign.
So I'm desperate.
I'm having to utilize this space on this here blog of mine to send out a request for help.
Shit. I don't even know if it'll work. I don't even know if you guys will be able to help. There's so much stuff going on in your lives right now - personal shit, work shit, financial shit, looting shit and (for those of you that did the former) prison shit - this request of mine might be the straw that breaks the camel's back. It might be a bridge too far. Or even just a metaphor too far.
It's my boy, you see. My youngest son, Tom. He used to have this doggy hat. You can see it in the photo above. We're not sure where it came from. It was given to us and, well, Tom and the hat just kinda bonded. They went everywhere together. They were inseparable.
Well. Inseparable apart from the occasions when Tom would hoof doggy hat out of the pushchair at passing traffic but I'm pretty sure doggy hat was complicit in these al fresco outings.
One day the inevitable happened. Doggy hat made like a Frisbee while mummy wasn't looking and he got left somewhere. Abandoned. Lost.
Now, whenever the wife and I find lost but plainly cherished items in the street we tend to leave them where they are. Our reasoning being that whoever lost said item will retrace their footsteps in the hope of finding it again.
We therefore retraced our footsteps but doggy hat was gone.
Someone - some opportunistic little thief - had said "finder keepers, losers weepers" and doghat-napped doggy hat for themselves.
Doggy hat was never seen again.
Tom was distraught. We were upset.
We figured he'd get over it, forget it, move on. But here we are, nearly 8 months later, and Tom still talks wistfully about his doggy hat. He wonders where it is. We've told him some kindly people are looking after it for him. He wonders if doggy hat will ever come home again. We shrug, swap furtive looks, and say that we hope so.
We're living a lie, goddamnit.
Today, things progressed further. Tom woke with tails of Mr Tree Branch tapping his window in the night to tell him that he'd "taken doggy hat up into the sky".
I can't take it anymore. I can't let my son go on thinking that doggy hat is... is... dead. It's too much.
So this is a request - a cry for help - does anybody know where we can buy another one of these blessed doggy hats? Does anyone have one that they'd be willing to sell?
We just can't take it no more.