Around this time every year we tend to get a series of unexpected visits. It may be the same at your place. I'm sure you know the sort of thing I mean.
People you haven't seen for ages suddenly realise the end of the year is nigh and all those friends they promised to keep in touch with have suddenly slipped further down life's pecking order of importance. Almost off the radar in fact.
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So, they do something about it. Make a call to arrange a meeting or, as happened to us this week, simply turn up.
Sure it was great to see Bay Blonde, Mrs P's old school chum, but as always seems to be the case in the lead-up to Christmas, for me it was a tad inconvenient.
What made it more difficult was the fact Bay Blonde was accompanied on the visit by a friend's child she minds occasionally and who has visited us before.
Naturally the girls would be able to have a good old natter but there was no way I could take much time out to entertain a 7-year-old who, quite frankly, had left her manners on the bus from Paininthebacksideville.
Don't get me wrong. I understand the visit would not be high on the child's desired agenda and would need some suitable stimulation so I trotted out the mandatory books (blank stare); board games (sullen look/grimace) and free to air TV (screwed up facial expression that said: "Are you from Mars?").
At this stage I realised nothing would satisfy this little sh . . ., er I mean, child so I took George the dog and headed to my office.
I closed the door on that half of the house just as Mrs P had rescued the moment with one of her famous cheese and cracker platters. All gluten-free of course.
For the next hour or so George and I forgot the visit on the other side of the house and did the head down bum up thing. Me working hard and him sleeping - in an odd position obviously - until a bird flew into the room.
The creature had come in through an open ranch slider at the far end of our side of the house, flown down the hallway, veered left into my office and flown straight into the wall, just above the autographed self-portrait the boss gave us all for Christmas.
Such was the thud, the picture came crashing down and woke George up.
In a flash he went from sleepy dog to out-and-out hunter, hurtling across the room towards the stunned bird.
Fearing bloodshed on the carpet, which would incur the wrath of Mrs P, I moved quickly, interjecting myself between George and the bird.
Here's where it gets quite cartoony.
Picture if you will me standing astride a stunned sparrow as an over-excited hound tries to get past my arms and legs to the prey.
I'm thinking it can't have looked too pleasant from the bird's angle either. He shook himself awake and had another go at the wall. All of which made George go even more ballistic as he tried to find a way past.
As happens in every cartoon his efforts saw the mandatory bucket of water get tipped all over me. Okay, not so much a bucket of water as a quarter full coffee mug. But it made my left sock very wet, honest.
Anyway. By this stage the bird had found the open window and shot through it - followed two milliseconds later by George.
Luckily we were on a ground floor and last seen the crazy dog was racing down the garden chasing a sparrow no doubt laughing himself silly at his good fortune with every metre off the ground he flew.
I picked up my coffee mug, put the picture back on the wall and, wearing one wet sock, opened the door to the other side of the house just in time to catch Bay Blonde and the miserable cherub saying their farewells.
And as she walked off down the path I swear the little girl said the visit was "dumb and boring. Nothing ever happens there".
• Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to firstname.lastname@example.org .