Washing the Dog’s Bottom, according to newly published author Chris Tonge, means to do one job, no matter how revolting, to avoid the job you should be doing.
Hence the title of the Rowlands Castle author’s new book, a humorous novel based around the life of Simon DeCandle.
Simon believes that life owes him a living, except he is addicted to avoidance.
His girlfriend Marion has had enough of him, his mistress Lara dumps him, but he is captivated by the enigmatic Saliah.
Following his heart and not his head, he becomes implicated in a criminal act.
His innocence is undermined by his procrastination and dumbfounds the police when they ask why he was washing the dog’s bottom.
The book centres around middle-class expectations, falsehoods created by nostalgia, procrastination and the buffoonery and scandalous behaviour on main character DeCandle’s part.
Drawing on events he witnessed during his life, Chris, 57, spent 16 years on and off writing his novel.
He said: ‘I have been writing for many years, although this is my first published work.
‘I started to write the book in January 2000, but if you compressed the actual time I worked on it, I suspect it would be about four years, not the 16 years’ labour of love.
‘I would love to have a literary agent and someone to edit my work, but I have entered into this project in good faith, and I have certainly been rigorous in the language, structure and then proofreading.
‘I hope that Washing the Dog’s Bottom has both a strong plot and conjures up strong visual images.’
The book is published through Feed-aread.com, an arts council-funded site which is allied to different publishing houses.
It is available to purchase for £7.99 and will also be on Amazon in three to six weeks’ time.
Working for the past 35 years in television as a film editor for the BBC in Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester, Chris now works for ITV in London.