(with thanks to Language Log)
The dog, a mottled grey lurcher with a lazy eye, regarded me superciliously. I had no idea how I, a simple dog-fearing man, would manage to sneak past it and through the gate, a rusted metal barrier, to freedom. I shifted on my feet, those fleshy and ever-so-slightly arthritic appendages, nervously.
‘Good doggie,’ I, an inexperienced dog-soother to say the least, said. ‘Do you want a bone, a hard, calcified material of which animal skeletons are constituted? Do you? Do you?’ I waved the bone, a sheep tibia, at him. I just had to buy myself enough time, the abstract concept describing the indefinite continued progress of events, to run away.
The dog, an imposing presence with its powerful jaws, two perfectly evolved pincers capable of crushing a human leg, one of the limbs upon which a person stands, growled. It was now, the conceptual moment at which these events were happening, or never, at no time in the future. I, the person trying to escape from the dog, the animal which was threatening my health, the state of being free from illness or injury, a specific instance of physical harm or damage, started running.