It's that time of year when ancient laws compel us to spend time with family members that we don't hugely enjoy the company of. Who can say why your brother in law's mum is here? But we can all agree that she's a vile racist we don't want to get stuck with.
But don't fear! The dog needs a walk. Yes, it may be mid-fish course. Yes, it may be minus fifteen outside and knee deep in snow. Yes, the dog may have already been dragged along for several marathons today. But he needs a walk and so off we stride into the bleak midwinter.
The same strategy of course applies to small children, house rabbits, elderly relatives and escorts that you've paid up for the week.
You can even rescue husbands, siblings, girlfriends, children and parents. The walks need not be alone.
So, wine glass in hand make your escape. Do it. Now