May 28, 2010
Hello everyone, it’s me, Wimsey coming to you from the patriotic precincts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where Fleet Week is in full swing and I am seeing a profusion of slimeable uniforms strolling about the streets. As usual, my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth will be spending the weekend entertaining me and introducing me to the troops, spit rag in hand.
And even without a military presence the city is in a very social groove and so am I—today I plopped myself in the middle of a group of beer drinkers at the Boat Basin Café, one of my haunts by the Hudson River marina, for some afternoon socializing. Everyone was charmed of course which certainly would not have been the case if Elizabeth had done that on her own. Holding a giant drooling Hound is an ice breaker in any social situation, the downside being that no one wants to actually talk to you about anything other than the giant drooling Hound.
Wimsey at a Gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Socialite 1: Isn’t it wonderful of us to take time out of our busy schedules to be at this great party with all these beautiful, famous and wealthy people wearing luxurious designer clothes. But one must do one’s duty and make sacrifices for the sake of this great institution. I am sure we would all rather be home watching Cougar Town.
Socialite 1: Oh you know, the one who paints with all those lovely colors that go so well with the living room drapes. But who is that towing toward us?
Socialite 2: It seems to be a very unimportant looking woman who being dragged by the most adorable and magnificent looking Hound!
Socialite 1: Well the Hound clearly has the impeccable taste that the woman lacks—I didn’t know LL Bean made formal wear—as he seems eager to meet us.
Socialite 2: Good evening, insignificant person. Who is this magnificent creature accompanying you?
Maria: His name is Wimsey.
Socialite 1: What a distinguished name—he’s obviously called after Lord Peter Wimsey the aristocratic and debonair English sleuth of the 1930s. The name suits him so well. I am sure he chose it himself as anyone wearing LL Bean is unlikely to be familiar with anything aristocratic and debonair. How on earth did you get in here?
Maria: I’m his plus one.
Socialite 2: I thought as much. The Hound has such a distinguished and entitled air about him that one can tell immediately that he belongs at this august gathering.
Socialite 1: Tell us, insignificant person, does Wimsey have a favorite artist?
Maria: Well he is very partial to still lifes and hunting scenes, especially the ones that contain dead, eatable animals.
Socialite 2: Blood sports are so aristocratic! But speaking of eatable animals, perhaps Wimsey would like a canapé?
Socialite 1: Really? But they are 50 calories each—an entire dinner! But of course I am sure Wimsey is one of those enviable creatures who can eat any amount of food and still maintain his beautiful figure. True aristocrats are frequently like that. They don’t seem to need to live in the gym or to throw up in the bathroom like the rest of us.
Socialite 2: I expect shooting animals burns up a lot of calories. Anyway, which canapé would our honored and most attractive guest prefer?
Maria: I don’t suppose there are any that contain grass that’s been urinated on?
Socialite 1: I am sure I could get one of the waiters to oblige. After all when one is in the presence of such abundant adorableness nothing is too much trouble.
And fortunately for me nothing is usually too much trouble for my humans, except that I have still not received my tuna fish sandwich from the Loeb Boat House Snack Shop and Elizabeth persistently refuses to spend the afternoons drinking beer at the Boar Basin so I can play with the plastic cups. I do not deal well with being denied something I want and my antics at both locations have been a source of amusement to the onlookers if not to my humans. Well the fact that I am usually so successful in getting my way and am such a wise Hound resulted in a request from our school teacher friend Edie (Gus the Bloodhound of Alaska’s long suffering human) to impart some wisdom to her daughter’s graduating class: So here are:
Wimsey’s Commencement Word of Wisdom
Be clear about your goals and relentless about achieving them
If you want it, it’s yours
Suck up to obtain your ends
Look one way but charge another
Be silent, be stealthy, be swift
Try not to kill anything
You are entitled to everything
You are an amazing being
Everyone should love and admire you
You are not obligated to reciprocate this love and admiration
Bathtubs are evil
Never give up
Never give in
Learn to swallow quickly
All words to live by and to help one advance in life. But no one said it better than that Honorary Hound, Winston Churchill, who when asked to make a speech at Harrow said: “Never give in. Never give in.. Never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in…” I knew there was a reason this guy was such a great man.
Well, let’s see what else is new around here. We’ve had some very hot and humid weather which has required the wearing of my cooling coat. The problem with this (apart from the fact that putting a cold, wet coat on a Hound and then trying to walk him down stairs is not always compatible with human health) is that my humans don’t have cooling coats. So while I am quite happy to coolly potter about in the disgusting weather my humans have a tendency to drip sweat on me and plead for a greater degree of celerity in my activities. And on one of these evenings we met our friend Nancy (also dripping wet) with her little daughter Alicia and after a thorough investigation of the little tyke, whose stroller I regard as a mobile snack shop, I finally bowed to the climactic conditions and lay down.
It has also been a very active week for out of towners here and these young gentlemen were visiting from Connecticut. Amid all the splendors of New York, their adult human opined that meeting me would probably be the highlight of the day, demonstrating that contrary to common New York wisdom, out of towners do sometimes exhibit impeccable taste.
And there was a street fair on Sunday and our friend Officer Wendt was guarding the proceedings and I created my usual street fair stir.
And in another story making news this week, the Duchess of York apparently offered to introduce an undercover reporter to her ex, Prince Andrew, for $750,000. But in reporting the story they cut out the most important parts of the transaction:
Duchess: OK, 40,000 down and 500,000 pounds to come and I’ll introduce you to Prince Andrew.
Reporter: But really, what can a portly, middle aged royal trade official do for me? I mean, he, apparently unlike you, doesn’t take bribes.
Duchess: Well for 100,000 pounds you can date one of my daughters. Take your pick.
Reporter: Are they like you?
Duchess: OK, I see your point. How about a beer with Kate Middleton? She’ll probably be the Queen one day.
Reporter: Yeah, but she could also end up a poor influence peddling divorced x-royal like you.
Duchess: But they love me in America! I’m enterprising and I have a weight problem! And they love a rags to riches story.
Reporter: But you went from riches to rags.
Duchess: Well not if you’d pony up. 50,000 will get you theater tickets next to the Queen’s equerry and for 400,000 I can arrange for you to be mounted next to Camilla.
Reporter: I didn’t know the royal family was so kinky.
Duchess: No, I meant mounted on a horse—you can hunt with her for a measly 400,000. And Camilla’s kind of just like me, only in reverse. And the royal family hate her too, except Charles, who does what she says. Diana didn’t call her the Rottweiler for nothing.
Reporter: But speaking of Rottweilers can you get me an introduction to someone really useful, like Wimsey?
Duchess: Oh, that’s a tough one. The Royal Family are a piece of cake by comparison. Wimsey’s people are very protective. He doesn’t just fling his drool on anyone you know. You have to be important. Or well dressed. And in light colors, preferably. I mean, with Wimsey next to you, you can gain access to anyone. One look from him and the rich and famous and politically connected come running. No one can resist. He’s at the top of the influence peddling tree.
Reporter: How much would it cost?
Duchess: Well it’s not so much the money. You’d have to fawn all over him and allow him to smear you with drool and all the muck that attaches to his flews that no one ever knows the composition of. And you’d have to scratch his belly and feed him smelly liver. And his humans would have to like you and we hear that they have no social life that does not involve Wimsey. Also they like to make fun of people. Especially people who try to sell their friends and relatives for cash.
Reporter: Hmm…well, maybe I should start with something easier. How much would a beagle be?
It’s always a shame when the media edit out the best stuff. And speaking of media, the ladies have become increasingly excited about the idea of me possibly being a spokeshound for the Baying Hound Aleworks founded by our Hound loving friends in Maryland, Paul and Ilonka. We will let readers know when and where the Baying Hound beers will be available, but in the meantime there is much discussion of all the ways in which I could help out. But all these ways seem to involve putting me in items of clothing of which I am very unlikely to approve. I am suggesting to Maria that she sharpen up her Photoshop skills and my rallying cry is “Remember the Santa Hat!” So stay tuned all you beer lovers (and may I remind you that nothing is quite as relaxing as drinking a fine artisanal brew whilst scratching a Hound tummy).
Well, I think that is all for this week. I have to get my beauty rest if I am to welcome and entertain (read: bay at and slime) America’s visiting military over the long holiday weekend.
Until next time,