July 16, 2010
Hello everyone. Wimsey here coming to you—for the moment—from my usual perch on Manhattan’s Upper West Side but I will soon be off on my summer mega road trip to upstate New York and Grand Rapids, Michigan. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are in a frenzy of preparation for the trip, which mostly consists of making arrangements for my transportation and comfort during the journey. On Sunday we all sat under a tree and whilst I munched grass the ladies discussed the caring and provisioning of me and added items to my ever growing travel list and their ever dwindling one. And of course prominent on the list is Maria’s Patented De-Hounding Kit aimed at obliterating all traces of my presence from rental cars and hotel rooms. Given the state of their own domiciles it is amazing what a fine job of cleaning my humans can do when suitably motivated by the threat of pet cleaning fees.
And all of our packing is made difficult by the fact that we have no idea what sort of vehicle we will be traveling in. For those of you who have never rented a car in Manhattan, what you have reserved and what you get bear absolutely no resemblance to each other because the rental sites are small and they never know what will be available when you show up. So the last time we rented we signed up for a compact car and ended up with a Jeep Commander. It’s kind of like going to a restaurant, ordering a hamburger and being presented with Sole Veronique because that’s what the chef has today. Anyway, the rental car sweepstakes takes place early Monday morning and then we are off until our return the following Monday and in between hours, and hours and then more hours of driving pleasure. (Watch this space-- if time permits I will be issuing Wimsey Victory Tour Mini-Blogs from the road). And as with all our road trips we each have our assigned roles: Elizabeth drives, Maria tries to make sure she doesn’t hit anything and I supervise (when not snoring loudly or perfuming the air with gaseous emissions).
Wimsey’s predictions for things that will happen during our trip
1. Elizabeth will spend an hour in the rental garage trying to figure out how to work the car
2. The ladies will have no idea on what side of the vehicle the gas tank is located and will pull into the gas station on the wrong side
3. The ladies will stand and scrutinize the directions for pumping the gas with the same intensity as two surgeons examining the X-rays of a patient they are about to slice into and then gravely discuss the best way to proceed. They will remain impervious to all the sounds of the horns honking around them
4. Some kind stranger will either get fed up or feel sorry for them and pump the gas for them
5. Elizabeth will yell at the GPS
6. Elizabeth will try to turn on the headlights and turn on the windshield wipers instead
7. Maria will offer helpful advice which will not be appreciated
8. Every time Elizabeth looks into the rear view mirror she will see my head instead of the traffic
9. I will make periodic supervisory forays into the front seat to check on how the driving is going
10. I will rest my chin on Elizabeth’s shoulder to get a better view of where we are going and drool down her chest
11. People will point to me and yell and honk horns at us frightening Elizabeth into thinking she is about to hit something
12. I will go on a major towing sniff-a thon during potty breaks instead of taking care of business
13. At the hotel, Elizabeth will check in two people and a dog while Maria and I try to look nonchalant and lurk inconspicuously in the car
14. Inquiries will be made of the desk clerk as to the nearest cocktail bar within walking distance
15. I will inevitably try to sleep in Elizabeth’s room because she wants me to sleep in Maria’s room so she can actually get a night’s sleep
16. Elizabeth will draw unfavorable comparisons between Motel 6 and the Four Seasons
17. Maria will draw unfavorable comparisons between me and a dog that behaves
Really some people should not be let out of New York City. But it will all be such a lot of fun! Especially as we are going to see two of my staunch admirers—Maria’s mother and one of my breeders—who have not met me (or at least the adult me) and there will be home cooking involved. And speaking of staunch admirers, the other day I was crossing 79th Street (or trying to) when some guy coming off the highway tried to run the red light. All of a sudden he stops dead and starts trying to back up off the crosswalk. The reason? A cop car had popped into view in that sudden and inconvenient Romulan cloaking device manner cop cars have when one is speeding or otherwise breaking the law. Anyway, Officer Fagin got on his bull horn and shouted “Guy in black car-don’t run over my friend!” I am sure Guy in Black Car thought he was referring to my human but the rest of us know that he was referring to me. I am a well known figure at the 20th Precinct and it is nice to know that the officers are looking out for me. On the other hand, it is hard to miss me.
And in preparation for the great trek north I went to the vet for a pre-trip check-up. I always enjoy everything about going to the vet except the actual vet part, but given the amount of admiration and petting it’s almost worth it. (I said almost). It’s not often you can make someone smile just by allowing them to phlebotomize you.
Anyway, the weather continues to be ultra sultry here which means that once again I have not been out for extended periods of time except in the early evening when at least the sun is lower. On yesterday’s early evening expedition we met a family of French tourists who were great admirers of moi and thought Elizabeth spoke Hound-related French very well. But then Elizabeth realized that her vocabulary had a conspicuous and quite serious omission: the word “drool.” (As in “watch out for!”) I mean it is not a word that generally comes up in polite French conversation. Nevertheless, this shocking state of affairs sent her scurrying for her Larousse to rectify the situation and I am pleased to report that now not only does she know the word for drool but she can also conjugate the verb baver perfectly.
And speaking of things French, Wednesday was Bastille Day, a very important day in Wimsey World owing to my French heritage. As is customary I refer readers to post #8 for a look back in time to the early history of the bloodhound. And I have a very particular way of celebrating the day: (I was about to say marking the day, but I actually mark all days).
Maria: Wimsey, sit.
Wimsey: En français!
Maria: Wimsey, down.
Wimsey: Je ne comprends pas l’anglais.
Maria: Wimsey, come.
Maria: Wimsey, stay.
Wimsey: “Allons enfants de la Patrie…”
Of course I don’t obey commands in English either, but Bastille Day gives me a legitimate excuse. And although we Hounds like the concept of “Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité” we vastly prefer Liberté Supériorité et Foie Gras-ité
Well I think that is about it for now. If I am able to take a break from eating all the home cooking being prepared by Maria Mère I will keep you updated on our (royal) progress.
Until next time,
Wimsey, A Hound hoping for a moveable feast
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Posted by Wimsey at 4:06 PM