August 20, 2010
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey coming to you from the lush tropical paradise of Manhattan’s Upper West Side which would be lush if the moisture actually came out of the air to water the brown grass, and would be a paradise if the Hudson River were beachfront property. But it is tropical--a fact that greatly displeases my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who are both capable of getting sun burned under strong overhead lighting. So they smear themselves with sun block creams which impart a lovely chalky glow to their already pale skin and I am caparisoned (much against my will) in my cooling coat. We all are counting down the days to winter when we will once again be able to complain about the cold weather.
Of course we did have a really nice day on Sunday which meant that I finally got a proper 4 hour walk in Central Park (sans cooling coat) and my humans got a good case of sore feet. And in addition to the usual adulation I also managed to slime a whole row of tourists who were petting me—always a gratifying experience.
And as it cools down a bit here in the evening there has been much carrying on about me leaving the park featuring yours truly throwing himself on the ground and doing his best imitation of an immovable cement block and the ladies pleading that they need to get home before bedtime.
Other than that it has been a very quiet week here—the dog days of August in fact. Of course every day is a dog day as far as I am concerned and a very good thing too. But on this day in 1940, Hound Hero Extraordinaire, Winston Churchill (a man so insubordinate that he is the inspiration to Hounds worldwide) famously said of the Royal Air Force "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." Well this put me in mind of one of my famous daredevil ancestors, Group Captain Sir Archibald Wimsey of the Royal Air Force Flying Drool Squadron who was awarded the Victoria Cross Liver for his most daring exploit:
Sir Archibald: Group Captain Sir Archibald Wimsey here. Squadron BADK9 assume the Filching Hound formation.
Wing Commander St. Hubert: Uh oh lads! This sounds serious. The last time we flew in the Filching Hound formation we took out the entire German Gelato making apparatus.
Sir Archibald: What ho, fellow Hounds, we have been entrusted by His Majesty with our most difficult mission yet. We have been ordered to cripple the enemy’s sausage making capability! I mean what is Germany really without its sausages? It would be like England without her warm beer, fish and chips, toad in the hole or spotted dick! A culinary catastrophe and a place not worth living in!
Wing Commander St. Hubert: But which sausages? The bratwurst, the knockwurst, the weisswurst, the bockwurst, the bierwurst, the braunschweiger…
Sir Archibald: Desist from enumerating the wursts immediately Wing Commander! The drool is interfering with the navigation equipment!
Wing Commander: Sorry Group Captain. But it seems a shame to destroy all those delicious wursts from the air.
Sir Archibald: Nevertheless, we have been ordered to destroy them all lads and it was a natural assumption that as we are pilots we would do it from the air. But we are also Hounds and not necessarily prone to follow orders. Especially where comestibles are concerned.
Wing Commander: A good point. But have you an audacious plan in mind?
Sir Archibald: I am a Hound. I always have audacious plans in mind. All Hound plans are by their nature audacious—our lightening sandwich raids for instance are the stuff of legend. But yes, I do have an audacious plan. The squadron will land in the field adjoining the sausage factory where we will charm the workers with our abundant wrinkles and pleasing personalities and then we will strike! We will carry off the best of the wurst leaving a demoralized, sausage-less enemy. To be outsmarted by a brilliant opponent is one thing but to be outsmarted by a Hound is a humiliation that they will never recover from. In any case, I jolly well expect every Hound to do his duty. What you can’t swallow, steal. And take no prisoners—they're not eatable.
Wing Commander: Bravo Sir Archibald! Nothing like giving Jerry a taste of his own medicine—we lost a precious lot of fish and chips in that daschund raid at Dover last year. Anyway, I know we all appreciate being able to serve with you, although as Hounds perhaps serve is the wrong word.
Sir Archibald: OK, lads, all together a rousing chorus of our national anthem:
God save our Gracious King (and his Hound)
Long live our noble King (and his even more noble Hound)
God save the King (and his magnificent Hound)
Send him victorious (having stolen the tea sandwiches)
Happy and glorious (ly sated and unable to steal even another scone)
Long to reign over us (as Hounds are wont to do)
God save the King (and his increasingly rotund Hound)
Oh Lord our God arise (and look favorably upon the Hound)
Scatter his enemies (especially the squirrels)
And make them fall (into his drooly mouth)
Confound their politics (and their tendency to run really fast)
Frustrate their knavish tricks (like flicking their tails in our faces before they elude us)
On Thee our hopes we fix (it would take a miracle to catch one)
God save us all (except the squirrels)
The choicest gifts in store (especially large hunks of liver)
On him be pleased to pour (salmon is good too)
Long may he reign (with his magnificent Hound at his side eating the ermine trim of his robe)
May he defend our laws (especially leases that allow dogs to live in palaces)
And ever give us cause (with lovely bits of roast chicken)
With heart and voice to sing (and to bay extremely loudly and at inconvenient moments)
God save the King (and his Hound who treats him like the servant he really is)
Well I am quite proud of Sir Archibald and his lively nature has been passed down in the ancestral DNA until it reached me, much to the dismay of my unfortunate humans.
OK, well this will be a short post today owing to the fact that I decided to chase Maria around a field like a maniac this evening and must prepare myself for the wrestling match I intend to instigate later—I make up for my mid-day heat induced torpidity with my spirited evening activities. In retrospect the ladies might look back on this hot summer with an unexpected fondness, as every year they seem amazed anew at the emergence of the Wimsey Fall Frisky Follies that feature pulled muscles (theirs) and bruises (also theirs) aplenty.
But before I leave for the week, it is axiomatic that all manner of strange things are to be seen in Manhattan. I commend to your attention two of this week’s haul: a dune buggy parked on West 82nd Street (maybe there are beaches on the Hudson) and corn plants growing tall in a tree pit on my block. With respect to this latter phenomenon Maria informed Elizabeth that she noticed a very strange looking weed growing in the tree pits and that on reflection she thought it might resemble one of those plants that we saw whilst driving on our recent trip through the Midwest. Such is the botanical knowledge of the New Yorker where food grows at Fairway. Of course why somebody planted the corn and what they intend to do with it is an enduring mystery.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a chip off the jolly old block
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Posted by Wimsey at 7:59 PM