September 24, 2010
Hello everyone, it’s me Wimsey coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where summer has made an unwanted and unpleasant reappearance. Fall seemed to be just about to get going when all of a sudden, WHAM, hot weather, again, and my planned fall friskies turned into the summer shuffles. Yuck. As a consequence my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth have had to trade in their ugly, new Fall hounding outfits for their old ugly summer ones which I am sure offends their highly developed sense of fashion.
And the heat seems to have addled the brains of the people we meet also, as this week we set a record for the numbers of people misidentifying my breed. Everyone seems to think that I am a veritable geographic supermarket of mastiffs—French mastiff, Italian mastiff, English mastiff, etc. all of which led to the birth (at least in my humans’ minds) of a new breed that my humans are considering telling clueless people that I am—the Black and Tan Terrapin Hunter. The Terrapin part owing to the fact that I have become an avid fan of a tortoise who lives at the American Museum of Natural History and for whom I have been hunting ever since our meeting last Saturday. Now I know that tortoises are not terrapins and you know that tortoises are not terrapins (terrapins live on land but near the water, turtles live in the water and tortoises live on the land) but anyone biologically obtuse enough to think that I am a mastiff is not likely to have an awareness of the distinction.
So now every time someone asks if I am some kind of not even close breed my humans are itching to tell them that I am a Black and Tan Terrapin Hunter. They have even created their own mythology about the breed-- an ancient breed developed to provide the royal tables of Europe with all the fixings of a delectable turtle soup-- and are longing to tell tales of the epic battles pitting the hunting prowess of the majestic BTTH against the wily yet meaty, terrapin.
And of course they would imbue the bogus breed with all manner of fine characteristics—like courage and intelligence—not noticeably found in the Bloodhound and explain that as a rare breed I cost many thousands of dollars (I do cost many thousands of dollars, just not in the way that they mean) and are impossible to obtain (one of the downsides of being a fictitious breed).
But really if I were a mastiff, I would not be one of the boring geographic kind:
Mastiffs I Could Be
The Great Drooling Mastiff
The Black and Tan Annoying Mastiff
The Painful Lap Sitting Mastiff
The Towing Mastiff
The “You Gonna Eat That” Mastiff
The “I’m Gonna Eat That” Mastiff
The “You’ll Never Get Me Out of This Park” Mastiff
The Bed Shoving Mastiff
The Good Things Come in Really Large Packages Mastiff
The Black and Brown Mud Roaching Mastiff
The Unbearably Cute Mastiff
The Paper Shredding Mastiff
The Sneaky Water Bottle Stealing Mastiff
The Inept Squirrel Hunting Mastiff
The “Your Food Tastes Better with my Nasal Secretions In It” Mastiff
The “Bra, What Bra I Didn’t See a Bra” Mastiff
The Generous With His Smell Mastiff
The Snatch and Grab Mastiff
The Slimey Mastiff
The “How Did That Kibble Get Under the Sheets” Mastiff
The “Can I Take a Picture of Him” Mastiff
The Great Short Spiky Hair Shedding Mastiff
The Backhoe Mastiff
The “Let’s Take an Eight Hour Walk” Mastiff
The “If It’s Vertical It Needs To Be Peed Upon” Mastiff
The Bringing the Great Outdoors Indoors Mastiff
The Relentlessly Relentless Mastiff
The Your Money and Your Life Mastiff
Or you could just call me a typical Bloodhound.
Anyway, although I had Elizabeth all to myself this week she has been totally preoccupied with the imminent arrival of her Apple computers-- desk top, lap top and iPad-- and the rigors of switching from her PC. I too am looking forward to the arrival of the Apples—they sound a lot tastier than the PC I am always nibbling on and the presence of cardboard boxes and packing materials is always a cause for celebration.
What is not a cause for celebration is the Manhattan real estate market which has so far proven inhospitable to the finding of a livable apartment that does not take all of my human’s monthly salary to rent. The last apartment viewed was so small that if I were to have lain down there would be no room for anyone else to move—one of the hazards of having a roommate who is horizontally challenged rather than vertically so. Anyway the plan is to continue the search with the assistance of a young real estate agent who is taking it as a challenge to help find us the impossible. Personally I think it is because he was charmed by my Houndly magnificence when he met me but the ladies think that it has more to do with the Hungarian pastries Maria has promised to bake and the extra cash bonus that has been offered. Sometimes humans can be amazingly cynical.
Well in addition to the high cost and miniscule size of its apartments, New York has another thing for which it is fast becoming famous—bedbugs! Yes, bedbug frenzy has swept the city. Stores are being closed and people are reluctant to sit anywhere or touch anything for fear of becoming infested. There are even pictures of the little critters posted in Elizabeth’s building with instructions to contact the management office immediately if one is seen so that eradication procedures can begin forthwith. So far neither of my humans has bedbugs--someone told Elizabeth that they don’t like the smell of dogs, which, if true, would certainly mean that they would hate the stink of me and would be a total vindication of my reluctance to bathe. But it turns out that finding bedbugs often involves the use of a beagle (they probably trick the beagle into thinking that he can eat them), which means I might have a whole new career ahead of me as:
Wimsey’s Bedbug Control Services: Send a Pest To Catch a Pest
Client: Do I have to let that big smelly dog into my home?!
Exterminator: Yes. This is Wimsey. He will use his powerful nose to see if you have bedbugs.
Client: Is poking his powerful nose into my crotch part of the service?
Exterminator: He is very thorough.
Client: But why is he eating my garbage?
Exterminator: Wimsey not only detects bedbugs but destroys those hiding in food items. In particular he feels that people underestimate the threat of bedbugs in their roast meats and poultry, cheeses and deserts. Bedbugs can also invade your home via pizza and Chinese takeout so if you have any of those items he will be consuming them as well. Wimsey believes it is always better to err on the safe side. Also he missed breakfast.
Client: Well he certainly is a fast worker.
Exterminator: Yes, he is very enthusiastic about his job .
Client: Why is his head in the laundry hamper?
Exterminator: It turns out that dirty laundry often harbors colonies of bedbugs. See how deeply Wimsey is inhaling the scent.
Client: But now he’s playing with my panties!
Exterminator: No, he’s merely shaking them about to see if there are any bedbugs lurking in them. When he’s done with all your underwear-- the bras can be particularly treacherous- we will proceed to the bedroom.
Client: OK, he’s gone into the bedroom but he seems to be taking a nap on my bed!
Exterminator: It only looks that way. Wimsey is in deep meditation, channeling the spirit of the bedbugs to visualize where they might be hiding. He is becoming one with the bedbugs. It is very Zen. And total relaxation is key to the process.
Client: But he’s snoring!
Exterminator: No, that is merely his mantra. Also the deep breathing is necessary for him to inhale the scent of the bedbugs in order to pinpoint their location.
Client: But how long is this going to take?
Exterminator: Be patient. By the time Wimsey is finished with your apartment I guarantee you won’t have any bedbugs.
Client: Stop him! He’s eating my mattress!
Exterminator: Don’t worry, we don’t charge extra for eradication. When he’s done here he will proceed to deal with the couch.
Client: But he’s going to eat that too!
Exterminator: Yes, I know. But look on the bright side—you won’t have any bedbugs. And it’s a very non-toxic and very green (or brown) process--all your pets will be safe. Well, except maybe for the cat unless he’s fast. But Wimsey always stands by his work and the remnants it leaves--it’s the Wimsey Way.
And what is also the Wimsey Way is to drag Elizabeth down to the Boat Basin when it is hot and persuade her (well really drag her over to the bar, lie down and refuse to move) to have a beer so I can play with the plastic cup afterwards. It’s one of the few perks of the returning summer. But then again there is also the return of pseudo overheated Wimsey flopping down and refusing to leave the park and an increase in the numbers of people carrying water bottles available for stealing. I think perhaps my humans are actually starting to look forward to the advent of the fall friskies. The beauty of the changing seasons is the beauty of the changing ways that I find to be annoying—from the shoulder dislocating fall friskies to the winter icecapades to the spring mud sliding to the summer imitations of lawn statues-- I have all my bases covered.
Just a note before I leave you—if at some point my blog does not appear you may assume that the Apple migration did not go as smoothly as planned (like perhaps I ate a critical component).
Until next time,
Wimsey, a Black and Tan Terrapin Hunter for All Seasons
Friday, September 24, 2010
Posted by Wimsey at 6:04 PM