November 19, 2010
Hello everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from my new digs on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where, although I am only 7 blocks south of my old crib, I am already impressing the denizens of the new block with my majestic appearance and acoustically robust sound stylings. And there is already a dog in the next building that hates me! I can’t imagine why he should find the presence of a large, loud, powerfully scented Hound who possesses one of the finest pairs of testicles extant, disturbing to his sang froid, but there is no accounting for canine tastes. Perhaps I should sing him the Wimsey Anthem every morning:
To the tune of Edelweiss (with apologies to Captain von Trapp)
Every morning I groom you
Large and round, hanging down
Nothing is better than you.
Orbs of fuzz, may you create a buzz
Between my legs forever
Grace Manhattan forever
But in spite of my new canine enemy things have gone quite well this week. My human Maria has finally emptied most of the boxes and she and her friend Elizabeth have been scurrying about town buying things to make me more comfortable. The big purchase of the week was an actual couch to replace my little black loveseat and if you think finding a couch that is deep enough to accommodate my generous posterior is easy, think again. My humans must have measured the depth of every couch cushion in Manhattan, furiously calculating tush to cushion ratios in the hopes of finding one suitable for a Hound of my ample proportions. Fortunately no actual logarithms were involved before a couch was selected and ordered. The fact that it is big and of a color that goes with nothing is completely immaterial as in the all important tush clearance parameter it was deemed a success. It arrives tomorrow and the ladies are eager for my approval. They are also hoping that one of them will no longer have to sit on the floor when I am enthroned as this couch is long enough (in theory) to accommodate all three of us. This of course assumes that I will not stretch out the long way, which given my proclivity for expansionist activities, is not at all a safe assumption. Personally I think sitting on the floor is excellent for their backs.
Well after the couch buying all that was left was for my humans to entertain the staff of ABC Carpets with their lively discussions about what to put on the bedroom floor to cover up the ugly linoleum. Apparently the fact that Elizabeth does not actually live in Maria’s apartment nor use the bedroom has not stopped her from trying to dictate floor coverings. Personally I think this is a massive redirection—she can’t get me to do what she wants so she’s trying for he next best thing-- my human. But as with everything else, it looks like I will have the last bay— I have decided that I like sleeping on linoleum floor which is causing some massive decorating re-calculations. And then there is also the fact that if I disapprove of the floor coverings my humans know all too well what will happen to them.
And speaking of which, Elizabeth is also in redecorating, and reorganizing mode which means that there is a lot of very fine packing material lying her apartment. Yesterday when she returned from errands she found me atop a nest of packing paper with her NY Times and Wall Street Journal thrown in for good measure. (maybe that’s what Maria should use to cover her bedroom floor). And although Elizabeth is generally pretty tolerant of my nesting activities she did draw the line when I tried to rearrange her stacks of files so I could sleep on them.
Anyway, we have been having some really splendid autumn weather and the autumnal glory of Central Park perfectly sets off my finely burnished coat, which I am happy to report receives frequent burnishing from all the park visitors who want to rub it. Everyone is so enthusiastic about petting me that perhaps they think they will get three wishes if they rub my coat enough. Which reminds me of the family story that my ancestor Abdul Wimsey claimed to have saved the lost tale of Scheherazade’s 1002nd night:
The Tale of the Magic Hound
Once upon a time there was a booming metropolis filled with people who led very exciting lives and people who wanted to live very exciting lives. But strangely no one in this city was very happy. The people with the exciting lives spent a lot of time in therapy complaining about how stressful their exciting lives were and people without the exiting lives spent a lot of time in therapy trying to figure out how to obtain one of these exciting lives. So half the population was on tranquilizers and the other half were on anti-depressants and the therapists built large country houses with swimming pools.
Then one day a Magic Hound appeared in the city (yes technically all Hounds are magical but this one was especially so). He was a magnificent looking animal with a shiny black and tan coat, a large and intrusive nose and a wise and sagacious air that belied a very unsagacious interest in the contents of shopping bags, laundry bins, toilet bowls and dinner plates.
As the Magic Hound was lounging about looking for a plant to uproot or someone to annoy, a rotund man in a cream colored suit strode up to him and professed his undying admiration for his beauty. The bravery of the man in approaching a Hound whilst wearing light colors so impressed the Hound that he spoke (right after he slimed him):
Hound: I am a Magic Hound.
Man: Does this great gob of sticky slime containing miscellaneous organic matter have magic powers?
Hound: No, it’s just slime. I am a Hound first and a Magic Hound second. But if you scratch me between my flews I’ll grant you three wishes.
Man: OK. But your flews are revolting. What have you been sticking your face into?
Hound: Is knowing that your first wish? Some things it’s better not to know.
Man: No. My wishes are that I want to be famous and thin and find love.
Hound: Such an easy request. OK. Your first wish is granted.
Man: But what is this pack of Hounds doing here?
Hound: They are your pack of Hounds. Congratulations you are now famous. Everywhere you go people will know who you are. You will be impossible to ignore. People will surround you. Everyone will want your picture. Great cries of “There goes that idiot who keeps a pack of Hounds in the metropolis” will follow you everywhere. All your neighbors will know you, the man in the pet store where you order 30lb sacks of food will know you, the doormen who hose down the sidewalks will know you, the pedestrians who your Hounds knock down will know you, people whose cars your Hounds try to break into will know you, the people at LL Bean will know you, vets will know you, people trying to eat lunch on park benches or in outdoor cafes will know you…
Man: But that sounds terrible!
Hound: It’s not so bad. Look on the bright side-- now you won’t have the time or the money to spend whining at your therapist. Your life will actually be quite exciting assuming you have good health insurance.
Man: OK. Well how about being thin.
Hound: Well I did consider giving you another pack of Hounds but I think I will just add a beagle to your existing pack.
Man: How is that going to make me thin?
Hound: You obviously know nothing about trying to eat whilst living with a pack of Hounds. Why the beagle alone is enough to do the job. He can eat his own weight in stolen food you know. I would suggest you get a combination lock for the fridge—he hasn’t figured out how to open one of those yet.
Man: But I’ll starve!
Hound: Not at all. The beagle doesn’t much care for salads. And for everything else his lightening speed is a natural means of portion control.
Man: This does not sound good.
Hound: There is no such thing as a free lunch you know. Unless of course you are a Hound. But you’re lucky. I like you. Usually when people rub me they have to grant me three wishes.
Man: Well how about love. And don’t tell me I get more Hounds.
Hound: Don’t be ridiculous. Of course not. Hounds don’t give love, they take it. I’ve given you a nice Golden Retriever.
And the man lived unhappily ever after. But the Hounds were happy which is the main thing. And he was famous, thin and had love. The moral of the story is to always be careful what you wish for. That and to be aware that a Magic Hound is still a Hound and you are unlikely to come out on the winning end of any interaction where Hounds, magical or not, are concerned.
And speaking of magic, we Hounds are indeed magical—not only can we do things like make bits of kibble magically appear in improbable, if not to say impossible places (like under the sheets) and transport mysterious substances from the outdoors indoors but we also have magic hair. Elizabeth can testify to this firsthand as, in spite of the fact that I only spend weekday afternoons with her, and in spite of the fact that she always obeys the law and wear clothes ,after she takes a bath or a shower her drain trap is filled with hair—and it’s mine!
And speaking of mine, my beer from Baying Hound Aleworks is expanding its distribution in the Washington DC area, so if you are down there check to see where you can get it (www.baying-hound.com). I would love to have a picture of someone drinking my beer! There are also some beer events planned and I am hoping to make a personal appearance at one of these in the future. I can think of nothing more conducive to enjoying a fine brew than a giant, smelly Hound baying at you for a taste and flinging drool into your glass when one is not forthcoming.
Anyway, I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving—it kind of snuck up on us here with all the hooha about the move, etc. I think my humans are going out, which I hate, but they usually buy me a turkey dinner anyway because they feel so guilty. I hope there’s Grom Gelato for dessert.
Until next time,
Wimsey, Black (and Tan) Magic
PS: Apropos of the beginning of this post, AOL has a feature called “Real Women Search for a Perfect Pair” (sadly it's about jeans.)