December 17, 2010
Hello Everyone, it’s me Wimsey coming to you from my very own holiday paradise on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where
a festive mood prevails in spite of the fluctuating temperatures that have necessitated the wearing of several colorful coats this week. And of course there were tourists aplenty to admire my wardrobe leading my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth to fear that I might turn into a clothes Hound.
But it’s been a very busy week around here—Maria was off for most of the week which meant that I had afternoon walks with both my humans (it is always more enjoyable to have two people hollering at you rather than one). Having both my humans put me in rather a mood. And Elizabeth, who has finally learned how to answer her new Android 4G phone decided to capture one of my more vocal moods with the phone’s camcorder. Unfortunately she couldn’t figure out how to play it back which is just as well because she managed to capture five minutes of me standing around doing zilch (there is nothing as inimical to the entertaining antics of a Hound than the presence of an expensive digital recording device). Of course she also programmed a ton of alerts into the phone so even if I am not making noise, it is. Trouble is she can’t remember what they all mean.
But anyway, on Sunday it was supposed to rain all day so we all thought we’d take advantage of the light park attendance to scoot over to the Central Park Zoo and watch the sea lions (given the way they sound and how they eat, sea Hounds would seem to be a more appropriate name for these appealing pinnipeds). And I did try to induce my humans to visit the gift shop—I am sure there is much worthy of the destructive force of a Hound within those walls—but to no avail.
And of course no Christmas season would be complete without a futile attempt to have me wear some article of gay holiday apparel (gay in the festive sense, not in the effeminate sense, although I do sometimes feel that my burgeoning collection of coats does push the envelope in this regard. But for every one person who thinks I’m a girl there are ten people who make comments like the one I heard on the street yesterday “Jeez, those are some nuts on that dog!” ((Pronounced, “ Jeez dose are some nuts on dat dawg!” as we are after all in New York City, a center of erudition)).
But I digress. Now as I stated last year, my humans have concluded that they will never get a better picture of me in a Santa hat than the one they use every year, so what recourse do they have holiday-wise than to think about a stunning pair of antlers? Unfortunately, Elizabeth borrowed these from a friend—can you tell that she has small dogs—and they don’t look so
much like antlers as a “W” (for Wimsey!) sitting on top of my head. And although I like the idea of them resembling my monogram I was not very keen on actually wearing them. But the ladies have learned nothing from me if not tenacity and I am told that a more suitable pair is hidden in the gift closet (although the nature of such a gift is somewhat dubious) and another pair is on order. My humans are hopeful that next week’s blog will be a veritable antler fest. (More like an annoy Wimsey fest ).
And our park perambulations included my traditional pilgrimage to the 59th Street Christmas fair where I was entertained by this fellow juggling a ball and I in turn entertained the crowd with some lively arias.
We also visited this week with this guy—he is the famous 73rd Street Christmas tree salesman. The New York Times has been running articles profiling his trials and tribulations (which were seriously incomplete as they made no mention of the difficulty of keeping a large marking Hound off of the merchandise). And speaking of trials and tribulations, there is perhaps no more famous Christmas story
featuring trials and tribulations than the incomparable “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. But as cozy as Christmases in Victorian England were, I think the story could use a little updating.
A Christmas Carol (Wimsey edition)
Jacob Marley: Ebenezer Scrooge! Wake up! I have an urgent communication for you.
Scrooge: Jacob Marley! But you’re dead! You fell into a crevasse on that “You too can climb Mt. Everest” holiday for rich, middle-aged investment bankers.
Jacob Marley: Don’t rub it in. One bad vacation decision and poof, done! I knew I should have gone for that white water rafting down the Zambezi thing. But anyway, that’s not why I am here. The Big Boss doesn’t think you’ve been behaving very well.
Scrooge: Don’t tell me it’s about sending that idiot Cratchit off to China to work on the Beijing deal during Christmas?
Marley: No, not that. He had a choice after all.
Scrooge: If you think he had a choice then you haven’t met the second Mrs. Cratchit. She’s a twenty-five year old former model and she tends to re-evaluate her marital options when she doesn’t get what she wants. And this year she wants Santa to bring her a house in Aspen and a villa in St. Barth’s. And of course little Tim costs a bundle too--he needs a day nanny and a night nanny and a traveling nanny. Mrs. Cratchit says she’d rather not give him too much Ritalin and so it’s better for him to be cared for by people who know what they are doing.
Marley: Well I guess some of us do adventure holidays and some of us do models. Diversity is after all it what makes the world of investment banking so interesting.
Scrooge: Then why are you here? I think I’ve been behaving well---I haven’t assured a client once today that his business is the firm’s highest priority, or made a junior associate cry—I even gave them a few hours off for Christmas! —or claimed my mistress was really Steve Jobs on my expense report—at least not this week—or bribed a research analyst, or threatened to emasculate our compliance officer. So what’s the problem? I hope this isn’t going to affect my bonus or anything. That would be even worse than your crevasse escapade!
Marley: No, I’m afraid we’ve had a much more serious complaint about you.
Scrooge: How could anything be more serious than the stuff I usually get up to?
Marley: Well apparently you’ve hired Cesar Millan to train your Hound.
Scrooge: The little Mexican guy with the TV show? Is he in trouble with immigration?
Marley: No. Apparently your Hound is peeved.
Scrooge: And this is a problem why?
Marley: Well spell the Big Boss’ name backwards and you’ll understand. He loves all creatures great and small, but has a special soft spot for Hounds since he created them to keep humans humble and in their place.
Scrooge: OK, so I’ll fire the Millan guy. Things weren’t going to well anyway; especially after Millan told him to sit and T-Bill peed on his leg and stole his lunch.
Marley: I’m afraid it’ s not so simple, so I’ll cut to the chase---each night for the next three nights you will be visited by a ghost who will explain everything.
Scrooge: But won’t I get to see you again?
Marley: Oh I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other again soon. Especially if you buy that Ferrari you’re thinking about.
The next night….
Hound of Christmas Past: Ebenezer Scrooge! Get your lazy dog training ass out of that bed immediately!
Scrooge: Hey. You’re pretty cute. Are you any relation to T-Bill by any chance?
HoCP: Of course I’m cute. I’m a Hound you dog training imbecile! And yes, T-Bill is one of my descendants. Before I was the Hound of Christmas Past I was Ch. If You Have It I Want it.
Scrooge: OK, but where are we going?
HoCP: In general, the answer to that is “wherever I feel like towing you,” but specifically we are going to take a look at a happy Christmas from your childhood. Grab this leash and hang on. I don’t want another trip to the emergency room.
Scrooge: Look! That’s my childhood home. Boy it was small—I bet it’s under 3000 square feet! And no marble baths or granite countertops or Jacuzzis either.
HoCP: Cease babbling you dog training toad! We’re not here to discuss real estate.
Scrooge: But I’m from New York! And you know the old saying, the bigger your apartment’s square footage the bigger your….
HoCP: Funny, I’ve always observed the opposite. Now, what do you see?
Scrooge: What a mess! There seem to be ornaments missing from the tree and the wrapping are off half the packages. And there’s a strange puddle under the tree branches! And the couch cushions are held together with tape.
HoCP: Now to the kitchen you pompous dog training twit.
Scrooge: It’s my mother! She’s preparing Christmas morning breakfast. Or trying to. The family Hound seems to be snatching some key ingredients. I always wondered why we never had any bacon.
HoCP: And is she hiring Cesar Millan?
Scrooge: No. She’s laughing.
HoCP: Now to the bedroom you sniveling dog training wimp.
Scrooge: It’s me! And I’m sleeping on the floor just like I remember. Our family Hound used to shove me there in the middle of the night so he could stretch out.
HoCP: Exactly. And now you know why you’ve never had to see a chiropractor. Well that’s it for me you monstrous dog training waste of protoplasm. I’ve got a meal to steal.
The next night…
Hound of Christmas Present: Wakey wakey Ebenezer before I put my cold wet nose down the old pajama bottom and have a good moist sniff.
Scrooge: No! Please don’t do that! T-Bill did that last month when I was late for his walk and I still have nightmares about it. And speaking of whom, you look like him too.
HoCP: Yes, I am another relative, Ch. If I See It It’s Mine. Well now we are going to look at the dreadful present that you’ve created.
Scrooge: Look! It’s T-Bill! Can he hear me?
HoCP: Would it matter if he could?
Scrooge: No, I suppose not. It’s one of the reasons I hired Cesar Millan. There he is, trying to train T-Bill!
Cesar Millan: I am the pack leader.
T-Bill: And I can flap my ears and fling drool at the same time.
Cesar Millan: Wipe! I am calm and assertive.
T-Bill: And I make people crazy and frustrated. Wanna see?
Cesar Millan: I am the leader and you are the follower.
T-Bill: Don’t care if you are the man in the moon, I’m off to shred something valuable unless we spend the day in the park.
Cesar Millan: I’m going to put you on your side and make you submit.
T-Bill: Don’t mind if I do but while you’re doing that could you rub my belly? See the thing is, I actually don’t care if you think that you are the pack leader or are calm and assertive, or are the dominant one, etc. It’s all the same to me. I just do what I want to do. I am a Hound.
HoCP: Now does T-Bill look happy? Wouldn’t he rather be dragging you around the park?
Scrooge: I don’t have time. I am too important. I hire people to look after him.
HoCP: But he feels that making the life of your employees miserable is not the same as making yours miserable. It makes him unhappy. And whatever makes a Hound unhappy is inherently wrong.
Scrooge: But he has his own room! And it’s filled with expensive toys.
HoCP: But they’re his toys. Where’s the sport in playing with those! He needs your toys and your time to fulfill his Houndly nature.
The next night…
Hound of Christmas Future: Awake you dog training pustule. I am the Hound of Christmas Future and I wait for no man.
Scrooge: Another of T-Bill’s relatives I presume?
HoCF: Yes, Ch. You Talkin To Me not at your service.
Scrooge: OK, what are you going to show me?
HoCF: Observe! It is Christmas some years hence.
Scrooge: I hope it’s before I total the Ferrari and die.
HoCF: Well we thought of showing you that but we’ll leave that sort of thing to Dickens. Anyway, we have something much worse.
Scrooge: Worse? But this looks like a fun party!
HoCF: Notice anything?
Scrooge: The apartment and the furniture are all white and unblemished.
HoCF: Disgusting isn’t it? It’s simply not organic.
Scrooge: And the table appears laden with wonderful aromatic food. And the food is staying in place.
HoCF: Appalling waste!
Scrooge: And I have a real Christmas tree!! And there are presents under the tree! And real candy canes are hanging from the branches. And nicely dressed people are sitting around. And it’s so quiet. There’s no baying. And people aren’t shrieking “Go away!’ and ‘Get off me!” and ”Get me a towel!” and “I was eating that!”
HoCF: And you know your local dry cleaner had to close his store because of the drop in business. It’s now a Duane Reade.
Scrooge: But where is T-Bill?
HoCF: Cesar Millan took him away to the Dog Psychology Center.
Scrooge: There’s me! How come I’m so fat?
HoCF: Without T-Bill to chase after and endlessly walk and share your food you started putting on weight.
Scrooge: I don’t think ‘share’ is the right word.
HoCF: A technicality. The point is you’ve had to forget about all those double breasted Italian jobs you used to wear.
Scrooge: I loved those suits! They made a real statement.
HoCF: What statement was that?
Scrooge: “I make more money than you do.” Of course T-Bill loved those suits too which is why I had to buy so many.
HoCF: Yes the company that made them went out of business too. But I have saved the worst for last.
Scrooge: It’s me talking to my guests. But what’s that on my lap!?
HoCF: It’s a toy poodle!
The next morning…
Scrooge: Hello, Cesar? Yes. Scrooge here. Yes. T-Bill’s owner. Listen it’s not working out. I’ve decided to go another way. Yes, I thought you’d think that was good news. T-Bill! Stop shoving! This is not your bed! Well, OK, not all of it is your bed. Here have a croissant and Merry Christmas
So much more contemporary, don’t you think?
Well I think I will stop here. Stay tuned for next week’s heinous antler modeling (to be followed by antler shredding).
Until next time,
Wimsey, a spirited Hound