November 26, 2010
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where Thanksgiving has been celebrated in the traditional manner--I get to be annoying over the long four day weekend instead of over the customary two. These days this entails me sticking my big nose into the boxes my human Maria is still unpacking from our recent move and towing her friend Elizabeth through mountains of slippery leaves. And if you follow me on Twitter you will know that as I was towing Elizabeth through one of my favorite, but very dark, fields in Riverside Park she fell into a hole that was imperceptible owing to it being filled with these leaves. one of my humans eats dust it is a cause for Houndly celebration even if, strictly speaking, I can’t take full credit. Needless to say I came rushing over immediately to gloat although my humans preferred to think I was there out of concern.
Anyway, I am really liking the new apartment and have discovered that it is conveniently located around the corner from Grom Gelato, the ne plus ultra of fine, artisanal ($$$$) Italian ice cream. So whenever we round the corner I inhale deeply to ascertain whether the shop is open (no sense wasting precious towing energy carrying on if it’s closed) and then I turn into a block of concrete and stare pointedly at the counter. The other day I decided to my point by engaging in some vigorous baying at customers already in possession of the desired comestibles and created such a ruckus that the lady behind the counter came running out proffering a hefty spoonful of the stuff. “What Wimsey wants Wimsey gets otherwise he is going to be damned annoying” is another Houndish rule of dewclaw (I don’t have thumbs) that I live by. The fact that I am damned annoying anyway doesn’t seem to have dawned on my humans. Like when I turn into a block of concrete in front of Le Pain Quotidien in Central Park and stare and drool at the people trying to enjoy their food. (I strongly recommend their chicken on a baguette).
Well, last week things were a bit busy around here so I did not get to turn my attention to the news captivating both sides of the Atlantic—namely the engagement of Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton. Like so many of earth shaking proportions this one came about with the able assistance of a Hound (and another one of my transatlantic relatives)
Sir Algernon Arbuthnot-Wimsey, Royal Matrimonial Counselor
Prince William: I would like to see Sir Algernon please.
Secretary: Do you have an appointment Sir? This is usually his hour for digging a hole in the garden.
Prince William:Yes, I do. But I thought this was his hour for rifling through the Palace garbage. He told me he would make an exception due to the urgency of my situation.
Secretary: Normally yes, but he’s running behind owing to the unusually long nap he had to take after seeing your brother.
Prince William: Well I am glad he could make time for me. I know how hard it must be to keep up with the affairs of my family.
Sir Algernon: You have no idea. Also they have a lot of stuff that requires artistic rearrangement, to say nothing of the Royal Collection of Dirty Underwear, literal and figurative. But I am here until my daily three o’clock with Fergie to discuss why trying to peddle influence with your ex-husband is not conducive to a robust social life.
Prince William: Well I am trying to decide whether to ask my girlfriend to marry me. I mean I don’t want to make a mistake like everyone else in the family and, I mean, I’ve only been dating her eight years, so I don’t want to rush into anything.
Sir Algernon: A very commendable exhibition of prudence. Well let us examine the facts: Is she the daughter of a flamboyant, famous earl?
Prince William: No she’s the daughter of a flight attendant.
Sir : That could come in handy in the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure on the royal jet.
Prince William: And now her parents run a business selling tat for children’s parties.
Sir Algernon: I guess running off with people who sell party tat for a living isn’t as popular as running off with international playboys or celebrity heiresses so her parents’ marriage is unlikely to be a source of embarrassment. Is she a virgin?
William: Certainly not! I know what the world thinks about the masculinity and romantic abilities of the English but I think eight years is sufficient time for an Englishman to score. Even an Englishman who is a member of the Royal Family!
Algernon: I am relieved to hear it. A virile member of the Royal Family—that’s one in the eye for the French, what! Moving on, is she obsessed by being thin and does she like to throw up her food after meals?
Prince William: No. But just to be on the safe side I don’t let her go to the ladies room after we eat. And when she asks me if something makes her look fat I always say no.
Sir Algernon: Excellent. Does she refer to your ex-girlfriends as Rottweilers, which frankly I always considered a compliment—excellent animals those.
Prince William: No, but she does say my brother is a dog.
Sir Algernon: Well he is, so that doesn’t count. How is she on the matter of toe sucking? Has she expressed any desire for American millionaires to have their way with her toes?
Prince William: No. Although I’ve never broached the subject and I avoid that activity as it might lead her to desire other toe sucking experiences. I’m told it’s very addictive. At least that was Aunt Fergie’s excuse.
Sir Algernon:Well I certainly wouldn’t leave her alone with any riding instructors or rich Egyptians or Prince Phillip , but barring that, it seems that you might safely ask her to marry you providing she doesn’t mind being hounded by paparazzi, being written about unflatteringly in the press, having everyone she’s known since childhood being interviewed for gossip columns and running around the country cutting ribbons for new school cafeterias and making earnest speeches that no one believes. Also the Palace Officials will tell her she’s crap at the job. Other than that, I’m sure she’ll be very happy.
William: You don’t think I’m being precipitous. I mean, perhaps a good round ten years of dating…
Sir Algernon: No, my boy. Give her the ring. And a big silly hat. And a really big box of Kleenex.
So you see without the assistance of a Hound the world might have been waiting indefinitely for an announcement. Anyway, we’ve had lovely fall weather this week and I spent much of it out and about in Central Park meeting and greeting tourists, getting my photo taken and carrying a ridiculous amount of leaves and leaf like material into the apartments of my humans. Fall is definitely one of my favorite seasons. As is winter and spring and summer. Too bad we are stuck with these very non-descriptive names for the months of the year. And since I am nothing if not a Hound who is in possession of a vast store of knowledge, it turns out that is the anniversary of the introduction of a calendar that tried to remedy the whole non descriptive month thing. Yes, it’s those whacky French again-- having chopped the heads off of the aristocrats they took an axe to the calendar and introduced new, revolutionarily correct names for the months. Sadly their innovation did not survive them (literally) but I think this was due to the fact that the names were not descriptive enough:
Month beginning September 22
French Revolutionary Name: Vendémiare (grape harvest)
Hound Name: Squirrelimaire
Month beginning October 22
French Revolutionary Name: Brumaire (fog)
Hound Name: Leafpeeingaire
Month beginning November 22
Revolutionary Name: Frimaire (frost)
Hound Name: turkeystealingaire avecmoreleafpeeingaire
Month beginning December 22
French Revolutionary Name: Nivôse (snowy)
Hound Name: tryingtopeeonChristmastreeôse
Month beginning on January 22
French Revolutionary Name: Pluviôse (rainy)
Hound Name: snowtowingôseavechumansplatôse
Month beginning February 21
French Revolutionary Name:Ventôse (windy)
Hound Name: icedancingôseavecmorehumansplatôse
Month beginning March 21
Hound Name: windblowingdroolinal
Month beginning April 21
French Revolutionary Name: Floréal (flowers)
Hound Name: Stinkywethoundéal
Month beginning May 21
French Revolutionary Name: Prairial (prairie)
Hound Name: diggingupflowerbedséal
Month beginning June 20
French Revolutionary Name: Messidor (harvest)
Hound Name: smellydroolymessidor
Month beginning July 20
French Revolutionary Name: Thermidor (summer heat)
Hound Name: lyingdownunderatreeandrefusingtomovedor
Month beginning August 19
French Revolutionary Name: Fructidor (fruit)
Hound Name: consolidatededisonbillsbecausethehoundhastobeairconditionedaroundtheclockdor
So much more descriptive, don’t you think? Of course I did have a French Revolutionary ancestor, Citoyen Hound, who advised the Revolutionary government to be more creative but he was overruled by Robespierre and my ancestor may have been a Hound but he was smart enough to know what happened to people who disagreed with Robespierre.
Anyway, I think I will leave history at that for this week. The weather is turning markedly colder which means I will soon be caparisoned in my various coats of many non-houndly colors which caused my human to buy coat hooks for my wardrobe. She claims that keeping my coats in her closet causes her to smell like Hound. And? No one actually has the heart to tell her that she will smell like Hound regardless—after all we sleep in the same bed, sit on the same couch (when I am not draped in her lap), and breathe the same Hound perfumed air-- but if it makes her feel like she is in control of her odor I will humor her. We Hounds follow the precepts of Winston Churchill and are magnanimous in victory. I would like to say we are also magnanimous in defeat but defeat, like “come” are not really words in our vocabulary.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a Royal Pain