June 3, 2011
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the thankfully tornado free Upper West Side of Manhattan where we dodged some nasty weather this week. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth can hardly believe that in addition to the sudden onset of August weather (hazy, hot, humid and Houndy) they now have to worry about tornados carrying me off. Although as you may imagine there are many days when they would pay a tornado to carry me off—preferably somewhere over the rainbow where dogs behave:
Wimsey’s Wizard of Oz
(Note: all characters are strictly fictional)
As the story begins Maria and her beloved bloodhound Wimsey, (who is quite the handsomest bloodhound in Manhattan), are being chased down Broadway by an angry mob of drool spattered pedestrians who are demanding that the prodigiously drool flinging Hound be taken in for experimental surgery to have his salivary glands removed.
“My Prada pants are ruined!” screams one.
“This is a $10,000 Italian suit!” screams another.
“My baby’s Armani onsie is stained!” screams a third.
“Don’t worry,” yells Maria over her shoulder. “It will all come out in the rain.”
Nevertheless, Maria believes it is prudent for she and the Hound to lay low in her apartment for a bit, especially as the wind is picking up and the swirling garbage is providing unsavory snacking opportunities for the Hound.
Once home, she races the Hound to the bed and he is so alarmed at the weather that he forgets to shove her off and even allows her to use her pillow. Suddenly the storm becomes violent and Maria loses consciousness when she is hit in the head by a flying rawhide.
When Maria comes to, her first thought is to walk the Hound so she bribes him into his equipment and steps out her front door. She looks around and realizes that she’s not in Manhattan anymore. Everything is clean.
Then she is greeted by a pack of very excited Chihuahuas. “Welcome to Munchkin Land!” they yap.
“But where are the Munchkins?” inquires Maria while the Hound tries to inhale one of the pint sized beasts.
“They were politically incorrect so they’ve been replaced,” explained the Chief Chihuahua. “But your Hound is a hero. Look! His apartment landed on top of Cesar Millan, Wicked Male Witch of South of the Border! We’re free! No more rules, boundaries and limitations!”
“Oh no!” yelled Maria. “We didn’t mean to! We’ll be sued! I’m not sure my renters insurance covers having my apartment land on top of a famous TV dog trainer!”
“Her apartment!” snickered the Chief Chihuahua. “This one has a sense of humor!” “And she’s better dressed than the other one, “ opined a second Chihuahua. “Her clothes may be ugly and smelly but at least she’s not wearing gingham.”
The residents of The City Formerly Known as Munchkin Land and Now Known as Annoying Toy Dog Land then put on a show for Maria and her Hound. They did tricks, such as biting small children, peeing on expensive carpets and guarding tiny toys. The Hound watched attentively hoping to add to his repertoire of disgraceful behaviors.
Then suddenly there appeared an ethereal cloud and the distinct smell of Hungarian pastries.
“Mother! What are you doing here!” exclaimed Maria.
“I’ve come to bring the Hound some chicken paprikash. He looks hungry. You don’t feed him enough He looks thin! And how could you let your apartment fall on that nice Mr. Millan.Is that how I raised you! “
“But it’s not my fault. There was a tornado!”
“Always excuses this one. Anyway, as usual I am here to get you out of this mess, unless you want to live with all these badly behaved small dogs in addition to the large one you’ve already got.”
“No, I don’t. And anyway, there’s no place like home.
“I know. I’ve seen the state of your apartment. You really ought to spend more time scraping that drool off the walls.”
With that The Good Cooking Witch of Central Europe pried a Ruby Collar from Cesar Millan’s fingers and, placed it on the Hound. She announced that Maria and the Hound must follow the Yellow Brick Road to meet the Wizard of Oz if they want to return to Manhattan. And then with a final puff of torte she vanished. The Hound was excited. He knew why the bricks were yellow.
“Does the collar come in green” Maria asked. “It’s a much better color for him?”
“No,” said the Chief Chihuahua. “But the Wizard does live in the Emerald City which will show off your Hound’s reddish coat very nicely.”
“There’s a wizard who lives in Seattle?”
“No not that Emerald City” sighed the Chief Chihuahua. “The Wizard lives in the real Emerald City, not the one where they have to invent some benefit to make a lot of wet people feel better because of the incessant rain.”
“Hold it! The wizard’s Irish?! Are you sure he’s not really a leprechaun? I could use a pot of gold to pay off my Hound’s vet bills.”
“No, as far as I know we’re the only undersized creatures who run away when called. But why do you want to return to Manhattan? I hear the rats are bigger than we are.” (This thought inexplicably reminded the Hound that he had not eaten in 40 minutes so he snuck back into the apartment to steal some food).
“What! There are places to live outside of Manhattan? Of course I’d heard the rumors but never thought they were true. Anyway, the Hound would miss Manhattan. He’s very popular there.”
“I’ll bet. Well if you ever change your mind any dog trainer slaying canine is always welcome here.”
So the ruby collared Hound, nose pressed to the exciting Yellow Brick Road took off with his human in tow when they ran into a talking scarecrow who had no brains and who bore a striking resemblance to the lady from last week who, upon hearing the Hound ‘s baying asked if he had something wrong with his throat.
After that they found a talking tin woods person with no heart who was a dead ringer for Elizabeth. The woods person immediately criticized Maria’s handling of the leash, took it away and got pulled over, denting an arm.
Finally they ran into a Lion with no courage who looked like the Hound’s vet who put a “caution” sign on his hospital kennel. The lion thought the Hound looked and sounded quite ferocious and kept suggesting a muzzle. It was fortunate that the Hound liked cats.
The Hound found this collection of quasi-talking humans almost as disappointing as his collar being ruby instead of green. He was hoping for a talking raccoon. He was just wondering whether another visit from the Good Cooking Witch of Central Europe would be a possibility when there was a thunderclap and an Evil Witch descended from the sky. The Hound knew immediately that she was an evil witch because she was wearing skintight black clothing, had a ponytail and was brandishing a clicker. They were under attack from Victoria Stilwell, Celebrity Wicked Witch of the West Coast By Way of England. The Hound lamented that he didn’t have another apartment handy with which to pop her one.
“That is a very badly behaved dog! I will not permit him to reach the Emerald City where he might intimidate the Wizard into letting him return to Manhattan. I will train him first. He must heel, he must obey commands, he must not climb on people or fling drool on them or put his face into their food!”
“He has to do those things while he is still alive!?” exclaimed Maria.
“Yes. And I want his ruby collar. It was the source of Cesar Millan’s power—all that rubbish about calm assertive energy was nonsense—it was the collar. I’m tired of dogs humping me and not listening to me unless I bribe them with food. Where is that collar, by the way?”
“He’s hidden it in his dewlap. It’s where he hides all his collars to prevent them from working.”
The situation looked grim when all of a sudden there was a strong aroma of strudel.
“Get away from my grand dog! And he is not badly behaved; He just has a lot of personality. But any way, he is not the problem. Why don’t you do something about my daughter? She doesn’t listen to me and doesn’t do what I tell her to do. You could have a whole new career with mothers of grown children.”
“I did not get to be The Celebrity Wicked Witch of the West Coast By Way of England by listening to anyone. I have a TV show where I get paid for yelling at and humiliating people. Top that. And anyway, what can you do to me.”
“I can feed you! You will never again fit into your skintight black clothes and the TV station will fire you for being a normal size. Here have a taste of this goulash…”
“Nooooo. Not the goulash! And I can smell the pastries! I must flee to the Land of the Lettuce…!”
“Well that took care of her. When did you last feed the dog? He looks hungry again. Here my lovely one have some nice goulash. Now Maria go see that wizard so I can get back to my kitchen!’
So onwards they went to the Emerald City which Maria was surprised to find was neither a jewelry store, a National Car Rental outlet nor the capital of Ireland.
‘We’ve come to see the Wizard” Maria announced to the Guardian of the Gate.
“Yes, the Mighty and All Powerful Oz has been expecting you. But first we must bath that Hound. He smells like he’s been rolling in flying monkey dung.
So at long last Maria, a grudgingly bathed Hound (Guardian of the Gate Team 6, who were responsible for bathing the Hound were commissioned to write their memoirs about the experience) the Scarecrow, the Tin Person and the Cowardly Lion were ushered into a large chamber when a familiar voice squeaked out, “I am the Mighty and Powerful Oz.”
“Mayor Bloomberg!” squealed Maria. “What are you doing here?”
“No, you must be mistaken. I am not the short, whiny voiced Mayor of Manhattan famous for uttering the phrase “boroughs, what other boroughs?” but his twin brother the all powerful (but equally as rich) Oz.
“And everyone thinks you go to Bermuda when you disappear from the City. Who knew? Anyway, we need your help. The Hound and I need to get back to Manhattan.”
“I understand completely. I know there are rumors about other places to live, but pay no attention. There’s no place like Manhattan. I mean not even Emerald City has a Rat Czar. Although we could use a Witch Czar, but that is another story. But as nice as it is to meet you and your Hound it is your companions who really excite me.
“I am the Scarecrow. I have no brain. I am hoping you can give me one.”
“A man with no brain--why you are a politician’s dream! And you think not having a brain is a disadvantage? Why some of our finest leaders were in your position. I herby appoint you Deputy Mayor. I know no one can do as fine a job as I do but you can run the place when I am off researching my short game in Bermuda.”
‘I am the Tin Person. I have no heart.”
“You guys are the gift that just keeps on giving. I hereby appoint you my budget director. We can fire the teachers, firefighters and cops and build a great new sports stadium!”
“I am the Cowardly Lion. I have no courage.”
“Yet another natural politician! Since it takes courage to get anything done we need someone with your skills to head up Operations. Never in all my years in politics have I seen such a collection of talent under one roof. Why if you were all the same person you could run for President!”
“Yes, but what about me?” chimed in Maria.
“No, you don’t qualify. But your Hound on the other hand…”
“No. We want to go back to Manhattan.”
“Of course you do. Everyone wants to go to Manhattan. Even me when Bermuda gets boring. Anyway, just climb into my private jet over there on the tarmac and as the pilot takes off close your eyes, rub your Hound’s dewlap and repeat ‘Mayor Bloomberg for President…’ and he’ll take you home.”
Then suddenly Maria woke up on the floor next to her bed with her Hound snoring above her. The phone was ringing.
“Maria, it’s Mother. What took you so long to get to the phone!? How is Wimsey? I hope you have cooked him something nice today?”
Quite a story! I guess I get inspired by tornados. Anyway, I spent the really hot days this week with Elizabeth while Maria tries to sort out the air conditioning situation in our apartment. Elizabeth kept me in icy splendor (she knows how much I dislike hot weather) but like a true tin woods person she told Maria that she could go sit in Starbucks if she was hot. But I did get a lot of park time in this week and continue to bedevil my humans by hunting plastic water bottles. I have also added street snacking to my repertoire of annoying habits. I don’t know how I passed up all those goodies in the past and this new habit seems to really get my humans in a lather—especially when they have to try and scoop the resulting liquid poop. And as we know any habit than bothers my humans will be repeated as often as possible so I foresee a delicious summer.
Anyway, hope you all stay cool and safe—what with tornados and killer cucumbers it’s enough to make this Hound go take a nap—one in which I rid the world of clicker wielding tyrants!
Until next time,
The Wizard of Wimsey