August 26, 2011
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you from Hound Hurricane Central on New York’s Upper West Side where preparations for my safety and comfort are in full swing. Originally my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth were going to rent a car and take me on a drive to nowhere (also known as Ohio) to escape the coming storm. Then they became concerned about getting back if the roadways were flooded and also about looking pretty ridiculous if the storm turned out not to be so bad.
So then the debate focused on whose apartment would be safest for me—my own where I have easy access in and out but which is on the ground floor in a small building that might flood or Elizabeth’s which is on the 14th floor and likely to get a tad windy and would have no elevator service if the power went out. In the end Elizabeth did some advanced meteorological research and realized that hurricanes come in from the east and her windows face out to the west. So she’ll have a couple of houseguests as of tomorrow night.
I understand that all the cupboards and closets (not to mention the refrigerator) in Elizabeth’s apartment are now filled with emergency supplies (I don’t know, are two dozen eggs really enough? Maria is only bringing a dozen already hard-boiled. And I won’t even mention Elizabeth’s battery collection or the fact that she’s got three phones). The only thing Elizabeth didn’t have to buy were adult beverages as she somehow always manages to have a vast supply of those.
She specializes in preparing The Wimsey Cocktail (a large glass of gin) and if you drink a few of those you quickly forget that you are cooped up with a large, smelly bored Hound. And in a prodigious demonstration of domestic skill Elizabeth will be boiling noodles and assembling a giant lasagna for me to steal. The only thing she apparently learned from watching all those Gordon Ramsey TV shows is how to scream at me, call me a donkey and tell me to piss off (which has an entirely different meaning when applied to me so it is best used only in outdoor situations).
But seriously NYC is going to be in lockdown mode—mass transit has been suspended for the first time in history and even Fairway (our local gourmet store cum supermarket of horrors) is closing tomorrow at noon. No one knows what to expect except my humans who know exactly what to expect—a giant Hound in the lap, a large paw in the ribs and enough drool to make a hurricane seem like a light drizzle. And I expect a large lasagna.
There is talk of spending the night depleting Elizabeth’s drink collection and playing Scrabble using only words relating to Hounds. There is also Trivial Pursuit but sadly there is no Hound version of this. There should be:
Original Version (Hound Version)
Geography (Holes your Hound has dragged you into, locations of gelato shops, snack shops and overpriced pet boutiques)
Entertainment (things your Hound has done to entertain himself that have resulted in law suits).
History (The shoes you used to own, the bras you used to own, the clothing you used to own, the furniture you used to own, the food you used to eat).
Arts and Literature (things the drool pattern on the walls and ceilings remind you of, famous stack dances, Wimsey’s most memorable quotations).
Science and Nature (origins of the disgusting deceased animals onto which Hounds like to enthusiastically roll).
Sports (ice skating without skates, sledding without sleds, skiing without skis, mud wrestling, bath wrestling, eating dinner, etc.).
OK, so enough for the moment about the hurricane (I will try to tweet, post on Facebook, blog or otherwise update you on my hurricane happenings). The week was actually quite busy—a lot of meeting and greeting (including a family who has bloodhounds!) and park lounging and carrying on on the way home. There were no tuna sandwiches this week but we did stop at Handles, the new frozen yogurt shop so Elizabeth could try some. Needless to
say, the sight of her eating what should be my frozen yogurt incensed me to such a degree that it provoked some really world class irate baying. And the sound of this world class irate baying incensed passersby to such a degree that it provoked a storm of world class demands to let me have the yogurt. So after hurriedly gobbling a few guilty spoonfuls, Elizabeth complied.
Bucking public opinion on the streets of New York is never easy but when the cause in question is as cute as I am it is ne’er well impossible. The yogurt is pretty good—not Grom Gelato by any means—but an acceptable tribute after a hard afternoon spent refusing to go in any direction that my humans want to go in.
And we did run into a bride (you can see her in the background) who was trying to get her picture taken but she, her entourage and those watching kept getting distracted by my attempts to add a musical accompaniment to the proceedings. I was kept at a distance where it was deemed that even I could not fling drool but folks around found my vocalizations so compelling that they joined in. So I was frog marched out of Bethesda Terrace to the sound of humans baying (or trying to—humans seem to find it difficult to replicate my chest voice —they bay from the throat which is poor technique. And they fail to achieve a proper lip purse also).
I did try several times to jump in the lake (last year we visited the Michigan Lakes and I refused to go in—illicit bodies of water are a lot more appealing than the licit kind--) and apart from the fine that would be levied if I am caught Maria swears that she will hustle me off to Elizabeth’s for immediate deposit in the tub if I succeed. The Central Park Lake water is delightfully stinky and I think it would make a fine addition to my Houndly scent so stay tuned.
In last week’s post I discussed the importance of developing new skills and expanding one’s repertoire of annoying habits. Well owing to the friendly Pedi cab guys at the 77th Street entrance to Central Park I have become obsessed, enamored and just plain crazy about Pedi cabs. Not only do I insist on inspecting the ones at 77th Street (apparently only one of which has a seat deep enough to accommodate my majestic tush) but I now tow (charge?) my humans over to all of them scaring the bejesus out of some of the less canine savvy Pedicabistas (to say nothing of the frozen looks of terror I get from some of their hapless passengers!) It’s all very satisfying. At least for me.
And then of course there is my eternal fascination with New York City’s extensive wildlife population (except the mice in my apartment who I find boring—perhaps because my human would prefer otherwise). This juicy duck rather took my fancy.
But sadly I was not permitted to get to know him better. I am thinking of requesting duck for my hurricane meal. Perhaps I should add it to the list of tips for hurricane preparedness:
1. Stock up on essential items (dog food, bribing turkey, bully sticks, gin)
2. Remove the Hound to higher ground (the couch)
3. Fill bathtub with water so toilet can be flushed and Hound can safely drink.
4. Reassure Hound that it is safe to go into a bathroom with a full tub
5. Secure important documents such as
Hound’s registration, championship certificate, show photos, etc. in plastic bags.
6. Do not allow Hound access to the plastic bags (tape to ceiling)
7. Buy Hound new toys to distract him from the storm
8. In the event of power failure, feed all perishable items to the Hound
9. Make sure you have cash so Hound can steal high denomination bills and your screaming can drown out the sound of the hurricane when you try to retrieve them
10. Make sure you have plenty of ice cubes-- in the event of a power failure use the ice cubes to make cocktails—you’ll need them.
Anyway, I think I will leave it there for the moment. For now the sun is shining and it might be time to attempt another pre-hurricane inspection of Elizabeth’s apartment. (I think around here Hurricane Irene is going to be known as Hurricane Wimsey).
Until next time (and until my storm-tracker Wimsey updates),
PS: It is always a bad sign when The Weather Channel sends Jim Cantore to your city—he usually shows up where they expect things to be most “exciting”