September 23, 2011
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you from the currently dreary Upper West Side of Manhattan where we’re experiencing a plethora of rain and my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are experiencing a plethora of rain resistance. Now don’t misunderstand me, I like to drag my humans out in a fine scent-enhancing mist or a gentle rain as much as the next Hound, but the sensation that Mother Nature is wielding a giant shower attachment over my head is a non-starter.
Well it’s been a pretty quiet week around here, although Elizabeth did wear her fancy new cardigan (aren’t “fancy” and “cardigan” oxymoronic?) on our Sunday walk which enabled me to break it in by sitting on it. New garments are always more attractive when they smell like tush, which reminded my humans why they don’t usually wear fancy new cardigans in my presence. But Elizabeth can take comfort in the fact that the odor is probably only discernible to other canines. Or at least she hopes.
And I did attend the Columbus Avenue Street Fair where I undertook my usual meeting and greeting of humans and dogs and was recognized by several of my fans.
Everyone enjoyed the fact that it took both my humans strength to prevent me from making off with a dancing stuffed toy that was being hawked that looked to me very much like a slow squirrel. Somehow I don’t think that having a giant Hound pounce and kill the little critter and then parade around with it in his jaws would have been a boon to sales.
Then after that exhausting workout there was talk of buying me a sausage sandwich to assuage my disappointment over the toy and over the fact that there were no actual turkeys at the turkey farm booth. But my humans were worried about the potentially lively gastric consequences of greasy hunks of Italian sausage as well as the fear that that residual canine-toxic onions would result in further vet bills. So in the end it was decided (largely by me) that a visit to Grom Gelato was in order. And as usual I entertained the Grom staff (as well as passersby and people living in the apartments above the shop) with some vocalizations of an extremely vigorous nature. I reserve my very best for impending gelato feedings. Very tasty it was too.
Grom gelato’s motto is “Il gelato come una volta” which I was always hoping meant “gelato like a shock” (kind of like me) but it really means “gelato like it used to be.” This too is highly appropriate because I am a Hound like Hounds used to be—like before we were expected to listen to obedience commands and take regular baths. Now things the way they used to be puts me in mind of this week’s controversy about particles being able to travel faster than the speed of light. What does this mean (apart from a lot of time wasted studying Einstein in physics class)? It means that if it is true maybe there are a lot of other things that physicists were wrong about—like time travel.
So, if time travel were possible perhaps one day New York might receive a visit from a couple medieval knights like Simon de Montfort and his little known BFF Sieur Hughes de Baskerville:
Montfort: Zounds! I knew we shouldn’t have had that drink with that traveling wizard!
Baskerville: I don’t think he said he was a wizard exactly. Didn’t he say he was a physicist?
Montfort: Same difference-- you know those guys always have their heads in a book and talk about stuff no one understands. And they always write gobbledygook that involves squiggly symbols. And of course they’re hopeless with the ladies—I mean poor Merlin even got imprisoned in a tree because his efforts were so lame. Anyway where are we do you think?
Baskerville: Well judging by some of the clothes I’ve seen the ladies here wearing, I’d say in heaven?
Montfort: I’m a medieval knight so heaven would be a rather unexpected development, all things considered. But still, I see your point. The men look pretty odd too. I mean their legs are all covered up but the women’s aren’t. Not that I am complaining mind you, but that baggy covering is not a very masculine look. Nothing says manly to the fairer sex like a finely turned muscular calf encased in red felt. Perhaps the fact that women are displaying their legs like men means that they’ve taken over and these guys are all their eunuchs!
Baskerville: Hmm. I guess heaven would have a catch then. But no one seems to be paying any attention to us at all.
Montfort: Well that guy over there did ask if we could spare a quarter.
Baskerville: True, but then I didn’t want to find out a quarter of what. Or whom. Anyway, I think we are in a magical kingdom—look at all these conveyances going by with no animals pulling them!
Montfort: Be careful of the yellow ones. Their purpose seems to be to try to crash into the others and knock over the kingdom’s inhabitants. I recognize combat when I see it even if the weapons the yellow knights are using is different! They are clearly on a mission of conquest.
Baskerville: Well let’s try to find out what lord they serve and whose kingdom this is. You, good Sir! Pray tell us in whose kingdom we find ourselves?
New Yorker: This isn’t a kingdom. It’s New York City--although it’s filled with a lot of people who think they’re kings. And queens.
Baskerville: Well who is your ruler then?
New Yorker: You mean Mayor Bloomberg?
Baskerville: Yes! Where does this Sieur de Bloomberg live?
New Yorker: Well mostly in Bermuda. But you might find him across the park on East 79th Street.
Baskerville: Thank you good Sir. We will make our way forthwith to the Sieur de Bloomberg’s castle.
New Yorker: Well obviously you’ve seen the place. You’ll feel right at home.
Montfort: Let us travel east across this expanse of meadowed parkland. At least we will be safe from the yellow knights.
Baskerville: Yes, and the women seem to wear even less here! They all seem to be running away from something in very scanty under garments—perhaps there is some evil dragon that rules these parts and has a taste for unclad females.
Montfort: We all have a taste for unclad females. Except perhaps the “men” here who seem to be paying no attention at all. I am sure they must be eunuchs.
Baskerville: What’s that I hear! I hear something I recognize! It’s a Hound. And it must be a very large one by the sound of it!
Montfort: But look over there! There are two inhabitants who appear to be female but who are totally clothed in the baggy clothing like the men wear. And one of them is attached to a bloodhound by some type of long string! He even looks like King Henry’s Hound, Voyou!
Baskerville: You mean the one that ate your bliaut? Well, clearly these are the Sieur de Bloomberg’s masters of hunt! That’s why they are dressed in that special way.
Montfort: So let’s recap-- we are in a kingdom where women run around basically naked, men go about totally clothed paying no attention to them, conveyances move by magic with no horses or oxen, yellow knights battle for control of the roads, inhabitants pay no attention to medieval knights in their midst, people have no odor but the air does, things fly through the sky and yet they still have bloodhounds!
Baskerville: Thank God for that! I’m starving. The way he’s carrying on he must be on the trail of a juicy boar!
Or Grom Gelato.
Well you get the idea. I find it gratifying that if you plunked people from the past down in New York City I would be about the only thing they would recognize. But as long as we are thinking about things medieval, this week I once again attempted—with a bit better success—to turn Elizabeth into the Lady of the Lake.
It’s a good thing that my leash is nice and long. And although Arthurian legend makes no mention of a Hound of the Lake (can there be a Lady of the Lake without her having a Hound of the Lake?) here I am searching for Excalibur in the lake in Central Park. I mean everything else gets thrown in there so why not Excalibur? (If I find it my humans can save England from the Scots and make sure that Andy Murray never wins Wimbledon.)
Anyway, I think I will leave it there for this week. It’s time to go spread delectable wet Hound smell around my apartment. But before I forget—I do spend quite a considerable amount of time lamenting the periodic use of the heinous gentle leader. Well when it rains Maria uses it on me as she fears being swept off her feet by something other than a buff guy with a bouquet of flowers. And this evening some lady asked her if that thing on my nose keeps me from barking. And whilst Maria was thinking “if only” (although technically I don’t bark, I bay) I realized that the heinous gentle leader could actually be a whole lot more heinous! At least it only impedes my pulling (kind of) and not the frequent and vociferous exercise of my constitutional right to free speech.
And also before I leave you, for those of you who live in the Washington DC area or who are visiting, stop by my brewery tomorrow, Baying Hound Aleworks, for their first ever Oktoberfest celebration. Details and directions at www.baying-hound.com. Sadly I will not be attending, otherwise they would have had to rename it Wimseyfest.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a Hound like they ought to be