November 11, 2011
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the decidedly autumnal precincts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where after much mild weather there are at last piles of leaves for me to mess about in. The colors are wonderful and as their appearance presages chillier weather my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are beginning the process of making sure that their winter gear is in good nick, especially the crampons upon which they rely to keep their feet firmly planted on terra firma when I decide it’s time for a game of Ice Capades.
It is also the time of year when my humans begin thinking about their respective January birthdays and Elizabeth contemplates an escape from me to do something or go someplace where she has never been. This year she is seriously thinking about a dog sledding holiday in Norway—I guess there are not enough dogs in her life on this side of the Atlantic that pull her around. My humans have often thought that my natural tractoring abilities would make me a fine puller of a sled until the issue of who gets to decide the actual direction of the sled comes up. Whilst in their imaginations they are pulled over the hills and dales of Central Park, in reality they would be touring pet stores, food stands and gelato shops and visiting with squirrels of both the alive and deceased variety.
Then of course there is the issue of letting Elizabeth (the Imelda Marcos of sweaters) loose in a country famous for them. I greatly fear we will all spend the rest of the winter dressed in things with brightly colored reindeer on them. (As compensation I would expect a hefty bribe in the form of an actual reindeer or meaty parts thereof).
Things that could happen to Elizabeth in Norway
She could become completely disoriented by a pack of dogs that listens to her.
She could teach the dogs not to allow any photographs unless they are fed pieces of turkey.
The pack could decide to take off after a reindeer and then have a rest at the nearest gelato shop.
She could buy her pack sweaters with reindeer on them to keep out the chill.
She could feel compelled share her lunch with the pack when they woo woo woo (the husky equivalent of baying) at her.
Her pack could decide that it’s more fun to go in the opposite direction of the one in which she wants to go.
The pack could decide that the word “mush” means it’s time to roll over for a belly rub.
The person in charge of the pack could banish her from having any further contact with his dogs.
She could eat a lot of fish and drink a lot just like she does at home.
She could come home with her hair in braids wearing a hat with pointy horns on it.
She could be detained by U.S. Customs for entering the country with more than the legally permissible number of sweaters.
She could be detained by U.S. immigration for entering the country with a hunky Viking.
She could buy this picture.
She could spend her entire trip buying me salmon and reindeer meat and looking for a sweater big enough to fit me.
And I can’t help imagining that if Elizabeth tries sledding she’ll end up pulling a sled full of huskies because she doesn’t want to tire them out.
Well, let’s see, what happened this week? On Sunday the New York Marathon was held so consequently we took our long Sunday walk in a quadrant of Central Park not used by the runners. However, we did run into quite a number of them on our respective ways home—the hobbling gait of the participants was all too familiar to my humans, but fortunately they don’t have to run 26 miles to achieve the same effect. None of the marathoners looked too steady on their feet and my humans greatly feared that one swipe of my tail would be the source of many lawsuits. I, however, found these enfeebled humans eminently intriguing and had to be restrained in my desire to get to know them better, preferably horizontally.
And for those of you who haven’t noticed, today is a very auspicious day, and not just because it is Veterans Day or Wimsey blog day—11/11/11 only comes once a century! This has a lot numerologists working overtime to communicate the significance of the date:
Wimsey’s Guide to Numerology
11: Eleven is a master number and is also known as a Hound’s Dozen. Hounds like to leave the 12th piece of whatever dozen they’ve stolen so you won’t notice that anything is missing.
11+11=22: This is the number of holes that an architecturally minded Hound will dig in your yard each week.
11+11+11= 33: This is the number of times you have to tell your Hound to sit before he realizes that somebody is talking to him.
1+1=2: This is the number of seconds it will take a Hound to steal the Sunday roast.
1+1+1+1= 4: This is the number of seconds it will take the Hound to consume the Sunday roast that he has stolen.
1+1+1+1+1+1=6.: This is the number of feet per second at which the Hound will travel to get away from the irate owner of the Sunday roast (it is also the number of days the roast will take to traverse the Hound’s extensive colon before it emerges as a steaming mess on the Oriental rug).
Well let’s see, what else is new? My adventures in veterinary medicine continued this week with another visit to the vet to inspect the state of my pimple. It’s progress was pronounced satisfactory and the state of my ears wholly acceptable. Unfortunately the vet gave my humans a new ear solution that he would like used until I am off the antibiotics. However, fortunately all attempts to squirt the stuff into my ears failed and my humans are reduced to using it to wipe them out instead. Although I consider myself a model of tolerance, even I have limits as to the kind and variety of things I will permit and squirting large amounts of liquid into my ear canals is not one of them.
Now this week also, in order to deal with the impending vicissitudes of the cold weather my humans stocked up on fancy moisturizers and skin protectors (although nothing will protect them from my drool, my hair and my stink). And in return for their patronage the store gave them all kinds of sample products, the unilluminating names of which (Éclat Miracle?) sent them scurrying to the Internet to find out what on earth all these things are supposed to do. This made me think that beauty products for Hounds is an excellent, under-served market niche:
Wimsey’s Hound Cosmetics
Fold Fondant: Do you wake up in the morning feeling all smooth and unattractive? Does your handler push your neck skin up to make you look more wrinkled? Are you intimidated by the depth of wrinkle of your fellow Hounds? Fold Fondant, the premier wrinkle promoter will enhance your natural wrinkled beauty and when used regularly will even create new lines and creases! And as an added bonus, the price of the product will create new lines and creases on your human as well.
Ear de Luxe: Do you surreptitiously eye the ear length of those around you and feel under endowed? Are you embarrassed to take your snood off in the presence of other Hounds? Do you deliberately carry your ears low to make them look longer leading your humans to misguidedly think you are being submissive which confuses them when you shove them off the couch? Ear de Luxe ear lengthening crème will create the longer, supple more luxurious ears that will make you the envy of your peers. You need never again be plagued by feelings of inadequacy because you suspect that your ears are shorter than your muzzle. Length matters and we guarantee yours.
Éclat Rouge: Do your eyes lack impact due to the underexposure of your sclera? Are you missing that louche, nonchalant, air of a Hound of the demi-monde who has spent one too many nights out on the tiles among the ladies and the absinthe? Do you long for the droopy, romantic red eyes that make humans think of smoky bars, expensive whiskey and Visine? The kind of eyes that spoil all their photographs? Éclat Rouge will deliver that world-weary yet noble look so characteristic of Hounds. In no time we guarantee that passing humans will enquire "What’s the matter with his eyes?” (NB: Éclat Rouge is not to be confused with Éclat Miracle, a human “face primer” that is supposed to make human faces glow, which it does because it is a tube of grease).
Tail Whip: Long for a thicker, more powerful tail with which to sweep coffee tables and swat humans? A higher, stiffer member with which to intimidate your canine enemies? A longer, stronger tail capable of maximally protecting those delicate underside areas when a situation is not looking promising? A tail capable of thwarting even the most determined vet tech with a thermometer? Look no further—Tail Whip, an elegant confection of essential growth and strengthening elements extracted from embryonic monkey cells will give you juice in the caboose!
Money back if your humans aren’t wondering where all those new bruises came from and you can’t swipe a full bottle of red wine onto the carpet with ease.
Point Enhancing Mousse: Are you occiputally challenged? Do you lack that distinguished and robust point to your head? Tired of the same old flat head and the snide remarks about your intelligence that it engenders. Do you aspire to be one of those pointy-headed intellectuals so admired the world over? The kind that can discuss Proust one day and ruin economies the next? Point Enhancing Mousse is guaranteed to make your head pointier than even those of your humans! So buy the product and get the point!
I’m sure I could be the next Estee Lauder.
In other news, one afternoon this week Elizabeth also hosted Pluto, the five month old French Bulldog she is helping to take care of and invited me over to see if I could refrain from terrorizing the little chap indoors. She’s going to be watching him for a week at the end of the month and if my human is working she will have the care of both of us during the day. There was no problem over the water bowl, my stuffed toys or even over my bone collection (aka the abattoir) but it turns out that we both like to supervise Elizabeth’s toilet activities. I guess the prospect of all three of us crammed in there with two of us watching the proceedings with great interest was deemed a bit inhibitory, so in the end it was decided that neither of us could come.
But the devastation of this deprivation was mitigated later when Elizabeth came over with a tub of chicken livers to express her approval at my model non-puppy terrorizing behavior. I think Pluto and I have the beginnings of a beautiful friendship.
Well I think I will leave it there for this week. I’m looking forward to some frisky-making weather and a couple of squealing, bundled up humans. Am dreaming of salmon, reindeer meat and shredded sweaters.
Until next time,
Wimsey, puller of humans not in sleds