November 18, 2011
Hello everyone, it’s me Wimsey, coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the holiday season is off and running, very much like me. Today I ran all the way over to the pedicab stand on 77th street and put on such a prolonged and vigorous display of acoustical acrobatics that people came running to see what all the ruckus was about. And the more I carry on the more the pedicab drivers encourage me, much to the dismay of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth to whom the responsibility of preventing me from injuring people and destroying property falls.
It’s no wonder that the head guy wants to hire me--crowds of potential customers materialize to see who is making that hellacious noise, thus enabling him to promote his Wimsey approved pedicab tours of Central Park. My humans would very much like to get a video of my pedicab antics but this would entail being one human short in the Hound control department, which is not an entirely safe proposition when I am in a 125lb state of high excitement.
But getting back to the holiday season, it all started in October actually, when my humans noticed the appearance of pre-Halloween Christmas decorations at the local linen store where they purchase the high thread count sheets with which they cover their furniture under the misguided theory that the sheets will protect what’s underneath from hair, drool and stink whilst keeping me comfy in the style to which I am accustomed. Shortly thereafter, when Elizabeth repaired to Starbucks to acquire the necessary zip for one of our walks (my humans consume caffeine to prepare for the for the walk and alcohol to recover from it ((and to forget the things that I managed to do)) she noticed that the barista was wearing a Santa hat and that Christmas music was entertaining the caffeinating masses.
So what I want to know is who threw Thanksgiving under the bus? And although I love Christmas as much as the next acquisitive, gift budget hogging Hound, does anyone really buy Christmas paraphernalia and gifts when the leaves are just beginning to turn colors? And for people living with Hounds, anything bought in October means just that much more time to expose the goods to the risks and vicissitudes of our exploratory and destructive natures, a risk of which these jump the gun retailers appear blissfully unaware. And of course an extra six weeks of the “The Little Drummer Boy” is not conducive to the maintenance of my humans’ sanity, however tenuous that grip might be considering the prominent role I play in their lives.
I mean humans who are crabby because I’ve created an impressive array of painful orthopedic injuries owing to the fact that I’m constitutionally incapable of gong in the same direction as they are, and whose bruised stomachs and legs are permanently marked with the evidence of my lap sitting propensities and whose descent into madness I’ve accelerated by perpetually hunting and consuming discarded alimentary tidbits on the street and in the park and by
snatching water bottles from inattentive tourists and by sticking my nose into those bags full of goodies that dangle from children’s strollers and by insisting on a daily and loud visit with my pedicab buddies and by refusing to sit-stay, stand-stay or perform a stay of any kind when a photograph is required, and by trying to enter the neighbor’s apartment through the cat flap relentlessly impervious to the physical impossibility of such a feat and by refusing to be helpful by chasing the mice indoors but dislocating shoulders to chase the rats outdoors, and by alerting the whole building and neighborhood to the fact that I am coming out for my walk, etc. etc. etc. I somehow feel that additional exposure to “The Little Drummer Boy” will not have a salubrious effect on my humans’ cheerful nature.
But anyway it seems that here in New York City Thanksgiving has been relegated to the meal you eat to get the energy to do all the Christmas shopping the stores want you to do rather than serving its traditional function of eating too much, drinking too much and fighting with the relatives. Pity. But one really can’t think of Thanksgiving without thinking back-- not only to those brave men and women who came so far for such noble a noble purpose—but also to the Native Americans who helped them survive. Now I am a great admirer of Native Americans and I especially like their colorful names. I mean if I were living back then with the Pilgrims I would probably be called something boring like Josiah but if I were living with the Indians I could have had many exciting names:
The Native American Bloodhound
Flews of Fury
Tows Like Tractor
Dances on Bladder
Sitting Bull on Lap
Breaks Much Wind
Chews Like Beaver
Snores Like Thunder
Head Pointy Like Arrow
Drool Falls Like Rain
Pokes Like Goose
Hurter of Ear Drums
Stealer of Everything
Does What Wants
Nose Like Ice Cube in Small of Back
Digger of Gardens
Smells Like Swamp
Thwacks like Bear
Immovable Like Rock
Sheds Much Hair
Talons Like Eagle
Destroyer of Fences
Nose in Everyone’s Food
Makes People Mad
Eater of Moccasins
Lunges at Squirrels
Doesn’t Care What You Think
And of course, Obnoxious Like Hound
And that’s just for starters. So much more descriptive than being called Wimsey. And it would make Maria’s life so much easier when she explains to people why they don’t want a bloodhound to say, “Here meet my Hound, Destroys Your Possessions and Doesn’t Listen To You.”
But Thanksgiving vs. Christmas is a tough one—Thanksgiving brings turkey (aka, The Magic Meat, due its powerful motivating effect upon canine behavior, occasionally even mine) and Christmas brings presents like extra long bully sticks and expensive stuffed toys that I can destroy in less time than it took to sign the charge slip. I would definitely vote for Thanksgiving if I could persuade my humans to prepare Turkey á la façon Wimsey: An entire, recently deceased bird replete with feathers and stuffed with a delicious array of tasty internal organs, garnished with the contents of the neighbor’s cat’s litter box. Side dishes could include pureed raccoon poop, Brussels sprouts with horse manure (some people think these taste the same), steamed weeds with canine urine dressing and candied rat. And for dessert: the TiVo remote! So far no one’s biting.
But every year around this time my humans give thanks for having me in their lives. Others should be thankful not to. And those of you with regular dogs should be thankful they are not me!
Anyway, the Upper West Side of Manhattan has become a hotbed of TV and movie filming—the TV show Person of Interest for instance seems to have moved into the neighborhood permanently. But on this afternoon’s walk we saw an even larger and more impressive film crew. The posted signs said the filming was for something called Fiona’s Tale. Now this puzzled Maria, as she is always very well informed about new films and TV shows and had never heard of this one, which clearly was not some small independent production. A quick consultation with her Blackberry revealed that Fiona’s Tale is the name being used by the new Spiderman movie to discourage fan attention! But this made me think about an entirely different and better movie:
IMDb Plot Summary: Houndman
Peter Parker, a nerdy young man is visiting the home of a mad scientist friend of his and is about to be bitten by a radioactive, mutant spider when his friend’s radioactive and mutant Hound steps on the spider and crushes it. The Hound then bites Peter instead because Peter is standing too close to the Hound’s stuffed dog.
Peter doesn’t think much about it except that the Hound could use a visit from Cesar Millan, until he starts acquiring strange powers. First, he develops an intensely acute sense of smell which enables him to identify every person he meets individually and to acquire intimate knowledge about the state of their personal hygiene. He finds himself saying “Dude, you’ve gotta change that underwear” with a frequency that is inimical to a successful social life. He also finds he can tell when people are around by their smell even if he can’t see them and he can smell their emotions and whether they are telling the truth. While this is very useful for tracking villains, especially the ones not dressed in gaudy costumes with elaborate makeup, and for knowing when they are hiding in that dark alley ready to attack, it is less useful when you want to believe the woman who tells you that you were wonderful. Peter also finds that these new talents enable him to know when something unfortunate is about to happen--like someone is about eat some of his French Fries—the hackles on his neck stand up. He calls it this Houndy-sense.
Peter also finds that he is suddenly very strong and can jump very high, particularly onto kitchen countertops. He finds himself eyeing people’s shoes and the neighbor’s cat with new interest and lifting his leg when he uses the toilet. Also he notices that when he is sitting in a restaurant, all he has to do is look at another diner for that person to give him their meal. This is useful because somehow everyone else’s food looks more desirable than his own. Fortunately he avoids getting fat because of his new hobby of chasing squirrels in the park. And several times during the day his body shuts down entirely and he must recharge by taking prolonged and restful naps from which he can only be revived by the smell of someone else’s food, the neighbor’s cat or the rattle of keys. On the downside he loses his license for driving with his head sticking out of the window.
Moreover, Peter, formerly a nerd, now has a new personality and refuses to believe that he cannot have anything he wants. He demands a raise from his boss and sweeps Mary Jane (is anyone called this anymore?) the girl he likes off her feet, literally and figuratively, with his new demanding and determined persona. Everything becomes so easy and rewarding he is amazed he never thought of acting like this before. “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” becomes his watchwords and “If you don’t get, take.”
Peter originally intended to use his powers to fight the crime wave caused by the endless number of mad scientist experiments gone awry but then decided that exerting himself on behalf of others was stupid. He was having way too much fun being him. They don’t call him Houndman for nothing.
Well you get the idea. Perhaps if I run into the Spiderman director I can pitch my film. They can put up signs calling it Wimsey’s Tail.
I think I will leave it here for this week. Have a happy Thanksgiving and don’t forget to thank your Hound who won’t really care unless the thanks is accompanies by a generous hunk of turkey.
Until next time,
Wimsey, Snatches Turkey Very Fast