Entry # 326
December 13, 2013
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you from beyond the Arctic Circle where some pesky person has apparently moved the Island of Manhattan and the Upper West Side. And although I love this nippy weather, the downside is that my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth insist that I wear a winter coat whilst out for my cold weather perambulations. Fortunately getting me into these things involves fistfuls of turkey and at Elizabeth’s apartment, a rousing game of Chase the Hound With the Fleece.
Sadly, I am not alone, coat-wise as the neighborhood is a veritable fashion show of the latest canine styles. From the roughest, toughest Rottweiler to the tiniest Chihuahua we are all afflicted with this human created sartorial plague. My humans have also been threatening me with booties to protect my delicate feet but I know that this is an idle threat. Booties were tried several years ago and even with a variety of bootie types success was very limited. Unless unfairly disadvantaged by the administration of a powerful anesthetic, it is mere Hound’s play for me to remove one bootie whilst the humans struggle to get even one of my paws into a second. Since two humans working in feverish concert were never able to achieve even a mere two-boot shod Wimsey, they wisely concluded that one human plus four boots is one army too few and four boots too many.
Nevertheless I do my best before every walk to convince my humans that dressing me in clothing, no matter how comely, is wholly unnecessary. After all, it was only last week that someone mistook me for a Malamute (can I say how much it pleases me to be mistaken for a macho breed!) and we northern breeds do very well without the extra clothing (although Elizabeth claims to have once seen a Manhattan husky in a coat). Anyway, this week’s pictures feature my chartreuse fleece (the only color, apart from black, that Ruff Wear used to offer—I need to be careful not to damage this one as the company replaced the chartreuse one with one in neon orange) and my Ruff Wear Climate Changer (my wet weather snow suit, otherwise known as The Speedo, owing to its elastic, figure hugging fit; I have one of these in black also and it is known as The Tron Speedo). All I can say is that if a giant black and tan Hound strutting the streets of Manhattan provokes smiles, a giant black and tan Hound wearing brightly colored clothing appears to be even more risible. Either that or people are amused by the fact that I am accompanied by one or more humans who look like they are planning an imminent assault on the South Pole. Whereas normal (non-Hound) female Manhattanites might be attracted to apparel that declares itself to be Prada or Chanel my ladies’ eyes are magnetically attracted to apparel that declares itself to be “Expedition Weight”.
Anyway, whether it is the festive, pre-Christmas atmosphere or the snappy temperatures or the little bit of snow that we had, on Wednesday I was “in a mood.” Being in a mood generally involves a lot of loud baying, a relentless determination to tow my humans in the direction in which I want to go (or more accurately, an even more relentless determination to tow my humans in the direction in which I want to go) and a lot of poking of pedestrians and inhaling of small dogs.
And this mood led me to tow Elizabeth south down Broadway--being sure to walk under the arcades that contain all the Lincoln Center restaurant sidewalk cafes—to Columbus Circle. I had fully intended to visit The Time Warner Center and annoy the shoppers by investigating their bags and then follow this up by annoying Elizabeth by taking her on a tour of Construction Sites of the Far West Side (one of my favorite walks!) but it turns out that Elizabeth has really had enough of Construction Sites of The Far West Side and produced sufficient bribing turkey and elbow grease to turn me towards Central Park instead.
The problem with that is the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park is now blocked with the Christmas Fair and taking a Hound in a Mood through the Christmas Fair is not for the faint hearted or the two handed. Nevertheless, Elizabeth did manage to get me through the fair and I have a (very) few photos to prove it (although there are not many photos in general this week owing to the difficulty involved in taking photos whilst wearing Expedition Weight gloves). Fortunately the gloomy weather meant that the fair wasn’t too dense with potential drool flinging victims-- although I did manage to stop at the hot chocolate stand and bay vigorously for some refreshment before trying to help Elizabeth select a nice, new hat to try on. My humans would like to return to the fair when there are two of them to manage me so we can get some additional photos of this colorful event (and Elizabeth does actually need another hideous but warm winter hat to accessorize her Michelin Man parka).
Well tomorrow the forecast around here is for SNOW—something that delights me and horrifies my humans. For example on Wednesday the field on which I had the snow zoomies and nearly managed to pull Elizabeth over on barely had even an inch. Imagine what I can do with increased accumulation! To say nothing of the ice!
Now here in the Big Apple--which reminds me, on Wednesday, too, Elizabeth was trying to eat an actual apple, very unsuccessfully as it turns out. I like apples. But I digress. Here in the big city, as in the rest of the country, the Christmas season is one of tradition. In my case, it is the tradition of trying to pee on Christmas trees, of wearing my green seasonal ruff with bells, of inspecting the Christmas shopping of total strangers, of caroling at the Christmas Fair, etc.
But I also like to review my past holiday blog posts and I usually republish my “Night Before Christmas.” However, on this date in 1843, Charles Dickens published “A Christmas Carol” and therefore I think that it is fitting to republish my own version from December 17, 2010, #193. But before I do, it comes with a caveat—the post is a tad harsh on the investment banking community (NB: both my humans have Wall Street jobs in their backgrounds), which hardly seems charitable in this season of peace. But Dickens wasn’t too nice about Ebenezer Scrooge either so it is in this spirit that the post was written. But as a Hound I carry no special animus towards anybody (well, except maybe Wilbur the Gordon Setter)—I will fling drool, bay at and shed and stink up everyone without a trace of discrimination. Anyway, in the spirit of Dickens, here is:
Jacob Marley: Ebenezer Scrooge! Wake up! I have an urgent communication for you.
Scrooge: Jacob Marley! But you’re dead! You fell into a crevasse on that “You too can climb Mt. Everest” holiday for rich, middle-aged investment bankers.
Jacob Marley: Don’t rub it in. One bad vacation decision and poof, done! I knew I should have gone for that white water rafting down the Zambezi thing. But anyway, that’s not why I am here. The Big Boss doesn’t think you’ve been behaving very well.
Scrooge: Don’t tell me it’s about sending that idiot Cratchit off to China to work on the Beijing deal during Christmas?
Marley: No, not that. He had a choice after all.
Scrooge: If you think he had a choice then you haven’t met the second Mrs. Cratchit. She’s a twenty-five year old former model and she tends to re-evaluate her marital options when she doesn’t get what she wants. And this year she wants Santa to bring her a house in Aspen and a villa in St. Barth’s. And of course little Tim costs a bundle too--he needs a day nanny and a night nanny and a traveling nanny. Mrs. Cratchit says she’d rather not give him too much Ritalin and so it’s better for him to be cared for by people who know what they are doing.
Marley: Well I guess some of us do adventure holidays and some of us do models. Diversity is after all it what makes the world of investment banking so interesting.
Scrooge: Then why are you here? I think I’ve been behaving well---I haven’t assured a client once today that his business is the firm’s highest priority, or made a junior associate cry—I even gave them a few hours off for Christmas! —or claimed my mistress was really Steve Jobs on my expense report—at least not this week—or bribed a research analyst, or threatened to emasculate our compliance officer. So what’s the problem? I hope this isn’t going to affect my bonus or anything. That would be even worse than your crevasse escapade!
Marley: No, I’m afraid we’ve had a much more serious complaint about you.
Scrooge: How could anything be more serious than the stuff I usually get up to?
Marley: Well apparently you’ve hired Cesar Millan to train your Hound.
Scrooge: The little Mexican guy with the TV show? Is he in trouble with immigration?
Marley: No. Apparently your Hound is peeved.
Scrooge: And this is a problem why?
Marley: Well spell the Big Boss’ name backwards and you’ll understand. He loves all creatures great and small, but has a special soft spot for Hounds since he created them to keep humans humble and in their place.
Scrooge: OK, so I’ll fire the Millan guy. Things weren’t going too well anyway; especially after Millan told him to sit and T-Bill peed on his leg and stole his lunch.
Marley: I’m afraid it’ s not so simple, so I’ll cut to the chase---each night for the next three nights you will be visited by a ghost who will explain everything.
Scrooge: But won’t I get to see you again?
Marley: Oh I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other again soon. Especially if you buy that Ferrari you’re thinking about.
Hound of Christmas Past: Ebenezer Scrooge! Get your lazy dog training ass out of that bed immediately!
Scrooge: Hey. You’re pretty cute. Are you any relation to T-Bill by any chance?
HoCP: Of course I’m cute. I’m a Hound you dog training imbecile! And yes, T-Bill is one of my descendants. Before I was the Hound of Christmas Past I was Ch. If You Have It I Want it.
Scrooge: OK, but where are we going?
HoCP: In general, the answer to that is “wherever I feel like towing you,” but specifically we are going to take a look at a happy Christmas from your childhood. Grab this leash and hang on. I don’t want another trip to the emergency room.
Scrooge: Look! That’s my childhood home. Boy it was small—I bet it’s under 3000 square feet! And no marble baths or granite countertops or Jacuzzis either.
HoCP: Cease babbling you dog training toad! We’re not here to discuss real estate.
Scrooge: But I’m from New York! And you know the old saying, the bigger your apartment’s square footage the bigger your….
HoCP: Funny, I’ve always observed the opposite. Now, what do you see?
Scrooge: What a mess! There seem to be ornaments missing from the tree and the wrapping are off half the packages. And there’s a strange puddle under the tree branches! And the couch cushions are held together with tape.
HoCP: Now to the kitchen you pompous dog training twit.
Scrooge: It’s my mother! She’s preparing Christmas morning breakfast. Or trying to. The family Hound seems to be snatching some key ingredients. I always wondered why we never had any bacon.
HoCP: And is she hiring Cesar Millan?
Scrooge: No. She’s laughing.
HoCP: Now to the bedroom you sniveling dog training wimp.
Scrooge: It’s me! And I’m sleeping on the floor just like I remember. Our family Hound used to shove me there in the middle of the night so he could stretch out.
HoCP: Exactly. And now you know why you’ve never had to see a chiropractor. Well that’s it for me you monstrous dog training waste of protoplasm. I’ve got a meal to steal.
Hound of Christmas Present: Wakey wakey Ebenezer before I put my cold wet nose down the old pajama bottom and have a good moist sniff.
Scrooge: No! Please don’t do that! T-Bill did that last month when I was late for his walk and I still have nightmares about it. And speaking of whom, you look like him too.
HoCP: Yes, I am another relative, Ch. If I See It It’s Mine. Well now we are going to look at the dreadful present that you’ve created.
HoCP: Would it matter if he could?
Scrooge: No, I suppose not. It’s one of the reasons I hired Cesar Millan. There he is, trying to train T-Bill!
Cesar Millan: I am the pack leader.
T-Bill: And I can flap my ears and fling drool at the same time.
Cesar Millan: Wipe! I am calm and assertive.
T-Bill: And I make people crazy and frustrated. Wanna see?
Cesar Millan: I am the leader and you are the follower.
T-Bill: Don’t care if you are the man in the moon, I’m off to shred something valuable unless we spend the day in the park.
Cesar Millan: I’m going to put you on your side and make you submit.
T-Bill: Don’t mind if I do but while you’re doing that could you rub my belly? See the thing is, I actually don’t care if you think that you are the pack leader or are calm and assertive, or are the dominant one, etc. It’s all the same to me. I just do what I want to do. I am a Hound.
HoCP: Now does T-Bill look happy? Wouldn’t he rather be dragging you around the park?
Scrooge: I don’t have time. I am too important. I hire people to look after him.
HoCP: But he feels that making the life of your employees miserable is not the same as making yours miserable. It makes him unhappy. And whatever makes a Hound unhappy is inherently wrong.
Scrooge: But he has his own room! And it’s filled with expensive toys.
HoCP: But they’re his toys. Where’s the sport in playing with those! He needs your toys and your time to fulfill his Houndly nature.
Hound of Christmas Future: Awake you dog training pustule. I am the Hound of Christmas Future and I wait for no man.
Scrooge: Another of T-Bill’s relatives I presume?
HoCF: Yes, Ch. You Talkin To Me not at your service.
Scrooge: OK, what are you going to show me?
HoCF: Observe! It is Christmas some years hence.
Scrooge: I hope it’s before I total the Ferrari and die.
HoCF: Well we thought of showing you that but we’ll leave that sort of thing to Dickens. Anyway, we have something much worse.
Scrooge: Worse? But this looks like a fun party!
HoCF: Notice anything?
Scrooge: The apartment and the furniture are all white and unblemished.
HoCF: Disgusting isn’t it? It’s simply not organic.
Scrooge: And the table appears laden with wonderful aromatic food. And the food is staying in place.
HoCF: Appalling waste!
Scrooge: And I have a real Christmas tree!! And there are presents under the tree! And real candy canes are hanging from the branches. And nicely dressed people are sitting around. And it’s so quiet. There’s no baying. And people aren’t shrieking “Go away!’ and ‘Get off me!” and ”Get me a towel!” and “I was eating that!”
HoCF: And you know your local dry cleaner had to close his store because of the drop in business. It’s now a Duane Reade.
Scrooge: But where is T-Bill?
HoCF: Cesar Millan took him away to the Dog Psychology Center.
Scrooge: There’s me! How come I’m so fat?
HoCF: Without T-Bill to chase after and endlessly walk and share your food you started putting on weight.
Scrooge: I don’t think ‘share’ is the right word.
HoCF: A technicality. The point is you’ve had to forget about all those double breasted Italian jobs you used to wear.
Scrooge: I loved those suits! They made a real statement.
HoCF: What statement was that?
Scrooge: “I make more money than you do.” Of course T-Bill loved those suits too which is why I had to buy so many.
HoCF: The company that made them went out of business too. But I have saved the worst for last.
Scrooge: It’s me talking to my guests. But what’s that on my lap!?
HoCF: It’s a toy poodle!
The next morning…
Scrooge: Hello, Cesar? Yes. Scrooge here. Yes. T-Bill’s human. Listen it’s not working out. I’ve decided to go another way. Yes, I thought you’d think that was good news. T-Bill! Stop shoving! This is not your bed! Well, OK, not all of it is your bed. Here have my croissant and Merry Christmas!
I love stories with a happy endings—we Hounds usually do since we strive to make all our endeavors end happily. At least for us.
Anyway, Happy Friday 13th—not to worry, anyone lucky enough to have a Hound has paid their Friday 13th dues for the forseeable future!
Well happy shopping (and good luck hiding it from your Hound)
Until next time,
Wimsey, the Hound of Christmas “Oh No! What’s He Done Now!”