July 4, 2014
Happy July 4th Everyone! It’s me, Wimsey coming to you from my rained out barbecue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Not to worry—it has been postponed until tomorrow and I am to have an entire piece of salmon from the fancy fish store—that is if my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth can figure out how to work the barbecue thing-y without burning down the yard.
I have been absent so long that I am sure many of you thought that I would never return. But as my humans know, it is not so easy to get rid of me. When we were last together, Elizabeth was going to leave me for ten days to go hang out with clients and friends in the UK and Tuscany. Now I must say that I am usually a very easy-going and agreeable Hound but when something Displeases me I will admit that my behavior undergoes an alteration that is not always to the liking of my humans. So when Maria started taking me out for my midday walk instead of Elizabeth I was extremely Displeased. This led to numerous emails and texts flying across the pond mostly on the subject of how I was taking my displeasure out on Maria. I admit I may have ignored Maria a bit by refusing to acknowledge her presence and always turning my back on her when we were in the same room. Also, I stared at the door when she came in to let her know that she was not the correct human. She also was only able to administer my eye ointment and clean out my ears on two occasions during the ten days. And I may have towed over to Elizabeth’s building on each of my four walks a day. I was also listless and depressed, but who among us would not be when a treasured servant leaves us?
Elizabeth got back around 6-ish last Thursday and she immediately went around the corner to Fairway to grocery shop. This meant that when I came out of my building at 6:45 her scent was all over the place meaning that I engaged in furious nose twitching. Although I was cruelly prevented from following her scent to the shops, I did the next best thing and parked my bottom on a park bench across from her building. Maria had to summon Elizabeth from her unpacking—it was all “You have to come out. He knows that you’re in there and he’s not leaving.” And what a joyful reunion it was! So much slobber, so much baying. Then I sat on her.
Elizabeth did send me some pictures from Tuscany, including a photo of a lovely boar that was on the grounds of the spa of the thermal spring whose laxative waters she was supposed to drink. Fortunately she just sipped a bit but all the toilet talk among her fellow invitees made her feel like she had never left me. (Did I mention that my humans have an inexhaustible ability to discuss my eliminatory activities?). My ancestors hunted juicy boar and I was very disappointed that she did not bring one back for me. But apart from the fact that I was not there (or maybe because of it) she had a lovely time and got to wear real-person clothes and not Hound clothes and even got to wear shoes with heels! (There is a pair of white trousers in her closet with my name on them!), She actually had many fascinating conversations that were not about me (a contradiction in terms if ever there was one), admired some decorative men (fortunately they were taken—I would NOT have approved) and ate her weight in gelato (for which I am intensely jealous; it is after all the fact that I am the gelato-eater of the group that keeps my humans’ clothes fitting the way that they are supposed to).
Anyway, absent an actual juicy boar, I think that statue would have looked great in my yard. Kind of like Hound food porn. And speaking of the yard, our friend Ilonka came to visit to give her opinion on it. Sadly, Elizabeth was away at the time but both humans were happy to know that according to Ilonka the yard isn’t being overrun by weeds—all those things they keep cutting back on are actual plants. Ilonka knew the names of them but Maria was not able to remember the name of a single one when Elizabeth asked (gardening, I fear, being right up there with learning to use the barbecue. Good thing I like raw salmon). However, my humans already know the names of the plants: this is the plant that Wimsey likes to eat, this is the plant that Wimsey likes to nap on instead of on his kuranda bed, this is the plant that Wimsey likes to dig up, this is another plant that Wimsey likes to eat, etc.…
But my humans should know that I would never condescend to eat and nap on weeds. As you may have surmised, the continued shunning of the expensive kuranda bed continues unabated. But we are now back to all having Saturday night dinner in the yard. This is preceded by mixed nuts with wine or cocktails which means that eating the nuts is preceded by my humans having to feed them to me, one nut at a time as I prefer. One must savor each one to the fullest. And on the subject of cocktails, those who read this blog know that on Elizabeth’s last trip (Maui) she came back with a recipe for mai tais. This time she came back with a recipe for an aperitif called an Italian Spritz (prosecco, aperole, club soda and orange slice) that have formed the basis of a new round of alcoholic experiments. But as I always remind her, drinking a mai tai on a Hawaiian beach or an Italian spritz at a tony hotel in Tuscany is not the same thing as drinking them in a small, ugly yard surrounded by buildings and containing an intrusive, drool-flinging Hound. And she wonders why they never taste the same.
Anyway, not many picture this week as Elizabeth (my photographer) came home with a pile of work and the weather has been too hot for my usual extended walks. I am an air conditioning kind of guy and tried to hide when my cooling coat made its first appearance of the season. But these projects that Elizabeth is so preoccupied with seem to involve a lot of writing. Since I taught her everything she knows about writing I am sure it is a challenge for her to write business English which is supposed to feature short, active declarative sentences—the opposite of how I write! So it occurred to me that these short, active declarative sentences are vastly overrated and we have only to read The Declaration of Independence to know why. Long sentences and passive constructions have never read so well. But would The Declaration sound like if it were written in a more modern style?
TO: King George III, CEO British Empire
FROM: The Founding Fathers
DATE: July 4, 1776
RE: Termination for Cause
Dear Royal Highness,
It is with deep regret that I must inform you that human events sometimes make it necessary for new Managements to dissolve political bonds with former Managements. The new Management must exercise its right to the separate and equal station to which they are entitled by both the Laws of Nature and the Laws of God (to which, I believe we both fully subscribe). Nevertheless, the new Management does feel that it is incumbent upon it, in the spirit of fairness and transparency, to provide you with the rationale behind our recent acquisition of your colony and of your subsequent dismissal as CEO. We assure you that, appearances to the contrary, these actions were not hasty nor poorly thought out. We think that in the end this will be a win-win for both parties.
Firstly, we here, at The United States, Inc. (formerly, The Colonies, Ltd.). believe the following:
1. Our Creator endowed us with a variety of highly important inalienable rights that apply across the board to the entirety of mankind. We feel that this is an important point to make since we also believe that Our Creator created all men (even those whose family connections enabled them to hold CEO positions in vast empires) equal.
Pursuit of Happiness
Furthermore, we believe that the mission of Managements is to ensure that these inalienable rights are available to all shareholders and that fulfillment of this mission underpins a Management’s very existence. When Managements fail in this mission, (as we believe you have), shareholders have the right (endowed, as are all rights referred to herein, by The Creator, whether or not so specified) to alter or replace those Managements with one better aligned with their interests and better qualified to promote Safety and Happiness.
Rest assured, therefore, these actions have not been taken lightly and our failure to act in the past is more a reflection of a natural inertia than our acquiescence to your unfortunate policies. Our current actions result from a long string of what we feel are abuses and usurpations on your part which we have no choice but to view as a desire by you to exercise unacceptable despotic rule. We believe that we have been more than patient with these tyrannical antics, but now feel that we have both a right and a duty to remedy the situation.
We have specifically documented the following failures on your part:
1. You have refused to support laws and policies that we believe are necessary for the public good.
2. You have declared that laws cannot be passed without your prior approval but have then remained unresponsive to our requests for such approval.
3. You have engaged in bullying tactics verging on blackmail by refusing to give your approval to various laws unless those making them allow you to rule instead.
4. You have called management meetings at locations and at times that you knew would make attendance impossible.
5. You have repeatedly fired people who disagreed with you.
6. You have refused to replace those that you fired which has resulted in a massive power vacuum that left shareholders vulnerable to hostile takeovers by competing French, Spanish and Native American interests.
7. You have repeatedly shot down all our attempts to promote personnel growth and real estate expansion that we believe are highly desirable.
8. You have blocked our attempts to establish a judicial system and insisted that you hire all judges and that your office pay their salaries in order to control them.
9. You expanded your military presence here without our consent and for the sole purpose of intimidation and harassment and then forced us to feed them as well.
10. The military mentioned in #9 refused to obey civilian authorities, and as a result of your direct encouragement they placed themselves above the law.
11. You tried to single handedly replace us with a bunch of hand picked associates who agreed with your ideas.
12. Again, we must recur to those troops that you sent who were expensive and not only were not value added but actually engaged in criminal activities for which they were not punished.
13. You cut off our global trading capacities
14. You unilaterally imposed taxes.
15. You deprived us of jury trials and had dissenting stockholders deported for fictitious crimes
16. You wanted us to become part of Canada
17. You unilaterally revoked laws and altered our management structure and attempted to micromanage all governance without consulting us.
18. You waged war on us causing a tremendous amount of property damage and loss of life.
19. You sent vast armies and groups of mercenaries to subdue us when you were unable to win your arguments. The words perfidy, cruelty and barbarous have been variously used to describe your conduct and those of your henchmen. We believe that your conduct is incompatible with civilization.
20. You forced our sailors to work on your warships, killed a large number of people (a point that bears repeating), encouraged our enemies to attack us, etc. We found this conduct profoundly unhelpful.
I apologize in advance for the redundancy of several of these points, but we feel rather strongly about them and should you feel this list is insufficient or require more information we would, of course, be happy to supply it. We believe that the current list is of sufficient merit, however, to warrant your immediate termination.
Rest assured that we have tried on multiple occasions to contact you with reference to the matters listed above, but you have always been unavailable. We also attempted to discuss these matters with your representatives but these discussions proved unproductive. We have reluctantly concluded that your continued position with us is no longer tenable or to our mutual benefit. We suggest that therapy or counseling may prove useful and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
We therefore, as the New Management of the newly formed entity, The United States of America, Inc. declare that we are a free and independent entity and no longer have any relationship with our former CEO, His Majesty George III. We refer all future inquiries to his lawyers.
Management will now be solely responsible for such operations as declaring war, concluding peace, contracting alliances, establishing commerce, etc. that were previously the responsibility of our former CEO. We want to assure the public that we are all heavily invested in the new enterprise and have pledged our lives, fortunes and honor to it and believe that these assets, together with Divine Providence are more than sufficient to ensure a successful outcome. Please find below the signature of representatives of our thirteen new subsidiaries who look forward to serving you in the future.
The Founding Fathers
Well you get the idea. Perhaps I will be able to help Elizabeth with her business writing after all.
Anyway, Happy July 4th everyone!
Until next time,