"the" Mrs. Astor

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I donate a lot of time to a lot of causes here on South Beach, but--obviously--one of my favorite causes is the annual dachshund festival. I love dogs, as everyone knows, but a dachshund owner is a particular case. The dachshund actually owns the human; they are the controlling factor in the relationship.
Every year I volunteer my time to entertain the dogs; the fact that their humans are amused is secondary. This year, the organizers talked me into being the dachshund fortune teller. Leopoldo made me a fantastic turban, complete with cape.

I don't know what I did, but there developed a great fun in my reading of dog fortunes; I ended up having as much fun as the humans. There was an inherent basis of camp that formed.

The frame of the dachshund is particularly given to back problems, and there were many handicapped dogs in attendance.

I began my work for the Dachshund Festival several years ago at the behest of my friend, David Hart Lynch. It was then that I realized that the dachshund human was another breed of human; that creature thought of its dog as an equal. David didn't attend last year's event because of the sudden death of his beloved child, Cloeh, but he was back yesterday. Without him, Ruth and myself wouldn't have been able to pull it off this year.

I started with some cheat notes, but quickly learned that all one needed was to size up the patient. A chubby dog "Knew the value of a good meal", a skittish one "...was anxious always to please his human with new tricks.", and a calm one "...thought only to please his human." Add to this the occasional prediction that they would have a TV show or become an Olympic pole vaulter, and you had a satisfied audience.

Leopoldo, who stood beside me for the two, tortuous hours, noticed this first. In the long line to have the fortunes read, the children were the most fascinated. They looked into the chrystal ball and several asked how I could see the future in such a cloudy formation; I always replied that it was what you sensed in the dog, that the dog actually told the future, and that the dog ruled. They ate it up, as did their parents.

Ruth Remington, the long-time organizer of the festival, told me today that they had never had lines for the fortune teller, that she always had to be on the bull horn asking for people to bring their dogs up. Many asked what was behind the chrystal ball and I say, "A cocktail from Mr. Astor."
In the end, I learned that it was all show ("something you knew all along, Dorothy"). It meant a basic knowledge of human and dog nature, a fabulous outfit, and some jewels. Maybe I should be in Washington.


At 1:59 PM, Blogger Tom said...

You look spectacular! Bravo.

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Ruth R. said...

Hey Alexis, you were a superstar. Love the insight into your mystical ways!


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