I would have called this one “Hamptons Part Two,” but this is The Hamptons, and doesn’t writing it in French make this blog so much more sophisticated? Yup, it sure do.
We’re on our way to the Animal Rescue Fund to see if we can find a dog for my cousin to adopt. There’s been a fair amount of debate about exactly what would be the perfect dog, but as far as I know, there’s been no consensus. To pass the time on the way to the pound (it’s probably not a “pound” in the Hamptons, but that’s how I think of it), we start counting Range Rovers. We count twenty-three in just over half a mile. Although the Range Rover is supposed to be a superb off-road vehicle, it seems as though none of these has ever seen any dirt. They are sparkly-warkely clean, and they look just spiffy. I’m sure if you surveyed the drivers you’d find at least two guys named Biff and at least one girl named Buffy or Candy. No time to find out; we’re on a mission to find a dog. Arriving at ARF (when I saw the sign, I couldn’t help but make barking noises. Perhaps I shouldn’t have come), we park my cousin’s Prius among the Range Rovers, Jags, and Mercedes and proceed to the shelter. The lobby could be for a hotel except for the makeshift pen in the middle of the floor, where they are displaying a puppy of indeterminate breed. Women are oohing and ahhing over this little bundle of puppy love, and as I look around, I see Louise headed for the cat section. I’ve been to a lot of pounds in my day, but never one like this. The cat section is its own wing. Right away I can tell that this pound is extraordinarily well funded. I start to wish that I were an abandoned animal. I should also mention that this is a no-kill shelter—they do not kill any of the animals. The dogs are kept in giant enclosures with plenty of room to run around in their pens, and shelters that could be featured on the TV show Tiny Houses. While standing next to my cousin, I look outside and see a family headed into the building. I turn to my cousin and say, “Geez, that guy looks just like Paul McCartney.” When the family enters, I think Holy Crap, that really is Paul McCartney! Now, I’m not a celebrity kind of guy. I’ve eaten lunch next to Eddie Murphy, I’ve met Cyndi Lauper, I’ve had coffee with Bowser from Sha Na Na, and I was once on the same side of the street as Demi Moore. No big deal. But this was freakin’ Paul McCartney. This guy wrote and performed a huge part of the soundtrack of my life. He’s a musician and I’m a musician, so we must be like brothers, right? I casually head to the cat section, because Louise will never forgive me if I let her miss this. When we get back to the lobby, it’s Louise’s turn to hold the little orphan puppy. As she stands there, Sir Paul comes over to talk to her about the little thing. I can’t hear what they’re saying, but they are both chuckling, so I guess it’s good. Paul has a medium-sized black dog on a leash, and my niece (whose name must not be mentioned as she doesn’t want to be in anyone’s blog) approaches the dog and tells her mom that Paul’s dog is a nice one and maybe they should adopt it. She thinks that Sir Paul is just walking one of the shelter dogs, and I can tell she has no idea who he is. (I later verified that she had no idea who he was but then, she’s only 30.) Paul immediately tells her, “No, no, that’s my dog,” and that he’s had the dog for two years. My niece loses interest and heads out to find a dog that’s adoptable. Eventually the ladies head out to tour the dog runs, and I’m left standing with Sir Paul and trying to play it cool—you know, like I see him every day. Eventually he turns to me and says, “You’d better keep an eye on your wife or you’ll be going home with a dog.” That breaks the ice, and we have a nice chat about dogs, the weather, and his dog. Perfectly normal conversation, and I’m ever so grateful I didn’t say something incredibly crass like “Aren’t you John Lennon’s bass player”? Finally, Paul leaves with his family and life returns to normal. Normal? Who am I kidding? That was SIR PAUL McCARTNEY, for crying out loud. People used to call Eric Clapton God, but that was because they weren’t standing near my guy. Not only a brilliant singer, performer, and writer, but in my mind at least, one of the best bass players who ever lived. Okay, maybe I am a celebrity kind of guy after all. There are celebrities and then there are the Beatles. ‘Nuf said. We tour the dog runs, and my cousin selects a cute little hound mix to sit with and see if they connect. They don’t, but I’m sure that with another trip or two we’ll find just the right one for her. In the meantime, I’m going to head back to Cape Cod and tell everyone about my new BFF—Paul McCartney! P. S. In no particular order, I think the five best bass players ever are: Paul McCartney, James Jamerson, Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten, and Jack Bruce. Some might choose John Entwistle and I wouldn’t disagree, but I said only five. And finally, no, Sting is never going to be on my list.