Monday, August 24, 2015

The Wizard Staff

Olga and I made it to Hampstead Heath yesterday morning, before the rain began. We found several peculiar mountains of trash just like this one, atop Parliament Hill. Is this merely a sign that the Heath was incredibly crowded during Saturday's beautiful weather, or was there some special event that generated such debris? (Mostly cans, bottles and food wrappers, from what I could tell. The aftermath of a massive, drunken picnic.)

Included in the trash were stacks of beer cans taped together to form a single long cylinder. I'd never seen this phenomenon before:

With the help of Google I learned that this is called a "Wizard Staff," and is the relic of a drinking game whereby people tape their empties together, drinking only from the topmost, full can. This way, they progressively build a staff while becoming a very Wise Wizard. (This dude -- and I'm about 90 percent sure it probably was a dude -- drank NINE large beers, which must have made him very wise indeed.)

Anyway, anthropological observations of picnicking aside...

...Olga and I had lots of fun walking, as usual. And then the rain came, by which time we were safe and dry at home. Dave and I watched a movie called "Chef" with Jon Favreau that we liked a lot, and then Dave took Olga out in the damp yard to play Kong while I cleaned the house, and Olga raced in to prance with muddy feet all over the newly cleaned, pristine white bedspread.

I could have killed her. But out of an abundance of patience, I only yelled at her to GET DOWN. (I wished I'd been sampling from my own Wizard Staff right about then.) I let the mud dry and vacuumed the bedspread last night before bed, which got the worst of it -- at least the loose bits -- before we went to sleep.

Ah, life with a dog.


  1. OMG...all that trash and that staff...makes frat parties seem benign...sorry about the bed spread...spmeone should have wiped muddy paws before letting her back inside.

  2. That tree in the picture looks like an ancient beast! It's so fabulous!
    Dogs. Yes. So you did, in fact and reality, removed the topsoil from your bedspread.
    Little boys do the same thing with muddy feet. Little boys and dogs are actually quite alike in many aspects.

  3. right?! life with a dog. they don't know muddy feet. and I love that tree!

  4. Loved that movie! Watched it on a plane to somewhere, thought the end was a bit sappy but now I want a food truck, and a little boy to help me. Interesting cool tree!

  5. What a horrible mess of garbage to have sitting up there where the view is so nice. I laughed at your comment about that guy being "very wise indeed". I'm sure he thought so.

  6. That tree in the last photo is amazing. It looks like a baby dinosaur.

  7. I've never heard of a wizard's staff - I'm going to have to tell Mike (although, being a beer snob, he usually buys his in bottles).

    That tree is really cool, but the picture with Olga in it is fabulous. Looks like an illustration for some fantasy book & a real wizard will walk into view at any moment...

  8. I can imagine nine is not uncommon. My now husband when he was my boyfriend used to go the students union at lunchtime, they'd have eight pints, and then happily go back to class. British drinking culture is a strange thing.