Author Gary Shteyngart’s dachshund wrote to BAM to express his canine concern about his owner at the upcoming Gary Shtenygart Roast, a “Friar’s Club style” roast where Mr. Shtenygart’s friends will take shots at the writer to mark the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the publication of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook.
“Last night, while my favorite human Gary Shteyngart was dripping gherkin juice and pickled cod balls onto his green polyester shirt, I noticed a tear trickling down his face,” wrote Felix the dachsund, in remarkably similar prose to his human owner. “I peered over his slumped shoulder and saw on the interwebs that in a couple weeks, some famous people are gathering at BAM to make fun of him.”
Mr. Shteyngart is known for his willingness to blurb books, and he is not shy about drumming up publicity for his books and events. If he weren’t so funny and clever in his tactics, we might take issue with it. But he is.
The full letter from Felix below:
Last night, while my favorite human Gary Shteyngart was dripping gherkin juice and pickled cod balls onto his green polyester shirt, I noticed a tear trickling down his face. I peered over his slumped shoulder and saw on the interwebs that in a couple weeks, some famous people are gathering at BAM to make fun of him. Not only that, you monsters are actually selling tickets to the public for this public humiliation of my friend. BAM staffers, I say to you: this small, furry excuse of a human being already suffers terrible asthma, an overabundance of gnarled body hair, and bouts of midnight gas. He has trouble buttoning his own shirts, doesn’t own a comb, and bribes his own MFA students to write his books. His hardship started years ago, first as a young Russian émigré tortured at Hebrew School, when he arrived in America speaking no English with a mere two shirts and a bear coat, and then again at New York City’s Stuyvesant High School, when his fellow immigrant teens would sabotage his Bunsen burner to get ahead. He struggled to make money in his 20s by writing grants for programs like “Torah Tots,” attempting to secure foundation money for the important purpose of introducing 3-year-olds to the murders and rapes of the Old Testament. In short I say to you, hasn’t Gary suffered enough? Why must you persecute him more? And also will this be live streamed on the web, so I can watch from the comforts of my luxury dog crate?
Felix the Dachshund