Friday, May 9, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 66
May, 9 2008

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey reporting from the soggy but sensational upper west side of Manhattan. Now personally, I don’t mind the rain so much—it can bring out some rather deliciously disgusting smells (and of course enhance my fine houndly odor)—but my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth channel the Wicked Witch of the West whenever it rains (and not just her aversion to water I might add, but we won’t go into that here lest I lose my computer privileges). And of course there is the issue of mud which can be surprisingly slippery when one is at the wrong end of a twenty foot leash with a 125 lb. wet and towing Hound.

But it has been an exciting week here in New York City, replete with a festive holiday, a celebrity sighting and some beautiful new plants. On the holiday front, Monday was Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that no one seems to know the reason for but which New Yorkers nonetheless embrace with their characteristic celebratory gusto. Any holiday that requires the drinking of margaritas whilst chowing down on high fat high carb food occupies a prominent place in the pantheon of desirable holidays.

New Yorkers are justly proud of the cultural diversity of the city, but when immigrants also bring fun holidays that entail the consumption of tasty food and booze they are embraced to an even greater extent. Few people know that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican independence day but that it commemorates a big victory by Mexican soldiers over the French (The French!!!) in 1862. Who knew that the French wanted to take over Mexico! (well I suppose the Mexicans did). Had they won I suppose we’d all be celebrating with tacos a l’orange washed down with a fine Bordeaux—so I think we had a lucky escape and I suspect that the guacamole engorged population of NYC would agree. Of course the fact that many actual Mexicans celebrate the holiday by selling chips and salsa to partying non-Mexicans is one of the cultural ironies that makes life in New York so entertaining.

Now since New Yorkers like to pretend to belong to everyone’s nationality in order to party, I think Hounds should have a holiday too. I know that every day is actually a Hound holiday—but on this one humans would get to be Hounds for a day. They could wear festive long ears, eat vast quantities of food, take loud naps and do and say exactly what they please (for employment reasons it is suggested that the holiday take effect only after business hours). There could be a big party in Central Park with group baying, hot dog stealing and mud rolling. Everyone’s a Hound on Hound Day!

But this week was also quite exciting in other ways too. The weather cleared up on Sunday and I went for another one of my 5 hour Central Park excursions. Elizabeth and I have been faithfully checking the Azalea Pond in the Ramble each week to see if any Azaleas choose to emerge and this week we were finally rewarded with the sight of them! We sat on a bench watching them grow and I managed to get my entire body onto Elizabeth’s lap-- I sat on her until she turned the color of the Azaleas. And the rest of the day was fabulous too—we met many people and dogs and while Elizabeth engaged in boring conversations I dug a hole in the bridle path and had a little nap.

But the meeting people thing didn’t get really interesting until later in the week during one of my early evening park walks. Mitt Romney (the former Republican presidential candidate for those who can’t remember back that far) stopped with some friends to pet and admire me. Of course Elizabeth had no idea who he was, being entirely clueless in the celebrity department, until Maria told her. (She assumes that everyone who looks vaguely familiar was probably a client from her Wall Street days—at least she didn’t try to discuss biotechnology with him). Of course if William Cecil or Cardinal Woolsey happened to be strolling through Central Park she would have recognized them instantly, but sadly 16th century English politicians are rather an uncommon sight.

Anyway, for those Democrats out there you can take heart that Mitt stopped to admire me, I did not stop to admire him. But of course I never do stop to admire humans, famous or not—Hounds admiring humans is a violation of the order of the universe (I do like his macho name, however. I am sure that if he’d been called Wimsey Romney instead of Mitt he would have ended up being a cost accountant or something). Maria did comment that he looked shorter in person, which is no surprise as standing next to a Majestic Hound is not exactly height enhancing. I mean I make Elizabeth look like she is a resident of Munchkin Land and Maria, who is quite statuesque, look like she should be shopping in the petite department. So celebrity politicians are apt to look less impressive by comparison as well. Some would say in more ways than one, but I am far too modest a Hound to mention it myself.

Now politicians are known for wearing funny hats and kissing babies, but meeting one makes me think they should also be kissing Hounds. Imagine a campaign rally with folks dandling their beagles for smooching (I too would like to be dandled but that would probably require someone, say, the size of Jason Taylor). And I also think that Hounds should be an integral part of the campaign process. Candidates should be presented with Hounds so the public can assess their characters—I mean if they can’t deal with a large stinky, drool flinging Hound, how are they possibly going to cope with all those difficult world leaders (The French!) and members of Congress? And their political skills could be excellently evaluated by watching them try to cajole and convince a reluctant Hound into doing something it doesn’t want to do. And the politicians could hone their debate skills on such important topics as “The Beagle or The Basset: Who is cuter?” and “Wimsey’s best feature: Ears or Wrinkles?” And of course the Hounds could make sure that they met all security requirements by nose wanding them. I myself excel at nose wanding—I do this to my humans whenever they come in from outside (you never know when they might be attempting to smuggle in important contraband—like food they don’t intend to share).

And my nose wanding expertise is an excellent basis for creating Air Wimsey —the airline that has absolutely no interest in pleasing you.

Security Hound: (snuffle snuffle): You are carrying food. Please place it in the dog bowl over there. Next!

Security Hound: (snuffle snuffle): You haven’t changed your underwear. Change it immediately and put the dirty pair in the bin next to the dog bowl. Next!

Security Hound: (snuffle snuffle): We have been informed of a plot to use children’s toys as weapons. Please stick them in the mouths of those Hounds over there. Next!

Security Hound: (snuffle snuffle): Take off your shoes and let me smell your feet. Lovely. Next!

Hound Pilot: Good afternoon. This is Captain Hubert speaking. I will be assisted in the cockpit today by First Officer Hubert. Overseeing your lack of comfort in the cabin will be Chief Purser Hubert. We will take off when I feel like it.

Passengers 1, 2 & 3: There seems to be a giant Hound lying across us!
Flight Attendant Hubert: Yes, I know. He likes to sleep the wide way.

Passenger 4: There’s kibble in this packet of peanuts.

Flight Attendant Hubert: Kibble is healthier than peanuts. That will be $10 please.

Passenger 4: Is there anything else to eat?

Flight Attendant Hubert: Well, there is raw liver on a bed of newly mown grass. But that is only in first class. We do have some more food back here and for $20 we’ll let you try to steal it.

Passenger 5: That snoring is deafening.

Flight Attendant Hubert: That’s Chief Purser Hubert. He’s had a busy day not taking care of you.

Passenger 5: But we haven’t even left yet!

Flight Attendant Hubert: Yes, I know. We set a high standard of non-service.

Passenger 6: What’s that smell?

Flight Attendant Hubert: First of all its fragrance, not smell. And were you referring to the flatulence or the Hound odor? The cabin is liberally supplied with both. This is Air Wimsey, after all.

Pilot Hubert: OK, I am in the mood to take off now. Please be advised that take off will cost you all $50 apiece—it’s not included in the price of your ticket. Strap yourselves in. If you can’t figure out how to use the buckle, you’re toast. We will be cruising at whatever altitude the overworked people on the ground tell us has no other airplanes in it. You will see absolutely nothing out of the window except clouds, but if you see one in the shape of a Hound, alert your flight attendant—we like to stop and admire those up here in the cockpit. Also, please don’t bother the flight attendants for anything else—it’s time for their naps and they don’t care about anything you want anyway. I will shortly be turning off the seat belt sign. Feel free to get up and give the flight crew a belly rub. Wimsey Airlines: It’s all about us and it shows!

Hmm… perhaps my airline sounds too much like all the rest of them. Maybe I can differentiate it by having my jets modified to use the kind of gas that I produce.

Well I have spent so much time in Central Park this week that our visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art is something of an homage to parks. We return again to the work of Vincent Van Gogh and his productive stay in Arles in the south of France (to where he no doubt fled to recover from the shock of France not being able to take over Mexico). Entrance to the Public Garden in Arles (Vincent Van Gogh, 1888, The Phillips Collection, Washington DC). Here again we see Van Gogh’s strong sense of line coupled with his mesmerizingly rhythmic brush strokes. And again we note with pleasure his use of the complimentary colors of blue and yellow. But we also notice a wonderful wide and open path that appears to be largely unused by any of Van Gogh’s volumetric figures. See how much more realistic the scene becomes as a large active Hound tracks some juicy animal into the gardens! Just like I do in Central Park. Entrance to Wimsey’s Garden’s in Arles.

Well time to get my humans rained on,

Until next time,

I am Wimsey and I approved this blog


spork_incident said...

and Maria, who is quite statuesque

This is true.

And raw liver would be an improvement.

For anything.


Louis Reginald said...


My name is Louis, a fellow dog blogger. We love your blog!

Want to play a dog blogger game of tag?

See this link for the rules!

Have fun,

Louis the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Sherry said...

you are just a perfectly perfect hound!