Entry # 83
September 5, 2008
Hello everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the still summery Upper West Side of Manhattan (or Hound on Hudson as I like to think of it). And I hope you all had as great a week as I have had. My human Maria had some painful dental work and decided that walking me whilst taking codeine was a quick ticket to the emergency room and did the prudent thing—she sent me off for a visit to her long suffering friend Elizabeth. Now Elizabeth is always long suffering not the least because I am in the process of destroying her shoulder, but also because she harbors the persistent delusion that she should be able to control me. Why she should believe this I have no idea as she has not a shred of evidence to support her belief. But nevertheless, my Labor Day weekend was all cooked meals, park walks and relaxing naps on her futon. Elizabeth’s Labor Day weekend was all cooking the meals, taking the walks and watching me nap on her futon. I think she had a fantastic time as she was in a wonderful mood when she finally returned me to Maria. And during the course of one of our weekend walks we were stopped by a young Russian woman accompanied by a 3 month old Harlequin Great Dane. The woman, eyeing the assortment of hound control equipment with which I am always decorated, asked “Does this dog listen to you?” When Elizabeth stopped laughing she snorted, “He’s a Hound.” Seeing the woman’s puzzled expression and cognizant of the fact that English was not her first language, Elizabeth expounded at great length on the fact that as a Hound the only thing that I was bred to be answerable to was my powerful nose and that in this respect, I Wimsey, was a particularly well bred animal. I am always happy to be used for educational purposes as long as it is not me who is expected to be educated.
Wimsey’s School of Socratic Houndship
Professor Wimsey: Class, what is this animal?
Class: It is a Hound.
Professor Wimsey: And why do Hounds exist?
Class: They exist to smell things.
Professor Wimsey: And why else do they exist?
Class: They exist to enjoy themselves.
Professor Wimsey: And how do they enjoy themselves?
Class: By making sure that humans do not enjoy themselves.
Professor Wimsey: And what are the hallmarks of Hound behavior?
Class: The destruction of property, the stealing of food, the monopolizing of furniture, and the flinging of drool.
Professor Wimsey: And what else are Hounds known for?
Class: They bay and they stink.
Professor Wimsey: And why do humans harbor Hounds?
Class: They’re dumb?
Professor Wimsey: That’s true, but it wasn’t the answer that I was looking for. Think again.
Class: They are very cute!
Professor Wimsey: Well done!
Well as you can see, it is one of the Great Mysteries of Life as to why humans admire Hounds. Personally I think it is because humans are very good about lying to themselves
Top Ten Lies People Tell Themselves About Hounds
He’s not disobedient; he’s just a slow learner.
Towing is good for his pectorals.
Drool stains are easy to remove.
It was my fault—I should not have left the (pick one: dinner, sandwich, shoe, glove, bra, sock, towel, sheet, pillow, book, couch) out.
Dogs have a natural instinct to dig.
Peeing on the plants will make them grow better.
He shoved me off the bed because he was trying to get close to me.
He steals the pillows because they have my scent.
Knocking me down is a sign of affection.
He loves me.
Anyway I did have a great week and I have included a video of me chewing a stick in Central Park. I do this whenever I suspect that my humans would like to go home and it is a wonderful diversionary tactic as nobody has the heart to take the stick away, especially as there are usually crowds of admirers watching the stick chewing with great interest and delight. But of course if my humans are hanging out with me in the park they are not watching the political conventions that have been on TV. I think that Hounds should also have their own party convention.
Hound National Convention
Chairman Wimsey: I call the Hound Platform Committee to order.
Hound Delegate: We don’t listen to orders.
Chairman Wimsey: OK. I declare the Platform Committee in session. We need to decide on the planks in the Hound Party Platform.
Hound Delegate: Can we pee on this platform?
Chairman Wimsey: No, the other party does that. We just build it.
Hound Delegate: Mr. Chairman, I wish to report that The Honorable delegate from the great state of Ohio is chewing up the “No Halti” plank.
Chairman Wimsey: There will be no chewing up of planks until they are all assembled! OK, so far we have:
A mandate to ban the use of all Haltis, Gentle Leaders, Prongs, Slip Chains, martingales, No Pull Harnesses (specifically but not limited to, The Easy Walk Harness, the Sensation Harness and the Dream Walker) and any piece of equipment developed by Cesar Millan, either now or in the future. We Hounds affirm our right to pull, tow, drag, yank, lunge, haul, lug, tug and jerk our humans. We affirm our belief that all heinous hound control equipment should be replaced by soft fabric collars, preferably of a flimsy nature.
Further we call for a ban on leashes under 20 feet in length.
Hound Delegate: Do we have a refrigerator plank?
Chairman Wimsey: Yes. We call for the liberation of refrigerators everywhere through the use of hands free doors that can be opened by a poke of the muzzle.
Also we call for the banning of discriminatory restrictions on access to all beds and pieces of furniture. Access ramps are mandated for small Hounds.
Hound Delegate: Are there any other planks in out domestic policy?
Chairman Wimsey: Yes. Toilet seat lids must be left in the “up” position at all times. And our transportation plank calls for unrestricted access to all forms of public transport and affirms out right to ride in the front cabin of airplanes. After all our tax dollars pay for these services and we should have access to them.
Hound Delegate: Do we pay taxes?
Chairman Wimsey: Our humans do and since what is theirs is ours it amounts to the same thing. Our tax policy calls for a 50% decrease in personal income tax with the savings to be automatically transferred to a Personal Hound Account whose funds can only be accessed to buy us toys, chews and treats. Also all expenses associated with our upkeep and pleasure are tax deductible.
Hound Delegate: Didn’t we have a plank last year banning humans from all forms of transportation under the theory that trips away from us were wholly unnecessary and a waste of tax payers’ money?
Chairman Wimsey: Yes, but we chewed up that plank because it was decided that it was simply more practical to have us accompany our humans. In fact we are considering adding an additional plank calling for laws against leaving a Hound alone for more than an hour a day.
Hound Delegate: And what about foreign policy? Do we get to invade anybody this year? You know ever since we Hounds accompanied Duke William of Normandy to invade England some of us have been itching to try it again. Perhaps we could invade Canada—they’re pretty close---and are unlikely to put up much of a struggle against an army of adorable Hounds.
Chairman Wimsey: No, Canada will have to wait; we re focusing our foreign policy this year on our ongoing struggle to achieve dominance over the cats.
Hound Delegate: I see--- a superpower struggle for world hegemony.
Chairman Wimsey: Yes. We will prevail over the Feline Enemy. Well to conclude this session, may I have a bay of acclimation, please?
I do so love politics! But as you know my talents are not limited to politics as I have a distinctly artistic and musical bent. This week our visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art combines both of these great loves. The Lute Player (Caravaggio, 1596, The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg). Now Caravaggio was kind of a crazy guy who got himself kicked out of a number of Italian cities for brawling (not easy to do in the rough and tumble times of the 17th century) but maybe it was this craziness that caused him to paint in a way that no one else had ever done before. Rather than using the idealized forms of the Renaissance or of some of the Mannerist painters who preceded him, Caravaggio employed naturalistic figures that looked like the real people they actually were (he painted from models). Caravaggio also pioneered the dramatic use of light that has come to be known as a hallmark of Baroque painting. He painted the lute painter in a rare period of tranquility while enjoying the patronage of an Italian cardinal and apparently liked the concept (or the model) so much that he painted three versions of it. Now this is a very beautiful picture and we notice immediately the shaft of light illuminating the face of the lute player. However, he seems to be alone, which is a shame and his fine wooden instrument appears to be an ideal shape for a good chew by a music loving Hound. Perhaps the Hound even accompanies the young lute player, who likely was a castrato with a soprano voice, with his fine bass baritone in exquisite harmony. We can almost hear the melodious voice of this magnificent Hound! Wimsey With a Lute Player.
Well time to go prepare myself for my evening’s activities-- there is a rumor going around that Elizabeth is bringing over some left over roast chicken and I must activate my taste buds.
Until next time,
I am Wimsey- and I approved this blog
Friday, September 5, 2008
Entry # 83
Posted by Wimsey at 2:49 PM