Friday, October 24, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 90
October 24, 2008

Hello everyone, Wimsey the Über Hound here (Über Hounds are just like regular Hounds only much, much worse) coming to you from the nippy and zippy Upper West Side of Manhattan. We are having a bit of chilly weather (frisky!) which has sent my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth scurrying for the LL Bean outerwear catalog. They read LL Bean like most women read Vogue—it’s the kind of thing that happens to you when you have to spend a good part of your waking hours tramping around outdoors over the 800 acres of Central Park with a vigorous outdoorsman such as myself. Of course I am a vigorous indoorsman too which is why I suspect we spend so much time outdoors. Consequently this week Elizabeth visited that New York temple of high fashion, Paragon Sports, to explore replacing one of her many Hound jackets. She came back brimming with new fashion ideas, including some thoughts on a new winter chapeau—she is determined (in spite of much snickering on the part of Maria) to buy a trapper hat. I am excited about the prospect of the trapper hat as I think it would look a lot better in my mouth (or anywhere else for that matter) than on Elizabeth’s head. And she also managed to purchase a new pair of extra capacious jeans in order to accommodate her elegant (LL Bean) long underwear that she wears for cold weather Hounding activities. Maria, however, pronounced the jeans less than flattering to the tush. Now her opinion would have carried a lot more weight had she not been wearing a man’s Hanes tee shirt and baggy jeans at the time. But Elizabeth says not to worry, the rest of her clothes are so big that her tush is never visible anyway. I don’t know, personally I find badly dressed smelly women quite alluring but it might be an acquired taste. Perhaps the ladies could use some fashion help.

What Not to Wear Hound Edition

Stacy London: Today we are in New York City to create a whole new wardrobe for Maria and Elizabeth, two women who claim to be making poor fashion choices because of a Hound. Who put the Hound in charge anyway?

Clinton Kelly: He claims to rule by Divine Right. But he was kind enough to nominate them for a fashion makeover.

Stacy London: Let’s look at the secret footage. We have been secretly filming them for two weeks.

Clinton Kelly: Here are Maria and Elizabeth being dragged by Wimsey through Central Park.

Stacy London: Look at those unflattering jeans! And those large warm waterproof jackets with hoods! And those supportive flat shoes. They look so comfortable—like one could walk for miles in them! Hideous.

Clinton Kelly: And here are Maria and Elizabeth being dragged by Wimsey through Riverside Park.

Stacy London: But they’re wearing the same clothes! How could that happen!

Clinton Kelly: And now we see Maria and Elizabeth being dragged by Wimsey down Columbus Avenue.

Stacy London: The same clothes again! Quick catch me I’m going to faint!

Clinton Kelly: Well to be fair, I only think they look like the same clothes. It’s hard to tell. But they do seem to have a very defined sense of style. It certainly makes a statement.

Stacy London: Yes. They say “Wimsey.” But let’s look at all their current wardrobe. Hmm. What are these funny stains?

Clinton Kelly: I wouldn’t enquire too closely about those.

Stacy London: And all these holes! Let’s trash it all!

Clinton Kelly: I think Wimsey already took care of that part.

Stacy London: OK, let’s go shopping! Does that Hound have to come with us too?

Clinton Kelly: Of course. Wimsey supervises all aspects of his human’s lives.

Stacy London: First the shoes. Who were they wearing before?

Clinton Kelly: New Balance and Doc Marten.

Stacy London: I’ve never heard of those designers are they new? Here—look at these lovely Manolo stilettos!

Clinton Kelly: Wimsey likes those—but he thinks the heels are too high so he is converting them into flats.

Maria: But what happens to those shoes in the rain?

Stacy London: Rain? What rain? Who walks around outside when it’s raining. In fact who walks around in general. That’s what cabs are for. But speaking of not walking in the rain but being fashionably dressed for it anyway, let’s look at this lovely little trench. Such a nice ivory color, so flattering on the skin, so form fitting on the body.

Elizabeth: But can I bend down in it?

Stacy London: Why on earth would you want to bend down! That creates such an unflattering shape! And where did these brown stains come from—I don’t remember seeing those before!

Clinton Kelly: I wouldn’t inquire too closely about those stains either. Moving on, let’s try this lovely short pencil skirt.

Maria: Wimsey likes pencils. But can I trot in it?

Clinton Kelly: Trot? Why would you need to trot? The whole point of the skirt is to keep your legs together and give you a longer, leaner and curvier shape. And why is that dog’s nose under the skirt! He’ll rip it.

Maria: He’s investigating the construction. Also he’s never seen one of these before. He appreciates the air flow.

Stacy London: I think we need to introduce you to a different store—Paragon Sports! I hear they are having a sale on trapper hats.

Maria: OK, but can Nick Arrojo trim Wimsey’s whiskers?

Well fashion aside it has been a glorious week here in New York. Last Friday was Wimsey Bath Night which went off with its usual success and in addition to consuming copious quantities of bribing turkey followed by a cooked meal; I managed to snare some pizza. (“Wimsey’s just had a big meal—how much can he eat?”) (silly question--: “He’s a Hound! How much food is there?”). Now during the pizza eating and cocktail drinking the ladies were watching a new show about the Iditarod in honor of my friend Gus the Bloodhound of Alaska, which makes me think there should be an Iditarod for Hounds:

Hound Iditarod

Greg Heister: Hello Everyone. We are here for the opening of the Hound Iditarod.

Joe Runyan: Hey Greg, I notice the fans are keeping well back from the starting point.

Greg Heister: It’s the noise, the stench and the drool, Joe. Few people want to risk shattered ear drums and wet and stinky clothing. The say you can never really expunge the drool and the stink you know.

Joe Runyan: Well, it should be quite an exciting and arduous race. As you know Greg the regular Ididarod is 1150 miles but the Hound Iditarod, which some consider much more grueling is only 25 miles—and it could take weeks to complete!

Greg: That’s right Joe—getting a team of 12 Hounds to cover the course is very time consuming--- these animals never seem to want to go in the same direction. Last year one team ended up back at the starting line five times!

Joe: Isn’t it the musher’s job though to guide them?

Greg: Well ordinarily yes, but these are Hounds we are talking about and as we know they are genetically programmed not to take directions from humans. It’s due to a mutation on chromosome 4. Or so they say. And there are 12 of them to contend with!

Joe: I can’t imagine who would want to take on such a task. But 25 miles doesn’t seem that bad.

Greg: It takes a certain kind of idiot to want to run this race, that’s for sure. But then some people think that Hound owners are idiots—they are renowned for their fierce optimism (“Wimsey, come!) in the face of overwhelming odds where their Hounds are concerned. But 25 miles is in fact arduous when you consider that not only do the Hounds want to go in different directions but they also must extensively sniff the entire route—sometimes devoting an hour or more to a small patch of ground—also they take frequent breaks to mark all vertical surfaces, they chase animals, dig, stop to engage in vigorous ear flapping and practice choral singing And then of course there are the checkpoint activities that can leave the Hounds and their mushers exhausted.

Joe: What happens at the checkpoint Greg?

Greg: Well first of course the Hounds must eat. Then they must steal everyone else’s food—mushers have to be quick in this race to survive. Then the Hounds expend costly calories in drool flinging—fortunately Hound Goo is so viscous it doesn’t freeze. Then of course they like to greet checkpoint workers by knocking them all down, performing victory dances on their stomachs and drooling in their faces. And then too the Hounds are apt to get distracted by digging holes in the snow and chasing each other around. Following which they then collapse in a loud, snoring mass. Did you know that Bose noise canceling headphones are required pieces of equipment on this race? All in all the checkpoints are lively scenes and it can take considerable time and energy to get the Hounds up and going again, particularly if they are not in the mood. And sometimes it takes all day just to get them back in harness--they like to chew their harnesses and take off while the others are being hitched up?

Joe: Wow. I had no idea.

Greg: Few people do. That’s why they acquire Hounds.

Well anyway, on Sunday I got an opportunity to undo all the good work of Wimsey Bath Night during another arduous trek through Central Park’s North Woods. In addition to rolling about in delightfully filthy leaves and getting myself covered in a wide assortment of seeds (I am the Wimsey Appleseed of the North Woods) I discovered a most interesting structure—The Block House! The Block House is a small fort and is the oldest structure in Central Park. During the War of 1812 (the second Napoleonic War to the rest of the world) New Yorkers built fortifications on the southern tip of Manhattan believing that the British would attack the harbor. However, when the British attacked Stonington Connecticut instead, a panic filled the city as people realized that the attack could come from the undefended north. Under the guidance of General Joseph Swift citizens of all degrees raced to help build this fort to defend the northern reaches of the city. According to historian Edward Hall they encompassed “every conceivable class of men: the Society of Tammany, the students of Columbia College, medical students, the Marine Society, the Society of Tallow Chandlers, butchers, members of the bar, Free Masons, firemen, Sons of Erin, colored citizens..” A true New York moment. But of course Hall neglected to include my ancestor Palladio Wimsey who is credited with the clean, simple design of the Fort. Unfortunately we do not have a painting of the event for The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art’s collection, so you will have to make do with pictures of me at the Fort and imagine Palladio Wimsey inspecting the work of his men. When the work was finally completed in 1814 Palladio himself christened the building in the manner customary with male Hounds of the Wimsey family.

The other exciting news this week is that Elizabeth is having allergy testing—she thinks it would be fitting if I am the source of her sinus trouble. However as my ancestor Hippocrates Wimsey (First, do some harm) used to say, all human ailments can be traced back to insufficient time spent scratching, feeding and being dragged about by a Hound. I have written her a prescription.

Well that’s pretty much all I have time for this week between the large number of my indoor and outdoor activities (the ladies frequently debate whether it is better to have one’s shoulder dislocated on the street or one’s bones broken on the couch) but never fear, I will have more to say next week. We Hounds are never silent.

Until next time,

Wimsey, Fashion Hound


Edie and Gus said...

Hello Wimsey!
Did you know your blog received a standing ovation and loud cheering from our house?? We are all thrilled that Elizabeth & Maria watched the Iditarod show, since my youngest human is a dog musher.

Now, I do want to say that you have caused a bit of a problem around here. We have yet another 6 inches of new snow, and I was REALLY hoping the dog sled would not come out, but alas, the jig is up. You have inspired a new round of "Gus should really learn to pull a sled" (Amanda) and "How bad could it possibly be?" (Amanda) and "You're not getting ME in that sled!!" (Alyssa) and "This time we will take lots of pictures for Wimsey!!" (Edie) Great. So now there will be actual photo documentation of the humiliating event. I shall fling drool upon the camera!

Now, Alyssa and Amanda do have some advice for Elizabeth while she is in the mood for shopping for hound-proof winter clothing. They want her to know that Carhartt brand is the only way to go! That's what EVERYONE wears in Alaska. Usually it is adorned with silver duct tape. No kidding. Elizabeth needs the brown, traditional Carhartt jacket and the matching brown, quilt-lined pants. Nothing like a little extra padding. The brown lends itself nicely to camouflaging drool stains, dirt, oil and anything else for that matter.

Next, trapper hats. Well, guess who loves trapper hats?? Alyssa & Amanda. Edie refers to them as "Elmer Fudd" hats. Alyssa wears her dad's silver fox hat, and Amanda has her very own beaver hat. (Which I tried to kill while it was on her head awhile back, I may add.) She now wears it with great caution... I can imagine that real fur hats might be frowned upon in Manhattan, so the girls want Elizabeth to be sure to get one that is fake fur, and that looks just like what Wimsey is wearing! In Alaska, they are generally fox or beaver, and very, well, fluffy looking. Elizabeth should be forewarned though- wearing an animal, or even a pretend animal, on your head while in the company of a bloodhound is very, very dangerous.

Maria- keep the camera nearby. We all want to see the photos when it happens...

Your friend,
Gus, Chillin' Alaskan Bloodhound

Bentley said...

Oh yes, Carhartt is good. My human dad wears that. Seems human mom didn't get the memo, and she's got another brand of navy blue insulated coveralls.

She's also got a balaclava that's good for keeping the whole face warm & covered.

Anyway, as usual, the humans were highly amused while reading. I do appreciate, Wimsey, that your reports help remind my humans that I am not unusual in any way for a hound, and the things I do are not out of line for a hound!

Bernie said...

Hey Wimsey,
I love the What Not to Wear Hound Edition--hilarious. Don't people know that it's not high fashion unless accented with rope drool? Seriously. Luckily Mom doesn't need fur hats in DC. Since Christmas is only a few months away, I worry that the dreaded antlers will reappear and I will once more be subjected to the humiliation...

Anonymous said...

Hey Wimsey
Great post, your doggy reminds me of the dog of the Dukes of Hazzard ;)