October 31, 2008
Hello everyone, it’s me Wimsey coming to you from the spooky and mysterious Upper West Side of Manhattan—a place so frightening that you never know when you will be suddenly ambushed by a giant Hound who is flinging ectoplasm and emitting an unearthly sound from his savagely pursed lips. Now there was some talk of dressing me up, but this was quickly squelched—by me. And my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth did think it would be fun to go trick or treating with me but then rethought this when they realized that Halloween is not actually supposed to be that frightening—and I might bring a whole new meaning to the word “trick” even after being placated with a treat. Also they were worried that I would take the treat part very much to heart and steal people’s entire stash. But this won’t stop my humans from dressing up as a pair of farm workers who have been captured and enslaved by a large wrinkly mammal possessed of mystical powers that enable him to get whatever he wants whenever he wants. And of course any treats they receive will automatically become my property as private property in the hands of others is a vastly overrated concept and remains an impermissible construct in the Wimsey household. But Halloween here in Manhattan is always a fun time with humans roaming the streets in outlandish costumes--all apparently specifically designed for Hounds to play tug of war with. And small humans carry bags of interesting stuff at precisely nose level-- and by all the racket they make I know they are quite delighted by my olfactory investigations.
But if I were to dress up, here are some good ideas:
Pirate: This is perhaps the most appropriate costume of all for a Hound. I feel a great affinity with pirates. We both take what does not belong to us and enjoy ourselves heartily in the process. Also I think my bay sounds a little bit like an Arggh. (and I think I would enjoy a parrot).
Ghost: Now on the surface this seems like an unlikely costume for a giant smelly Hound,however, all humans are familiar with the eerie quiet that occurs during our clandestine operations. Suddenly we are invisible. It’s all: “Say, where is the Hound, I haven’t seen or heard him in a while.” followed by “Oh no! He’s eaten the living room!”
Batman: Now just like Batman, the Hound fights against a cabal of evil enemies: there is The Television: a fiendish villain who causes humans to stare mindlessly ahead and loose all interest in their Hounds. This villain also has a little brother, The Computer who has a similarly fiendish effect. Then of course there is The Friend: a self described “non-dog person” who kidnaps unsuspecting humans and plants seditious ideas in their heads such as :“Don’t you think you harbor an unhealthy obsession for your Hound?” and “Perhaps you need a visit from Cesar Millan.”
The Prince: Another very appropriate costume which requires minimal imagination on the part of the onlooker. In fact, this is not really a costume at all but a reflection of reality.
The Incredible Hulk: This is another great Hound costume as Hounds are in fact naturally incredible hulks. But we Hounds get even larger (think hackles, upright tail and head) when we get emotional about something we want (like that pizza you thought you were going to eat).
Cowboy: The cowboy is a wonderful Hound costume. The cowboy gets on his horse and chases cattle. He is strong, independent and untamed. The Hound puts on his leash and chases squirrels. He is strong, independent and untamed.
Indiana Jones: Now just like Indiana Jones we Hounds go in search of exotic treasure—“Indiana Hound and the Temple of the Refrigerator.”
Angel: This is a fantasy costume that never ceases to bring a chuckle to all those who live with Hounds.
Devil: One of my very favorite costumes as I tempt my humans into activities not in their own best interest (“Let’s have a walk in the park. I won’t dislocate your shoulder, shatter your eardrums or make people mad by flinging drool on them. I promise.”)
Well Halloween aside, it’s been a pretty enjoyable week here. The weather has been cool, the leaves have been abundant and I have embarked on a new career. It turns out that Elizabeth is setting up a new business and I (and Maria, although I’m not sure why she was asked) have been called in to assist. The first order of business was to choose a name and to design a website. I thought the business should be called “Wimsey” and the website done in that always elegant combination of black and tan tinged with red, but this was promptly vetoed.
Nevertheless I spent a lot of time over at Elizabeth’s this week in my supervisory mode, which consists of standing on someone’s thighs and inspecting the computer screen. I also changed the company logo slightly by inserting some hair into the printer, so all documents contain a tasteful arrangement of Hound hair. Elizabeth was about to call in the printer repairman before she realized what she was looking at wasn’t ink. And then I think that my uncanny ability to rapidly distribute Hound smell throughout her apartment caused an invigorating improvement in productivity. I like to think that all this productivity is due to Hound aromatherapy, but Maria says it’s because Elizabeth has to open all the windows. Now Elizabeth did purchase a reed diffuser with golden orchid scent which I did examine to determine why it was so ineffective (“Who pushed the reeds towards the back of the bookcase!”). But it is clear that I am the most powerful reed diffuser ever created, only I don’t dispense golden orchid.
Anyway, I do like to hang around while the ladies work—banging my dish of kibble in an attempt to encourage the addition of something more savory, drooling on the desk, pushing the keyboard return out from under their fingers, climbing on them, engaging in loud ear flapping, investigating Elizabeth’s possessions, exploring her closets, etc.—so much so that Elizabeth was finally forced to disgorge the large Wimsey Bath Night bully stick in an attempt to keep me occupied. This was only temporary however and soon it was all “Wimsey’s drooling on the mail merge.” I like to think I turned it into a Wimsey merge. But Elizabeth always requests my presence for work activities. And people wonder why I think humans are feeble minded. Anyway, all of this puts me in mind of starting another career:
Wimsey, The Smelly Office Assistant
Wimsey: This is Wimsey. How many I not help you.
Boss: Please make me 100 copies of this document.
Wimsey: I am too busy not doing my nails. Don’t they look beautiful—so long and talon like-- ideally suited to shredding fabric and making attractive grooves on people’s skin. They’ve never been cut you know. Many have tried, none have succeeded. Of course that also applies to training me and pretty much anything else humans want to do to me.
Boss: Please. I’ll give you a belly rub.
Wimsey: OK. I’ll be just a second. In fact I do enjoy nosing the buttons on the copy machine.
Boss: What is this big pile of shredded paper?!
Wimsey: They’re your copies. You didn’t say they had to be intact. Anyway, now you won’t need a shredder. I’m very cost effective.
Boss: Well can you at least look up this address on the computer. And try not to hack into the Pentagon’s computer this time. They were very annoyed last itme.
Wimsey: I don’t know, I thought the plans for the next generation Stealth Fighter were pretty cool. Perhaps they were annoyed because I changed its name from the Blackbird to the Bloodhound.
Boss: Stop that baying! We had Security up here last week!
Wimsey: I’m bored. Give me something to do. Or perhaps I’ll just drink the water cooler again.
Boss: No don’t do that. They’re still trying to get the yellow out of the carpet. I was going to give you some filing but I don’t think document handling is your strong suit. Why don’t you get me a Danish and coffee?
Boss: Why is the coffee all foamy? And where’s my Danish.
Wimsey: The coffee was too strong so I diluted it. The Danish was delicious—I thought it had too many calories for your waistline. If you walk me for a few hours I’ll let you have one.
Boss: Not now. It’s time for my 10 o’clock appointment. Please show them into the conference room. And be polite—no shoving them in the bum with your nose.
Wimsey: Alright. I promise not to poke them in the tush.
Guest: Your assistant poked me in the crotch!? You didn’t warn me that I needed to wear a cup to the meeting.
Boss: He promised not to shove you in the rear end like last time. But isn’t he cute?
Guest: Well he did seem very pleased to see me—he put his paws on my shoulder, bayed in my face and then drooled on me.
Boss: He can be enthusiastic employee when he is in the mood. Perhaps we can discuss business while we walk him—he promised me a Danish afterwards.
OK, well this is the Friday before the big election so this will be the last of the Great Moments in American History segment. Next week the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art will return with our usual Hound improved art. And what could be more appropriate for this week’s Great Moment than what happened during the1948 election? George Gallup the famous pollster was so convinced that Thomas Dewey would beat Truman that the newspapers pre-printed the now famously erroneous “Dewey Beats Truman” headline. But there was also an independent candidate running, my ancestor William Jennings Wimsey and at least one newspaper thought he would win. Of course today polls are much more sophisticated and are generally correct, which does take some of the fun out of it. So to whomever wins, congratulations and I have some important advice: acquire a Hound, listen to the Hound, follow the example of the Hound in all things (except perhaps marking the lawn) and rub his belly frequently. You’ll live longer, be happier and when Congress and world leaders hate you, he won’t. He’ll just want to know what you can do for him today. As usual.
Until next time,
Wimsey, Ask not what your Hound can do for you but what you can do for your Hound.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Posted by Wimsey at 8:10 PM