Entry # 93
November 14, 2008
Hello everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, the foremost stinky bloodhound on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. But lately I have become known as Wimsey the Destroyer (of body parts) due to my excellent effects on my human Maria’s hamstring and on her friend Elizabeth’s shoulder. But this is all part of the fun of interacting with a lively bloodhound such as myself. And it could always be a lot worse as I have not yet succeeded in breaking any actual bones, although I never cease to try—slippery leaves being my current weapon of choice. And speaking of leaves, I have lots of autumnal pictures to show you this week—I think the leaves camouflage me rather well, which makes me think that perhaps I should stalk squirrels wearing a leaf coat—I am sure they would never notice the approach of a 126 pound thundering and snorting pile of leaves. Now all I need is a coat of white enamel to cloak my kitchen activities.
But anyway, in spite of the autumnal appearance of the pictures we are having lots of warm and rainy weather which is causing some degree of consternation to my humans as the conditions are significantly odor enhancing and bath postponing, which is fine with me. But this has still been a most unsatisfactory week in spite of the lack of bath related activities. Elizabeth was absent without leave (of course I would never grant her leave so this is the only way she can escape my ministrations in any case) attending a conference. Now I had high hopes for this conference because Bill Clinton was speaking and as he is from Arkansas (a rather houndish state) I was positive that Hounds would figure prominently in his speech. Alas he did not specifically mention Hounds but his remarks nonetheless resonated with Elizabeth:
Bill Clinton lamented the fact that no one really pays much attention what an ex president has to say. (Elizabeth laments the fact that I don’t pay any attention to what she has to say).
Bill Clinton lamented the fact that he couldn’t control the press who often didn’t give him credit for his achievements (Elizabeth laments the fact that she can’t control me and I never give her credit for any achievements that don’t involve the cooking of liver).
Bill Clinton lamented the fact that he has no power to implement policies that would lead to world peace, economic prosperity, energy independence and environmental stability.
(Elizabeth laments the fact that she has no power to implement policies that would lead to a hair free apartment, fragrance free clothing, unshredded newspapers and ambulatory stability).
Bill Clinton believes that an ex-President has an obligation to serve a sitting president in any way possible (Elizabeth believes she has an obligation to serve a sitting (or standing) Wimsey in any way possible).
So I think that Elizabeth really did feel a sense of kinship with Bill Clinton and she commented that he is almost as charismatic as I am, so he must really be quite a charming fellow. And as we both have an eye for the ladies, perhaps he should be encouraged to acquire a bloodhound. Elizabeth noted that he seemed rather tired and subdued---something that an invigorating life with a loud, smelly, entertaining and rambunctious bloodhound would soon fix (and for those who don’t like Hillary’s pantsuits, a bloodhound would solve that problem too!)
But President Clinton also spoke about the fiscal crisis which has been putting a crimp in the customary élan with which we New Yorkers usually conduct our affairs. But the crisis would not have happened if people had organized their finances more along the principles of Hound Finance—we are categorically opposed to borrowing of any kind (stealing is more efficient and seldom entails interest payments, although stealing things of interest to humans is especially enjoyable) and of course we never lend (possession being ten tenths of the Law of Hounds). However, I have been boning up on finance so as to stay on top of the situation (Hounds like to be on top of things, usually laps, beds and places we are not supposed to be on top of).
Glossary of Hound Finance (as compiled by the Hound Street Journal)
Tax: This is what Hounds do to humans, particularly their patience which is always heavily taxed under Houndly administration. Hounds also levy a variety of taxes on other human activities:
Food tax: 50-100% of all food consumed by humans automatically becomes property of the Hound.
Property tax: Hounds collect this tax at random and surprising intervals, generally at a rate of 20-100% depending on how quick the homeowner is to catch the Hound in the act of levying it.
Social Security tax: This tax is paid in the form of toys, food and exercise in order to reduce the risk of a social Hound destroying the security of your property, possessions and physical body.
Stocks: These are investments in items of interest to your Hound that prevent him from disrupting too many of your activities or accidentally sending you to the hospital. Rawhide and bully stick stocks are particularly valuable and hold their value well.
Convertible securities: These are stocks of meat, fish and game that are highly desirable but are subject to a rapid conversion that substantially erodes their value.
Mark to the Market: This is how you and your Hound go food shopping.
Hound Futures: Stocks are generally traded on the Hound Futures Exchange, a place where you exchange your current stock for a bit of future peace that lasts as long as the Hound holds the investment. Longer term investments, such as large bully sticks generally outperform shorter term investments such as stuffed toys or couch cushions.
Bonds: These are permanent investment vehicles that guarantee the long term stability and dominance of your Hound.
Interest Rates: These rates determine how much of your life you can buy back with your investments. Investment that offer a high rate of interest to your Hound buy increased amounts of time to pursue activities that do not involve your Hound. Interest rates are volatile however, and can fluctuate wildly depending upon the mood of your Hound.
Treasury Bills: These are the bills that you incur stocking up on stuff to amuse your Hound. A full treasury can enhance domestic tranquility.
Bailouts: This is a mechanism whereby you can use your Hound to avoid undesirable social obligations (“Yes I’d love to come to your Dress Like a Banana Party but I can’t possibly leave my Hound.”)
Mortgages: You trade your money and social life in exchange for the approval and well being of your Hound. Hound mortgages on never paid off.
Collateralized Debt Obligations: These are derivatives invented by foolish humans who did not consult their Hounds and tanked the economy.
Anyway, I am judiciously encouraging my humans to conserve their cash during this time of austerity—no costly restaurant meals (a jug of wine, a loaf of bread and a me.--I’ll let you keep the jug of wine), vacations or movies but lots of free walks and play time with me. Perhaps the fiscal crisis isn’t such a bad thing.
Well it is once again time for a visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art and today we go back in time and visit with a fellow who clearly had no knowledge of fiscal troubles: Charles I At the Hunt (Anthony Van Dyck, 1635 Musee du Louvre, Paris). Anthony Van Dyck the great Flemish painter became court painter to Charles I and painted forty portraits of him. Now although this is a very imposing painting it is not an official royal portrait. In it Van Dyck depicts the easy elegance of a gracious gentleman at the hunt. The genius of Van Dyck as a portraitist is that in spite of the casual pose of the sovereign the painter manages to portray him as commanding and regal nonetheless. From his shimmering doublet to his elegant boots and haughty expression, he is clearly the man in charge. But however beautiful, this painting has always seemed to me to be missing something. Shouldn’t the haughty and commanding Charles I be accompanied on the hunt by an equally haughty and commanding Hound? See how much the addition of a magnificent Hound adds to the meaning and beauty of the painting! Both gaze majestically out at their realm secure in the knowledge that their every wish is a their subject’s command—such a sense of ease, elegance and entitlement in both man and Hound. Charles I and Wimsey at the Hunt.
I hope my humans appreciate my efforts at financial education and it is now time for me to levy my favorite tax and command a block of their time for a wet walk so I can fully appreciate the heady bouquet of rotting leaves and fast moving rodents.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a taxing Hound
Friday, November 14, 2008
Entry # 93
Posted by Wimsey at 7:47 PM