June 27, 2008
Hello Everyone. Wimsey here coming to you from “Hot Town, Hound in the City”-- otherwise known as New York’s Upper West Side. Life here in the tropical paradise of New York continues to be lots of steamy fun. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are wondering whether the island of Manhattan has been mysteriously moved to another latitude just like that island on “Lost”. Everyone always says that New York is not really a part of the United States anyway (it’s why people from the rest of the country spend good money to come and gawk at us—“Look Mabel! Everyone wears black and walks really fast and keeps Giant Hounds in their apartments!”) so maybe someone’s just cut out the middle man and moved the whole thing to St. Barts. I expect to find palm trees growing outside my window any day now. And where there are palm trees, can monkeys be far behind? I do admit to having something of a monkey fantasy---my experiences with primates in general being so entertaining that I would like to have the opportunity to annoy more of them.
And speaking of entertaining last weekend I stayed with Elizabeth as Maria was out of town. I have loads of pictures of our morning walks in Riverside Park, which is next to the Hudson River---and you can see a bit of the marina. Now New Yorkers fancy themselves a seafaring people but really they just like to live on these boats, act nautical and do very little—and they don’t even have Hounds to explain away their underachievement:
Life coach: Why don’t you get a job?
Client: I don’t want to leave my Hound alone. He chewed up the couch the last time I did that.
Life coach: OK. Then why don’t you do something at home, like write a book?
Client: I could, but my Hound stands in front of the computer screen if I use it for more than an hour.
Life coach: How about something artistic, like painting?
Client: Could I paint Hounds?
Life coach: Perhaps not. Well how about developing an exciting social life?
Client: We do have an exciting social life---we talk to lots of people in the park.
Client: Certainly my Hound talks. And when my Hound talks people listen—for miles around. With their hands over their ears.
Life coach: Well then why don’t you become a dog trainer?
Client: Have you met my Hound?
Really we Hounds do make it very difficult to do anything else in life other than wait on us. But at least my humans have an excellent excuse for their lack of fame and fortune. Of course there are those in The Mysterious East who believe that the Hound is really an instrument of karmic retribution:
Karmic Guru: What bad things did you do in your past life?
Soul #1: I told a lot of lies.
Karmic Guru: OK. Well I suppose that’s not completely awful. I understand you were a politician. Nevertheless in your next life, I sentence you to a Beagle—some of them can be quite nice, I am told, but they are quite talkative and you will never be able to get a word in edgewise or lie about the location of your dinner or your dirty socks. Next.
Soul #2: I had a very bad temper.
Karmic Guru: That’s easy—you get a dachshund. They may be small but they are feisty. I would watch your fingers and toes if I were you. Next.
Soul #3: I am afraid I wasn’t as nice to people as I should have been.
Karmic Guru: Join the club. At least you admit it, so your sentence will be relatively light—you get a greyhound. Now get out of here before I change my mind—almost no one gets the greyhound. Next.
Soul # 4: I was very sloppy.
Karmic Guru: Well I sentence you to the Afghan Hound. I am sure you will spend many happy hours grooming it. Next.
Soul # 5: I was not very patient.
Karmic Guru: Well I’ve got a Hound for you that will try the patience of a saint. I sentence you to a basset hound. You will never get your way again. Next.
Soul #6: OK. Here goes: I was selfish, lazy, ruthless, materialistic and completely narcissistic.
Karmic Guru: Not another celebrity! Well, I am afraid your punishment is to be very severe. We’re making an example of you. Acolyte! Please hand me the special black and tan cap I use for sentences of this severity.
Soul #6: No! Not the black and tan cap! Is there nothing I can do to stop you?
Karmic Guru: I am afraid not. But if you behave well in this life perhaps in the next you’ll be demoted to the Sporting Dog division. But right now, I, supreme Karmic Guru of the Universe sentence you to A Bloodhound!
Soul #6: Noooo! Not the Bloodhound!!! I am doomed!
Makes me wonder what my humans did to deserve me. I am sure I was a reward for some wonderful accomplishment. Now life at Elizabeth’s is always very pleasant with lots of migrations between the kitchen and the cushy futon but she does sit around quite a bit and watch Wimbledon which makes me think that there should be an All Hound Club.
The All England Club vs. The All Hound Club
Wimbledon: White will be worn at all times.
Wimsey’s Hound Club: Black and Tan will be worn at all times.
Wimbledon’s Official Club Drink: Pims Cup (don’t ask—it has cucumbers in it!)
Wimsey’s Hound Club: The Black and Tan
Wimbledon Official Food: Strawberries and cream
Wimsey’s Hound Club Official Food; Liver and cream
Wimbledon Security: Bobbies
Wimsey’s Hound Club Security: Rotties
Wimbledon Championships: Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles
Wimsey’s Hound Club Championships: Singles, Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Packs
Wimbledon Championship Ritual: Kissing the Trophy
Wimsey’s Hound Club Championship Ritual: Peeing on the Trophy
I think I would make an excellent tennis champion. After all I know how to chase down tennis balls, receive service, shake hands, jump over tennis nets and whine in the press conference. And of course I am very handsome and athletic and very much admired. If Rafa Nadal is a bull, I think tennis needs a hound.
Anyway, before I pace off to prepare for the upcoming fourth of July celebrations, it is time for a visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. Now as you might imagine I am sometimes accused of lacking a certain gravitas, so my eye was immediately caught by this self-portrait of a young Anthony van Dyck: Self-Portrait (Anthony van Dyck, 1620, Metropolitan Museum of Art). Now although this painter is most famous for his court paintings of James I and his son Charles I, he also managed to achieve immortality by lending his name to a type of pointy beard. (which makes me wonder if people who sport sleek shiny beards should be said to be wearing a Wimsey). But in this painting he is kind of young and foolish but trying to look very solemn and dignified in the manner only a young man just out of his teens can carry off. But I think the world would have taken him much more seriously if he had included a solemn and dignified (looking) Hound. See how worldly and sagacious the magnificent Hound looks! Portrait of Wimsey and the Guy Who Invented the Pointy Beard.
Well time for a well earned snooze here in my urban tropical haven.
Until next time,
Wimsey, Hound for all Seasons