February 27, 2009
Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from high atop my bed (which my human thinks is really hers) on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Spring seems to be just around the corner here and my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are already busily inspecting the state of their wet and muddy weather walking gear. And Elizabeth has purchased this year’s crop of brightly colored long sleeved spring Hounding t-shirts. I am sure she thinks that being dressed like a rainbow will make somebody notice her or perhaps she is under the misguided impression that mud, dirt and drool stains do not show on brightly colored clothing. Personally I am glad that my elegant black and tan coat and my Spiderman foot pads are appropriate in all weathers, especially when I see the multitude of equipment choices my humans are forced to make with every walk-- Doppler radar screens are consulted, humidity and wind speeds are discussed and potential rises or falls in temperature over the lengthy periods of our walks are factored in. None of this makes any difference, however, as a walk with me always guarantees that they will end up experiencing at least some degree of dirt and discomfort, the only question being what form it will take—wet from sweat or from rain; dirt from slogs through mud and slush or from the dirt I like to vigorously kick on them while they are bending down to pick up my poop (I use all four of my super sized paws to achieve maximum earth moving power). But it won’t be long before my humans stop complaining about my being psychotic on my walks and complain about me being sluggish instead-- a seasonal consequence of the rise in temperature. This will send them scurrying to the vet with whacking great wads of cash to make sure that I am not ill. And the vet will happily order a wide range of expensive tests for a panoply of esoteric illnesses, give me a scratch and a biscuit and in the end pronounce me fit as a fiddle—just a Hound suffering from spring fever.
But we know that spring is never far away when the Oscars arrive in our living rooms. Maria gives them a miss as the only movies she likes are the ones where things get blown up and this is not generally a popular Oscar winning genre. And Elizabeth never goes to movies at all as she finds she loses track of the story wondering what I am up to, but she likes to watch the Oscars anyway to marvel at people whose couture and accessories do not come from LL Bean and Lands End. I like to watch too for the clothes and the hair, only I like to imagine what these people would look like after spending a few minutes with me. (I also like to think that those few minutes would send even the most devoted doyenne of the red carpet fleeing to the LL Bean online store.). And this year The Oscar’s were enlivened by the decision to have previous winners obsequiously expounding on the merits of this year’s potential winners. I think this would work well at dog shows too:
“Entry # 5 for Best Bloodhound is Wimsey. Wimsey you are a magnificent black and tan specimen with a rich mahogany color, an appealing expression and a tail of an ideal size and shape for thwacking unsuspecting humans as demanded by the Breed Standard. Wimsey we applaud your lifelong excellence and commitment to your craft of making your humans’ lives as difficult as possible and we think that you are the most perfect Hound ever to have been whelped regardless of all those things your humans mutter…”
I think I would really enjoy that—as it happens most of the Oscar nominees looked like they’d rather be elsewhere. But the Oscars make me think that the categories of winners at dog shows are somewhat limited and should be expanded:
New Dog Show Categories:
Best achievement in stack dancing
Best musical performance in a non-musical role
Best original gait
Most drool flung on a judge in a supporting role
Best achievement for worst behavior
Most congenial with the female Hounds
Most amount of liver consumed in a starring role
Most terror induced in a handler by virtue of the fact that there is only a string around your neck
Lifetime achievement award for always standing crooked
Best comic performance in a non-comedic role
Honorary Best in Breed for making everyone else appreciate their dogs more
Best of the opposite of everything you would want in a dog
I bet I would win a whole lot more if these categories were included. But as to the Oscars, although I am sure the nominated pictures were excellent, even though not many people apparently actually went to see them, I think they could have been better:
Wimsey’s Oscar Nominated Movies
The Curious Case of Benjamin Hound: People acquire a senior canine in the hopes of retaining their possessions when for no apparent reason the animal mysteriously ages backwards and progressively destroys their home anyway.
Frost/Nixon: A disgraced President confesses to an egomaniacal TV interviewer that it was really his Hound who broke into Democratic Headquarter and stole confidential papers. The Hound also took a 15 minute nap with his paw on the Watergate Tapes “erase” button and masterminded the whole cover-up as Hounds specialize in covering up their misdeeds. Nixon was heard to declare that if Checkers was a gift from God the Hound was a gift from the other place.
Milk: A Hound raids the refrigerator whilst his humans are busy watching the Oscars and washes down Sunday’s roast beef dinner with a quart of milk, giving him a telltale mustache and leading to a prolonged time out in his crate.
The Reader: An educated person with a large library misguidedly acquires a Hound, who also has a voracious appetite for literature,
Slumdog Millionaire: A slum dweller acquires a spectacularly badly behaved Hound, writes a bestseller about the experience and becomes a millionaire prompting his neighbor to grow wealthy by writing SlumCat Millionaire.
The Visitor: A couple comes to stay with a retiring professor bringing along their Hound. Originally titled The Visitor from Hell.
The Wrestler: A film about a Hound.
Maria Getting Married: Maria thinks she’s getting married but her Hound thinks otherwise. In the end no suitor proves brave enough to sustain the onslaught of drool, stench, hair and broken bones.
Changeling: A woman’s bloodhound is replaced by a beagle and people tell her it’s the same thing but she becomes suspicious when she notices that the furniture stops getting eaten.
Frozen River: A large Hound goes out for its first walk of the day in frigid conditions.
Doubt: Does Jen still love Brad? Does Brad still love Jen? Are people who voluntarily live with Hounds really sane?
I can of course identify fully with Brad Pitt as I am also an incredibly handsome guy who has two women doting on him. Only in my case the women are only too happy to share:
Maria: “Please, by all means, you take Wimsey’s leash.”
Elizabeth: “Oh, no. I couldn’t possibly deprive you of the pleasure.”
Maria: “I insist. I know you must be longing to be dragged down the street. And anyway Wimsey nearly killed me yesterday.”
Elizabeth: “He only does that because he loves you. I am sure he would be very sad if I took his leash. You take the leash and I will feed him his biscuits.”
Maria: “No you take the leash and I will feed him his biscuits. I like it when he forcefully jabs his muzzle into the treat pouch around my waist. It’s good for the abs.”
Elizabeth: “But remember how good it is for your pecs when he goes after the rats! And then there are the squirrels and of course remember how powerful he got over the raccoon. Rodents are so good for the biceps and I know you like to wear sleeveless tops when it gets warm.”
And of course the ladies are equally gracious when it comes to whose lap I will sit on when Elizabeth comes over for a visit.
Anyway, I think it’s about time for our weekly visit to The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where the subject of women was never far from our artist’s heart, mind, paint brush and other bits. He is none other than Paul Gauguin the quintessential model for European men going native. Gauguin left a prosperous if boring life as a stockbroker, abandoning a wife and five children in the process, to pursue his art in the South Pacific (no one ever said artistic geniuses were nice guys). Gauguin was interested in form and line and his bold paintings became the foundation for primitivism. He was also notoriously interested in the ladies. Lots of ladies, preferably very young ones which explains why he died of syphilis at the age of fifty four. The Siesta (Paul Gauguin 1892, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). In this painting Gauguin depicts the indolent grace of several Polynesian women having a bit of a rest from the no doubt brutal heat of the afternoon sun. But Gauguin changed one element of the painting that I think was a mistake—originally it contained a dog instead of the basket. But see how much more relaxing and beautiful the indolent grace of the women is with the (re) insertion of a magnificent Hound! The Hound has made himself wonderfully comfortable, his massive head resting on the shoulder of a recumbent woman and his rump resting against the back of the central figure. See what a relaxing element he adds to the painting as he enjoys a deep and satisfying nap. Wimsey’s Siesta.
OK, time for the real thing!
Until next time,
Wimsey, The Very Best of Opposite
Friday, February 27, 2009
Posted by Wimsey at 8:47 PM