April 3, 2009
Hello everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the water logged, rain soaked and wholly soggy precincts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where ark building competitions proceed apace. But although the wet weather leaves my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth hydroplaning on mud, the moist earth releasing its spring scents is an ecstasy inducing experience, especially for an olfactorly gifted Hound such as myself. It smells so good it ought to be illegal:
Hound drug dealer: Psst! You there! Big Bloodhound! Wanna buy a nickel bag of wet dirt?
Bloodhound: No thanks—I keep my own stash in my human’s apartment.
Hound drug dealer: How about you Wolfhound? I’ve got a dead leprechaun for sale. Cheap.
Wolfhound: That’s not a leprechaun! It’s a garden gnome!
Hound drug dealer: OK, OK, I know. But it is stolen. That should count for something. And you, Deerhound—I’ve got some haggis here.
Deerhound: Is it lovely and rotten?
Hound drug dealer: No, haggis is disgusting enough on its own. You. Beagle. How about a piece of rabbit?
Beagle: But it’s a key chain!
Hound drug dealer: Yes, but it was a rabbit’s foot at one time--at least that’s what the manufacturer’s label says. Petit Bassett Griff… You there—the little dog with the ridiculous name—PBGV—how about a nice baguette fresh stolen from the local bakery?
PBGV: Fresh bread! That’s disgusting. Eating it would be a disgrace to French Hounds everywhere. Don’t you have a nice rotting rat or something of that kind that I can roll in before consuming?
Hound drug dealer: Food you can roll in first costs extra. But the Basset Hounds cleaned me out of the entire stash. Ridgeback how about some lion spoor?
Ridgeback: Hey, you got that from the litter box!
Greyhound: How about a, ahem, a specialty item?
Hound drug dealer: Live food! Hey, I’m strictly recreational here. I don’t go in for the hard stuff. And if I’m caught do you know how much extra crate time I’d face?
Greyhound: But I gotta have a chase.
Hound drug dealer: Sounds like you got a monkey on your back there.
Greyhound: More like a squirrel. But who can I talk to?
Hound drug dealer: OK, if live food’s your thing, you need to talk to the terriers. They own that turf. I’m strictly in the stolen and smelly business and taking away their custom is more than my tail’s worth—they’d as soon shake you by the throat as look at you. And you didn’t hear it from me, but if you have a whine with that hopped up Jack Russell over there by the swings…
Anyway, its been a wonderful week here except for being forced to wear a yellow rain slicker under the theory that it will cut down on the mountain of post walk towels it takes to dry me off (I’m a pretty fragrant fellow at the best of times but a wet Wimsey is spectacularly pungent). Fortunately the hood was a tad snug and the garment itself was a bit too short so my humans are back to the drawing board to try and find a raincoat more suitable to a Hound of my majestic proportions. But I was nonetheless quite in style. This prompted an idea by Elizabeth that we should all acquire yellow slickers but this was promptly vetoed by Maria on the grounds that it pushed the humiliation envelope well beyond even the extensive limits endured by those who live with Hounds (did I mention Maria sometimes gets mail addressed to Maria Wimsey?).
But coats were very much on my mind this week and whilst I was visiting Elizabeth I had a good rummage in the Vari-Kennel that takes up the entry way in her apartment (and in which she imprisons me if she needs to do errands so as to prevent me from eating her apartment, Maria having no more stuff left to eat). And what did I find in there but a large quilted blue coat that is apparently being stored for me in case we have another single digit winter next year. Now I liked this coat extremely and was all set to have a good shred when it was most cruelly and summarily removed from my possession. I don’t know where it is written that I actually have to wear my coat when it has so many alternate and desirable uses. Anyway, the only consolation was that my cooked dinner was ready and I was adjured from letting it go cold. I have enjoyed spending some quality time alone with Elizabeth this week while Maria was off socializing and its all been quite lovely (especially the nosh) but I wonder how Maria will feel when she finds out that Elizabeth has changed my name to WimseyStopThat. I also so enjoy remaking the acquaintance of the staff that runs Elizabeth’s building—their cries of “Oh no, he’s back!” warmed the cockles of my heart and made me feel truly welcome.
But on the subject of things gustatory I am pleased to report that Maria has renewed her love of baking. And whilst it would probably be better if she actually cooked food (I don’t think her mother would exactly approve of the peanut butter and jelly dinner sandwiches) the experimental nature of her efforts yields substantial benefits in the consumer of last resort department—to wit –me. I get everything from the bland, funny shaped and too sticky brioche to the bread that failed to rise to its specified height. The cinnamon buns were excellent, however, and came my way by dint of the batch being too big. Yesterday Maria needed a belt to keep her pants up and couldn’t figure out why. And my humans think I am unintelligent! In my experience women who consume the odd sandwich and feed the contents of their ovens to their Hounds can be generally said to be at high risk of their pants falling down. I am always extolling the virtues of The Wimsey Diet (and of course I don’t put on weight because I spend so much time dragging my humans around outdoors) and now everyone can see the results. I mean really, what human can bear to consume calories when there is a large and plaintive Hound head resting on the kitchen table looking longingly at your dinner?
The Biggest Loser: Hound Edition
Contestant: Where are Jillian and Bob?
Allison: We have a new trainer. He’s called Wimsey.
Contestant: But he’s a Dog!
Allison: Technically he’s a Hound. There’s a big difference.
Contestant: But he wants to help me lose weight?
Allison: Not really. Hounds don’t actually care about what happens to you, but that’s why he is such a genius as a trainer. Also you can’t whine to him about how hard all this is for you. He won’t listen. In fact he won’t listen to anything you say. Hounds never do.
Contestant: He’s ripped open my suitcase!
Allison: I suggest that if you want to have shoes to wear you act quickly before he has a chance to move on to your underwear. Wimsey believes that playing tug of war with bras and jock straps is an excellent way to build upper body strength.
Allison: That only makes him run faster. You’ll learn.
Contestant: Help! He’s knocked me over and is sitting on my stomach!
Allison: Ah, Wimsey’s ab workout. Very tough that is. Just try getting up when he’s made himself comfortable. Don’t worry; the bruises will eventually heal. Just try not to inhale the drool—you’ll choke.
Contestant: Why is he bringing me a leash?
Allison: Uh oh. He’s decided to take you for a walk. We have paramedics along the route for this one. The idea is that either you keep pace with him until you collapse or you resist and get dragged along. One builds cardio fitness and the other core strength. Your choice—they both hurt. Also he likes to change directions suddenly and without warning which is good for your agility skills and footwork. They don’t call it the “last chance workout” for nothing.
Allison: Haven’t we had this conversation before?
Contestant: Is it time to eat yet?
Allison: Yes. We have a fully equipped kitchen filled with healthy ingredients that you won’t want to eat. But don’t worry, you won’t have to.
Contestant: Why not?
Allison: Because Wimsey is hungry also. Especially after all that exercise. You write down all the calories you think you are going to consume in this book and then subtract what he eats.
Contestant: He stole my chicken breast!
Allison: Yes Wimsey is very fond of chicken breasts. He’ll let you have the kale though. I’d stick with that if I were you.
Well it is once again time for a visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where in honor of Maria’s baking activities; we have The Brioche (Edouard Manet, 1870, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Here we have the French impressionist painter Edouard Manet’s impression of what a brioche should look like. Maria’s brioche does not look like this. However beautiful the painting is, the sight of unmolested food on a beautiful and unchewed table is quite simply an artistic travesty. And also very unrealistic. But see how the problem can be solved with the insertion of a magnificent and hungry Hound who is preparing to do justice to the beautiful brioche! After that I suspect he will deal with the furniture issue. Wimsey With A Brioche the Way it is Supposed to Look.
Anyway, I am spending the evening at Elizabeth’s so before I park myself permanently in her kitchen and await my egg, chicken and yam dinner, I want to comment on a recent item in the newspaper. It seems that Michelle Obama (I’ll bet she secretly works out with a Hound to get those arms) squeezed The Queen. Apparently Queen squeezing is a total violation of royal protocol. Not even Prince Philip gets to squeeze the Queen (although Elizabeth’s friends from the UK suggest that he’s never been all that keen in any case). Well it was a good thing that I was not part of the American delegation (I was in fact asked to participate but I had a scheduling conflict with the brioche). If I had been present Queen squeezing would have been the least of the Queen’s problems. I think these people are badly in need of a Hound.
Until next time,
Wimsey, unmellow yellow
Friday, April 3, 2009