April 17, 2009
Hello everyone (or should I say Buongiorno), it’s me Wimsey coming to you from the tourist teeming streets of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where I have been on international meet and greet duty all week. Most notably this week my human Maria and I were accosted by a rather large group of Italian tourists who formed a very considerate horseshoe around me while loud cries of “bellissimo” and “perfetto” rang out in the tangy spring air. There was rather a lot more said in that language but as neither Maria nor I speak Italian and her friend Elizabeth-- our resident pseudo-linguist—was not with us—we were only able to focus on the two words we understood. Of course my humans would totally agree with the bellissimo part but had they command of Italian they may have taken issue with the perfetto bit. But there is no denying that I am a perfect Hound even if my credentials as a dog leave something (a lot) to be desired. Anyway, there was much meeting and greeting as I felt the need to individually nose wand each of these foreigners—one never knows when a stray mortadella may have been smuggled into the country requiring immediate confiscation—much to their evident delight.
And speaking of delight, Maria, Elizabeth and I all took a delightful four hour stroll in Central Park on Easter Sunday where flowering tree season has begun. Every year it is somehow imperative that I be photographed in front of as many of these trees as possible which is so annoying that I feel compelled to pee on them afterwards. And every year I am convinced that I am going to meet the Easter Bunny with exciting results. Now my humans have explained that the Easter Bunny does not really exist but I feel the need to go on an extensive bunny hunt nonetheless. Central Park has many juicy critters but apparently no rabbits which I always think is shame as I believe that a swift and stealthily agile Hound such as myself would most certainly be able to catch them.
But I digress. I was speaking about the Italian tourists and their astute observation about my perfection. I am considered such a perfect Hound in fact that there has actually been talk about cloning me. I think this is an excellent idea and I am sure I would greatly enjoy meeting these clones. But I am not sure anyone else would.
The Attack of the Wimsey Clones
Breaking News! We interrupt your regularly scheduled inane TV show to bring you this:
Wolf Blitzer: This is Wolf Blitzer reporting to you from New York City, which we understand has been overrun by gangs of large, smelly Hounds.
Anderson Cooper: That’s right Wolf. Apparently they are all clones—an experiment that has gone horribly wrong!
Wolf Blitzer: I am here with one victim. Can you tell us what happened Ma’am?
Victim: Yes, I was sitting at an outdoor café having brunch—a bagel and lox and scrambled eggs—when suddenly out of nowhere my bagel was snatched by a huge, albeit very cute, Hound whilst another one that looked exactly like it used his gigantic and very pink tongue to scoop up my scrambled eggs!
Wolf Blitzer: For those viewers not familiar with it, lox is smoked salmon, correct?
Victim: That’s right Wolf.
Wolf Blitzer: We have reports that these clones are particularly fond of salmon. Fish shops have shut down and patrons of outdoor cafes all over the city have been telling shocking tales like the one we just heard. Restaurants have barricaded their doors against these voracious marauders.
Anderson Cooper: And that’s not all. Apparently the Hounds have invaded Bloomingdales and are playing tug of war with the summer fashions! Some of them have even eaten the straw hats and swim wear and a group of these odoriferous buccaneers are reported to be headed for the lingerie department.
Wolf: That’s going to be ugly. Of course since none of the underwear has actually been worn they may give it a miss and just chew up the mannequins. But at least they’re shopping—no one else in the city is.
Anderson: Mayor Bloomberg has called an emergency meeting in what’s left of Gracie Mansion and The Times reports that the Hounds are shredding today’s edition.
Wolf: The City is in chaos Anderson! This is what working for CNN is all about! Mailmen are being jumped on at every corner and the contents of their bags eaten and the sanitation department can’t keep up with the large brown mounds that are appearing citywide—probably as a result of the restaurant invasions and the mass looting of butcher shops. Liver is apparently very lubricating. And hotels all over the city are reporting that their linens are missing. Not to mention that there is a viscous white goo everywhere! New York City hasn’t seen this much slime since they filmed Ghostbusters!
Anderson: Apparently the Mayor brought in Cesar Millan to help mediate but he took one look and had to be rushed to the hospital. He was heard to mutter something about a lack of rules boundaries and limitations.
Anderson: Very understandable Wolf. Hounds are well known for having no comprehension at all of these things.
Wolf: But what do the Hounds want? Have they issued any demands or ransom notes? Why are they doing these things Anderson?
Anderson: Well, the experts have concluded that they are just having fun. Apparently it’s a Hound thing.
Of course the cloning of me would bring up many interesting philosophical questions, such as if I were to have an evil clone would he be mild mannered and obedient? And it might solve the nature vs. nurture debate that is a regular feature of our walks: is my bad behavior the result of my genes or my humans? It’s certainly not my fault. I am perfetto. And if I were cloned we could open the law firm of Hound Hound Hound and Hound.
Receptionist: Mr. Hound, Mr. Beagle is here to see you.
Mr. Hound: He’s not my client, he’s Hound’s client! Why can’t you keep any of us straight! Anyway, I’m off to my club for a belly rub.
Receptionist: I’m sorry Mr. Hound. I do try.
Mr. Hound: Anyway, we’re nothing alike. Hound has longer whiskers and Hound’s tail is a bit more pointy and Hound has very short nails owing to all the towing he does on weekends and I am certainly more intelligent.
Receptionist: But I thought none of you were intelligent?
Hound: It’s all relative. Now let Hound know that his client is here. And by the way, what happened to my morning paper?
Receptionist: I’m afraid Mr. Hound stole it and shredded it Mr. Hound.
Mr. Hound: That abominable Hound! Just wait until he tries to find his favorite rawhide.
Receptionist Mr. Hound there is a Mr. Beagle to see you.
Mr. Hound: Ask him what he wants. I’m napping. You know if I don’t get my beauty sleep I start to look smooth.
Receptionist: But you just had a nap.
Mr. Hound: But that was on the couch. A nap on the rug is completely different.
Receptionist: Mr. Hound, Mr. Beagle says you represented his neighbor, Mr. Labrador against a charge of attempted murder of a chicken.
Mr. Hound: Indeed I did. He was found not guilty by reason of being a bird dog. Are any of the other Hounds available?
Receptionist: I’m afraid not. Mr. Hound is off to his club for a belly rub, Mr. Hound is engaged in digging up a new flower bed he found and Mr. Hound is hiding under the bed—we don’t exactly know why but I am sure it has something to do with the Chinese food that was being delivered next door.
Mr. Hound: Very well. Send Mr. Beagle in.
Mr. Beagle: Thank you for seeing me. I’m really in the dog house. I liberated an entire leg of lamb from a countertop. Apparently it was Easter dinner. I did however, leave the mint jelly; I hope that counts in my favor.
Mr. Hound: I don’t like mint jelly either. But let me get this straight. A succulent leg of lamb—medium rare I hope-- was left unattended on a countertop in the presence of a beagle?
Mr. Beagle: Yes.
Mr. Hound: And it is you who are being accused of committing a crime?
Mr. Beagle: Yes.
Mr. Hound: I think the judge will find your humans guilty by reason of insanity. Now I really must proceed with my nap, the sun only hits that spot on the rug for a few hours.
Better yet, can you imagine a show ring full of my clones—all of us pacing instead of trotting and competing to be the first to get our noses up each other’s backsides during our once around. And we could engage in synchronized stack dancing and polyphonic baying. It would be the first show ring in history where no one would win. And my humans would always be trying to figure out which one was me and which one was a clone. (Except of course the renegade one who would always come when called). And perhaps when they do the cloning they could make some improvements-- like making me even larger, louder and smellier! This is an idea that I am hoping my humans explore further.
In the meantime my share of Maria’s baking this week included a cinnamon bun that was so deliciously exciting that as I sat on the couch eating it I demonstrated my enthusiasm in the way that only a well endowed male Hound such as myself can. And it was all “Wow! That must be some cinnamon bun!’ and “Maybe we could sell the recipe to Pfizer!” But my view has always been, if you have it flaunt it. And I do (which keeps Maria pretty busy with PhotoShop’s eraser tool). And also on matters culinary I came in for my own piece of Citarella poached salmon this week as the piece Elizabeth bought for herself was too small to share. And she was especially appreciative of the clerk’s booming announcement to the rest of the shoppers “What! You’re going to feed this to the dog!” “But he’s a Hound” she whined amid the stares and promptly slunk out of the store after having quickly purchased my gourmet snack.
Anyway, it is time for our weekly visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where we take a look at an early painting by Paul Cézanne: Portrait of Louis-August Cézanne, Father of the Artist Reading L’Événement. (Paul Cézanne, 1866, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.). Now Paul Cézanne did not get along very well with his father. His father was a successful banker who expected his son to also be a successful banker, (Cézanne père would have approved of cloning) and as one can imagine he was not exceptionally thrilled to have a son who chose to be an artist instead. Ironically, no one knows or cares anything about the elder Cézanne but his son’s work is considered to have laid the foundation for much modern art. So much for listening to one’s parents. But like all good sons, Paul Cézanne was not above getting a little revenge on his father. In this painting the elder Cézanne looks like he is going to fall of his throne-like chair and one of Cézanne’s paintings (of which his father doubtless would not have approved) hangs on the wall behind him. And the elder Cezanne is not reading one of his boring business journals but a paper in which Cézanne’s BFF Emile Zola gave good reviews to the impressionist paintings of Cézanne’s friends. But still I think Cézanne could have done more to make his father uncomfortable. See how much more annoying it would be if there were a magnificent newspaper loving Hound also trying to read (and perhaps ultimately shred) the newspaper! Undoubtedly the Hound has begun drooling on the paper and he is a moment away from climbing onto M. Cézanne’s lap, thus banishing all hope of further perusal of the paper. I do this to Elizabeth all the time so the concept fits perfectly with the realistic style of this Cézanne’s painting. And what better revenge could there be on an uptight father than the unleashing an outsized smelly Hound into his quiet and orderly world? Portrait of Wimsey Reading L’Événement.
Well that’s all for this week. Time for some ornamental tree peeing. Until next time.
Wimsey, il houndo molto bellissimo e perfetto
Friday, April 17, 2009