Entry #120 Next we have a picture by Joseph depicting a fictive meeting between Gus (his teacher’s bloodhound) and myself. Both Hounds stand in a satisfyingly rectilinear pose and look boldly out at us, their excitement made palpable by their display of tongue. In an otherwise barren landscape the artist has chosen to include the one feature essential to the happiness of a male bloodhound—a delightfully sturdy tree. The artist has also made an extremely interesting compositional choice, dividing his canvas into decreasing blocks of three. The blocks echo the rectilinear stance of the canine figures and although the figurative panel is not the largest block, its lack of background color emphasizes the importance of the animals depicted. Joseph: Wimsey and Gus Meeting Each Other.
May 22, 2009
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you direct from Manhattan’s Fleet Week, which is being held in honor of Memorial Day. All week whacking great ships have been steaming into New York Harbor and disgorging young men and women in spotless white attire. They are every Hound’s dream canvas, but sadly neither my human Maria nor her friend Elizabeth will allow me to muzzle paint them. This is a great shame since my spring drool palette now includes a variety of shades of green as well as my usual fine array of rich browns. And of course I create wonderfully textured patterns through the use of abundant plant material and thick clots of earth that I carry about in my skin folds for just such an occasion. I am sure these folks would be the envy of their shipmates were they to be seen wearing an original work of Wimsey art. Still, Fleet Week is a very festive time with New Yorkers buying drinks and giving directions to all these nautical visitors. And you can even go on board and visit these ships:
Aboard the USS Hound
Captain: Arooo Aroo Aroo…
Visitor: Stop! You’re hurting my ears!
Captain: But that is my bay of triumph because I found you.
Visitor: But you didn’t find me. I found you.
Captain: Nonsense. Who’d want to find a Hound?
Visitor: Very true. I guess you’re right.
Captain: Hounds are always right. It is one of our finer qualities.
Visitor: Yes, I can see that. What can you show me today?
Captain: Well as a special honor we can lend you these sturdy rubber boots and a tight nose clip and take you to visit the poop deck. It’s the crew’s favorite spot on the entire ship! We have a special buffet set up there as well.
Visitor: What you eat on the poop deck!
Captain: Yes. It’s very efficient that way. Especially when cook goes on a health kick and puts bran in the kibble.
Visitor: Well what are you serving?
Captain: Liver and cheese canapés, broiled liver sandwiches, pate, liverwurst, stir fried liver, chopped liver, pureed liver dip ‘n crunchy liver chips, leberknodel…
Visitor: What’s leberknodel?
Captain: Liver dumplings.
Visitor: Do you have anything that is not liver?
Captain: Well if you can catch the ship’s squirrel you can eat him, but he’s very fast.
Visitor: I think I’ll pass. What’s that smell?
Captain: This is a ship of Hounds.
Visitor: No, not that smell. The smell coming from over there.
Captain: Oh, Lieutenant Hubert is wearing his pee coat. He’s very proud of it-- he is our most decorated officer.
Visitor: Well how about you show me all your high tech equipment.
Captain: We sold it to the herding group. We have a ship’s complement of 200 Hounds. If it’s out there they will know it well before the radar and sonar.
Visitor: And what is the mission of the USS Hound?
Captain: Search and destroy.
In any case even without the sailors it has been a very social week—I seem to be running into all kinds of puppies these days and I also got to enjoy some collaborative stick chewing with a Catahoula mix called Blue. But then the weather turned very summery, which I personally find very annoying. And when I am annoyed I become even more recalcitrant and oppositional than usual as a matter of principle. So whatever direction my humans want to walk in I categorically refuse to go that way. Then I flop down in the grass and refuse to move or I climb up on a bench and remain likewise inert.
But I have to say, I never look as massive and majestic, not to say as cute, as when I am sitting on a bench next to the diminutive Elizabeth. Whenever I do this there are squeals of delight from passersby and flashbulbs pop. Actually there are no popping flashbulbs these days as everything is digital but you get the idea. Anyway, my humans are always trying to get me to sit, lie down and stay but I prefer to do these things at times and of durations of my own choosing. I’m a bloodhound—it’s how I roll. We Hounds are capable of doing many things, just not when you want us to do them—like when I “give paw” by whacking my humans with one when they stop scratching me.
Well all this unexpected hot weather and my sudden predilection for the couch rather than the outdoors (can you tell which of us is the stuffed toy?) has caused much consternation to my humans. So much so that yesterday they brought out the dreaded tape measure which I attempted to evade by fleeing to the bedroom, wriggling on my back and trying to shred the dastardly thing with my mouth. Trust me, no good ever comes of being measured—the arrival of some undesirable piece of equipment or apparel is always the ensuing result. In this case it turns out that a Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler cooling coat has now been ordered for me (in the largest possible size!) so I will no doubt be giving you my views on its merits in future posts. My humans are also looking forward to vocal New Yorkers yelling at them for having a dog wearing a coat in hot weather. But once again they will be taking one for the team (me).
Meanwhile, Elizabeth has her own swamp cooler. It’s called a caipirinha and she considers it to be the perfect antidote to time spent with a resistant and stubborn Hound (all of which is redundant--Hound is sufficient). Anyway, she learned to make this drink in Rio and it has since been renamed the Wimsey Cocktail and needless to say, what with this tropical weather and this un-tropical me, she has been consuming quite a number of them. (The Wimsey Cocktail: 1) cut one lime into small pieces and place in a short cocktail glass 2) sprinkle with two teaspoons sugar 3) mash the lime and sugar well with a pestle or other implement 4) add a couple of ice cubes 5) fill glass with cachaça ((Brazilian rum)) 6) shake—either with the top of the cocktail shaker on the top of the glass as they do in Brazil or in a cocktail shaker 7) consume 8) forget about being humiliated by your Hound.
Personally I just think my humans are jealous of all the admiration that I get. Not only am I admired for my cuteness, wrinkles, ears, rich red coat and fine voice but also for that which all males aspire to be admired Yes, I am proud to say that my testicles come in for more than their fair share of laudatory comment. Now as Elizabeth and I were waiting for Maria outside the bodega yesterday evening three gentlemen began exclaiming over my general beauty before one of them noticed that I was still in possession of a fine pair of boy bits. Well, this caused quite a stir: “And look! He’s even still got his _____ (insert colloquial name for male gonads; Hint: they did not use a refined term such as nards, cahones or even stones, but rather a word whose vulgarity I feel is at odds with the elevated tone of this post) exclaimed one. And the other two: “Beautiful, beautiful” and “What a beautiful pair of ______!” and so forth. I was beaming. I really do consider my _____ to be one of my best features. But I am grateful that my ladies didn’t measure them this week. I live in mortal fear that some misguidedly helpful human will invent supportive wear for the larger male canine. We Wimseys strongly prefer to go commando.
Also this week, on Sunday’s long park perambulation we ran into a troupe of actors performing Shakespeare (this is New York after all). They were unfortunately not in costume but if you look closely you can see one of them brandishing a sword. My ladies looked at each other with but one mischievous thought—how would the actors cope should a large Hound be extemporaneously inserted into the action? Sadly they lacked the cahones, but it might go something like this:
Shakespeare in the Park with Wimsey
Duke of Gloucester: Forsooth my lord… What means this! (Enter a Hound) A giant Hound hast entered into our midst?
Duke of Bedford: Mayhap he hath mistaken his way. Should he not be taking yon path over to the realm of my lord of Westminster?
Duke of Gloucester: Aye he is certainly a comely enough Hound to appertain to my Lord of Westminster’s household. What doth he here, I wonder?
Earl of Salisbury: Methinks he hath been exiled.
Duke of Bedford: How so My Lord for sure he is handsome?
Earl of Salisbury: Aye. Handsome he is, this intruding Hound. Yet he hath held steadfastedly to his native gait, the pace, and eschewed the much valued trot.
Duke of Gloucester: Can this be so? A pacing Hound at the court of Westminster. Surely grounds for exile!
Earl of Salisbury: And yet too, yon Hound refus’ed most insistently to endure The Stack, preferring to place his feet as he would and according to his whim and his nature.
Duke of Bedford: Most foul Hound! A miscreant Hound if ever one drew breath.
Earl of Salisbury: And yet not satisfied with such mischief the Hound raised his voice in high protest against the proceedings of the Court, deafening those standing nigh. And we here tell that, in spite of all efforts contrary, he produceth much slime upon the limbs and raiment of those come out to judge him.
Duke of Gloucester: Out out damned spot indeed! Or a multiplicity of spots I fear. It is no wonder that he hath been so cast out of the realm of Westminster.
Earl of Salisbury: And amorous Hound that he is, he hath courted the ladies when such was not to be countenanced.
Duke of Bedford: Fie! What Houndly behavior hath this creature wrought. But he seems mightily attached to you Salisbury.
Earl of Salisbury: Yea, those of Houndish intent are mightily ensorcelled by the aromatics of beef finely ground and grilled.
Duke of Gloucester: Such a comely Hound as he may prove his worth when we take to the field against the perfidious French at Agincourt-- stealing provisions, giving chase to the knightly steeds, sowing confusion and destruction about him and making fearsome noises. For in these things he appears well suited by nature.
Duke of Bedford: Agreed, for even yet as we speak hath mine cloak and mine dinner been made off with.
Duke of Gloucester: Let us away and find him forthwith! (Exeunt, assembled nobles).
Well now before I leave you all for some personal grooming and a well deserved nap we will take a stroll over to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where, as with last week, we are examining pictures of me created by the second graders of Denali Elementary School in Fairbanks, Alaska. Our first work is an abstract piece by Brandon. At first glance we are unsure of what to make of the scene. The artist has drawn our eye to the red sun and red beak of a bird. Symbols of life, perhaps? Equally our eye is drawn to the rhythmic blue sky border at the top of the piece and the blue door below. Symbols of opportunity? But then we notice the green hotel sign and we realize that we are looking at an interpretive view of Manhattan and we perceive that there is a car with a dog’s head hanging out. The artist has employed an interesting mix of color and lack of color that gives the piece a collage-like feel to capture the dynamic bustle and confusion of New York. Brandon: Wimsey Sticking His Head Out of the Window of a Car.
Next we have a picture by Joseph depicting a fictive meeting between Gus (his teacher’s bloodhound) and myself. Both Hounds stand in a satisfyingly rectilinear pose and look boldly out at us, their excitement made palpable by their display of tongue. In an otherwise barren landscape the artist has chosen to include the one feature essential to the happiness of a male bloodhound—a delightfully sturdy tree. The artist has also made an extremely interesting compositional choice, dividing his canvas into decreasing blocks of three. The blocks echo the rectilinear stance of the canine figures and although the figurative panel is not the largest block, its lack of background color emphasizes the importance of the animals depicted. Joseph: Wimsey and Gus Meeting Each Other.
Well that’s it for this week—hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day and that you don’t have to indulge in too many Wimsey Cocktails (BTW: Gus’s human is a big fan of them). But my humans are off buying more limes.
Until next time,