May 29, 2009
Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from my temporary perch overlooking Riverside Park on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. I am a bit gimpy as I slid down some freshly waxed stairs this week, so my human Maria has sent me over to stay with her friend Elizabeth as Elizabeth’s building has an elevator. All of this means that I have had another human whose life I can disrupt, which is a source of intense pleasure to this large and stinky Hound. Elizabeth’s apartment now reeks of my delectable Hound scent, bits of kibble decorate her kitchen floor and an impressive array of drool art adorns her walls.
Better yet, on our afternoon walks I have been vigorously towing (being gimpy never prevents a Hound from towing) her over to the Boat Basin Café located on the Hudson River marina where she consoles herself with a beer while I flop down on the cool stone floors and am made much of by the staff and patrons. In addition to drinking in the afternoon, I have also introduced Elizabeth to the pleasures of an afternoon nap with a Hound. Thus she got to experience first hand the delights of the tail thumping you in the stomach dream and the paws running on your back dream and also the Hound squeaking and snorting in your ear dream, so I am not sure how much napping actually took place. At least for her. This attempted napping was something of a necessity because Elizabeth apparently doesn’t sleep well at night when at any moment she is under threat of being pounced upon by a giant affectionate Hound.
Now if you read last week’s post you know that I am about to become a Swamp Thing. A Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler cooling coat was ordered for me because I am decidedly a Wilting Wimsey when the temperature goes much above 70 degrees (we Hounds are delicate flowers under all our wrinkles and drool). No sooner did the coat arrive than the temperature plummeted into the 50’s so I have not yet had the pleasure of trying it out, but I think that this weekend might provide an opportunity. Miraculously the thing does fit and I look very much the Space Age Wimsey in it (it’s a reflective ice blue). Maybe I will be mistaken for a space alien:
New Yorker 1: Run! We are being invaded by space aliens!
New Yorker 2: How do you know? This is New York City. Space aliens would blend in rather well here.
New Yorker 1: I’ve never seen anything like this before.
New Yorker 2: Well what did this space alien look like?
New Yorker 1: It had a long saggy brown face like melting wax and a metallic ice blue body and giant feet. It was also emitting viscous slime.
New Yorker 1: Are you sure it wasn’t just a Hound?
New Yorker 2: I don’t think ice blue is an acceptable Hound color. Of course I’d have to check with the AKC on that one.
New Yorker 1: What was the alleged space alien doing?
New Yorker 2: Well it was speaking in an alien tongue. I’m pretty sure it was saying “take me to your leader.”
New Yorker 1: Well then it couldn’t have been a Hound. They always say “I am your leader take me your food.”
New Yorker 2: Maybe I was mistaken on that but it was charging about. And rampaging. And scaring people-- except for the people who thought it was kind of cute.
New Yorker 1: That does sound like a Hound...
New Yorker 2: But why was he metallic then?
New Yorker 1: Perhaps he is an escapee from Project Runway.
Anyway, I could have used the coat this Sunday when the warm and muggy conditions meant that my multi hour walk in Central Park pretty much degenerated into my humans trying to find cool and leafy spots for me to hang out in. We did come upon a large picnic in the Ramble and my humans thought it would be fun to have a photograph of me admiring it. Unfortunately right after this picture was snapped I attempted to charge into its midst to the accompanying shrieks of “Wimsey, No!”—two of the most beautiful words in the English language. Whenever I hear them I know that I am about to have some serious fun. Sadly the combined tow weights of Maria and Elizabeth were sufficient to prevent the impending picnic invasion from actually occurring-- I find that most New Yorkers enjoy having their picnics crashed by a voracious, smelly and drool-flinging Hound. Personally I would like to see a photo montage of me annoying people in the park—the canoodling couples I try to get a good sniff of, the picnics I try to crash, the musicians whose instruments I would like to chew and of course the mimes who I know I could make squeal. But I have as yet been unable to persuade my humans to let me work my magic (or wreak my havoc) for the benefit of the camera—clearly they have no artistic sensibility. Or maybe they just don’t have any good lawyers.
But I did get to hide myself in the bushes—can you spot me? I think these bushes would make excellent camouflage :
Picnicker 1: Did you see that bush move?
Picnicker 2: What bush?
Picnicker 1: That large green one over there with the long brown ears.
Picnicker 2: I didn’t see anything. But something smells funny. Are you sure this cheese is OK?
Picnicker 1: What’s that noise?!
Picnicker 2: Probably just some coyotes.
Picnicker 1: There are coyotes in Central Park?
Picnicker 2: There’s everything in Central Park.
Picnicker 1: I’m sure I brought a quiche. It seems to have vanished. Why is there a slurping noise coming from that bush?
Picnicker 2: It’s probably the noise from the stream.
Picnicker 1: Is the stream yellow?
Picnicker 2: Maybe it’s someone’s national holiday and they dyed it to celebrate.
Picnicker 1: The sandwiches are gone too!
Picnicker 2: It’s stress. I am sure you just forgot them.
Picnicker 1: In fact the only think left of the picnic are the plates.
Picnicker 2: Were they paper or China?
Picnicker 1: China.
Picnicker 2: That explains why they’re left.
I don’t think the bush would be much help when I raid the laundry bin, I might have to get more creative for that one. But it is not so far fetched that I could be mistaken for a bush or a space alien. Now as I have discussed before, I frequently get mistaken for a pretty impressive variety of dog breeds and mixes, but this week set a new record. First on Sunday someone asked Elizabeth what kind of dog I was and Elizabeth—who to be fair does have a soft voice (except of course when she’s speaking to me)—answered “a bloodhound.” To which the gentleman replied, “Oh, a Boykin.” For those unfamiliar, this is what a Boykin looks like. Can you see the resemblance? The Boykin is 30-40 lbs and eager to please. Just like me! Now one would have thought that anyone who actually knew that Boykin was not the Yiddish word for boy would also probably know that if I were one I was a severely mutated one (or better yet, a Boykin from outer space!)
But at least the Boykin guy got the species correct. When Maria and I were out walking later in the week we were passed by two men, one of whom pronounced confidently to the other that I was a Red Bull. Granted my behavior has frequently been compared to someone who has consumed too much of that beverage and I am very large and I am quite red. And I do like to butt people with my head. But a bull? And they hadn’t even gotten a glimpse of my impressive tackle from behind! Still, I guess it’s better than being mistaken for a Shar Pei.
We also met a guy who was very excited to see me because he used to train bloodhounds. Now the funny thing is is that my humans knew immediately that he meant he trained bloodhounds for search and rescue not that he trained bloodhounds for the obedience ring. I mean apart from the sheer arduousness of the task, why would you? There are easier ways to make a living than trying to get one such as me to mind my p's and q’s. I would much rather steal your p's and q's (also your dinner and your socks) skills at which we bloodhounds excel naturally.
Well the other big new around here is that on Monday, Marmalade, one of our bloodhound blogging buddies, is sending one of her humans to New York City to see us. Perhaps I will be able to impress her human with my new Swamp Coat. Of course she will not get the full Wimsey treatment as plans are afoot to bathe me on Sunday but I am confident that I will find a few other ways to demonstrate my mastery of Houndship (like digging a few holes—it makes my nose a lovely color, don’t you think?—or invading a few picnics).
Now as in previous weeks, the Wimsey Institute of Houndish art is please to present masterworks from the second graders of the Denali Elementary School in Fairbanks, Alaska. I am particularly pleased with this collection since I am the subject of all their pictures. The guiding principle of the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art is that every picture looks better with a Hound in it (my humans have thought of explaining this to the couples posing for their wedding pictures in Central Park as we believe I would make a fine addition to anyone’s matrimonial memories. And I show up particularly well against white satin).
Our first work is by Jerod whose Wimsey Driving a Motorcycle (inspired by a picture of me doing so in a previous post) has clearly fused the Renaissance concept of including action at multiple time points with the modern aesthetic of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. This allegory prominently displays me at the helm of a powerful machine on the left part of the canvas. The artist has even included a self portrait of himself hanging off the back as I take off at speed. But then our eye is drawn to the action sequence denoted by helpfully drawn arrows that depict what happens when a Hound (who in the spirit of his breed is undoubtedly driving without a license) drives too fast. Sadly, I come to grief as all must who defy the laws of physics in favor of a fleeting dopamine induced surge of thrill seeking joy. Such a mature outlook in one so young.
Our next masterwork is Julian’s This is Gus and Wimsey—another fictive meeting of the Great Manhattan Hound and the Great Hound of the Yukon. Here we see life stripped to its essentials—sun, sky, trees and grass. However, in what would otherwise be a rather derivative painting, the artist has managed to convey the celestial qualities of these magnificent creatures by making them appear to float angelically above the earth. The artist has considerately placed no figures below who might be subject to the unfortunate consequences of one of the things Hounds do best so as not to mar the serenity of the scene. Both Hound figures look beatifically out at us as they meet in heavenly conclave. All in all, a very fine work.
Well I have temporarily been returned to the bosom of family (literally-- I like to drape myself on Maria’s torso) owing to the black circles under Elizabeth’s eyes which are becoming a cause for concern. But she has courteously sent me home with a supply of both boiled and roasted chicken to remember her by. Will keep you posted.
Until next time,
Wimsey, the Raging Red Boykin
Friday, May 29, 2009
Posted by Wimsey at 8:28 PM