June 19, 2009
Hello everyone-- it’s me, Wimsey, the Roach King of New York’s Upper West Side. Now this title refers not to those ubiquitous little beasties that infest New York City apartments and bedevil their inhabitants, but to my new prowess in rolling on my back and flailing my powerful limbs. I have even perfected the Downhill Roach (wasn’t there a movie about a Downhill Roacher with Robert Redford?). And my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are astute enough to have noticed that I roach in directions in which I want to go and in directions that they do not—kind of a Stealth Roach. Before they know it they are someplace they don’t want to be. But roaching can be dangerous—not for me of course—but for any hapless human who happens to be in range of my super sized bear claws.
As it happens, on Wednesday I was being Zoomed with my Zoom Groom when I decided that the ultimate sybaritic experience would be to roach while being zoomed. Then Maria saw the opportunity to access some hard to reach bits when –wham!—I got her right in the eye. Fortunately no real damage was done (although a new “no zooming when roaching” rule was promulgated) but she had a lovely shiner. I did encourage her to place a nice beefsteak on it but she settled for a cold caipirinha glass instead. Of course getting biffed in the eye by your dog is humiliating under any circumstances but Maria had a company physical the following day. Oh to have been a roach on the wall:
Dr.: That’s quite a black eye you have there. Bar fight was it?
Maria: No Hound.
Dr.: Perhaps you tried to turn around in your closer sized apartment and walked into a door?
Maria: No. Hound.
Dr.: Perhaps it was your neighbor with whose turbulent and noisy romantic imbroglios through thin walls you have been entertaining your friends?
Maria: No Hound.
Dr.: Perhaps it was one of those spirited shoppers in Fairway who thought you weren’t moving out of their way fast enough?
Maria: No Hound.
Dr.: Perhaps someone on the subway clipped you with their climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro sized backpack?
Maria: No Hound.
Dr.: I’m sorry. This is New York City. There are thousands of legitimate ways to get a black eye and none of them involve Hounds.
Maria: But he was roaching.
Dr.: Why didn’t you say it involved roaches! They’re a New York City mascot.
Anyway, I am quite proud of this black eye as so many of the other bruises that I inflict are in spots that never see the light of day. It’s all part of the exciting life in New York City. This Sunday for instance the exciting Puerto Rican Day parade was held which meant that Central Park was too crowded for my usual Sunday jaunt so we all had a nice tow through Riverside Park—you can see the Hudson River in the background in some of this week’s pictures.
And as we walked by the Soldiers and Sailor’s Monument which is dedicated to the soldiers and sailors of the Civil War, I noticed this canon—one of several pointing across the Hudson that protects the Upper West Side from invasion by hostile forces from New Jersey. Or at least I hope from the garish Real Housewives of that state.
Well the Puerto Rican Day Parade is just one of many parades New Yorkers hold to celebrate their diversity. Naturally, I think there should also be a Hound Day Parade:
The Hound Day Parade
Wolf Blitzer: Hello Everyone. Thanks for joining us for this CNN Special Report: Manhattan Goes to the Dogs. I’m here with Anderson Cooper and we are taking a break from the usual mayhem and cataclysmic events from around the world with which we usually entertain you to cover New York City’s first Hound Day Parade.
Anderson Cooper: That’s right Wolf. You know what they say-- everyone’s a Hound on Hound Day! We’re told Mayor Bloomberg even lifted his leg on a fire hydrant in the spirit of the day.
Wolf: That must have been quite a photo opportunity.
Anderson: Yes it attracted a considerable crowd and we’re told former mayor Rudolf Giuliani had to be forcibly restrained from marking over it.
Wolf: Well he does have a reputation for having a competitive streak. But tell us about the parade—what’s about to happen.
Anderson: Right. First the Vienna Choirboys have been flown in to sing the Hound Anthem.
Wolf: I didn’t know Hounds had an anthem—I thought they just bayed.
Anderson: Well they do have an anthem; it’s from The Marx Brothers movie Horsefeathers. Let’s listen:
I don't know what they have to say,
it makes no difference anyway -
whatever it is, I'm against it!
No matter what it is or who commenced it,
I'm against it!
Your proposition may be good,
but let's have one thing understood -
whatever it is, I'm against it!
And even when you've changed it or condensed it,
I'm against it!
Wolf: That was very moving Anderson. Seldom does an anthem so capture the spirit of a breed. Those who have ever attempted to walk a Hound will certainly feel its veracity. And here comes Grand Marshall Wimsey carrying the flag of all the acceptable Hound colors emblazoned with the Group’s universal motto: If you have it I want it!
Anderson: Truly a symbol of unity through diversity—so many sizes, shapes and colors yet all Hounds with but a single thought. It’s very inspiring.
Wolf: And here comes the Bloodhound Float.
Anderson: Yes, you can smell it and hear it coming long before you can even see it.
Wolf: But it is quite visually arresting—it depicts the Hounds at work—shredding underwear, eating couches, digging holes and dragging humans.
Anderson: Duck! The Synchronized Precision Drool Flinging Squad is beginning its demonstration.
Wolf: Very impressive. And the float was sponsored by Grom Gelato which we understand is Wimsey’s favorite snack. And here come the Beagles!
Anderson: The Beagles’ tri-colored float was sponsored by McDonald’s and features tableaux vivants of beagles with their heads in the trash, beagles opening refrigerator doors and beagles running away from their humans on the trail of something more interesting. There is also a sculpture consisting of things not previously thought to be edible but that have all in fact been eaten by beagles.
Wolf: A very enterprising breed Anderson. And here come the Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
Anderson: There was some controversy over the design of their float—apparently Disney objected to the Lion King theme especially as the Ridgeback wanted to demonstrate how to hunt the character. So they settled instead for some handsome black leather with silver studs spelling out their motto: If you’re not supposed to be here, you’ve made my day. You can see some formidable Ridgeback specimens guarding the perimeter and watching the crowd for any sign of an incursion. Their float is sponsored by Kroll, by the way.
Wolf: But what of the sight hounds?
Anderson: Well they are here of course, but they are rather low key compared to the scent hounds. We do have a greyhound float sponsored by Futon World that features the breed lounging about—something they are very adept at doing. And there is the Borzoi float sponsored by Jennifer Convertibles that features them snoozing on leather couches, and then there is the Scottish Deerhound float sponsored by World of Tartan that features them napping on plaid sofas.
Wolf: What about the Afghans?
Anderson: Ah yes. The Afghans. They volunteered to be the comedy float this year—they’re going to do obedience.
Everyone loves a parade! Well let’s see what else is new this week. Owing to a stalled jet stream we are having damp and mostly cool weather so I have not yet had the opportunity to further test out my summer cooling coat. But my XXL raincoat did arrive, frankly much to my displeasure as you can see. It is seldom that my humans can capture so cheesed off an expression but I could not think of another way to demonstrate my sartorial displeasure. I am somewhat comforted by the fact that the coat is only intended to be worn during heavy pelting rainstorms in order to protect my delicate skin. Perhaps Elizabeth (whose idea the coat was) would also like a black eye. But at least my wardrobe is taking up an increasing amount of closet space—taking up space being a desirable Houndly attribute in whatever form.
And speaking of Houndly attributes, I noticed there is a book on the New York Times Bestseller List called Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, but I think there could be a better book:
Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Hound
When out to dinner, don’t order the most expensive thing, order the largest thing.
When given a gift, make a big fuss then look around for the rest of it.
When an enticing male is interested in you, totally ignore him—both men and Hounds desire things that are hard to obtain
Always remember to keep your legs crossed when monopolizing the couch
If there is something you want find a way to get it
Be relentless in the pursuit of getting your own way and charming and adorable when you get it—that way people around you don’t feel so bad when they lose
Ignore rude people, like those who pat you on the top of your head and ask if you drool a lot
Own your space
Own the people in your space
Own anything you want to own in or out of your space
Presence and charisma work better than brute force
If presence and charisma don’t work, be sneaky. What people can’t see they can’t prove
Remember that nothing is ever your fault. Ever.
Make people laugh, they will hate you less
Coming soon, my new self help book: Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, and Hounds are from Hell.
Anyway before I depart for my next week’s adventures we are going to pay our weekly visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where this week we continue to look at masterworks from the second grade class at the Denali Elementary School in Fairbanks, Alaska. Our first picture is done in the primitivist style and is entitled I am Playing Catch at My House With Wimsey by Trenton. Notice how the interesting detail of the cropped hand seems to bring us face to face with the large and quite impressive looking Hound, his mouth filled with a the lovely ball he has just caught. We observe with pleasure that although the Hound is highly stylized—his handsome visage rendered much in the manner of an African mask which we believe the artist used as inspiration, probably from their last safari—he conveys the robustness and spherical acquisitiveness of the true Hound. A ravishing work.
Next we have a fascinating, minimalist work by Katelyn who is depicting an actual event from my life. While being asked to review a Cesar Millan video some months ago my humans decided that I should indulge in some pizza. Thus we have the scene immortalized by Katelyn’s work, Wimsey is Eating Pizza and Watching TV. See how the artist has stripped the scene to its essentials—against a stark canvas we see the Hound, complete with his fine black saddle, an assertive figure proffering the pizza, and Cesar Millan walking a pack of dogs on TV. Very pleasing echoing rectilinear shapes have been added in the form of a window, a table and a laptop (most likely where my blog will be read at any moment). A highly entertaining work.
And speaking of entertainment it is now time for me to interfere with that of my human by impeding her view of the TV.
Until next week,