Entry # 134
August 28, 2009
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the currently soggy Upper West Side of Manhattan where the fragrance of my moist coat is perfuming the air in a most delightful fashion. But this week it has generally been mostly sunny and humid causing my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth no end of distress on our walks. Not that their discomfort matters much to me, it’s only that I have been dissatisfied with the abbreviated duration of our early evening walks which we take together I am just getting started after the first hour and a half when I am summarily hauled out of the park and back into the air conditioning.
The ladies claim that they are only protecting my health but I know that they are selfishly reacting to the fact that their hair and clothes are sticking to their bodies and rivulets of sweat are running down their backs. Even more disappointing are my afternoon walks, as Elizabeth who can often be persuaded by the power of some judicious domiciliary oppositional towing (for those non-Hound owners-this is-towing the opposite way from home- a Hound speciality) to abandon her plans for the day and spend it with me tooling around Central Park (ref. post re: Wimsey The Time Vampire) has been resistant.
However, Thursday the weather finally turned nice and thanks to my superior judgment in these matters our afternoon walk turned into a three hour Wimsey extravaganza. (We even met a Spanish tourist who congratulated Elizabeth on being with me. She didn’t look very grateful though. Perhaps she was thinking about all the physical therapy).
Anyway, I barely had time to take a nap, cadge part of Elizabeth’s snack and deal with the recyclables before it was time for my next walk. But I must say I am really enjoying this idea of spending my afternoons with Elizabeth. I especially enjoy keeping her company over lunch where I like to sit directly in front of her and express my approbation of her culinary choice with a stupendous display of my manly charms. Somehow this usually causes her to decide that she is not so hungry after all and the contents of her plate make a magical migration to my food bowl.
And of course the sticky summer has meant piles of deliciously sweaty tee shirts for me to inhale. I think all tee shirts should be manufactured to smell like this—kind of like pre-washed jeans. I believe that we Hounds would have many good fashion ideas if only we had an outlet for our talents, like on that TV show, Project Runway:
Tim Gunn: Well Heidi, this should be quite exciting—it’s our first group of Hound designers.
Heidi Klum: Yes, Tim. As you know in fashion one day you’re in and the next day you’re out; only this is the first group of designers we’ve ever had who all want to be out.
Tim: I think we’ll see a lot of usual things Heidi. After all Hounds are known for their creativity.
Heidi: Well let’s bring them in.
Tim: Gather round designers. Designers, I said gather round!
Heidi: They don’t listen to commands Tim. Why don’t your try some liver?
Tim: Thanks Heidi. Anyway, designers, for this challenge we want you to design your signature look. We will all trot over to the Mood fabric store and you will have half an hour to steal what you need.
Bloodhound: I don’t trot, I pace.
Afghan Hound: If he paces, I’m going to gallop!
Basset Hound: I waddle.
Deerhound: And I like to prance.
Tim: Designers, Designers, please. It was only a figure of speech. Get over to Mood any way you want.
Later in the workroom…
Tim: Designers, I’m here to see how you’re all doing. Afghan, what’s that you’re making. It looks like a rug.
Afghan: No, it’s a coat.
Tim: Where are the buttons?
Afghan: The beagle ate them.
Tim: And why is it so shaggy looking?
Afghan: It’s pre-shedded, that way the new stuff won’t show.
Tim: Very clever. And Basset, what have you made.
Basset: I have made a lovely pair of trousers. Low rise.
Tim: I see. And greyhound, what’s that?
Greyhound: It’s a track suit.
Tim: But is looks like it’s made of rabbit fur.
Greyhound: Exactly. You’ll have to run pretty fast to escape being nipped by me.
Tim: I like it, Motivational athletic wear is very fashion forward. Beagle what have we here?
Beagle: It’s an evening gown.
Tim: But it’s made of meat! I didn’t know Mood sold meat.
Beagle: They don’t. I stole if from the supermarket next door.
Tim: Well it does look rather delicious. I particularly like the short rib embellishment and the carpaccio sleeves. And as it‘s an eco-friendly material, it’s very green.
Beagle: It will be very green if you keep it in the closet too long. It’s meant to be fast fashion.
Tim: Well we can feed it to Michael Kors when he gets cranky. Deerhound, what’s that?
Deerhound: It’s a hat.
Tim: But it looks like a pair of antlers.
Deerhound: It does? I hadn’t noticed. I just thought it had a very pleasing shape.
Elkhound: Hey! He stole my design!
Tim: Now designers. Stop that. There will be no showing of teeth. The judges are the only ones who get to do that. And now for our international visitor, the English Foxhound.
English Foxhound: Right ho, Tim. I’ve designed an absolutely cracking pair of trousers. And please don’t call them pants—in the civilized world, pants are the tasty undergarments that I steal from the laundry bin.
Tim: Very well. But these trousers seem to be missing something—they look like chaps.
English Foxhound: Yes, a jolly good idea isn’t it--they allow better access to the fragrant bits for a Hound’s nose. Saves a bloody great lot of poking about and such. Much more sensible this is, I think.
Tim: I suppose. And speaking of bloody, Bloodhound what have you got for us today?
Bloodhound: It’s a dress full of holes.
Tim: But I don’t see the dress!
Bloodhound: I guess I got a little carried away with the holes part.
Tim: Yes, I can see that. But I suppose it would be cheap to manufacture. Anyway, thank you designers. Make it work.
Hounds: But we specialize in making things not work!
Not that there would be great scope for any fashion creativity with my humans—their criteria before they buy anything is to assess how they would feel about it being drool coated and smelly. I guess their style could be described as Hound casual. And both the ladies are going to go down to Nick Arrojo’s studio (he’s the former hair stylist on What Not To Wear) soon to get some of their sweaty locks chopped of. Somehow I can imagine the discussion:
Nick: What kind of style would you like?
Humans: One that looks good with a lot of drool. Or alternatively, perhaps something laminated that the drool slides off of. Also one that looks good drenched in sweat or when it’s rained on.
Nick: And what kind of color would you like?
Humans: Something that goes well with Wimsey. Here, we brought in a garbage bag of the fur he shedded today so you can see his color.
Nick: What a lovely color he has! But here look at all my new Arrojo hair care products. They should help.
Humans: Do you have any DeHounding Shampoo to remove his stench? Somehow men never want to bury their face in your hair and inhale deeply when they get a nose full of Hound.
Nick: I can see the problem. Let me spin you around and surprise you…
Humans: But we’re bald!
Nick: I did leave a few tufts on top. I call it The Wimsey. Now let me color it a lovely Wimsey red.
Well I personally can’t wait to run my nose through their shorn locks. (Little dogs are welcome at a lot of New York hair salons which is rather sizist. I think it would be amusing if one of my humans showed up with me in tow ((or vice versa)). Anyway, I am not sure the new haircuts will improve my ladies’ dating prospects any. They need to be able to discuss something other than poop. Of course last week they did have a spirited discussion about broccoli…
Anyway, we end our time together with a visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where we have a rather early work of Paul Cezanne’s to view. Both Picasso and Matisse described Cezanne as “the father of us all” for creating the foundation of modern art. However in this painting, Madame Cezanne in a Red Chair, (Paul Cezanne 1877, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA) there is just the beginnings of his preoccupation with viewing the world through different planes. But we can see here the remarkable juxtaposition of patterns that must have delighted Matisse as well as wonderful, small brush strokes that build to a geometrical whole. We can sense the solidity and almost monumental quality of Madame Cezanne which is enhanced by her off center positioning on the chair; and we can almost feel her weight as she leans on its arm. Cezanne painted more than thirty pictures of her and she was required to sit for hours, quite still. We think that this must have been extremely boring for her, not to mention that in this painting her broad, empty lap and the large arm chair just beg to be filled with something both beautiful and entertaining. But what could that be? Yes—a magnificent Hound, draped comfortably and diminutively in her lap so as not to overpower her fine figure! I am sure her face looks much happier now. And the Hound has lifted his head in an interrogatory way as if to express Madame Cezanne’s sentiments of “aren’t you done yet?” Madame Cezanne and Wimsey in a Red Armchair.
Well that’s all for this week. I am hoping for an improvement in the climactic conditions for next week’s metropolitan adventures.
Until next time,
Wimsey, He Whose Belly Must Be Rubbed
Friday, August 28, 2009
Entry # 134
Posted by Wimsey at 8:46 PM
Friday, August 21, 2009
August 21, 2009
West Side Hound
I’m living with a human named Maria
I’m living with a human named Maria
I’m living with a human named Maria
And on Wednesday we had a rip snorting thunderstorm that downed many peeable trees in Central Park and Riverside Parks causing me much consternation. Maria thought we should go out for our evening walk in the middle of it, but sagacious Hound that I am, I not so respectfully refused. I eagerly await the advent of more clement weather so that my lengthy walks can be resumed. And as it turns out, this Sunday I will be short one member of the entourage. Elizabeth is going to the Hampton Classic Horse Show (yes in the posh Hamptons!) to help out with the ASPCA booth and agility event. Although I hate being deserted I am looking forward with intense pleasure to smelling her when she gets back and of course I am expecting a placating present (a pony!?) But I never understood the purpose of horse shows; I mean all the horses do is jump over stuff. I think Hounds could put on a much better show.
The Wimsey Classic Hound Show
Indoor Sandwich Hunter
Indoor Family Dinner Hunter (cooked)
Anyway I think the Wimsey Classic would be a very glamorous event and be way more entertaining than watching horses jumping over fences. And speaking of glamour, it is time once again for us to visit the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where we have a glamorous oldie but goodie—Rembrandt and one of his most famous paintings Man In Oriental Costume (the Noble Slav): (Rembrandt van Rijn, 1632, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Here we have Rembrandt at his theatrical best: a topical subject —contacts with the mysterious East having been only recently established, an opulent golden light suffusing the rich costume of the dignified subject and the beautiful brush work of his most imposing hat. Yet somehow the painting is missing something. Something that can be remedied by the insertion of a magnificent and dignified golden hued Hound! The Hound’s demeanor lends even more gravitas to the man and his wrinkles and haberdashery echo those of the oriental potentate. We are sure he must be a wealthy and powerful man to be accompanied by such a glorious creature as this Hound. Wimsey and Man in Oriental Dress (the Noble Hound).
Well that’s it for this week. Let’s hope for a change in the weather around here. I will be making my ritual supplication to the Hound Gods (hint: it involves a lot of leg lifting).
Posted by Wimsey at 8:16 PM
Friday, August 14, 2009
Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which, given all the adulation that I received this week, has apparently become the vacation spot of choice for the Hound lovers of the world. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth don’t get to vacation anywhere because where they go, I go and finding a vacation spot that would welcome a one such as me is tough. Even when attending out of town dog shows, Maria and I would remain hidden in the car whilst Elizabeth checked in 2 people and 1 dog. Not two people and a giant, smelly drooly, massively shedding and baying dog. Their view was that what the front desk didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them and anyway my humans are very adept at dehounding rental cars and hotel rooms. Too bad about their own apartments.
Anyway, the week got off to a bang or should I say a bay as I made an astounding and outstanding discovery—if you bay into someone’s crotch it muffles the sound and changes the bay’s timbre. So now in addition to:
I have added the crotch bay. And speaking of baying, the AKC asked to borrow me in October to stand around in midtown Manhattan to help promote their upcoming Meet The Breeds event at the Javits center. They apparently want a conspicuous canine. My humans were also asked if I bay on command as they felt that this would add to my conspicuousness-- as if a 127 lb. bloodhound standing on a street corner in midtown Manhattan wouldn’t be conspicuous enough. My humans opined that getting me to bay probably wouldn’t really be a problem and that the relevant question is not whether I bay on command but whether I stop baying on command (as those of you who read this blog can surmise, I do pretty much nothing on command). Now while dog lovers are charmed by the sound of me baying, I can frequently send a crowd of pedestrians scurrying in terror with even one of my modest “change the light” bays. But somehow I don’t think this is what the AKC had in mind by being conspicuous.
And speaking of meet the breeds, there has been a bumper crop of tourists meeting me this week. The highlight of this was Wednesday-- it was like Mayor Bloomberg had decreed Wimsey Appreciation Day-- when groups of exchange students were being led around Central Park by various guides. Not only was I surrounded by oohing and ahhing picture taking and petting young adults, but one guide even stopped--with me in the center of a circle--to lecture the group on The Bloodhound. Considering that I have apparently become one of the major attractions to be seen in Central Park, it was quite appropriate. Maybe I should start charging for my appearances (I mean the monetary kind of charging, not the kind I usually do).
Anyway, when all the tour groups had passed there were still many individual tourists interested in meeting me. And we were in deep discussion with two of them on the all important issue of my gunky ears and the helpful nature of the R-7 ear cleaning system when a teen aged lad approached and said he overheard that I had a website. Well of course Elizabeth handed him one of my cards and proudly announced that I have a blog, YouTube videos and also was on Twitter. And the next thing you know the fellow had tweeted about meeting a Hound who tweets. The initiative and immediacy of action of this member of the younger generation was most impressive, but is got me thinking about the end result of it all --not only questions like “Why is this telephone hooked into a wall?” but “Why does this book have so many words?”
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Mother married his father’s murderer, Uncle Claudius. Bad dude. Father’s ghost confirms murder. Advises revenge.
Posted by Wimsey at 3:17 PM