September 4, 2009
Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the long Labor Day weekend means that my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth will have an extra day to walk me around to meet and greet New York City’s holiday visitors. They themselves are never permitted to join the City’s exodus to fun filled climes because they have yours truly to labor over, but if ever there was a labor of love it would be me.
Well, it’s been such an active week here for cultural and media affairs that I hardly know where to begin. This week for instance the sizzling hot (my ladies’ words not mine) TV actor Matthew Bomer (Bryce Larkin on Chuck) was filming his new USA TV series, White Collar near Bethesda Fountain when he and a crew member caught sight of me and came trotting over post haste to pay homage. Fortunately it was the end of the shooting day because Matt (as I now think of him since he’s had his hands all over me ((causing my humans to also produce some drool)) was dressed in a very sharp suit with nary a wrinkle and had every hair in place—not exactly the ideal habiliment with which to interact with a smelly park going Hound such as myself (Especially a Hound who the enthusiastic crew member was allowing to suck ice cubes out of his big plastic water cup thus enhancing the slime factor quite considerably). And during all these goings on my ladies were mentally screaming “Not the suit Wimsey, not the suit!!” But if I left Matt with any souvenirs he didn’t seem to mind. He professed to “love bloodhounds.” That’s probably because he never lived with one. And like most handsome young actors he formerly acted in soap operas such as the one I am writing. It’s not the Young and the Restless but..
The Large and the Smelly
A stranger arrives at the Wimsey mansion, Bayfair
Stranger: I’m here to see Mr. Wimsey.
Hound Butler: Certainly Sir, may I take your coat?
Stranger: Will I ever see it again?
Hound Butler: No.
Stranger: Well then will you tell Mr. Wimsey I am here.
Hound Butler: Which Mr. Wimsey would you like to see?
Stranger: There’s more than one?
Hound Butler: Well, there is of course Mr. Wimsey senior. Then there are several litters of Wimsey juniors—Mr. Wimsey senior having never been neutered and having an eye for the ladies. Then of course there is Mr. Wimsey’s evil twin. He’s usually free to harass visitors. But we can never tell them apart.
Stranger: But isn’t one evil and one good?
Hound Butler: In theory yes, but no one ever caught any of the Wimseys actually being good, so it’s a bit of a puzzle. But I think the evil twin is tied up. he keeps taking off and tracking the neighbor’s cat and baying at it to announce his find so it was thought prudent to restrain him for a bit.
Stranger: How about Mrs. Wimsey.
Hound Butler: Which one—the liver and tan Mrs., Wimsey, the red Mrs. Wimsey, the black and tan Mrs., Wimsey. There are quite a few. Also a very pretty beagle who also claims to be a Mrs. Wimsey.
Stranger: How about the red Mrs. Wimsey.
Hound Butler: I can certainly introduce you, but I don’t recommend it. She’s a real bitch.
Stranger: OK, how about the senior Wimsey junior?
Hound Butler: Ordinarily a good choice but I am afraid right now he is in a coma. The doctor says he is just sleeping it off after eating the contents of the refrigerator but we all think it’s a coma induced by standing on his head and twirling around.
Stranger: Well how about the second most senior Wimsey junior?
Hound Butler: He has amnesia right now. He can’t seem to remember any of the obedience commands he’s been taught or to remember which things don’t belong to him. The doctor says not to worry, it’s genetic.
Stranger: Well are there any Wimseys actually available?
Hound Butler: Well quite a few of the younger Wimseys are in jail. They had to be crated owing to stealing and eating the couch. And one of the Miss Wimseys is currently in hot water owing to her inordinate fondness for skunks.
Stranger: Well are there any of the family I can see. I’ve come all the way from down under.
Hound Butler: The bed?
Stranger: No. From Australia. Their Uncle, Crocodile Dundee Wimsey has left them his priceless exotic animal dung collection.
Hound Butler: What a windfall!
Stranger: Yes but under the terms of the will there will be no rolling in it until the age of social maturity.
Hound Butler: But they’re Wimseys. They never mature. They pride themselves on acting like idiots their entire life.
Stranger: Well, perhaps they could sell it on eBay. I hear there are some members of the herding group who could be interested.
Anyway, much to my ladies’ chagrin the handsome theatrical hunk only had eyes for me, but I am sure this is because we met him before they had this week’s new hairdos courtesy of Arrojo Studios. They’re a whole lot better looking these days. Now if they could only do something about those clothes.
And speaking of clothes, while I was out with Elizabeth pretending that the park exit did not exist, I received a reprieve of a most fashionable kind. The video crew responsible for making clothing designer Cynthia Rowley’s quirky taxi videos asked if they could use me for a segment. (For those of you not living in the city of New York or who have not visited here in some time, taxis now have video screens in back so passengers can listen to news, weather, funny adverts and try to forget that are paying for the privilege of being driven around at a high rate of speed by some guy with a funny accent enjoying a thrilling game of vehicular chicken).
Apparently the theme of the video is hide and seek and the director thought it would be amusing if the model tried to crouch down and hide behind me. All went pretty well except that since I was supposed to tow ahead of Elizabeth I decided to heel instead. My humans can always count on me to do the unexpected—especially when it is not wanted. I am never averse to demonstrating an obedience command as long as no one asked for it. (I used to do a marvelous sit stay in the show ring). But the crew were lovely and the sound guy was quite taken with my melodious bay so he stuck a mike in front of my muzzle and recorded it for posterity. (Maybe I will have a singing part!) And the water bottle that was used to elicit the melodious bays was promptly emptied and awarded to moi. Now one never knows whether I will suffer the fate of many great actors and end up on the cutting room floor, but my humans will try to find out and let you know. (Also if the video will be on YouTube and the Cynthia Rowley website as is her current taxi video).
Well all this was quite exciting—the idea of me invading taxis especially—but I also had a busy week socializing and checking up on the city’s many cultural events. On Sunday I viewed a demonstration of African Dance in Central Park which I enjoyed so much I wanted to participate. Sadly this was deemed inadvisable by my humans who did not think the dancers would appreciate being joined by a large musical Hound. But later in the week I did get to listen to a couple of the many fine musical performers who populate the park. Again I was all set to join in the action but was prevented from doing so by my humans who are clearly lacking in musical acumen. I am sure the musicians pictured would have welcomed a famously musical character such as myself sitting in.
And speaking of famous, we once again ran into the Central Park tour guide who likes to lecture about bloodhounds. He was accompanied by his latest gaggle of admiring globe trotting students-so in the manner of a politician running for reelection I waded enthusiastically into the crowd bestowing sniffs and slime all around and posing for innumerable pictures. The fact that all of this conveniently delayed my exit from the park had absolutely nothing to do with it.
I also ran into the canine world’s very own Benjamin Button—a lovely fluffy guy called Buddy who has the good taste to enjoy playing with large uneutered males. Well this fellow was running and jumping and play bowing and scampering to beat the band and apparently he’s ten years old. I wonder what he’s eating? Maria wants to know so she never feeds it to me.
And also this week I got to drop by the vet’s where everyone knows my name and I am a favorite client owing to my obliging disposition (except in relation to the thermometer) and my genial, if smelly, nature. And I have a wonderful ability to spend my humans’ money on a rotating group of non-serious and inconvenient ailments, so even if they contemplated going away for Labor Day they couldn’t afford it. Who says Hounds are dumb.
Anyway, in honor of the African Dance demonstration, this week the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art is proud to present The Dance (Henri Matisse, 1909, Museum of Modern Art, New York). This painting was actually a preliminary study for a work commissioned by a Russian art dealer that currently hangs in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. And what an amazing picture it is, vividly defining rhythm and grace. Matisse’s use of bold colors and strong lines is reminiscent of the primitive art that frequently inspired the artist, who along with Picasso is considered one of the most important French modern artists. We notice that only the figure to the left appears earthbound—the other figures seem to float with rhythmic joy as they strive to complete the circle of dance. And speaking of the circle, in the original painting the dancers appear to be circling nothing, which I have always found puzzling. Surely Matisse’s dancers are meant to be circling a joyfully leaping lead dancer. Thus, we see how much more joyful and rhythmic the painting becomes with the insertion of a magnificent Hound! The Hound is clearly enjoying himself, as he assumes his rightful position as the center of attention. And see how the Hound adds drama to the painting as we wonder if the dancers will manage to join hands before the Hound prevents them from doing so. The Dance of Wimsey.
Well I fear that is all we have time for this week. Next Friday I might be taking off as I have a schedule conflict, so if you don’t see a new post, don’t worry—I will be back the following week. It’s not so easy to get rid of me. Ask my humans.
Until next time,
Wimsey, media Hound
Friday, September 4, 2009
Posted by Wimsey at 9:13 PM