October 9, 2009
Hello Everyone, it’s me Wimsey coming to you from New York City’s Hound Happy Upper West Side. And much to my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth’s dismay, it is Autumn yet again. For if in Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, in Autumn a giant Hound’s fancy vigorously turns to thoughts of towing, charging and dragging, not to mention juicy nut gathering squirrels, peeable piles of leaves and the fine aroma of Hound stink wafting in the crisp Autumn air. And if in summer I am a tad reluctant to leave Central Park (remember Newton’s First Law: A Hound in Central Park will tend to remain in Central Park unless dragged out by two screaming women) in Autumn the Park becomes my personal roach motel---I want to go in, but I don’t want to come out. Well obviously I do come out (eventually) but the doing of it is tough on my humans although very good for their biceps.
And this weekend we celebrate the explorer Columbus who is one of my personal heroes, putting aside his horrible sense of direction -- trying to get to India and landing in the Bahamas is bad enough, but landing in the Bahamas and thinking you are in India is cause for some alarm. But Columbus pioneered the fine art of inadvertently stumbling upon something, declaring it “discovered” and claiming it as his own. I do this all the time. (The laundry bin being one of my favorite personal discoveries). The only thing is that when guys like Columbus do it they are awarded gold by the Spanish crown. When Hounds do it they are awarded time in their crates by irate their humans. Now everyone remembers 1492 as the year in which Columbus performed his famous feat but few people remember other really important dates in history:
Wimsey’s Book of Important Historical Dates
Dark Ages: Exact year unknown, but French knights, in a misguided belief that they were stealing something of value, removed some large dark smelly Hounds from the citizens of the Levant. Later realizing their mistake (and the fact that these citizen of the Levant made the Hounds suspiciously easy to steal) the knights offered the Hounds as “tribute” to the monks of St. Hubert. Sadly, the knights were never again welcome at the monastery of St. Hubert, but the monks, unwilling to look foolish by admitting their mistake in accepting the Hounds, later offered the Hounds as “tribute” to the King of France in a masterly stroke of regifting. The King of France offered them to several highly placed dukes and thus it was the Hounds became the royal self replicating fruit cake of the Middle Ages.
December 800: French King Charlemagne had the bright idea of uniting Europe under his rule in the hope of being able to export these troublesome Hounds to even more far flung realms. The Pope approved the scheme and crowned Charlemagne King of the Romans with the proviso that Charlemagne refrain from paying “tribute” to the Vatican.
October 1066: Seeking more room for the burgeoning Hound population courtesy of the many royal “gifts” of the French King, Duke William of Normandy invades England and defeats Saxon King Harrold. The English knew they were being invaded by the Normans but historians believe that had they known they were also being invaded by Hounds they might have fought harder.
June 1211: King John signs the Magna Carta under pressure from his Barons. In addition to providing the foundation of the English legal system the document prevents the abuse of royal power in the form of the regifting of Hounds.
1456: Johan Guttenberg invents the means to produce a new Hound snack.
October 12, 1492: Columbus pioneers the application of the seminal Hound principle of “if I see it, it’s mine.”
October 31, 1517: Martin Luther begins the Protestant Reformation. Although Europe was at religious loggerheads for centuries to come both side were united in the belief that Divine Rule of Hound wasn’t so divine.
1687: Hound hero and champion physicist Isaac Newton published his Principia which for the first time laid out mathematically all the ways the force of the Hound could damage the body of the human. Although legend has it that Newton was inspired by an apple falling on his head, it was much more likely that he was inspired by a Hound tugging on his arm.
July 4, 1776: The thirteen colonies, inspired by the independent nature of their Hounds decide to declare independence from Britain. The original Declaration of Independence drafted by the Founding Fathers and directly inspired by the Hounds read “You Are Not the Boss of Me,” until Thomas Jefferson decided the document needed more meat.
July 14, 1789: The French Revolution begins when the King and nobility are too busy hanging out at Versailles playing with their Hounds to realize no one has anything to eat. (Marie Antoinette has been widely misquoted in this regard. When told that her Hounds refused to eat the proffered bread on the grounds that it was boring, she declared, “Let them eat cake. They can have mine.”)
May 18, 1804: Napoleon crowns himself Emperor and takes to heart the Hound motto, “If you have it, I want it,” and realizes only too late that countries are harder to steal than panties.
July 8, 1853: Commodore Perry sails into Tokyo Harbor and demands the Japanese open their doors to American trade. “You give us precious silks and ceramics and we’ll give you these lovely Hounds.” The Japanese took their revenge by exporting karaoke.
November 24, 1859: Charles Darwin publishes the Origin of the Species. People finally understand the theory of natural selection and how it was that Hounds evolved to be so annoying.
March 6, 1876: Alexander Graham Bell utters the immortal words “Come here Watson I need you. That damned Hound peed on the carpet again.” but was cut off.
February 2008: A Scent Hound, Uno the Beagle wins the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
And speaking of dog show type stuff, this Wednesday I will be at the American Kennel Club press conference at the Affinia Hotel to help promote the AKC’s Meet the Breeds event October 17th and 18th at the Javits convention center. The event is to encourage members of the public who are considering getting a dog to learn about the characteristics of each breed from the people who live with them. Now several years ago I represented the bloodhounds but my humans were prevented from putting up a sign that said: Bloodhounds: Are You Insane!
And after the press conference I will be hitting the streets around Penn Station accompanying an AKC team handing out event leaflets. A minor glitch has arisen in that I am supposed to be wearing an official jacket. For some inexplicable reason they are having trouble finding one large enough for me. Never let it be said that my humans don’t run with the big dogs. (Even if the running is only to avoid getting dragged).
And in another strange turn of events, the poster announcing Meet the Breeds features a prominently displayed bloodhound, who bears a striking resemblance to me (here is a link to it: http://www.cfa-iams-cat-championship.org). The sight of the poster caused Maria to shriek —it’s bad enough that she feels like I am always watching her when she is at home, but now she thinks I am watching her on the street too. I am sure the poster bloodhound is telling her to go to Fairway and buy me a roast chicken.
Anyway, its been a relatively quiet if social week here—lots of dogs and a nice lady on a park bench who gave me part of her lunch—although my arch enemy Cesar Millan did invade Central Park Thursday shooting a segment of his show. Elizabeth and I were going to go over and say hi but she was afraid he would stage an intervention.
And much of this week’s activity has focused not only on the AKC event (especially the assembling of clean drool rags and Hound control devices) but also on my planned appearance Monday outside Maria’s office. Maria’s colleagues have long been hounding her (it is Maria’s destiny to be Hounded) to have me brought over for their viewing pleasure. One of them actually suggested that I be smuggled into the building itself. Apparently she’s never seen a bloodhound. Especially one that can’t fit into an AKC jacket.
Security Guard: Stop! No dogs are allowed in the building.
Elizabeth: It’s not a dog. It’s the new office shredder.
However, I always resent being lumped in with dogs--Hounds are a whole different animal entirely (the dog is Canis familiaris and the Hound is more Canis stop that). A dog will pee on the carpet; a Hound will eat the carpet. You get the idea.
Anyway that’s all for this week. It should be a fun week (for me).
Until next time,