Friday, April 9, 2010

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #164

Entry #164
April 9, 2010

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where I continue to provide the shock and awe factor for the city’s burgeoning population of spring tourists. Or maybe it should be awe and shock since first they are awed by my size, presence, charm and drool and then they are shocked that I actually live in the middle of one of the world’s great metropolises.

They envision a classic “hound dawg” like myself lounging about on a country porch, not eating takeout Chinese and visiting famous cultural institutions. The fact that rather than lounging on a country porch I would probably be eating the country porch seems not to have occurred to anyone except my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who have seen me try to turn park benches into match sticks with my mouth

Well we are having more strange weather here in the old metrop as my hero Bertie Wooster used to call his town of London (I think I would have enjoyed matching wits with Jeeves, participating in food fights at the Drones Club and generally lounging about being useless and decorative. Of course since all this is a lot like what I do now perhaps I am really the canine incarnation of Wodehouse’s entertaining pleasure seeking man about town).

But as far as the weather goes, we had two days of 85 degree heat with no shade on account of the fact that there are no actual leaves out yet. There was even talk of my summer cooling coat making a premature entrance and Elizabeth complained incessantly about how horrible the light was for picture taking (makes a change from her complaining incessantly about me, which she ended up doing anyway because in spite of the fact that I was overheating I kept trying to drag her the long way round all the paths until I was so hot that I plopped down under a bush and refused to move).
But every cloud has a silver lining and in this case it was the epidemic of summer picnics yesterday evening in which I was a featured participant. (Hounds being the ne plus ultra of uninvited picnic guests). I was much admired (and belly rubbed) by a group of al fresco dining Scots but sadly no haggis was in evidence--haggis definitely being my kind of food: sheep heart liver and lungs simmered in stock and sheep fat and served in the animal’s stomach—I am sure that a Hound had a hand in creating this culinary paean to the joys of offal. Anyway, the fact that this Scottish Picnic was taking place in the shadow of Belvedere Castle made me think that the time was long overdue for:

Wimsey’s Twitter Macbeth

Hard work defeating those traitorous Irish and Norwegians bastards (who knew they were even acquainted with each other, let alone military allies!), but now time for an engrossing chat about the weather with my friend Banquo. Doppler looking ugly.

Just met three strange women—hoped they might be up for a post battle four way as there is nothing like slaughtering a ferocious army to make one think of a little romance- but instead they want to tell me my future.

Seems I’m gong to be king. Think I would have preferred the four way. Anyway, must tell exciting news to the wife.

Knew talking to the wife was a mistake! She suggests we help fate along a bit by offing King Duncan when he visits our castle.

Told wife in no uncertain terms that regicide is a bit over the top as a career strategy but she sneered and she told me to grow a pair. Hate when she says that. Don’t know what I ever saw in her.

OMG! Can’t believe I killed the King! This was a bad idea. It was a completely different experience from all the other people I killed this week. Think I’m having a breakdown. Must talk to wife.

Fortunately wife cool as cucumber. Probably because crown and cloth of gold already ordered from EBay. She’s planted bloody daggers to frame the king’s guards. Clever. Now I know why I married her.

OK, had a large single malt and calmed down a bit. I’m sure things will look a lot better in the morning.

Escorted the Earl of Lennox and king’s relative Macduff to King’s chamber. Gave Oscar winning performance of surprise and anger at assassination. Unfortunately had to slay guards to add veracity to the performance.

Stroke of luck! King’s son’s Malcolm and Donalbain (what was Duncan thinking with those names!) have fled! Forgot whether I was supposed to have killed them too—hope wife isn’t too annoyed at oversight. Anyway, makes them look guilty as hell.

Am now king! Wife extremely happy. Something still bothering me (I mean apart from all the murdering I’ve done lately). What is it?

Oh yeah. Witches said Banquo would be the father of kings. Perhaps just to be on safe side should murder him and his son too. Will have wife invite him to a banquet. She’s big on entertaining these days.

Decided to contract out murder. Too busy ruling to do it myself although wife brought up the stones thing again. Perhaps am killing the wrong people.

Murder was a mixed bag. They got Banquo (at least no more boring conversations about the weather), but son Fleance escaped. Hard to get good hired help these days. Anyway, not too worried as who would listen to a king called Fleance. Good name for a cat though.

OK, am now officially losing it! Went to sit in my chair at the banquet (the wife sets a lovely table, I must say) and ghost of Banquo swanned in and sat in my chair!

Wife said I spoiled the party by demanding (OK screaming) to know WTF the ghost was doing there sitting in my chair, especially as he was actually dead. May have used a few other choice epithets. Apparently, I was the only one who could see him. Clever bastard.

Must calm down (wife hid the single malt) and consult those Witches again. After all, they’re the ones who got me into this mess in the first place.

Witch reading a bit iffy. Apparently I am to beware Macduff even though he hightailed it to England. But also no man born of a woman can harm me (could threat come from one of those guys born of extraterrestrials the tabloids always talk about?) and also I won’t be defeated until Great Bimam Wood comes against me (didn’t something similar happen in the Wizard of Oz? Must get wife to check).

Just had everyone in Macduff’s castle killed, including his wife and kids. Better safe than sorry.

Uh oh. May have gone too far. Upset wife. She’s wandering around the castle in her sleep muttering “Out damn spot, out!” and I don’t think she’s talking about the dog.

Am having serious PR problem. Latest polls indicate people think I am a tyrant. (Guess the “Macbeth: A King to Die For” billboards had no effect. Note to self: kill PR firm). People afraid to let me kiss babies lest I murder them. I mean I don’t murder all of them!

Some loudmouth told Macduff I killed his entire family. Rumor has it that he and Duncan’s geeky son Malcolm are coming north from England to get me.

Hmm... Great Bimam Wood outside my castle seems to be moving. Interesting medieval camo technology. One prophecy down.

Things not going well. Wife topped herself. Apparently feelings of guilt for all the murders too much for her to take. How does she think I feel! I mean its always got to be all about her.

Am having existential crisis. Have just realized that we’re all going to die and that life is meaningless. Of course it sounded better when I made that “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” speech. Hope somebody wrote it down.

Macduff just blew in to give me a hard time about how things have been going. Explained about the witches and the wife and how I had no real choice in the matter. He told me I should have grown a pair.

Anyway, told him if he’s planning any rough stuff that I can’t be harmed by a man born of a woman, so unless he’s an alien, he’s screwed.

Crikey! Turns out the bugger was born by Caesarean! Who knew they did that these days. Anyway, I argued that his birth, while somewhat unconventional, especially in medieval Scotland, still constituted being born from a woman. Nobody buying it. Wish the wife were here; she’d know what to do.

Can’t believe it! Am about to be executed on an obstetrical technicality!

Oh well, even though none of it was my fault, I suppose I did actually murder quite a lot of people. Guess I finally grew a pair.

The end

I do love a good play. Especially if there aren’t too many words in it. (Someday I am sure technological advancement will make it possible to read ((or better yet, to hear)) the entire works of William Shakespeare in under an hour). And as my humans can confirm, my love of literature is so great that whenever New York’s informal theater groups put on some outdoor Shakespeare I am right there ready to invade the action and make an impromptu appearance in the role of First Hound.

And of course this summery weather meant that I towed Elizabeth to the Boat Basin cafĂ© and staged another of my sit down strikes at the bar in the hopes that it would induce her to quaff a beer so I could play with the plastic cup. The staff remembered me from last year, but that is hardly surprising as I am such a memorable character—I provide kind of a multimedia experience—sound, sight and smell. But alas the summer weather didn’t last and we are back in April which means it’s also tax season. And if there is one thing we Hounds know about, it is about how to be taxing.

Wimsey’s Schedule of Hound Taxes

Value Diminished Tax: This is a tax levied on all purchased goods, particularly those that are luxury items or to which humans are very attached. It is a progressive tax -- the greater the dollar amount or attachment value of the item the greater the tax. Example: luxury leather goods are taxed highly whereas Keds from K-Mart are taxed lightly; that couch cushion you spent hours picking out because it is just the right color is taxed highly whereas the ugly cushion you hide behind the others is taxed lightly. And don’t think you can ever fool the Hound Taxman. We always know what you value and apply our confiscatory powers accordingly.

Refrigerator tax: This is a selective tax on stored comestibles. The tax is applied on a sliding scale. Raw meat, for instance is taxed at a rate of 50% or more depending on how fast your Hound is. Vegetables are taxed at only a few percent and depending on how hungry your Hound is.

Counter tax: Everything left unattended on the kitchen counter is subject to taxation. Rates depend on the desirability of the item, the amount of time it is left unattended and the boredom level of your Hound.

Tail tax: All items left at tail height are subject to a punitive tax, particularly if fragile. The amount of the tax depends on the height of your Hound and the and length of his tail and how excited he is.

Landscaping tax: This tax is levied depending upon the utility of the vegetation. Flower beds (particularly when in bloom) are highly taxed as they can be either peed on, pooped on, eaten, dead headed or uprooted. Bushes with chewable branches are taxed at a higher rate that those with thorns.

Time Tax: Human time is subject to a 100% tax by the Hound. When not walking, feeding, watering, scratching, grooming, shopping for or admiring the Hound, humans are required to be thinking about other ways in which to please the Hound.
Well, you get the idea—we make the IRS look like Santa Claus.

Before I leave you, this was the dialogue downstairs in Elizabeth’s lobby.

Elizabeth: I have a package.
Concierge: Wow it’s a small one today.
Elizabeth: (sighing) That’s because it’s not for Wimsey.

(In fact it is for me—it’s a new snazzy Jawbone Icon Bluetooth, a Bluetooth being an indispensable piece of equipment that allows Elizabeth to answer the phone whilst keeping a two handed death grip on my leash).

Until next time,

Wimsey, The Scottish Hound


The Thundering Herd said...

So if she is on that bluetooth jawbone while walking you, does the other party get to hear her scream as you arbitrarily chose routes and strangers to meet?

Lola said...

Wimsey, that was the best synopsis of Macbeth that I've ever read. OK, it was the only one, but I'm a Shar Pei. Blog Mom loved it too, though. She thought that Wimsey Notes would outsell Cliff Notes if you were to publish them. What I'm wondering is if you're considering producing, directing and/or starring in any Shakespeare in the Dog Park productions. Maybe a summer series? I'm pretty sure I could get the Moms to take me into the city for that. It's ruff out here in the cultural wasteland, ya know.

Bentley said...

Oh, loved your theatrical interpretation!

Don't you think that the phrase "Double Double, toil and trouble" might just refer to a hound...especially the "trouble" part? Of course, the "toil" is what the humans must do to properly provide for the hound's comfort...Hmmm?