May 21, 2010
Hello Everyone. It’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from New York’s Upper West Side where we are finally having some warm sunny May days that are perfect for a park loving Hound such as myself. Of course we did have a few days of rain which meant I became spectacularly wet and filthy causing my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth to perform extensive towel massages. I guess this is what they mean by every cloud having a silver lining, only just not for my humans who end up covered in wet, extruded Hound hair while I end up being dry and relaxed. Nature clearly favors the Hound.
And speaking of nature, it seems that scientists have created a new life form by putting synthetic DNA into a bacterium. Critics are worried that these artificial organisms could escape and wreak havoc on the planet (I think they mean more havoc on the planet given that we have exploding volcanoes in Iceland and oil pouring up from the sea). Any time I hear the phrase “wreak havoc” I somehow don’t think of bacteria, I think of Hounds. And if we can wreak havoc in our natural form, just think what we could do if we were laboratory-enhanced.
A Special CNN Report: Craig Venter Creates An Artificial Hound
Wolf Blitzer: Thanks for joining us. We are here today at the Craig Venter Institute to witness one of the most astonishing developments in human history—the first artificial Hound! And as ever on these astonishing occasions I am joined by my colleague in calamity, Anderson Cooper.
Anderson Cooper: Thanks Wolf. And what an appropriate name you have for the occasion if I may say so, although I am told that parents are naming children born on this day “Hound” instead of Wolf. But I digress. First I want to say that Dr. Venter is changing the name of his institute to the Craig Venter and Wimsey Institute to honor the contributions of that über Hound, Wimsey, in today’s achievement. Dr. Venter says that Wimsey’s bad behavior served as an inspiration throughout the process.
Wolf: That’s right Anderson, I understand that the work would have been finished sooner had not Wimsey repeatedly contaminated the DNA with his drool and knocked the test tubes off the benches with his powerful tail.
Anderson: He also ate quite a few of the experiments and I’m told and stole quite a few others. They’re buried somewhere on the grounds and Wimsey isn’t saying where.
Wolf: That being said, I’m told Wimsey originally opposed the work. Why was that, Anderson?
Anderson: His opposition was rooted in his belief that the bloodhound already represents the very acme of bad Hound behavior and that any improvements would only be marginal.
Wolf: And why did he change his mind?
Anderson: We understand that Dr. Venter promised him some liver.
Wolf: Ah yes, it is often said that Wimsey will do anything for liver. Except behave of course.
Anderson: OK, they are about to reveal the synthetic Hound. Is it true that the White House wants one as a companion to Bo?
Wolf: Yes, the President thought it would be a good way to showcase American technological prowess but he was overruled by the White House staff who would have to contend with caring for the Hound, especially after they were briefed on the specs for the prototype.
Anderson: And here it comes! It seems to be double leashed to those two large graduate students but seems to be dragging them to the podium anyway.
Wolf: Yes, Hound v.1 as he is called is very strong with a vastly improved tow weight.
Anderson: Well I guess he found what he was looking for—is Dr. Venter wearing a cup by any chance?
Wolf: Not likely judging by the screams. The Hv.1 has a powerful muzzle with increased poking power. I’m told we now have to put on these headphones.
Anderson: Aren’t these the kind airplane mechanics use to shut out the noise of jet engines?
Wolf: Yes, they are a precaution in case the Hv.1 bays. He can permanently damage your ear drums. Also you will notice that there are laboratory personnel wielding cans of Febreze. The Hv.1 has a stink that cannot be washed away by any known shampoo or detergent.
Anderson: And why did we have to check all personal possessions before we entered the institute’s grounds?
Wolf: Apparently the Hv. 1 is not only large and powerful but also lightening fast and stealthy. He has a drive to feint and filch that is unrivaled in the Hound world. And that is saying something, I can tell you. The family beagle left no laundry hamper unturned in his drive for domestic destruction. Also the Hv.1 has giant spade like paws that are supremely well adapted for digging up even the hardiest of expensive ornamental plants.
Anderson: Yes, I see that. Also his powerful jaws—he seems to be chewing the lectern out from under Dr. Venter.
Wolf: But his abilities are not all based on power and guile. Apparently if he were to look at you whilst you were consuming a desirable bit of food, his appealing expression would compel you to instantly fork it over.
Anderson: Well it’s very impressive, but I would be remiss in my duties as a sensation seeking, catastrophe predicting TV journalist if I did not ask the question on everyone’s mind: Why? Hounds are bad enough as it is, why enhance their abilities any further?
Wolf: An excellent question, Anderson . And you are posing a deep philosophical question that we journalists love to simplify for the edification of the untutored masses who are not nearly as smart and well informed as we are. The answer is: because we can. Also the Hv.1 is very cute.
Well I think I would make an excellent prototype for an enhanced Hound, especially as my new harness affords superior towing power. This was much in evidence a few days ago when we were all out for my early evening walk and Maria noticed that a gosling had managing to slip through a fence, separating it from its agitated parents and the rest of its fuzzy flock. Now Maria, who has for a good chunk of her adult life been elbow deep in a wide variety of repulsive Hound excretions and Hound stench, declined to touch the little guy as she believed that geese were “nasty”. Elizabeth, who once raised a goose for a school project, handed over my leash to Maria and immediately swung into action to try and return the gosling to its brood. Well the whole situation was immensely exciting—the hopping, tweeting little fuzz ball, the large agitated honking parents and the rest of the brood running around not knowing what was going on (but making appealing noises anyway). I was most eager to participate in the rescue process and commenced the extreme tractor maneuvers that are now made so much easier and more comfortable by the presence of the harness. This somehow resulted in Maria shrieking for help (visions of ex-goslings no doubt dancing in her head) and forced Elizabeth to temporarily abandon the rescue mission while I was regrettably hauled to a distance deemed safely away. All ended happily for the gosling, (if not for me) when Elizabeth returned to the task at hand and was able to assist the delicious looking little fellow back through the fence to his eager parents. I will be keeping close watch on that field from now on for any repeat performances that may not be as rapidly noticed by my humans.
And although I was deprived of making the acquaintance of that delectable piece of poultry, we do have a new and very exciting non avian resident in the neighborhood—an adorable 4 month old bloodhound puppy named Watson. Attempts to get a picture of him have so far been unsuccessful as he is pretty much a black and tan blur but we will continue our attempts. Shockingly his human reads this blog and still went out and obtained a bloodhound anyway! And you wonder why I take a dim view of human intelligence. His humans have observed that little Watson is stubborn. Well I nearly fell over laughing. Really. A bloodhound that is stubborn. What a shocking thing! Anyway, these pictures are not really of me falling over laughing but of me having a good old fashioned roaching session on the lovely May grass.
Sadly it is now official that the Wimsey Spring Fling trip to see Maria’s mother in upstate New York and my breeder in Michigan has been postponed owing to professional obligations. We are hoping to reschedule in the summer or fall so I can regale you with stories of my impeccable road trip behavior (Hint: I like to drive) and the ladies’ continuing difficulties in all things related to the pumping of gas. The former difficulties of the whole north-south quandary have been resolved owing to the purchase of a very pushy GPS, but their tendency to get chronically lost has not stopped them from arguing with it anyway. Personally I would like to find a way to convert it to a Hound GPS so that no matter where the ladies program it to go it finds the nearest pet store or butcher shop and automatically turns off the ignition until it hears the sound of either loud munching or a stuffed toy being squeaked.
Also this week I had another acupuncture treatment which I am enjoying quite a bit. I am a naturally downward facing dog (although the vet has become concerned that I will drool on his yoga mat). It makes me think that I should open up the Wimsey Hound Spa:
Selected Treatments at the Wimsey Hound Spa
Swedish meatball massage: a wonderful rejuvenating treatment in which one practitioner expertly massages all those hard to reach places on the belly and behind the ears whilst another gently feeds succulent Swedish meatballs stolen from the cocktail party next door.
Tuna Wrap: Enjoy the special feel of being wrapped in tuna salad and the sensory pleasure of licking it all off. Wrap also comes in Grom Gelato flavors.
Aroma Therapy: Enjoy a relaxing rubdown with vital essential oils meant to stimulate the brain’s pleasure centers: essence of raccoon, decaying rodent, deer poop, bunny urine, dirty panties or day old offal. May Special: lost gosling.
Rotting Herbal Mud Bath: Enjoy a relaxing soak in a pool of filthy, stinky mud (optional additions include cow pies and the spoor of exotic zoo animals). No rinse required for long lasting results!
And of course I personally guarantee that the Wimsey Spa will never offer such offensive treatments as anti-wrinkle therapy or that most heinous of all massages, reflexology.
Anyway, I think that is about all for this week. The lovely May weather is bringing out the Hound loving tourists and I need to be well rested to receive their adulation and pose for their pictures.
Until next week,
Wimsey, one of nature’s natural masterpieces
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Posted by Wimsey at 4:46 PM