July 2, 2010
Hello everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the festively patriotic precincts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where fireworks can already be heard booming away in honor of July 4th. I do wonder what the Founding Fathers (and their Hounds) would think about celebrating the birth of The Republic by setting off fireworks made in China and munching hot dogs that are otherwise known as Frankfurters as befits their Teutonic origin. But I mean, what else could we do? Pop Champagne corks (French) and throw pizza parties (Italian).
The fact of the matter is that America has always been an amalgam of the best ideas from everywhere else. This “borrowing” is something of which we Hounds heartily approve-- which may explain why we have always been so popular in the New World. Of course my kind were “borrowed” from the Middle East and then “borrowed” from the monks of the Ardennes and finally “borrowed” from America’s perfidious English colonial masters. “Borrowing” is a great American tradition, something I usually point out to my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth right after I have ‘borrowed” their dinner or their underpants.
But seriously, this weekend we should all take some time to honor the brilliance and foresight of America’s founders. I know I will. I mean what Hound could not love a country comprised of things taken from everywhere else? So I think that as an eminent constitutional scholar it behooves me each year to review The American Bill of Rights (of Hounds), which is the cornerstone of American liberty:
Wimsey’s Bill Of Rights
First Amendment: Guarantees the right to bay, singly or in concert, at whatever volume and at whatever time seems to cause the most fuss. It also guarantees the freedom to shred newspapers and the right to petition the government—or failing that the right to use one’s muzzle and paws to seriously suggest a desirable course of action.
Second Amendment: Guarantees the right to bear arms and also the right to mouth and drool on them in an unfettered fashion. The second amendment essentially guarantees the right to self-defense which includes running away when hearing bath water and chewing up the nail clippers and gentle leader. The Supreme Court is currently considering whether nipping the vet is protected under the second amendment clause about the right to bare teeth.
Third Amendment: This protects us from the government demanding that we have young, handsome, virile and hound loving troops as houseguests. Both my humans and I agree that this is our least favorite amendment.
Fourth Amendment: This protects us from unreasonable search and seizure so that it is illegal to examine my flews when a child’s hot dog has mysteriously vanished or to investigate my sheet nest in search of missing brassieres. It also means that I cannot be carted off to the pound just because I am loud, smelly and obnoxious.
Fifth Amendment: This protects us from self-incrimination and double jeopardy so that when my human screams ‘Wimsey what did you do with the mail!” I am not obliged to tell her. It also means I cannot be hollered at and given a time out twice for eating the same pillow.
Sixth and Seventh Amendments: Guarantees trial by jury in criminal and civil cases which means I get off scot free with everything I do since no jury (especially one of my peers) could possibly convict anyone as cute as me. As an aside, where the value of damages in a civil matter exceeds $20 the accused has the right to a jury. I should be standing trial every day!
Eighth Amendment: Prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. I am considering launching a Supreme Court case against the makers of the Gentle Leader.
Ninth Amendment: This says that just because a right isn’t specifically mentioned in the constitution doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Like just because I am not specifically given the right to shove people off the couch or sit in their laps even though I am far too big doesn’t mean I don’t have the right to do it.
Tenth Amendment: This says that all powers not specifically given to the federal government nor forbidden to the states belong to the states and the people (and to the Hounds). So since Washington has not been given the right to chew up your possessions, nor has the state been forbidden to do it, it means that I can.
Whenever there is trouble on the home front over something I’ve done or am about to do, I simply wave a copy of the Bill of Rights under my human’s nose. Then I eat it.
Well let’s see what else is new around here apart from July 4th. Last Sunday we took a field trip to the posh East Side (giant, smelly drool flinging Hounds need a passport to visit) to the even posher Carlyle Hotel to visit our new friend Alexandra who works there. We had a chat with the elegant and accommodating concierge about the quality of the dog treats and then sprawled out on the sidewalk to maximally impede foot traffic. And what elegantly attired foot traffic it was! So spotless! So unwrinkled! So free from unsightly drool and mud stains! The ladies were so paranoid that I was going to try to remedy this situation that they practically erected a cordon sanitaire around me. I think we definitely need to come back for another visit—I am after all a posh, pure bred show dog, so part of me is very much in my element. The other part of me is sticking my nose in mud and muck hoping to be in everybody else’s element.
And some of you might notice that several of this week’s photos look a little different. That’s because although my usual tow paths take me around Central Park and Riverside Park, these were taken along the Riverside Park southern extension which was built in the last few years to accommodate the people living in the Trump condominium buildings along the Hudson. The theme is post-industrial urban beach—kind of Mad Max meets the Beach Boys. The designers left the decaying remnants of the Hudson River’s industrial piers while adding rocks, sandy soil and coastal vegetation. I really like it down there but seldom get to go owing to the fact that it is not very shady and there is a lot of concrete. But of course there is also a fantastic snack shop—the Pier 1 Café and making a spectacle of myself there makes a nice change from doing it at my traditional haunt, the Boat Basin Café. The ladies have promised me that we will return and sit down for a small glass of wine and a large amount of admiration. I’ll leave it to you to guess who will get what.
Also this week I have been doing quite a lot of Wimbledon watching, which requires me to sit on the couch. Unfortunately, Elizabeth’s (with whom I watch the tennis) many phones get in the way and my tush ends up making its own calls:
Secretary: Mayor Bloomberg, I have Wimsey’s tush for you on line 2.Mayor Bloomberg: Not again! That tush is a real pain in the ass. Don’t tell me he’s complaining about the lack of sheep in the Sheep Meadow again.
Secretary: No, he wants to make an appointment to sit on you.
Mayor Bloomberg: Well tell him I’m too busy shutting down schools and cutting city services! Then I’m off to the Hamptons. Puff Daddy is having a party.
Secretary: They don’t call him that anymore.
Mayor Bloomberg: P. Diddy?
Secretary: I don’t think so.
Mayor Bloomberg: Diddy?
Secretary: That was last year.
Mayor Bloomberg: Well don’t tell me he wants to be called Duddy?
Secretary: No. he wants to be called Sean.
Mayor Bloomberg: Sean! What kind of name is that!
Secretary: The one his mother gave him. But don’t worry, I hear Lady Gaga is changing her name to Lady Gag.
Secretary: Mr. Putin, I have Wimsey’s tush on the satellite phone for you Sir.
Vladimir Putin: I wish he wouldn’t call on that phone. It uses up all my minutes. Is he offering to come help us with our bloodhound shortage again. I’ve never seen a guy so hot to trot.
Secretary: Actually he generally refuses to trot. He likes to pace. Especially in the show ring. But no. He wants to know if you want to hire him as a spy. He hears you pay good money for people to buy houses and take vacations and tell you about what they read in The New York Times and how their kids did at soccer. He says taking everything and giving nothing is a Hound’s job.
Vladimir Putin: Yes, it’s espionage with a human face. Is President Bush very angry?
Secretary: Mr. Bush isn’t the President any more.
Vladimir Putin: What! When did that happen! My spies never informed me about this. Give me that satellite phone. I’ll bet Wimsey’s tush could do a better job!
Secretary: Monsieur le President Sarkozy, I wish to inform you that I have Monsieur le Tush de Wimsey on line deux.
Nicolas Sarkozy: I hate those guys with those long aristocratic names. Well what does he want now. If it’s about those “Learn English With Wimsey” lessons tell him we don’t want any more. Nobody in my administration can say anything that doesn’t have to do with Hounds. And the Prime Minister got in trouble for asking Angela Merkel if she wants a belly rub.
Secretary: But she said yes.
Nicolas Sarkozy: That’s besides the point. And I don’t want my wife, Carla Bruni the Glamorous and Much Taller than Myself Pop Star Who Never Would Have Looked at Me Had I Not Been a Powerful Politician, asking men if they want to pet her Hound. They take it the wrong way. Anyway, what does M. le Tush de Wimsey want?
Secretary: He wants to know if you want him to obtain secret information from the White House when he is there this summer.
Nicolas Sarkozy: What is he doing in the White House? I hope not giving them French lessons! There’ll be an international incident.
Secretary: No. He’s teaching Bo to bay. The Obamas are very education minded and think Bo should learn a foreign language.He says you can pay him in foie gras.
Nicolas Sarkozy: Well M. le Tush de Wimsey always did have excellent taste in meat. But what kind of secret information can he get? I mean if he’s going to tell me about the best spots to poop on the White House lawn, I already know that. There was that unfortunate episode at lunch last year.
Secretary: No he will find out who hates the French in the Administration.
Nicolas Sarkozy: But everyone hates us in the administration. We’re French! It’s part of our heritage!
Well anyway, I hope you all enjoy the long weekend and the internationally pirated items that make it all so festive. Here in NYC we are having the Great People Exchange—New Yorkers flee the city (except those who must care for large and demanding Hounds) and everyone else comes to visit it. All of which makes for a lot of meeting and greeting and oohing and aahing over yours truly. Plastic bottles will rain from the sky and photographic bribing turkey will be offered in abundance.
And so far our summer plans to escape the city ourselves proceed apace. Worries continue about finding a vehicle large enough for me and all the attendant paraphernalia without which no self-respecting Hound would travel—the ladies took a long and speculative look at a horse van the other day. But finally a full sized car has been reserved at Alamo (the fine folks who upgraded us to a Jeep Commander during my last expedition—a car of such grand proportions that Elizabeth’s little arms could not reach the windshield to position the GPS!) with hopes of a similar upgrade.
And now it is time for me to go pester somebody about something as is my wont. I leave you with some items from
The Code of the Hound :
Whatever I want to do I will do
Whatever you want me to do I won’t do
Whatever you are not fast enough to stop me from doing I will do
Whatever you aren’t strong enough to force me to do I won’t do
Happy Fourth Everyone!
Until next time,
Wimsey (and his chatty tush)
Friday, July 2, 2010
Posted by Wimsey at 9:56 AM