July 1, 2011
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from that hotbed of July 4th fever, Manhattan’s Upper West Side where life, liberty and the pursuit of other people’s property is never far from my mind. Well overall it’s been an entertaining week, for me anyway, if not for my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth, for whom my daily
declarations of independence have been something of a trial. Perhaps it is just that I am imbued with the revolutionary spirit of our forefathers for whom independence and resistance to tyrannical authority were concepts that motivated them to wreak havoc on those who believed they should be in charge. And as ever I am inspired by the great revolutionary slogans of the past:
“Give Me Liberty or I Will Eat Your House”
“Don’t Tread on My Tail”
“I Regret That I Have But One Life With Which to Wreck Yours”
“Don’t Fling That Drool Until You See the Whites of Their Clothes”
“I Have Not Yet Begun to Be Annoying.”
But although I am not all that popular with my humans right now (apparently they find my recent spate of extreme oppositional walking to be somewhat vexing), I continue to be popular with lots of other folks, including these
guys who run the Pedi cabs at 77th street and who like to say hello to me every Sunday. I wonder what they’d do if I booked a ride.
I also went out for a nice long walk last Friday with Elizabeth and her lawyer (the one who arranged for Elizabeth to leave me her money should she snuff it unexpectedly) and her lawyer’s daughter Sarah who loves dogs and wanted to meet me. There is nothing like an entourage to bring out my finer qualities, like roaching in the muddy grass to obliterate the effects of a recent bath or hunting down plastic water bottles to dismember. I liked Sarah very much and she has excellent scratching and turkey feeding skills so a good time was had by all, but mostly by me.
And this week Maria completed her jury service—she was selected for a trial so she clearly has not mastered the art of answering the lawyers’ voire dire questions.
Wimsey’s Guide to the Voire Dire (also known as the Voire Aboyer)
Lawyer: Please state your name and profession.
Wimsey: Wimsey, Hound.
Lawyer: You are a Wimsey Hound? Is that one of those fancy rare breeds that people in Manhattan like to acquire?
Wimsey: Well I am a rare breed but not in that way. My name is Wimsey and I am a Hound by profession.
Lawyer: Well then what is your last name?
Wimsey: Like many famous celebrities I only go by one name but I am also known as Wimsey Go Away and Wimsey Stop That and Wimsey NO, and Wimsey You’re Hurting Me and Wimsey Give Me Back My Bra. That is in addition to all the other names people call me on the street.
Lawyer: OK, well I’ll call you Mr. Wimsey. What exactly is entailed in being a professional Hound?
Wimsey: Well it is a multifaceted profession
involving a myriad of complex activities most of which involve doing things that no one really wants you to do like eating garbage, baying at red lights and making humans look stupid. But I also make sure the city’s squirrels get sufficient exercise and I do quite a bit of gardening for the Parks Department and I collect discarded water bottles—and also some that people are still drinking from to encourage the more ecologically sound option of water
fountains. There is nothing like spending $3 for a bottle of water only to have it snatched by a Hound to help guide people to make better choices. And of course I do quite a lot of public relations for the city—meeting and greeting tourists and helping to fulfill their stereotypes that New Yorkers are eccentric people who do crazy things like keeping giant Hounds in their apartments.
Lawyer: Yes, I see that you would have quite a lot of unique experience to bring to jury service. Is there any important reason, medical or otherwise why you couldn’t serve for the duration of the trial?
Wimsey: Well I would need to go out every few hours and pee all over the building. And of course there is my daily appointment with the vet—he is saving up for a trip to Cost Rica and my absence would be a hardship for him.
Lawyer: Well do you suffer from any condition that would prevent you from giving your full attention and fair consideration to the participants?
Wimsey: You mean apart from the fact that I can only hold one thought in my head for a nanosecond and my thoughts cycle through things to eat, things to steal, things to chase, things to smell and places to nap? And of course girl dogs.
Lawyer: I see, so you’re just like the rest of the guys on the jury. Well can you read, write and understand English and will you be able to read any documents used as exhibits?
Wimsey: I am fully capable of digesting any documents that you present but I have a poor grasp of English especially if the words “sit” “stay” “come” “down” “no” and “heel” are involved. Also my grasp of the imperative tense is shaky. But I do have a vast vocabulary for things having to do with gelato.
Lawyer: Well, do you know any of the people involved in this case?
Wimsey: I have smelled everyone, so of course I know them. And by the way you might suggest to the defendant that he change his underwear.
Lawyer: Do you have any philosophical problem with passing judgment on people?
Wimsey: I’m a Hound! We have very few philosophical problems in general and certainly none about passing judgment on people. After all I decide every day who I am going to poke in the rear end and who I am going to roll over and demand a belly rub from. People who feed me roast beef sandwiches are good and people who shriek when a tiny bit of drool gets on them are bad. The world is quite black and tan when you think about it.
Lawyer: An interesting judicial philosophy. Well is there anything about this case that would prevent you from being impartial?
Wimsey: I must recuse myself from all cases involving theft. Hounds do not acknowledge the existence of personal property. It ranks just up there with the tooth fairy and it is better to give than to receive.
Well Maria’s case did involve theft so it was indeed unfortunate that the person on trial was not a Hound. Still, the whole experience could have been avoided at the outset if she had done something creative like worn a
Hound Hat and answered all the voire dire questions by saying that she had to consult her Hound (and she wouldn’t have been committing perjury either!) But humans feel this sense of obligation and duty with which we Hounds remain blissfully unburdened. It’s probably why we are so happy.
Well I hope you all have a fun 4th—I know I will. Central Park will be awash in picnickers and where there is a picnic there is Wimsey, Ace Picnic Invader.
Until next time,
Wimsey, the toast of the town (except not my humans)