Friday, February 22, 2013

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #295

Entry #295
February 22, 2013

Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the Upper west Side of Manhattan where we have spent the week in the deep freeze which is not nearly as entertaining as spending a week in the deep freezer where there are at least tasty frozen meats to excavate.
But the cold did mean that my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth’s projected President’s Day Bath Fest was postponed.  Sadly though, the stench was so great that Elizabeth bravely threw me into the tub herself on Tuesday after a warm, and spectacularly muddy afternoon walk.  Apparently I was getting embarrassing to be around. Or make that more embarrassing to be around.  My humans are well accustomed to people seeing me be obnoxious and hearing me being obnoxious but when they can smell me being obnoxious (and not from the usual gastric eruptions either) it is apparently one obnoxity too many.  I guess apologizing to people for my stink in addition to apologizing to them for my drool and my baying is apologetic overload.
But fortunately (or not depending on one’s point of view) I am a strong smelling Hound and my pungent aroma returns fairly quickly.  Elizabeth was walking through her building’s lobby when the doorman pointed out that she was being seriously eyeballed by a Rhodesian Ridgeback who was waiting for the elevator, “Look how he’s staring at you! He can smell you!” the guy exclaimed.  It’s comments like these that have resulted in my next bath already being placed on my humans’ social calendar.
And speaking of Hounds (and when are we not) the following is a Shameless Plug for our friend Tom Shreck’s mystery novel, “On the Ropes” whose Kindle version is on sale for $0.99 (sadly I can’t shred the Kindle version like I tried to do with to the original).  The hero’s bravery is only exceeded by that of Tom himself who lives with both basset hounds and a bloodhound. (And without giving anything away, I would suggest that you keep your eye on the hero’s Basset Hound, Al. Some of the characters in the book wish they had too).  The book is the first of a series and if any of you entertainment people are reading this out there I think it would make a terrific movie or basis for a TV show.  (And my humans and I want to watch the casting call for Al the basset).
Anyway, movies are on my mind because Sunday is Oscar night and my humans will be all dolled up in Couture by Wimsey for our appearance on the Red Couch. (Honestly, Maria does really have a red couch—you just can’t see the color because it is always covered in drool and hair covered sheets; what she doesn’t know is that underneath the hair and drool covered sheets there is a hair and drool covered couch).  I have carefully viewed the nominated Best Pictures and as usual I feel that they could be substantially improved:

Wimsey’s Oscar Nominated Films

Amour: A controversial film about euthanasia wherein a lively Hound is threatened daily with the consequences of his activities.
Argo:  An exciting tale of CIA daring do: A CIA agent is tasked with smuggling 6 escaped American hostages out of the Canadian Embassy in Tehran and decides to pretend that they are part of a film crew.  Ignoring the fact that the plan sounds a lot like a TV episode of Mission Impossible, the exfiltration expert goes ahead.  Just to hedge their bets his bosses send in a team of Hounds to re-shred the pictures of embassy staff members that are being reassembled by the Iranians.  The Axis of Evil meets the Axis of Evil (Hound version). Thanks to the heroic efforts of the Hounds, the plan succeeds and the exfiltration expert moves on to study the plots of James Bond movies.
Beasts of the Southern Wild: Rather than a bizarre fantasy of ecology run amuck this is an unfortunately not so bizarre non-fantasy about a pack of Southern Hounds running amuck. Or just being Hounds.

Lincoln:  War! Partisan politics! Ethical Dilemmas! Complex presidential personal relationships! Sorry, that’s today’s NY Times.  Lincoln is a fine, historical film about one of America’s greatest presidents.

Silver Linings Playbook:  A Hound’s human keeps his sanity by repeating such phrases as “I hated that couch anyway,”  “Red meat is unhealthy,” “That dinner had too many calories,” ‘Pre-masticated food is easier to digest” “It will come out in the wash,” The walls needed repainting anyway,”  “My insurance covers visits to the Emergency Room,” “ I needed new shoes,” “Long walks in the icy cold are refreshing,” “Attachment to material possessions is unspiritual,” “I can change channels without the remote.” “I can read the newspapers online.” ‘I’m starting to like that smell,” “I look good in colors that are the same as my Hound’s hair” “It’s good to share,” “Sleeping on the floor is good for your back, ”The vet is a nice man, I like helping him do so well,” etc.….
Also, there were several nominees that I dealt with in my Christmas movie post, so here they are again in case you missed the:

Life of Pie: A very short film about a very large Hound and a very unattended dessert left on the counter to cool.

Les Misérables: The human version: a film about people with Hounds; the Hound version: a film about people without Hounds.

Zero Dark Thirty: The bank balance, the financial outlook and the number of times per minute that a Navy SEAL with a Hound tells the dog to get his nose off the counter.  Also Bin Laden gets shot.

Django Uncrated: When his humans forget to put their Hound Django in his crate they return home to find that their house now has an open floor plan, new ventilation to the outdoors and very little else.

And the envelope goes to…. no one if a Hound was in proximity of the envelope.

Also this week I decided to pay a Sunday visit to a local farmer’s market on Columbus Avenue and this stand caught my eye. Unfortunately the sign was somewhat misleading, as there were no actual ducks available for me to get to know better.  But it turns out that this nice lady has a line of freeze dried duck hearts for dogs of which I was able to partake. My humans have promised to buy me a bag next week but I also have my eye on some tasty looking sausages as well. 
And now in honor of the Oscars a little star photo montage: this week you may have noticed that sometimes there are not a lot of photographs.  This frequently occurs because Elizabeth (my personal photographer) runs out of time and patience.  For every photograph you see there are many more like this:

I see you have the camera out again. However there seems to be something very interesting off to the left over there.

Or perhaps it was off to the right.
Did I hear the zipper on the treat pouch?

Brandishing turkey will earn you a lovely shot of my tongue.

And this is the picture that will ultimately appear.

Usually I can get her to give up and put the camera away whereupon I look at her with a variety of appealing expressions that she will never be able to capture.

Now as many of you know I am a great art lover and am also the curator of The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art ( And in honor of Anthony Van Dyke’s birthday I have reproduced a painting from the Institute’s collection along with my curatorial comments:

Charles I At the Hunt (Anthony Van Dyck, 1635 Musee du Louvre Anthony Van Dyck the great Flemish painter became court painter to Charles I and painted forty portraits of him. Now although this is a very imposing painting it is not an official royal portrait. In it Van Dyck depicts the easy elegance of a gracious gentleman at the hunt. The genius of Van Dyck as a portraitist is that in spite of the casual pose of the sovereign the painter manages to portray him as commanding and regal nonetheless. From his shimmering doublet to his elegant boots and haughty expression, he is clearly the man in charge. But however beautiful, this painting has always seemed to me to be missing something. Shouldn’t the haughty and commanding Charles I be accompanied on the hunt by an equally haughty and commanding Hound? See how much the addition of a magnificent Hound adds to the meaning and beauty of the painting! Both gaze majestically out at their realm secure in the knowledge that their every wish is a their subject’s command—such a sense of ease, elegance and entitlement in both man and Hound. Charles I and Wimsey at the Hunt.

Well I think I will leave it there for this week.  Before I leave, however, a special shout out to California Bloodhound Credo for his spectacular initiative in opening a kitchen baby gate to help himself to his humans’ dinner. And also for his magnificent sang froid when confronted by his human with a chicken breast in his mouth for looking her straight in the eye and swallowing it. Bravo.

Until next time,

Wimsey, ready for his close up (not)

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