Friday, September 7, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry #31
September 7, 2007

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey. Well, we have been having spectacular weather here in New York City, which means I have been spending quite a bit of time out and about, especially in Central Park. I just hope the weather is this nice on September 15th when I will be in Madison Square Park (23rd Street and Fifth Avenue) for the AKC’s Responsible Dog Ownership Day. If you are around from 11-3 stop by the bloodhound table where I will be holding court and you can hear firsthand from my human Maria what it is really like to live with me. If you are lucky she will show you a few of my more exciting bruise art creations. Her friend Elizabeth will be there as well and will be, as usual, on Hound Control Duty-- you can wish her a lot of luck with that one.

Well because of the upcoming event I was taken to the vet’s this week to make sure my shots were up to date. Now I know that a lot of my fellow canines do not especially relish going to the vet, but I always enjoy myself. First I get up on my hind legs to check in—a process which always elicits squeals of delight and fistfuls of biscuits. Then I am offered a bowl of water with which to make a mess. (On this last visit I also discovered that I could increase the mess quotient by sticking my tail in the bowl). I get to sit up on a chair next to my human attendant for some serious scratching (it’s the guilt thing you know) and receive tribute and admiration from the other patients “Look, Wimsey’s sitting just like a person!”—actually, I am sitting just like Wimsey, but they are not to know that). Then the doctor runs his or her hands over me exclaiming over how fit I am and remarking on the fine condition of my coat (I highly recommend dirt baths in Central Park to stay lustrous). On this last visit Elizabeth’s cuddling of my head was interrupted a couple of times by an annoying needle in my tush, but that just brought some extra scratching and turkey. Anyway, I have always thought that I would make an excellent physician:

Tails from Dr. Wimsey’s Medical Practice

Dr. Wimsey : Tell me what seems to be the matter?
Patient #1: I have a headache.
Dr. Wimsey: Those can be very painful. I suggest you reduce the pain by getting out in the fresh air and have a large Hound tow you around the park. Next.
Patient #2: I seem to have a cold—I can’t breathe.
Dr. Wimsey: Here let me listen (I am a Hound—we don’t require stethoscopes). Ah, you are congested. I prescribe the application of a large warm Hound on your chest. The weight of the Hound combined with his body heat will clear the congestion. Next.
Patient # 3: I threw my back out.
Dr. Wimsey: A common problem. If you lie on a nice hard floor with a Hound sitting on your stomach it will pop your back into place. Next.
Patient #4: I have a stomach ache.
Dr. Wimsey: You are eating to much food and consuming it too fast. You must give your Hound one piece of food for each one that you eat. Next.
Patient #5: I have a rash.
Dr. Wimsey: I have found that the application of copious quantities of drool is highly efficacious. Stimulate the necessary drool production by feeding bits of roast turkey.

But one of the best things about my vet visit, was that I got to go home afterwards with Elizabeth and foil her attempt to read newspapers. I always enjoy doing this-- I sit on her and threaten to shred the paper with my massive bear claws and my fine set of choppers. My presence is wholly incompatible with newspapers, and if I don’t shred them I make them all blurry with drool. I never understand why humans want to read newspapers in the first place, though. All the news in them seems to be bad and has nothing to do with Hounds.

The Wimsey Hound Tribune
Editor in Chief, Wimsey

International News: French President Sarkozy creates St. Hubert’s day as a national holiday to honor les Chiens de St. Hubert. He further announced that anyone referring to them as “Les Bloodhounds” will be deported to England.

National News: Hound ties Newf in hotdog eating contest (see

Music Review: Wimsey reviews latest CD from the Three Hounds. Spanish Hound bays too sharp he opines.

Hound and Home: How drool dirt and fur can improve the look (and feel) of your home.

Cuisine: Five tips for stealing the best meal of your life

Technology: 2007’s most edible electronics.

Business: Hound related injuries cripple US economy, cause panic on Wall Street.

Horticultural: Chief horticultural expert Wimsey writes about the most satisfying plants on which to pee. Also a top ten list of most delectable grasses.

Automotive: Top tips for driving with a Hound. (Tip #1: don’t let him steer).

Sports: Hounds replace ballboys-- US Open in chaos. Federer claims chasing Hounds for punctured balls detrimental to game.

Anyway all my newspaper activities are very well and good, but Elizabeth snuck off on Thursday to what she said was a biotechnology conference. She goes to these from time to time but I think she would find them much more interesting if they were Hound Technology Conferences. It could feature such important subjects as:

Food Stealing Seminar: strategy and tactics
Innovations in Drool-is viscosity really the key?
Laptop management-- or how to defy the laws of physics and occupy occupied space
Interbreed relations: the challenge of the non-hound
Landscaping for beginners
Game theory: how to win without intimidation
Bath Avoidance
Hound Control: the myth behind the dream

I certainly think she would have a better chance of staying awake if I were in charge of the conference agenda. Of course, I would also be giving her helpful nips when she fell asleep and gently shattering her ear drums with my fine voice. But speaking of agendas, last week I promised that we would pay regular visits to the Professor Wimsey’s Institute of Houdish Art, so here are this week’s masterworks:

American Gothic (Grant Wood, 1930, Art Institute of Chicago): Now this is one of the most iconic of all American paintings. It depicts the artist’s sister and his dentist, in a formal, stiff pose reminiscent of the style of northern renaissance paintings. It has always been unclear whether the painting is glorifying or mocking Midwestern culture. However, in either case, I have always felt that this painting is seriously lacking the one iconic element that would make it complete. The front porch looks disturbingly empty, a situation which I was able to rectify with a simple addition. Wimsey Gothic

Dejeuner sur l’Herbe (Edouard Manet, 1863, Musee d’Orsay). OK, so this picture created an outcry when it was first exhibited because of the presence of nude women and clothed men. People imagined all kinds of things could be going on, but you see how the insertion of a Hound (nude of course) instantly gives reassurance that nothing untoward will happen to the women. The painting depicts the moment before the picnickers notice that a Hound is about to eat their food. And notice how the graceful curves of the Hound echo the graceful curves of the human figures. Wimsey sur L’Herbe

Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grande Jatte, (Georges Seurat, 1864, Art Institute of Chicago). This is one of the most famous pictures painted in the pointillist style—pointillists believed that their optical theories, which involved painting using dots, would make colors more brilliant than regular brush strokes. In this painting Seurat concentrates on color, light and above all form. But there seems to be a jarring, empty space in the middle of the picture which I think detracts from its splendor. See how the presence of a Hound immediately creates more visual interest and a focal point (as Hounds always are) for the painting. Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grande Wimsey
Of course all afternoons are afternoons of the Grande Wimsey. So its time for one of my favorite afternoon activities: The Nap. Personally, I think it is one of the great failings of the human race that they spend such an appallingly small amount of time napping. If they napped more they would have a lot less time for making mischief. Of course, being a Hound I am capable of both frequent naps and making mischief, but that is the all part of the Genius of the Hound.

Until next time,

Wimsey, art critic and pin cushion.

PS: the vet suggested lifting my ponderous ears to aerate them when I sit on a park bench. Elizabeth is threatening to put them in a scrunchy!

1 comment:

Bogart H. Devil said...

Ah Wimsey, you are truly our cultural ambassador... and pin cushion.

Good luck at the event!