Friday, October 26, 2007

Wimsey's Blog:Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 38
October 26, 2007

Hello Everyone. It’s me, Wimsey, and what a disastrous week it’s been. That is, apart from the fact that fall might actually have arrived, bringing with it a veritable cornucopia of hunting bounty of a rodentian kind. My human Maria had to intervene to prevent her friend Elizabeth’s arm from being dislocated when I charged after a scurrying mouse on a recent evening walk. ((Two Tugging Ladies= One Charging Wimsey—an excellent equation to be added to the Wimsey Book of Mathematical Science). Apparently bloodhounds aren’t the only creatures made frisky and active by the cooler weather. New York is now choc a block with an assortment of eminently chaseable, delectable rodents and, best of all, they are nocturnal so I get to engage in chase activities even after the squirrels have tucked themselves in for the night. And who knows? I might even have more luck catching one of these beasts than I do the squirrels. I suspect that it is due to this eventuality that my humans now assiduously engage in evening rodent scanning patrols.

But I digress. I was speaking of disaster—it turns out that my arch enemy—Maksim Chmerkovskiy (see last week’s post) failed to make my day and get himself kicked out of the competition on “Dancing With the Stars” and is thus back for yet another week of unfairly mesmerizing my humans. So this week it will be all “Look at that amazing lateral hip extension” and “Wow, notice his extraordinary vertical hip range” (this from Elizabeth who is analytical in all things, even manly charms) and “How hot is he!?” (from Maria who always cuts to the chase in these matters) instead of “Look how beautiful Wimsey is” and “See how the sunlight plays on his rich red coat”. Snarl. (I don’t think I actually know how to snarl, but if I did, I would).

Things that I Wimsey would like to see happen to Maksim Chmerkovskiy:

Painful ingrown hairs from too much chest waxing

Split pants from too much leg extension

A “1” from the judges for forgetting he was actually supposed to be dancing with a partner

Turning orange from too much tanning spray

Having to dance in a clown costume

Being quizzed by Elizabeth on the Lives of the Tudors

A world devoid of mirrors

My humans always tell me “handsome is as handsome does.” (of course I don’t score too highly in that department either) but clearly they make an exception for sizzling hot ballroom dancers, if not for egotistical bloodhounds. Anyway, if I were ever to meet Max I would body slam him, then place my large tush on his glossy waxed chest and drool all over his skin tight costume. It’s the stuff of houndly dreams.

It is all very sad that in addition to having to put up with this guy on TV, my own nascent TV career has so quickly been nipped in the bud. On Saturday I was booked onto the set of “The Apprentice” for a task involving dogs. Well the day began propitiously-- as I was walking along curbside on 6th avenue and 15th street I miraculously managed to fling drool all the way onto some poor sap standing in a door way. My best fling yet, but we had to hightail it down the street pretty smartish as he started yelling things that I didn’t understand (being around well brought up human females, I would have no knowledge of such words).

Well most of the day then consisted of hanging around a large space with production people and technicians coming and going. There were also a few other dogs that I wanted to mess with but was not supposed to. Better yet, in a futile attempt to make me look well behaved, I was wearing only a slip chain instead of my normal prong or Halti which meant that I was able express my rambunctious nature with considerably more élan and esprit than usual. Well I found all that waiting around rather boring and pointless, so I registered my disapproval by pretty much baying and squeaking the whole time we were there. That is when I was not trying to charge over to the other dogs, climb onto the chairs or eat those fuzzy things at the end of microphones.

The animal trainers who were present were not amused (animal trainers seldom have senses of humor in my experience) and poor Elizabeth looked very foolish as she futilely tried to get me to shut up. But I am a Hound and when I want to do something or say something, short of slipping me a Mickey Finn, it will get said and done. But I have to say that the production people were super. They all came over to talk to me and make a fuss over me (lots of squeals of what has become the Wimsey Mantra “he’s sooo cute!”) and to turn over their plastic water bottles to me at my command (they liked watching me take the tops off, which is the first thing I do before scrunching and making a racket with the plastic in my massive chops). And they all seemed to like hearing me speak and sing and to listen to Elizabeth narrate the history of the bloodhound as she tried to appear casual whilst trying to subdue me.

Anyway, in the end I was not chosen to be in the task. All the production people thought that this was a great shame and couldn’t imagine why not. In any case, as we had a bit of time to kill before my car was to pick me up (I always insist on a chauffeur driven car as befits a Hound of my stature—also if you have ever driven with Maria behind the wheel and Elizabeth navigating—north and south apparently being mysterious concepts-- you would understand why) Elizabeth, who was by this time ravenous from all these Wimsey Control activities, decided that we should stroll around the Union Square greenmarket while she hunted for something to eat that was not a gourd, root vegetable or ornamental flower.

Well, let me tell you, that if I am a popular guy on the Upper West Side, it is nothing compared to the excitement that I generated at the Union Square greenmarket. I was mobbed! People pointing and exclaiming and coming over to hear all about me and pet me while poor Elizabeth stood by politely perishing from hunger. It was glorious—right up there with that morning’s record drool fling.

And then we met a woman with an adorable girl beagle who was very interested in how she could get commercial work. When Elizabeth explained the agent system and also how the dog would have to, at least in theory, (certainly in my case) be able to sit and stay the woman looked at her in horror—“But she’s a Hound!” Ah, clearly a woman who gets it. As I have said many times, those who choose to live with a Hound are a breed apart. You need an excellent sense of humor and a secure ego able to withstand the myriad and sundry humiliations that will most certainly be heaped upon you in great profusion. And if you believe that your dog’s behavior is a personal reflection on you, then having a Hound is the shortest way to the therapy couch.

On the other hand you will have lots of good stories to tell. So when Elizabeth and I finally returned chez moi and Elizabeth began to narrate the events of the day (to the accompaniment of frequent murmurs of “I’m sorry” from Maria) it all seemed an amusing lark. Hind(hound)sight is a wonderful thing, particularly when fortified by strong coffee (it was still a bit early in the day for the gin and tonics) and the large cookie that it took Elizabeth forty-five minutes to buy because of all the Wimsey frenzy.

Anyway, I was so exhausted from all my antics—bad behavior being a lot more draining than it looks—that after a nice meal and some scratching on Elizabeth’s lap I did my best Klingon impersonation and snored blissfully into a world composed entirely of admiring TV crews and green markets. Take that Maksim Chmerkovskiy!

Until next time,

Wimsey, General Wimsey, Klingon Defense Force

Friday, October 19, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 37
October 19, 2007

Hello Everyone. It’s me, Wimsey, reporting from that land of endless summer, New York City. At this rate my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth will be able to walk me in green and red Christmas tee shirts. Do you think the Grinch stole Autumn?

The trees are still green in defiance of all the laws of nature with which I am familiar, which as a student of Newtonian physics (see entry # 9), is quite a few, especially the ones having to do with the havoc I can wreak on the human body. I am proud of the fact that I am the only creature extant to consider physics a contact sport. Perhaps I should start a sister organization to the World Wrestling Federation—The World Physics Federation-- where Hounds of all weight classes can demonstrate their prowess in such exciting applications of physics as human towing, leash arm dislocating and body slamming (I myself always go for that spot just at the back of the knee that causes humans to collapse like nine pins). And speaking of wrestling matches, on Sunday I was able to participate in an actual pick up bout in Central Park complete with a cheering ring of fans:

Wimsey (125lb, hound class) vs. The Puppy (8lbs, lab mix class)

Gene Okerlund: OK, the contenders have entered the ring. The crowd is cheering wildly.

Bobby Heenan: I don’t know about this bout Gene; it would seem that Wimsey has a considerable size and weight advantage here.

Gene: I can see what you mean Bobby, but we hear that this is a very fierce little puppy. What do you think of Wimsey’s costume?

Bobby: I don’t believe that is a costume Gene—he actually comes like that.

Gene: You mean all those wrinkles and folds are entirely him?

Bobby: That’s right Gene.

Gene: I wonder how much Botox it would take to smooth him out!

Bobby: Won’t happen Gene—the wrinkles are his trademark; he feels that they lull his opponents into a false sense of security because they think he is old.

Bobby: Well the puppy’s trainer has given it a pep talk and placed it right in front of Wimsey. Look! It’s charging the Big Hound!

Gene: Wimsey’s running away! He seems puzzled by its antics of this young pup.

Bobby: Yes, the pup seems to be engaging in an unconventional hopping motion that has apparently thrown Wimsey for a loop. But Wimsey’s gamely trying another approach. Now the pup seems to be crab walking sideways-- a maneuver that is totally mystifying Wimsey.

Gene: Oh no—the pup’s got hold of Wimsey’s ear—the Big Hound is going down! He’s on his back! The pup’s going for the wrinkled dewlap! And the crowd loves it—they are cheering for this new young contender. What a match! Maybe Wimsey should consider that Botox after all.

And that is just an excerpt. Well you can imagine how exciting it was—an entire circle of humans were deeply engrossed in watching my thirty minute battle with The Puppy. Now in my defense, he really was a very fierce puppy and I am rather a peace loving kind of Hound –one might almost say wimpy--and he was employing some unusual moves that probably should have been ruled illegal—just like the ones I use when I wrestle my humans.

In any case, the bout followed an exciting afternoon at the Canine Country Fair (see pictures) which is organized by the New York City Parks Department and where I got to do a lot of meeting and greeting and of course some open air concertizing. Sadly, as you will see, I had to wear that obnoxious Halti so I couldn’t charge about with my usual abandon. I do like the fact that it is black and strappy and kind of downtown and S&M looking (although not nearly as much as my car harness) and I saw several other canines similarly equipped; it’s kind of like a canine mark of Cain—“there goes a disobedient and rambunctious hound”-- which I suppose is not such a bad rep to have, especially as I have kind of a sappy name. My namesake, the English detective, Lord Peter Wimsey was a sensitive, aristocratic chap whose crime solving abilities were much more the product of brain than brawn. Can’t think of why I am named after him.

Anyway, also present at the fair were the good folks of the ASPCA where Elizabeth volunteers and whose booth I like to visit. Now even though I am not a rescue (although I often feel like I need to be rescued from the various ministrations of my humans) I fully support the organization by donating some of Elizabeth’s time that she would normally devote to me. Let no one ever accuse me of not being generous—I even allow Maria a small segment of couch upon which to sit.

But in spite of my obvious generosity and fine houndly traits, getting any of my humans’ attention these days is becoming increasingly difficult. They have become fascinated with this TV show called “Dancing With the Stars”. And lest you think it is the finer points of Ballroom Dancing that are responsible for this fascination, think again. Really they are interested in viewing, reviewing and re-reviewing (thanks to the magic of the DVR) the charms of a certain dancer, to wit a guy called Maksim Chmerkovskiy (maybe I shouldn’t complain about my name after all). And the ladies think that I drool! Well these days the only topic of conversation on our walks seems to be this Max character—from his waxed chest to his exceedingly elastic hips, to his grace, charm, dance diva ego, sex appeal and performance energy. In short, the ladies think he is hot. In the extreme. Now this is very discouraging, for although I am quite often declared to be cute, adorable, handsome, beautiful and magnificent, it is not quite the same thing as being hot. Guys out there will know what I am talking about—this female fascination with dark and dangerous bad boys who you can never be (although I am kind of good at the bad part). It’s giving me a complex and we Wimseys don’t complex easily. If I ever meet this guy I will bite him.

So it is therefore very appropriate that this weeks’ visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art should concern The Dance.

Two Dancers on A Stage (Edgar Degas, 1874, Courtauld Institute of Art, London). French impressionist Edgar Degas was justifiably famous for his “through the keyhole” paintings of the arduous life of Parisian ballerinas. However, beautiful and poignant these paintings may be, Degas missed a major opportunity to enhance them with the addition of a gorgeous, graceful dancing Hound. As you can see the insertion of the Hound adds new interest to a scene so familiar to admirers of Degas (although I must say, I think the tutu makes me look fat). Anyway we can fully admire the grace and beauty of the Hound with his swan like neck in full extension, his delicate feet positioned en avant and his manly attributes boldly displayed.

Well tonight is a Wimsey bath night—I am apparently booked for a filming (I never can figure out what to call these activities in this digital age—pixel capturing just doesn’t have the same ring) of a reality TV show tomorrow, so sadly, I must be groomed. Fortunately the show is not “Dancing with the Stars” and if anyone knows where I can find Maksim Chmerkovskiy, please let me know—I have a bone to pick with him.

Until next time,

Wimsey, the sadly neglected

The Enemy

Friday, October 12, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 36
October 12, 2007

Hello Everyone. Wimsey here direct from New York City’s Hound HQ. Well we are getting into October and on Monday I was able to undertake a lengthy Central Park expedition in honor of Columbus Day, with my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth in tow. Now Columbus Day is always somewhat controversial, especially as my good friend Nanook the Newfy ( always insists that Vikings “discovered” America in the company of a large pack of Newfoundland Dogs. (I never did understand how one can discover something that already exists—like when I “discover” an unattended piece of carrot cake on the kitchen table and claim it in a particularly gustatory type way, no one seems to declare me a hero—although come to think of it my name does get shouted about quite a lot). And I would think that an entire continent is even more odiferous than a small piece of carrot cake. But humans have no real sense of smell so I suppose giant land masses are just as olfactorily invisible to them as small pieces of cake. And then there is the fact that Columbus’ massively expensive and dangerous expedition to the New World was undertaken in pursuit of completely useless materials such as gold and spices. Now if we Hounds were going to attempt such a risky task you can be sure that we would be much better incentivized:

Hound King and Queen: Welcome to our Court great explorer Wimsus. We want you to undertake a perilous expedition across a vast ocean for our greater glory.

Wimsus: I don’t think so. I’m not big on intangibles, especially if they cannot be eaten, smelled, shredded or peed upon.

Hound King and Queen: We understand; we do not rule over Hounds for nothing. But we digress. We believe that the New World contains a massive untapped cache of dirty underwear. In addition there are forests of virgin, unmarked trees that contain an abundance of strange stinky animals that are fun to chase and quite succulent to eat; there are also some small annoying ones with bushy tails that always make you think you can catch them, but you never can, so we advise ignoring these.

Wimsus: Hmm… dirty underwear, lots of trees to pee on and succulent smelly animals. Sounds pretty good. Even the deceptive bushy ones. I expect you will be hosting quite a lot of feasts in my honor when I return, too. But what are the dangers to which you alluded?

Hound King and Queen: Well we are not actually sure that you won’t fall off the edge of the earth.

Wimsus: Highly unlikely, I should think. I never fall off anything, except perhaps the bed when I am engaged in a particularly engrossing dream and I don’t expect I’ll have much time for naps what with all the underwear, trees and succulent new animals to think about. Also I have a very keen nose and when I point it west I am sure I can smell land. I think I shall name this new land Wimsica.

Anyway, if the Vikings had newfs, I think Columbus must have had bloodhounds. Who else could have discouraged him from landing on the cold, forbidding autumnal mainland of North America in favor of a nice trip to the sandy beaches of the Bahamas, home of the laid back and fun loving Arawak Indians. (Did you know the Arawaks invented the hammock, clearly they were a highly evolved nap-oriented people)? I am sure Columbus’ hounds knew it was better in the Bahamas--- a frolic on a sandy beach beats slogging through ice encrusted islands any day, as I continually tell Nanook. The Vikings may have been first but I bet Columbus’ people had
more fun—especially if there were Hounds involved.

Well the weather has only been moderately more chilly so I have only been moderately more insubordinate on my walks. I look forward to my autumn rebellion every year and the consternation it causes my humans. They tell me I become Wimsey Army of One as I go charging about, willfully ignoring the instructions being delivered via my prong. Perhaps as Halloween is approaching I should obtain a little camo as my costume. It might make up for having a ludicrously non-macho name like Wimsey. But as non-macho as my name is, I have discovered that in cyber space I am apparently the embodiment of machismo. I am continually receiving invitations on my My Space page from beautiful, semi-clad women offering to share their conspicuous charms with me. Now apart from the fact that there is no actual meal involved in reference to these thus useless charms, none of these ladies seem to be aware of the fact that I am a Hound (as attested to by my handsome picture) and that a lot of what they propose is illegal in most, if not all, states.

I seem to have become a Hound plagued by spam (and not the good kind either-- although why unwanted email should carry the appellation of such a delectable processed meat product, I can hardly say). In addition to invitations to view unclothed human females (like I don’t see that often enough at home) I also get information relating to enhancing my boy bits, which trust me, don’t need any more enhancing. According to my humans they are all too often in evidence, but that is the price they pay for being in the company of an exuberant and uninhibited Hound (My humans might actually pay attention to any offers for products that are de-enhancing, but those don’t seem to be especially popular). Also I get offers for hot stock tips, perhaps because my misleadingly intelligent and sagacious demeanor gives the impression of an interest in intelligent and sagacious investments. The actual truth is that I am more involved in spending hard earned cash than in investing it, unless of course there is a shredding of stock certificates involved. Then of course I get offers for online pharmacies hawking drugs like Valium and Xanax (which I am sure my humans would like to administer to me during my fall frisky attacks) but which I think my humans need far more than I do. Any species that sleeps for a paltry eight hours a day is bound to be a bit nervy. Finally I get offers for low interest mortgage rates (with no Hound Eligibility Rider as far as I can make out) and offers to work at home, which I do already by redecorating, and recycling and generally obviating the need for a shredder. Also I work hard at entertaining my humans which is why they are candidates for the Xanax.

Well it is time for our weekly visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. This week we return to the great nation of France—land of food, fashion and bloodhounds—to examine an artist who definitely embodied the admirable single mindedness of The Hound. Claude Monet liked to paint water lilies—I mean he really, really really liked to paint them in the same way that I really, really, really like to shove my nose into Maria’s morning cereal. (Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1920-1926, Musee de l’Orangerie). And if one painting of water lilies is good, 250 of them are even better! But of course, as much as I admire his stubborn devotion to painting water lilies, there is a small problem with the concept. With so many paintings of water lilies they all kind of look alike after a while. But here you can see that the insertion of a magnificent, art loving Hound lounging on one of these redundant lily pads instantly different
iates it from all the other 249 pictures of these fascinating water lilies. Water Wimseys.

Now I am pleased to report that the weather is shaping up to be rather brisk this afternoon, which means I will be a maniac on my leash for my evening walk. I have weeks of pent up desire for the sounds and scents of autumn in New York and want to impart my extreme joy to my humans so that they too may charge hither and thither appreciating the joys of the season. Perhaps today I will again “discover” Central Park and mark the territory as my own in the delightful manner of the male Hound.

Until next time,


Friday, October 5, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

lEntry # 35
October 5, 2007

Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey, and I am mighty peeved, I can tell you. For some weeks now I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of frisky inducing fall weather and it still seems to be summer. Unfortunately, the days are still getting shorter which means less daylight in which I am able to cavort about Central Park in the evening. And the leaves upon which I love to pee are still clinging firmly to their trees. I am convinced that this all the fault of my human Maria and her hound control obsessed friend Elizabeth. They are deliberately keeping the weather warm to thwart me. How-- I am not sure exactly—perhaps it is their excessive carbon footprint which is contributing to global warming (I never could figure out what a carbon foot print is —I have really big foot prints but none of them are carbon). Anyway, I have decided that an alternative explanation as to how they are able to keep the weather this warm is that they are really witches (and not in the way that their boyfriends meant it either). It’s actually becoming quite trendy to be a witch, -- an amusing social tidbit to drop at a cocktail party for instance (And what do you do? Oh, I am a witch. My new book of spells is just being brought out by Random House and I’ll be on Oprah this week). It has all become quite fashionable in a Mists of Avalon kind of way and although the only two words in English that I know are “sit” and “Elizabeth” (I don’t have a flat and pointy head for nothing) I am keeping a close ear out for any talk of “the goddess” and such like.

Evidence that my humans are witches

They wear black a lot
There are large vessels in their kitchens (they call them pots, I call them cauldrons)
The more I talk about my plans for frisky fall behavior, the warmer it gets
Maria keeps talking about getting a cat (ostensibly to keep me company, but really as a familiar to keep me under control—she’ll probably name it Pywacket)
They speak an incomprehensible language (they call it English, I call it witch)
They use powerful magic to completely take over my mind (they say it is turkey, but is it really?)
They are always using “spell check.”

So this explains a lot—like why Maria prefers a broom to the vacuum cleaner and why Elizabeth has a pointy winter hat. But if I am to live in a coven, I surely think that I deserve the status of chief sorcerer. I think Hound magic would be superior to human magic, if for no other reason than hound everything is superior to human anything ---And I wouldn’t even need a pointy hat.

Sorcerer Wimsey’s Book of Spells

Long Bay, two short squeaks: You will leave your clothing (preferable dirty) around unattended
Short Bay two short squeaks: You have an irresistible urge to rub my belly.
Long Bay, one medium squeak: You will turn your back on a kitchen table loaded with tasty comestibles
Two long bays: The Gentle leader has mysteriously been flushed down the toilet.
Two short bays: Poof the nail clippers vanish! (PS: no one should ever accuse me of not being an empathetic hound—I don’t let Maria do her own nails, either)
Two long bays, two long squeaks: The ear cleaning solution has been dumped down the drain
Two long bays, one long squeak: Poof! A cup of vanilla Grom gelato appears.
Triple long bay: You have an irresistible urge to spend 6 hours in Central Park
Bay squeak bay: You will resist the urge to scrape the drool off of the walls—I like the way it looks and smells
Bay squeak squeak bay: You will leave the toilet lid up--water bowls are so bourgeois
Squeak squeak bay bay: Leave my poop alone! How would you like it if I stole your mail—you communicate with pen and ink, I communicate with poop and pee.
Triple squeak: you will not pull me out of the 20th precinct—I have some doughnuts to find

Anyway, I have lots of spells at my command, to which my humans can well attest. My wish is their command. So I will work on finding a spell to get the weather to change.

However, I must say that there is some compensation for the weather being unseasonably warm—lots of people and their dogs are out and about in the park (I tow my humans in and they have to tow me out!) and I have made two new friends—co-incidentally both fawn colored French bulldogs; one of them, called Jacques, likes to climb on me when I lie down. Then much in the manner of an elephant I get to my feet and he rides on my back. Everyone thinks this is pretty hilarious which means we do it quite a bit. There is nothing quite so much fun as finding new ways to make myself conspicuous and being ridden by a French bulldog is surely one of them. Making oneself conspicuous, if you are a Hound, actually requires a high degree of creative talent. After all, I run around without clothes, relieve myself publicly wherever I want, sing at the top of my lungs, inspect my testicles, stick my nose into people’s crotches and filch people’s water bottles and nobody even gives it a second thought. So I have to be pretty inventive about these things.

And speaking about being inventive, I am delving into a new medium for this week’s Houndart. Heretofore we have examined the improving presence that a Hound can make to a painting. But the range of artistic expression where the Hound can play a significant role is not just limited to oil and canvas. This week’s visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art concerns one of the world’s great sculptures:

The Winged Victory of Samothrace (sculptor unknown, circa 220 to 190 BC, Musee du Louvre). This beautiful marble sculpture depicts Nike, the winged goddess of victory (not the winged goddess of athletic apparel as is commonly thought today), and was discovered in 1863 on the island of Samothrace by an amateur French archeologist. (Another example of the excellent taste of the French, whose finely honed sensibilities led them to develop the exquisite Bloodhound). The statue probably was commissioned to commemorate a naval victory by the island of Rhodes. Sadly, the beauty of this sculpture is marred by the loss of its head, which was never found. But this can be easily remedied and what better a head to have than that of a perpetually victorious Hound.

The Winged Wimsey of Samothrace

Anyway, nothing much of significance happened this week other than the fact that Maria has been busy trying to bake a perfect focaccia (mixing up batter in her cauldrons) and I sample all her creations and advise her on their hound worthiness. Elizabeth was absent without permission (mine) for a couple of days on business and I had to give her a stern face licking about the inadvisability of this. Trying to earn a living is a poor excuse for neglecting a Hound of my caliber. Plus I felt totally naked without the presence of the complete coven.

So, until next time,

Wimsey the Sorcerer, CL (coven leader)
(here I am with my magic snake)