Friday, August 22, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 81
August 22, 2008

Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey (or Wimsey the Magnificent as I like to think of myself) coming to you from the seat of my Hound Empire, otherwise known as my couch on New York’s Upper West Side. It is from this opulent (and smelly) throne that I rule the lives of the humans around me, particularly those of Maria, my primary human and Elizabeth, a friend of hers. No detail of their lives is too small to escape the notice of my masterful nose and the intervention of my substantial frame. I escort them to bed bath and refrigerator alike. And like any great monarch I like to sally forth, richly caparisoned in black and tan, with my retinue in slavish attendance. And of course they carry all the paraphernalia necessary to ensure the comfort of an impressive potentate such as myself—my water dish, my biscuits, my business cards, my poop bags (we monarchs have public relief privileges), my Zoom Groom (a monarch likes to look shiny and well brushed in addition to receiving the massage that a session with the Zoom Groom affords), extra leashes, money and credit cards for the purchase of costly dishes of gourmet gelato and other assorted snacks, Direct Stop in case I am ambushed by a canine enemy and the camera for recording my activities for posterity.

And speaking of recording my activities, this week we a short video—it is of the
ed and dignified manner in
which I “find” Elizabeth at EJ’s Luncheonette on Sundays. Next week I will show one of me delaying our park exit by engaging in some time wasting stick chewing. I do this latter activity quite a bit as we seem to be having a delightful August that is more like the weather we should have had in June but didn’t. Consequently I am spending quite a bit of time out and about (as evidenced by the montage of me disporting myself in the shallow body of Central Park water known as The Stream). I also have perfected a new park leaving preventative maneuver that I call “The Tractor”.

And yesterday, in honor of the fine weather, Elizabeth and I mounted an expedition to the East Side to see her friend Dr. Julie Horton who runs a vet clinic on East 74th Street. Fortunately it was a purely social visit and so nothing untoward happened (except that there was this large green bird who is even noisier than I am and whose better acquaintance people around me seemed intent on preventing me from making). But I have to say, the East 70s are so elegant and the posh people on that side of the city had a true appreciation of my houndly grace and charm. It was all “Look at that magnificent bloodhound!” in hushed, educated tones rather than the more familiar West side hail “Hey Lady, That’s some big dog!” And the people were so well dressed—even Elizabeth dressed up for the journey with a pair of jeans that actually fit and weren’t covered in drool and a black H&M tee shirt that she reserves for formal occasions. She needn’t have bothered of course, when I am around no one even notices that I am attached to a leash let alone the insignificant human who is holding it. Anyway, I really liked the East side (especially that bird) and am planning on towing my humans east at the very next opportunity. I wonder if there is a position open for an East Side Manhattan bloodhound?

Nothing much else was new this week, I spent some of my indoor time sitting on the couch watching the Olympics which are sadly about to end. Someone seems to have persuaded my idol Michael Phelps (think big feet, big hands, big ears and a refusal to lose—sound familiar?) to pose with all of his medals which is OK except that their straps made him look like he was wearing a halter top. Now my humans are always trying to get me to pose in a silly manner or with garments inappropriate to my dignity so I can empathize. The price of dignity, houndly and otherwise, is eternal vigilance. But I like the Olympics because just like Hounds, they bring the world together for peaceful pursuits that yet somehow manage to result in an extravagant amount of human bodily harm. I think if more people had Hounds there would be no wars because people would be too injured to fight.

Anyway, I have a strong global spirit and I love it when people from other countries read my diary. When a South African dot pops up on the map I imagine myself peeing on the Veldt and stalking the great Wildebeest; an Argentinean dot puts me in mind of peeing on the Pampas and chasing cattle; and when a dot from France pops up I think about peeing on Paris’ ancient architecture and slobbering on couture. And of course when I see a dot from India I dream of running a call center:

Wimsey’s Call Center

Hound: Wimsey’s Call Center. My name is Wimsey but you can call me “Jack.” How may I not help you?

Customer: I keep getting the error message: “Kernel32.dll: Invalid page fault in Module Kernel32.dll.”

Hound: Is the computer plugged in?

Customer: Of course the computer is plugged in!

Hound: Well did you try turning on the computer—that sometimes helps.

Customer: The computer is plugged in and turned on!

Hound: Let me put you on hold.

Hound: (to Hound colleague): This guy is getting a kernel32.dll error message. Do you know what that is?

Hound Colleague: Haven’t a clue. Did he plug in the computer?

Hound: Yes, he claims it is plugged in and turned on.

Hound Colleague: Well, he’s just about exhausted our technical expertise. Give him a few more minutes and maybe he will go away.

Hound: Sir are you still there.

Customer: Yes.

Hound: Sorry for the delay. I was just consulting with one of our experts. Can you tell me what your feet smell like?

Customer: What has that got to do with the computer?

Hound: I’m a Hound. I’m much better at smelling feet than fixing computers. But I can tell that your computer problem is upsetting you, so here is what I would like you to do: find that that piece of equipment on the end of your computer cable that attaches to the wall.

Customer: You mean the plug?

Hound: Yes. Exactly! I can tell you’ve done this before; it is a pleasure to deal with someone who is so computer literate. Anyway, I want you to remove that piece of equipment from its present location, wipe the two prongs that you see on its end with a piece of cheesecloth, then count to thirty and reinstall it into the wall. We find that most problems can be solved by following this procedure.

Customer: And if that doesn’t work?

Hound: Did I ask you what your feet smelled like? Anyway, if that doesn’t work I can give you the telephone number for Microsoft—they will charge you $200 an hour and keep you on hold indefinitely and then tell you that they don’t support OEM software and send you back to us. And then you can tell me what your feet smell like. But there is another option.

Customer: What is it?

Hound: I suggest that you take your Hound for a very long walk, cook him a lavish meal, and rub his belly while he naps. Then buy another computer.

Well anyway, I really do possess a considerable amount of computer expertise. I know how to block a view of the screen with my body, I know how to shove the keyboard return away from human fingers and I know how to use drool to make the keys really sticky. And naturally I like to shred the documents being worked on.

But really this week it was my visit to the East Side which really impressed me. So much so that it influenced my choice of masterwork for our visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. Today we look at one of the most famous works by society portrait painter John Singer Sargent. Madame X (John Singer Sargent, 1884, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Now John Singer Sargent was one of those turn of the last century chaps so beloved of novelists and the film makers Merchant and Ivory —an American born in Florence who studied art in Italy and Germany before finally washing up in Paris where he was a successful contributor to the famous Paris Salon. All was going swimmingly until he painted this portrait of a famous American beauty married to wealthy French banker (holy Edith Wharton!), Virginie Gautreau. Now although the lady was a society beauty known for dressing ahead of her time, this painting so shocked and scandalized Paris that Sargent was forced to flee to England (fortunately he took the picture with him before the subject’s family could destroy it).

The bold expanse of creamy skin, her exuberant curves and a pose that was deemed “suggestive” caused an uproar not seen since Manet’s “Dejeuner Sur L’herbe” (where at least there were some actually naked women involved). To further up the salaciousness quotient, the original painting featured her right strap sliding off her shoulder. Well today of course we are shocked at the shock that such a painting could have caused; especially as upper class turn of the century Paris was hardly a church social. Anyway, as beautiful and sensual as the painting is, it looks quite empty and the lady looks lonely. But see what happens when the elegant profile of the lady is matched by the elegant profile of a magnificent Hound! The glow of his rich, burnished coat highlighting the sensuous black draping of her gown and his regal demeanor echoing her own. Perhaps if Sargent had included this lustrous Hound people would have been so captivated by the innocence of his beauty that he would not have been forced to flee to England. Wimsey X.

Well it’s time for another walk—we are going to have another wonderful weekend and I intend to take full advantage—as usual. I will be closely watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics where I am hoping that in honor of the coming London 2012 Olympics they will highlight the contribution of the Hound to English History (it is a well known fact that we helped win the Battle of Hastings by confusing the Saxons with our novel appearance, overpowering aroma and terrifying sound). Some dancing fish and chips would be nice too.

Until next time,

Wimsey the Magnificent


Unknown said...

Great fun again to read the blog. Keep writing, Wimsey.

Anonymous said...

Wimsey, I loved the video! What fun to hear your wonderful voice and the ear flapping is outstanding as well. With all that shaking going on, I was kind of wondering if it was necessary to towel any drool off the bus stop shelter or other structures?

Looking forward to next weeks adventures!

Biggie-Z said...

We love the baying, Wimsey! I should get my Momma to take some video of me being LOUD but she is usually too busy preventing me from guarding stuff to whip out a camera.

Happy weekend. I'm sort of bored here in Brrr Mont. Lots of people but they are generally ignoring me. Time for a nap. Ho hum.

Unknown said...

Whimsy! We LOVE you!!!!

Thoughts said...

Wimsey it sounds like you have been a busy boy as usual. Keep up the houndly work.

We just love coming to your blog every week to see what you've been up to and to look at your pictures. The video was AWESOME!

Benson and Gibson

Edie and Gus said...

Greetings from Alaska, Wimsey!

So sorry I haven't written in quite some time, old pal. Sounds like you're having a grand time in the good weather. We have been awash in rain for many weeks. Several rivers have flooded in our valley, but fortunately, we live on a hill!

Our weather is cool, the leaves are turning yellow, and winter is barely one month away. We had a hard frost last night, and the high bush cranberries smell wonderful!!! Of course the girls think they stink, but I disagree. The delightful scent wafts through the air, begging for pee.

I must say your video DELIGHTED my girls!! They are now reassured that ear-splitting bays followed by vigorous shaking of the ears and flying spittle are perferctly normal for we magnificent bloodhounds. If Wimsey does it, it must be okay! You and I sound amazingly similar! I was quite surprised that the bays were not my own when the girls shared your video with me.

We are eagerly anticipating your next video--how about flinging some sticky spit on an unsuspecting soul-- always a worthwhile endeavor!!

Your bloodhound friend from the soon-to-be-frozen North,

Anonymous said...

Since this past weekend was Pet Fashion Week, I was wondering if Wimsey had any fashion advice for us??