Friday, March 27, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry #112
March 27, 2009

Hello everyone, it’s me Wimsey coming to you direct from my fascinating life on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where you never know who you might run into. Last week it was Robert Redford and this week it was all Hounds, Hounds, Hounds and more Hounds! My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth never realized there were so many demented people living in New York City! My humans are thinking about forming a Hound support group or perhaps developing a 6 step program for humans who are misguided enough to live with Hounds:

Hound 6 Step Program:

Need for love: Accept the fact that your Hound doesn’t love you, he loves himself. His self love is all encompassing—there is no room for you. Don’t take it personally but find affirmation from within because you sure won’t find it from him.

Need for patience: When your Hound shoves you off the couch he is not rejecting you, he merely finds your presence unacceptable at that moment. Be patient. Eventually he will be in the mood to sit on you and the couch shoving will start to look pretty good.

Need to be open to communication: When your Hound destroys your home and possessions he is not being mean, malicious, evil, Satan in a dog suit, unmanageable, defiant, or vindictive. He is merely trying to communicate to you that he needs much more exercise and stimulation, 18 hours of it, in fact. He will deign to nap the remaining 6 but don’t expect to get any rest yourself—he snores.

Need to accept responsibility: Nothing your Hound does is ever his fault-- including, but not limited to, knocking over small children, terrorizing small dogs, poking people in various private parts, flinging drool on unsuspecting strangers, stealing people’s picnics, kicking post poop dirt in people’s faces, rubbing his filthy muzzle on people’s nice clothes, sneaking up behind people (without first ascertaining whether or not they have a heart condition) and baying loudly, trying to get into taxis, peeing on people’s carefully tended shrubbery, digging up flower beds, shoving people aside when they are in the way of his scent line, producing a fragrant mound of poop in front of people trying to eat at outdoor cafes, etc. He is a Hound. You are a human. He is much cuter than you. He is not responsible.

Need for compassion: Always be compassionate towards the people your Hound has done bad things to. Laughing at them is bad karma. It will probably be your turn next.

Need to acknowledge a High Power: Honor your Hound.

Now I know that those unfortunate people who are not currently living with Hounds may be tempted to think that I exaggerate our prowess. But you don’t get to see the Google searches that I do that bring humans to this blog—this week for instance we had: bloodhound eating the couch. And? He’s a bloodhound. Furniture is a prized Hound delicacy. (Although to be fair the only piece of furniture Maria’s previous bloodhounds and I hadn’t eaten is the couch, not for any moral reasons but just because it’s so comfy to nap upon).

Anyway, it is unfortunate that I have no way to communicate the realities of life with a bloodhound to this poor sap. Perhaps the banner heading of my blog should read: Your Hound Isn’t Bad, He’s Just a Hound. Accept it and get over it. You’ll live longer. Of course we also get lots of Google searches for Maksim Chmerkovskiy Naked—Maksim Chmerkovskiy being the hot “Dancing With the Stars” professional that causes my humans to produce almost as much drool as I do. Can you imagine opening a link expecting to see Maksim Chmerkovskiy naked and seeing Wimsey Bloodhound naked instead? Although personally I think I am much the handsomer of the two and I am willing to bet that Maksim’s boy bits don’t garner half the public admiration that mine do.

And this Sunday we actually encountered an urban legend. For several years I periodically hear tell of other west side bloodhounds but despite all the time my humans and I spend in both Central and Riverside parks we have never encountered any. I had just about decided that other west side bloodhounds are right up there with the crocodiles in the sewer system when Maria froze and pointed her finger over the horizon as if she had seen a ghost (or perhaps Maksim Chmerkovskiy naked). But really what she had seen was the tip of a familiar looking tail! And there she was, Skeelou (it’s Greek for “girl”), a girl bloodhound who moved to the Upper West Side a few months ago from Massachusetts. Isn’t she sweet? And so well behaved—not very bloodhoundy but sometimes the girls turn out like that—which means that it is up to us boys to uphold the honor of the breed by engaging in compensatory bad behavior. And in spite of her no pull harness she doesn’t even tow! Of course I easily have enough towing power for two—my humans refer to a park walk with me as land waterskiing as the position one must assume when being towed by a boat is identical to that necessary to staying upright at the end of my leash. And as an aside, someone posted a message on a bloodhound group message board entitled “my bloodhound pulls.” Really? Shocking that is. Does nobody warn these poor people? But I suppose if they were warned we would be extinct.

Well as you can imagine as the weather turns more spring-like I am spending increasing amounts of time in the park, but I always seem to have especially wonderful adventures on Sundays. For instance, in addition to meeting another bloodhound, as we were heading into The Ramble this Sunday a water bottle laden group of tourists was just coming out--and I came within a hound hair’s breadth of snagging a bottle-- en passant-- as it were. So now my humans are reading up on other chess maneuvers that I, Grand Master Wimsey, might perpetrate on the unsuspecting public.

Sundays in the Park With Wimsey (a musical in 6 acts)

Maria’s Aria: “My Hound is trying to kill me, you take his leash”
Elizabeth’s Aria: “But he’s already destroyed my shoulder and I can’t afford the physical therapy.”
Wimsey’s Aria: “Cover your ears I am going to bay!”

Maria’s Aria: “What’s that he’s got in his mouth?”
Elizabeth’s Aria: “I don’t know I hope it wasn’t alive.”
Wimsey’s Aria: “It’s too late now”

Maria’s Aria: “If he poops in that ivy I’ll never find it”
Elizabeth’s Aria:But that’s why Wimsey loves going in the ivy”
Wimsey’s Aria:Cover your face, I am about to kick dirt like an irate bull.”

Maria’s Aria:Be careful little girl he drools!”
Elizabeth’s Aria: "Be careful little girl he wants to steal your water bottle”
Wimsey’s Aria: “It’s too late now”

Maria’s Aria:Yes he is a bloodhound. Yes, I know he’s large”
Elizabeth’s Aria:Yes he has testicles.”
Wimsey’s Aria: “Aren’t they lovely?”

Maria’s Aria: “Hello handsome stranger, would you like to pet my Hound?”
Elizabeth’s Aria:Hello handsome stranger would you like to go on a date?”
Handsome Stranger’s Aria: “I don’t think so. You smell and don’t look very clean.”
Wimsey’s Aria: “Dream On Smelly Women”

Chorus: “He’s So Cute.”

Well this has been a very good week overall—last Thursday was my birthday and I am happy to report that in spite of the complete lack of responsibility shown by my humans in forcing me to eat an entire birthday cake covered in fresh whipped cream as well as several slices of gourmet pizza my digestion remained on solid ground. However, the ladies decided not to push their luck and I received my birthday piece of Citarella poached salmon several days later. Now I am inordinately fond of salmon and religiously consume the leftovers of Elizabeth’s Monday night salmon dinner every Tuesday. And while Maria flakes the salmon for my enhanced enjoyment I give her a hard stare to discourage her from partaking --but I apparently outdid myself in this regard because an entire delicious piece was under deconstruction. So it was all “Wimsey gave me the stink eye when I was flaking his birthday salmon” and “I guess everything about Wimsey stinks, even his eyes.”

Well, it’s such an exciting life here in New York, especially in Spring when admiring tourists and locals are thick on the ground. But Spring also brings rainy weather which I enjoy as long as it doesn’t rain too hard. The next few days promise to be a bit moist here so I think it is only appropriate that our selection from the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art reflects the impending climactic conditions. Today we examine probably the most famous painting of the lesser known French artist, Gustave Caillebotte: Paris Street; Rainy Day (Gustave Caillebotte, 1877, Chicago Art Institute, Chicago). Although the chronology of Caillebotte’s work places him in the Impressionist period, Caillebotte is considered a Realist painter. He was very interested in photography and this interest is reflected in many of his works. But what is an urban walk in the spring rain without the presence of a magnificent Hound redolent of fine fragrance? We can see that the couple in the foreground is trying to minimize the incipient stinkiness by trying to keep the Hound dry under their umbrella. They probably won’t succeed as it looks very much like the Hound’s attention has been grabbed by something to his right (a mound of delectably steaming horse manure perhaps?) and he is about to go investigate further.
Paris Street; Rainy Day Wimsey.

One excellent thing about the rainy weather is that it causes the indefinite postponement of Wimsey Bath Night. A new bottle of my Grimeinator shampoo has arrived and has remained blissfully unopened. Anyway that is all the doings for this week so this Hound is off to crush my human on the couch that I have magnanimously chosen not to eat!

Until next time,

Wimsey, Master of the Ocular Stink.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry #111
March 20, 2009

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey and the good citizens of New York here on the Upper West Side of Manhattan are in the throes of March Madness—no not the college basketball kind but the Hound kind. Maybe it’s the milder air, or the increase in light or the spring flowers coming up, but I am being accosted by admiring strangers at an alarming rate. “In Spring a young man’s (and woman’s) fancy lightly turns to thoughts of Hound,” and all that poetic stuff. Well if this continues I am going to have bald patches on my fur like those statues with shiny bits where people keep rubbing them. And my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are considering wearing beanies with large signs on top that say “Yes, he is a bloodhound” and “Yes they are that big.” I know most of you will think this is joke, but trust me you haven’t seen the stuff they wear. The only surprise is that we haven’t yet been ambushed by the “What Not To Wear” team.

Anyway, I have been so popular that last Sunday even Robert Redford and his female companion stopped to admire me and ask if I were a bloodhound (Paul Newman would have known the answer to that one). Well this Redford character is actually quite a little fellow and not so young so it was immensely tempting to send him flying but somehow my humans failed to see the humor in this activity. And it was all “There will be no knocking over and flinging drool on Robert Redford! He’s a movie star!” Now last year I was permitted to slime Mitt Romney at will but I suppose that’s because people actually like actors. (Perhaps next it will be “Look Wimsey, there’s Mayor Bloomberg! My taxes have gone up—why don’t you poke him in the crotch.” And then my humans can be all apologetic like, “Oh I’m so sorry did my Hound do that? Still it’s better than what he did to Governor Patterson. We have no control over him you know. He’s a Hound.” I could be the star of my own movie—perhaps to be called Lethally Annoying Weapon or something of that kind-- where I wreak havoc with people my humans disapprove of (it could be a VERY long movie). Or perhaps I could be like a Toxic Avenger type character—unsuspecting bad guys (for instance like the people who run over your feet in Fairway with their shopping carts or talk on the phone while appearing not to notice that they are walking a dog on a 40 foot flexi)—would squeal “He’s so cute!” pet me and ZAP!-- the next thing you know they stink, their clothes are stained and full of holes, they’ve got drool in their hair and many of their possessions have gone missing.

Anyway, Robert Redford made some very popular films:

Barefoot in the Park: A guy with a shoe loving Hound takes a walk in Central Park.

Downhill Racer: A guy who’s Hound likes to play Keep Away with his Gucci loafers lives on top of a hill.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: This was an excellent movie because it is all about stealing for which I give it four toes and a dew claw up. However, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Hound has a better ring to it. The Sundance Hound was an impossibly good look, charming and charismatic Hound who tries to persuade the outlaws that there are much higher value things to steal than money. He is unfortunately unsuccessful and the gang ends up in Bolivia where the humans jump off a cliff and the Hound takes up cattle ranching.

The Way We Were:
This is a story about a couple who spend a lot of time canoodling in front of the Plaza Hotel and reminiscing about how wonderful their life was before they acquired a Hound. The film features gauzy montages of unsoiled clothing, intact shoes, romantic, unmolested dinners and lovers running their hands through flowing hair not gummed up with drool whilst they enjoy free use of their bed.

Out of Africa: “I once had a Hound in Africa…but he was so bad that we got kicked out.”

Ordinary People:
(originally titled: Ordinary People Shouldn’t Have Hounds): follows the trials and tribulations of an ordinary family trying to cope with depression brought on by having to deal with an exceptionally devious Hound.

The Candidate: A handsome guy is considered a perfect candidate for President until it is discovered that he likes living with Hounds. Then he is considered a perfect candidate for a mental institution.

All the President’s Hounds:
President Nixon tries to cover up the Watergate burglary by blaming it on a rambunctious gang of Hounds. Two crack journalists find out through their secret contact, Deep Flews, that the culprits are really all the president’s men.

The Sting: People visit a breeder hoping to get a nice family dog. They end up with a Hound.

Anyway, it seems that my excellent movie star meeting deportment was insufficiently impressive to save me from a photo shoot with my destestable beret (it being my beret by dint of the ear holes cut in its sides). And as is inevitable in these situations, I find my own uses for things that annoy me. And just because I am not all that into hats doesn’t mean that I don’t want hats to be all that into me.

Well also this week it was St. Patrick’s Day (I guess I am lucky that the Irish don’t have a national hat) and I was thinking of wearing a sign that said ‘Kiss Me, I’m Hound” but it appeared to be wholly unnecessary given how much street action I am getting lately. And St. Patrick’s Day is always a festive day here in the Green Apple because New Yorkers say that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Even me:

The Leprechaun’s Tale

Once upon a time…

Leprechaun: Who the devil are you! I’ve never seen a green Hound before.

Hound leprechaun: That’s because you’ve had the luck of the Irish. It’s just run out. I’m a Hound leprechaun.

Leprechaun: Aren’t leprechauns supposed to be small?

Hound leprechaun: Not the Hound ones.

Leprechaun: Well, I’m not telling you where my pot of gold is!

Hound leprechaun: Don’t be absurd. I know where it is! I’m a Hound. Anyway, I’m not interested in your gold—I’ve eaten all your corned beef and cabbage instead. And those shoes you were supposed to repair, I’d forget about them and take the afternoon off if I were you.

Leprechaun: I was looking forward to eating that corned beef and cabbage and I am going to be in big trouble about those shoes! Did anyone ever tell you that you are annoying?

Hound leprechaun: Frequently.

Leprechaun: But we leprechauns are supposed to bring luck.

Hound leprechaun: Again, not the Hound ones.

Leprechaun: If I give you a four leaf clover and some of my gold will you go away?

Hound leprechaun: In your dreams!

Leprechaun: But how do I get rid of you!?

Hound leprechaun: You don’t. I have to be in the mood to go away. I’m kind of a reverse leprechaun.

Leprechaun: OK, well how about if I find some unsuspecting humans and tell them that if they let me go my Hound will lead them to the pot of gold.

Hound leprechaun: Would these be humans with large stores of delectable comestibles, shreddable possessions, eatable furniture and diggable gardens?

Leprechaun: If that’s what it takes to get rid of you, yes. Only please don’t show them where I hid my pot of gold.

Hound leprechaun: I wouldn’t worry, we Hounds cost people fortunes we don’t provide them.

....And that is why, even to this day, you've never heard of anyone capturing a leprechaun. The pot of gold just isn’t worth it.

And of course yesterday was my birthday-- a day in which my humans try to especially indulge me which isn’t all that easy considering the degree to which I require being indulged on regular days. But yesterday I got to go over to Elizabeth’s for some serious scratching, couch sitting and play time but it wasn’t much of a birthday as the ladies refused to feed me their luncheon grilled cheese sandwiches and only gave me a few French fries and a bit of roast chicken instead. Harrumph! However, after rather a wettish tow through the park we all repaired chez moi where I was presented with a birthday cake consisting of freshly whipped cream, angel food cake and peaches. It would have tasted better if the peaches has been slices of salmon but recipes for whipped cream salmon cakes are apparently in short supply. Clearly humans possess limited palates. Well, I am actually quite a dainty eater—apart from tasting and spitting out all the pieces of peaches-- and it took me a considerable time, but I actually finished the whole cake! And later there was some pizza for dessert. But of course into every life a few intestinal consequences must fall, so my humans are looking forward with great anticipation to viewing the results of their excellent culinary handiwork.

Well it is once again time to scoot over to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art for a little cultural edification. Today we look at one of the most important paintings of Picasso’s blue period (why do painters never have a black and tan period?). The Old Guitarist (Pablo Picasso, 1903, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago). This painting was painted in Barcelona several months before Picasso began his halcyon life in Paris and it is in the blue style that he adopted in 1901 after the suicide of one of his good friends. The painting is also influenced by the work of the 16th century Spanish artist El Greco, particularly the angularity of the guitarist’s head. The painting has such a sad and desolate feel to it that I think the guitarist could benefit substantially from the addition of a commiserating Hound. See how much better the guitarist looks resting his head gently on top of a magnificently blue Hound! And see how the Hound is resting his head on the arm of the guitarist and staring intently at his fingers. He clearly wants the guitarist to stop playing his sad song and give him a scratch. The Hound may be blue, but he is still a Hound. Wimsey and the Old Guitarist.

So now having survived movie star madness, St. Patrick’s Day, The Ides of March, The Beret, and my Birthday I think I have earned a well deserved nap on the couch. Sunday promises to be a lovely spring day here and I am hoping the flowers will be tall enough for me to finally pee upon.

Until next time,

Wimsey, the Sundance Hound

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry #110
March 13, 2009

Hello Everyone. It’s me, Wimsey, coming to you on this lucky (you’re spending time with me, aren’t you?) Friday 13th from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where Spring is starting to make itself felt on the island’s frozen denizens. I know Spring is coming when my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth stop complaining about being cold and wet and start complaining about being wet and muddy.

Wimsey’s Signs of Spring

My pee doesn’t freeze or steam

There is an increase in the number of daylight hours available for long distance tows

Baby squirrels begin to appear who I hope may be unaware of the necessity for taking rapid action when charged by a large snorting Hound

My humans look like Michelin Men who have been to Jenny Craig

Elizabeth’s mud room (really the entryway to her apartment) begins to contain actual mud

The earth begins emitting nose riveting smells that add many interesting hours to my walks (at least for me. My humans on the other hand have taken to singing “Some Day My Hound Will Move” to the tune of “Some Day My Prince Will Come.”)

The bushes that I like to poop in the middle of commence sprouting scoop deterring leaves

My rate of drool production begins its steady climb towards its seasonal summer high

Expensive cups of Grom Gelato once again makes their appearance on The Wimsey Table de Hôte

Anyway, we had a very nice week considering that my humans have been spending so much time on their computers. They are producing a second grade version of Wimsey’s Guide to New York for Gus the arctic bloodhound’s human who is a teacher in Alaska. Of course I’m no expert, but teaching children that I sailed into New York Harbor with Henry Hudson and that I helped Peter Minuet buy Manhattan from the Indians might have a deleterious effect on their future SAT scores. But certainly Minuet’s buying Manhattan for $24 qualifies as one of the great New York real estate deals in history (who was the broker New Yorkers wonder) and is wholly consistent with our island’s reputation as the epicenter of high finance.

Of course high finance is not enjoying its finest hour these days and at least I can say that we Hounds are extremely honest thieves. We are very straightforward about what we steal and once stolen the stuff stays stolen. When a Hound steals from you there are no illusions that he is going to make you rich. No Ponzi schemes here. Rather, we impoverish humans in a highly principled manner. I really don’t think that we receive enough credit for this, so the next time your shoes go missing or that roast beef sandwich you left on the kitchen counter vanishes, give your Hound a nice pat on the head—and be grateful that he’s not trading your stuff to the Labrador down the street for a bunch of stuffed woodchucks.

But really the economy in general is in terrible shape. I think it’s time decisive action was taken:

The Meeting of the H-23

Anderson Cooper: Hello and thank you for joining us. I am Anderson Cooper and I am joined by my colleague Wolf Blitzer to cover this historic meeting of the H-23.

Wolf Blitzer: I thought we were supposed to be covering the G-8. Did somebody get all these numbers and letters confused?

Anderson Cooper: There’s no mistake Wolf. The G-8 have been totally useless at solving the global economic crises so the H-23 is stepping in. They have called an emergency meeting with Wimsey chairing the session.

Wolf: Again! Wasn’t Wimsey the chairperson last year? I thought they were supposed to rotate.

Anderson: They are, but no one can get Wimsey off the chair. He is among the larger and heavier members of the hound group you know. The Wolfhound even threatened him with a shillelagh if he didn’t move but Wimsey just ate it up. Literally.

Wolf: Well I suppose it’s OK. At least we will all be able to hear him above the din but the camera crew always complain about what he does to their lenses. What are they going to talk about apart from their usual topic about how to make our lives more difficult?

Anderson: Well, as you know the world’s economy is in a terrible mess but this international group of Hounds believe they have a solution.

Wolf: But what can they do? I will grant you that for sheer power of destruction the H-23 has no equal, but the economy needs building.

Anderson: Apparently the H-23 are planning to generously place their considerable natural talents at the disposal of the world’s industries. Let’s listen.

Wimsey: I bay the meeting to order. You sight hounds—stop running around and take your seats.

Greyhound: When have you known Hounds to sit? However, we will take our seats—the cushions are very tasty.

Wimsey: I meant it metaphorically. I wouldn’t know about the cushions. Someone stole mine. Anyway, we now need volunteers to head up our industry groups. I call on that little noisy fellow with all the colors on his coat.

Beagle: The beagles will be in charge of supporting world agriculture and commodity prices. We pledge a massive escalation in our food stealing activities that should result in increased demand for a wide variety of foodstuffs. And even some non-foodstuffs. We are known as major supporters of the electronics industry and we will redouble our efforts to assist that critical sector.

Wimsey: Anything that involves beagles and eating is bound to be successful. Next I call on that funny looking shaggy fellow that everyone says is none too bright.

Afghan: I resent that. We Afghans are not dumb—we just elect not to overtax our small store of neurons. And we’re not the only ones in this group who operate on that principle either. Anyway, we Afghans intend to support small business by dramatically increasing the need for dry cleaning services. We will invade the closets! We will shed upon the upholstery! We will shed upon the rugs! The hirsute shall not be found wanting in this crisis of humankind! I call on my fellow Hounds, even those who are follicularly challenged, to join me in this heroic enterprise!

Wimsey: Very inspiring. I myself will support that and I also intend to lead the bloodhounds in an effort to bolster the construction industry. Did you know we can eat through dry wall when suitably motivated or merely just bored?

Ridgeback: And as another powerful Hound, the Ridgebacks will join you in your efforts to destroy homes. We also intend to trash automobiles to help out the car industry.

Wimsey: Yes, I have heard those car seats make pretty good eating. Whose next? S peak up little fellow, I can’t hear you!

Basenji: I said, I like to dig. We could help increase employment of gardeners and landscapers and increase sales at nurseries.

Dachshund: Us too! Us too!

Basset Hound: We volunteer also!

Wimsey: Excellent. Very public spirited, all of you. Now who wants to help support the textile and fashion industries?

Wolf: Wow look at the pandemonium!

Anderson: I think all the Hounds are eager to get in on that one. Such generosity brings tears to my eyes as I am sure it does to their humans. But really Hounds already make a substantial contribution to so many sectors of the economy—everything from the tranquilizers and gin that their humans need to calm their jangled nerves to the massive amounts of personal and household cleaning products they need to keep their homes habitable. And let us not forget all the bandages and nostrums needed to treat Hound inflicted injuries.

Wolf: Well they are certainly on a mission. I see the meeting has an observer.
Anderson: Yes, Wolf, he’s from Home Depot. He’s suggesting a new slogan to the Group: You Can Destroy It, We Can Help.

Well anyway, I think we Hounds are in unique position here to help out. So next time your Hound destroys something give him a nice belly rub and applaud his contribution to stimulating the economy.

What else happened? As usual this week we all spent Sunday afternoon in Central Park only the weather was so unseasonably warm that I found our expedition quite tiring-- although I did perk up when we met this guy who had a couple of Hounds—Hounds in New York being something that people generally admire you for having but would never dream of having themselves-- New Yorkers being partial to canines of a more tractable nature. But it’s always nice for my humans to chat with other Hound servants and compare notes as to the relative levels of noise, stink, drool and general indifference to obedience commands. And this Sunday promises to be another lovely day although plans are afoot to photograph me in my beret to help introduce my line of HoundArt T-shirts on my online store. I strenuously object to wearing my beret on my head and intend to wear it in my mouth. The ladies are already laying in an extra supply of bribing turkey to help the process along but one side effect of the turkey is the prodigious quantity of drool that is its natural result-- which is why slingers are always a prominent feature of my blog photos. This Sunday I also continued to demonstrate my public spirited nature by picking up plastic bottles carelessly discarded in the park. I even help dismember them to make them more recyclable. We Wimseys are very green.

Anyway, the other big news is that Thursday the 19th is my birthday! There is talk of making me a cream cake—I wonder if I can get Maria to hide a salmon in the middle of it. Elizabeth usually has salmon once a week and my share of it keeps expanding as she feels increasingly guilty about eating something that I enjoy so much. I tell her she’s on The Wimsey Diet. And also speaking of birthdays, I received these pictures of some of my little nieces and nephews. Aren’t they cute. But just remember what they will grow up into!

Well on that note let us mosey on over to the Institute of Houndish Art where we will take a look at a painting by the great French post-impressionist Paul Cezanne that is currently touring the world. The Smoker (Paul Cezanne, 1891, The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg). Now when we look at this painting we can immediately see Cezanne’s focus on form and geometry as he depicts a smoker lost in his own thoughts. Cezanne was particularly interested in including objects seen from different points of view in a single painting. It is an intellectual idea whose natural end result lead to cubism where a picture is broken up into multiple planes and views, however puzzling they are to the casual observer. Anyway, in Cezanne’s original painting there is an empty spot on the couch next to the smoker making it look like something is missing. Something is missing—a magnificent Hound! See how the companionable Hound is joining his human in the enjoyment of a fine pipe. What a wonderful Hound he is! And see how his human appears to be gazing at his Hound with relaxed admiration just as Hounds should always be gazed at. Wimsey Smoker.

I think that is all for this week. I am off to munch on the roast chicken that Elizabeth saved me from last night’s dinner and to contemplate my next move to stimulate the economy.

Until next time,

Wimsey, America’s most stimulating Hound