Friday, May 29, 2009

Wimsey's Blog; Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #121

Entry #121
May 29, 2009

Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from my temporary perch overlooking Riverside Park on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. I am a bit gimpy as I slid down some freshly waxed stairs this week, so my human Maria has sent me over to stay with her friend Elizabeth as Elizabeth’s building has an elevator. All of this means that I have had another human whose life I can disrupt, which is a source of intense pleasure to this large and stinky Hound. Elizabeth’s apartment now reeks of my delectable Hound scent, bits of kibble decorate her kitchen floor and an impressive array of drool art adorns her walls.

Better yet, on our afternoon walks I have been vigorously towing (being gimpy never prevents a Hound from towing) her over to the Boat Basin Café located on the Hudson River marina where she consoles herself with a beer while I flop down on the cool stone floors and am made much of by the staff and patrons. In addition to drinking in the afternoon, I have also introduced Elizabeth to the pleasures of an afternoon nap with a Hound. Thus she got to experience first hand the delights of the tail thumping you in the stomach dream and the paws running on your back dream and also the Hound squeaking and snorting in your ear dream, so I am not sure how much napping actually took place. At least for her. This attempted napping was something of a necessity because Elizabeth apparently doesn’t sleep well at night when at any moment she is under threat of being pounced upon by a giant affectionate Hound.

Now if you read last week’s post you know that I am about to become a Swamp Thing. A Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler cooling coat was ordered for me because I am decidedly a Wilting Wimsey when the temperature goes much above 70 degrees (we Hounds are delicate flowers under all our wrinkles and drool). No sooner did the coat arrive than the temperature plummeted into the 50’s so I have not yet had the pleasure of trying it out, but I think that this weekend might provide an opportunity. Miraculously the thing does fit and I look very much the Space Age Wimsey in it (it’s a reflective ice blue). Maybe I will be mistaken for a space alien:

New Yorker 1: Run! We are being invaded by space aliens!

New Yorker 2: How do you know? This is New York City. Space aliens would blend in rather well here.

New Yorker 1: I’ve never seen anything like this before.

New Yorker 2: Well what did this space alien look like?

New Yorker 1: It had a long saggy brown face like melting wax and a metallic ice blue body and giant feet. It was also emitting viscous slime.

New Yorker 1: Are you sure it wasn’t just a Hound?

New Yorker 2: I don’t think ice blue is an acceptable Hound color. Of course I’d have to check with the AKC on that one.

New Yorker 1: What was the alleged space alien doing?

New Yorker 2: Well it was speaking in an alien tongue. I’m pretty sure it was saying “take me to your leader.”

New Yorker 1: Well then it couldn’t have been a Hound. They always say “I am your leader take me your food.”

New Yorker 2: Maybe I was mistaken on that but it was charging about. And rampaging. And scaring people-- except for the people who thought it was kind of cute.

New Yorker 1: That does sound like a Hound...

New Yorker 2: But why was he metallic then?

New Yorker 1:
Perhaps he is an escapee from Project Runway.

Anyway, I could have used the coat this Sunday when the warm and muggy conditions meant that my multi hour walk in Central Park pretty much degenerated into my humans trying to find cool and leafy spots for me to hang out in. We did come upon a large picnic in the Ramble and my humans thought it would be fun to have a photograph of me admiring it. Unfortunately right after this picture was snapped I attempted to charge into its midst to the accompanying shrieks of “Wimsey, No!”—two of the most beautiful words in the English language. Whenever I hear them I know that I am about to have some serious fun. Sadly the combined tow weights of Maria and Elizabeth were sufficient to prevent the impending picnic invasion from actually occurring-- I find that most New Yorkers enjoy having their picnics crashed by a voracious, smelly and drool-flinging Hound. Personally I would like to see a photo montage of me annoying people in the park—the canoodling couples I try to get a good sniff of, the picnics I try to crash, the musicians whose instruments I would like to chew and of course the mimes who I know I could make squeal. But I have as yet been unable to persuade my humans to let me work my magic (or wreak my havoc) for the benefit of the camera—clearly they have no artistic sensibility. Or maybe they just don’t have any good lawyers.

But I did get to hide myself in the bushes—can you spot me? I think these bushes would make excellent camouflage :

Picnicker 1: Did you see that bush move?

Picnicker 2: What bush?

Picnicker 1: That large green one over there with the long brown ears.

Picnicker 2: I didn’t see anything. But something smells funny. Are you sure this cheese is OK?

Picnicker 1: What’s that noise?!

Picnicker 2: Probably just some coyotes.

Picnicker 1: There are coyotes in Central Park?

Picnicker 2: There’s everything in Central Park.

Picnicker 1: I’m sure I brought a quiche. It seems to have vanished. Why is there a slurping noise coming from that bush?

Picnicker 2: It’s probably the noise from the stream.

Picnicker 1:
Is the stream yellow?

Picnicker 2: Maybe it’s someone’s national holiday and they dyed it to celebrate.

Picnicker 1: The sandwiches are gone too!

Picnicker 2: It’s stress. I am sure you just forgot them.

Picnicker 1: In fact the only think left of the picnic are the plates.

Picnicker 2: Were they paper or China?

Picnicker 1: China.

Picnicker 2: That explains why they’re left.

I don’t think the bush would be much help when I raid the laundry bin, I might have to get more creative for that one. But it is not so far fetched that I could be mistaken for a bush or a space alien. Now as I have discussed before, I frequently get mistaken for a pretty impressive variety of dog breeds and mixes, but this week set a new record. First on Sunday someone asked Elizabeth what kind of dog I was and Elizabeth—who to be fair does have a soft voice (except of course when she’s speaking to me)—answered “a bloodhound.” To which the gentleman replied, “Oh, a Boykin.” For those unfamiliar, this is what a Boykin looks like. Can you see the resemblance? The Boykin is 30-40 lbs and eager to please. Just like me! Now one would have thought that anyone who actually knew that Boykin was not the Yiddish word for boy would also probably know that if I were one I was a severely mutated one (or better yet, a Boykin from outer space!)

But at least the Boykin guy got the species correct. When Maria and I were out walking later in the week we were passed by two men, one of whom pronounced confidently to the other that I was a Red Bull. Granted my behavior has frequently been compared to someone who has consumed too much of that beverage and I am very large and I am quite red. And I do like to butt people with my head. But a bull? And they hadn’t even gotten a glimpse of my impressive tackle from behind! Still, I guess it’s better than being mistaken for a Shar Pei.

We also met a guy who was very excited to see me because he used to train bloodhounds. Now the funny thing is is that my humans knew immediately that he meant he trained bloodhounds for search and rescue not that he trained bloodhounds for the obedience ring. I mean apart from the sheer arduousness of the task, why would you? There are easier ways to make a living than trying to get one such as me to mind my p's and q’s. I would much rather steal your p's and q's (also your dinner and your socks) skills at which we bloodhounds excel naturally.

Well the other big new around here is that on Monday, Marmalade, one of our bloodhound blogging buddies, is sending one of her humans to New York City to see us. Perhaps I will be able to impress her human with my new Swamp Coat. Of course she will not get the full Wimsey treatment as plans are afoot to bathe me on Sunday but I am confident that I will find a few other ways to demonstrate my mastery of Houndship (like digging a few holes—it makes my nose a lovely color, don’t you think?—or invading a few picnics).

Now as in previous weeks, the Wimsey Institute of Houndish art is please to present masterworks from the second graders of the Denali Elementary School in Fairbanks, Alaska. I am particularly pleased with this collection since I am the subject of all their pictures. The guiding principle of the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art is that every picture looks better with a Hound in it (my humans have thought of explaining this to the couples posing for their wedding pictures in Central Park as we believe I would make a fine addition to anyone’s matrimonial memories. And I show up particularly well against white satin).

Our first work is by Jerod whose Wimsey Driving a Motorcycle (inspired by a picture of me doing so in a previous post) has clearly fused the Renaissance concept of including action at multiple time points with the modern aesthetic of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. This allegory prominently displays me at the helm of a powerful machine on the left part of the canvas. The artist has even included a self portrait of himself hanging off the back as I take off at speed. But then our eye is drawn to the action sequence denoted by helpfully drawn arrows that depict what happens when a Hound (who in the spirit of his breed is undoubtedly driving without a license) drives too fast. Sadly, I come to grief as all must who defy the laws of physics in favor of a fleeting dopamine induced surge of thrill seeking joy. Such a mature outlook in one so young.

Our next masterwork is Julian’s This is Gus and Wimsey—another fictive meeting of the Great Manhattan Hound and the Great Hound of the Yukon. Here we see life stripped to its essentials—sun, sky, trees and grass. However, in what would otherwise be a rather derivative painting, the artist has managed to convey the celestial qualities of these magnificent creatures by making them appear to float angelically above the earth. The artist has considerately placed no figures below who might be subject to the unfortunate consequences of one of the things Hounds do best so as not to mar the serenity of the scene. Both Hound figures look beatifically out at us as they meet in heavenly conclave. All in all, a very fine work.

Well I have temporarily been returned to the bosom of family (literally-- I like to drape myself on Maria’s torso) owing to the black circles under Elizabeth’s eyes which are becoming a cause for concern. But she has courteously sent me home with a supply of both boiled and roasted chicken to remember her by. Will keep you posted.

Until next time,

Wimsey, the Raging Red Boykin

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #120

Entry #120
May 22, 2009

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you direct from Manhattan’s Fleet Week, which is being held in honor of Memorial Day. All week whacking great ships have been steaming into New York Harbor and disgorging young men and women in spotless white attire. They are every Hound’s dream canvas, but sadly neither my human Maria nor her friend Elizabeth will allow me to muzzle paint them. This is a great shame since my spring drool palette now includes a variety of shades of green as well as my usual fine array of rich browns. And of course I create wonderfully textured patterns through the use of abundant plant material and thick clots of earth that I carry about in my skin folds for just such an occasion. I am sure these folks would be the envy of their shipmates were they to be seen wearing an original work of Wimsey art. Still, Fleet Week is a very festive time with New Yorkers buying drinks and giving directions to all these nautical visitors. And you can even go on board and visit these ships:

Aboard the USS Hound

Captain: Arooo Aroo Aroo…

Visitor: Stop! You’re hurting my ears!

Captain: But that is my bay of triumph because I found you.

Visitor: But you didn’t find me. I found you.

Captain: Nonsense. Who’d want to find a Hound?

Visitor: Very true. I guess you’re right.

Captain: Hounds are always right. It is one of our finer qualities.

Visitor: Yes, I can see that. What can you show me today?

Captain: Well as a special honor we can lend you these sturdy rubber boots and a tight nose clip and take you to visit the poop deck. It’s the crew’s favorite spot on the entire ship! We have a special buffet set up there as well.

Visitor: What you eat on the poop deck!

Captain: Yes. It’s very efficient that way. Especially when cook goes on a health kick and puts bran in the kibble.

Visitor: Well what are you serving?

Captain: Liver and cheese canapés, broiled liver sandwiches, pate, liverwurst, stir fried liver, chopped liver, pureed liver dip ‘n crunchy liver chips, leberknodel…

Visitor: What’s leberknodel?

Captain: Liver dumplings.

Visitor: Do you have anything that is not liver?

Captain: Well if you can catch the ship’s squirrel you can eat him, but he’s very fast.

Visitor: I think I’ll pass. What’s that smell?

Captain: This is a ship of Hounds.

Visitor: No, not that smell. The smell coming from over there.

Captain: Oh, Lieutenant Hubert is wearing his pee coat. He’s very proud of it-- he is our most decorated officer.

Visitor: Well how about you show me all your high tech equipment.

Captain: We sold it to the herding group. We have a ship’s complement of 200 Hounds. If it’s out there they will know it well before the radar and sonar.

Visitor: And what is the mission of the USS Hound?

Captain: Search and destroy.

In any case even without the sailors it has been a very social week—I seem to be running into all kinds of puppies these days and I also got to enjoy some collaborative stick chewing with a Catahoula mix called Blue. But then the weather turned very summery, which I personally find very annoying. And when I am annoyed I become even more recalcitrant and oppositional than usual as a matter of principle. So whatever direction my humans want to walk in I categorically refuse to go that way. Then I flop down in the grass and refuse to move or I climb up on a bench and remain likewise inert.

But I have to say, I never look as massive and majestic, not to say as cute, as when I am sitting on a bench next to the diminutive Elizabeth. Whenever I do this there are squeals of delight from passersby and flashbulbs pop. Actually there are no popping flashbulbs these days as everything is digital but you get the idea. Anyway, my humans are always trying to get me to sit, lie down and stay but I prefer to do these things at times and of durations of my own choosing. I’m a bloodhound—it’s how I roll. We Hounds are capable of doing many things, just not when you want us to do them—like when I “give paw” by whacking my humans with one when they stop scratching me.

Well all this unexpected hot weather and my sudden predilection for the couch rather than the outdoors (can you tell which of us is the stuffed toy?) has caused much consternation to my humans. So much so that yesterday they brought out the dreaded tape measure which I attempted to evade by fleeing to the bedroom, wriggling on my back and trying to shred the dastardly thing with my mouth. Trust me, no good ever comes of being measured—the arrival of some undesirable piece of equipment or apparel is always the ensuing result. In this case it turns out that a Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler cooling coat has now been ordered for me (in the largest possible size!) so I will no doubt be giving you my views on its merits in future posts. My humans are also looking forward to vocal New Yorkers yelling at them for having a dog wearing a coat in hot weather. But once again they will be taking one for the team (me).

Meanwhile, Elizabeth has her own swamp cooler. It’s called a caipirinha and she considers it to be the perfect antidote to time spent with a resistant and stubborn Hound (all of which is redundant--Hound is sufficient). Anyway, she learned to make this drink in Rio and it has since been renamed the Wimsey Cocktail and needless to say, what with this tropical weather and this un-tropical me, she has been consuming quite a number of them. (The Wimsey Cocktail: 1) cut one lime into small pieces and place in a short cocktail glass 2) sprinkle with two teaspoons sugar 3) mash the lime and sugar well with a pestle or other implement 4) add a couple of ice cubes 5) fill glass with cachaça ((Brazilian rum)) 6) shake—either with the top of the cocktail shaker on the top of the glass as they do in Brazil or in a cocktail shaker 7) consume 8) forget about being humiliated by your Hound.

Personally I just think my humans are jealous of all the admiration that I get. Not only am I admired for my cuteness, wrinkles, ears, rich red coat and fine voice but also for that which all males aspire to be admired Yes, I am proud to say that my testicles come in for more than their fair share of laudatory comment. Now as Elizabeth and I were waiting for Maria outside the bodega yesterday evening three gentlemen began exclaiming over my general beauty before one of them noticed that I was still in possession of a fine pair of boy bits. Well, this caused quite a stir: “And look! He’s even still got his _____ (insert colloquial name for male gonads; Hint: they did not use a refined term such as nards, cahones or even stones, but rather a word whose vulgarity I feel is at odds with the elevated tone of this post) exclaimed one. And the other two: “Beautiful, beautiful” and “What a beautiful pair of ______!” and so forth. I was beaming. I really do consider my _____ to be one of my best features. But I am grateful that my ladies didn’t measure them this week. I live in mortal fear that some misguidedly helpful human will invent supportive wear for the larger male canine. We Wimseys strongly prefer to go commando.

Also this week, on Sunday’s long park perambulation we ran into a troupe of actors performing Shakespeare (this is New York after all). They were unfortunately not in costume but if you look closely you can see one of them brandishing a sword. My ladies looked at each other with but one mischievous thought—how would the actors cope should a large Hound be extemporaneously inserted into the action? Sadly they lacked the cahones, but it might go something like this:

Shakespeare in the Park with Wimsey

Duke of Gloucester: Forsooth my lord… What means this! (Enter a Hound) A giant Hound hast entered into our midst?

Duke of Bedford: Mayhap he hath mistaken his way. Should he not be taking yon path over to the realm of my lord of Westminster?

Duke of Gloucester: Aye he is certainly a comely enough Hound to appertain to my Lord of Westminster’s household. What doth he here, I wonder?

Earl of Salisbury: Methinks he hath been exiled.

Duke of Bedford: How so My Lord for sure he is handsome?

Earl of Salisbury: Aye. Handsome he is, this intruding Hound. Yet he hath held steadfastedly to his native gait, the pace, and eschewed the much valued trot.

Duke of Gloucester: Can this be so? A pacing Hound at the court of Westminster. Surely grounds for exile!

Earl of Salisbury: And yet too, yon Hound refus’ed most insistently to endure The Stack, preferring to place his feet as he would and according to his whim and his nature.

Duke of Bedford: Most foul Hound! A miscreant Hound if ever one drew breath.

Earl of Salisbury: And yet not satisfied with such mischief the Hound raised his voice in high protest against the proceedings of the Court, deafening those standing nigh. And we here tell that, in spite of all efforts contrary, he produceth much slime upon the limbs and raiment of those come out to judge him.

Duke of Gloucester: Out out damned spot indeed! Or a multiplicity of spots I fear. It is no wonder that he hath been so cast out of the realm of Westminster.

Earl of Salisbury: And amorous Hound that he is, he hath courted the ladies when such was not to be countenanced.

Duke of Bedford: Fie! What Houndly behavior hath this creature wrought. But he seems mightily attached to you Salisbury.

Earl of Salisbury: Yea, those of Houndish intent are mightily ensorcelled by the aromatics of beef finely ground and grilled.

Duke of Gloucester: Such a comely Hound as he may prove his worth when we take to the field against the perfidious French at Agincourt-- stealing provisions, giving chase to the knightly steeds, sowing confusion and destruction about him and making fearsome noises. For in these things he appears well suited by nature.

Duke of Bedford: Agreed, for even yet as we speak hath mine cloak and mine dinner been made off with.

Duke of Gloucester: Let us away and find him forthwith! (Exeunt, assembled nobles).

Well now before I leave you all for some personal grooming and a well deserved nap we will take a stroll over to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where, as with last week, we are examining pictures of me created by the second graders of Denali Elementary School in Fairbanks, Alaska. Our first work is an abstract piece by Brandon. At first glance we are unsure of what to make of the scene. The artist has drawn our eye to the red sun and red beak of a bird. Symbols of life, perhaps? Equally our eye is drawn to the rhythmic blue sky border at the top of the piece and the blue door below. Symbols of opportunity? But then we notice the green hotel sign and we realize that we are looking at an interpretive view of Manhattan and we perceive that there is a car with a dog’s head hanging out. The artist has employed an interesting mix of color and lack of color that gives the piece a collage-like feel to capture the dynamic bustle and confusion of New York. Brandon: Wimsey Sticking His Head Out of the Window of a Car.

Next we have a picture by Joseph depicting a fictive meeting between Gus (his teacher’s bloodhound) and myself. Both Hounds stand in a satisfyingly rectilinear pose and look boldly out at us, their excitement made palpable by their display of tongue. In an otherwise barren landscape the artist has chosen to include the one feature essential to the happiness of a male bloodhound—a delightfully sturdy tree. The artist has also made an extremely interesting compositional choice, dividing his canvas into decreasing blocks of three. The blocks echo the rectilinear stance of the canine figures and although the figurative panel is not the largest block, its lack of background color emphasizes the importance of the animals depicted. Joseph: Wimsey and Gus Meeting Each Other.

Well that’s it for this week—hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day and that you don’t have to indulge in too many Wimsey Cocktails (BTW: Gus’s human is a big fan of them). But my humans are off buying more limes.

Until next time,

Wimsey, Gem of the Ocean and proud possessor of the most beautiful set of _________ on the island of Manhattan.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #119

Entry #119
May 15, 2009

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from Manhattan’s exciting Upper West Side where I have been out and about to an amazing extent entertaining my fellow citizens. It has been a very good week here Wimsey-wise-- so much so that I hardly know where to begin. On the way home from Sunday’s walk I hit the police officer jackpot! My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth have long noticed my utter fascination with New York’s finest. I regularly try to sneak into the 20th Precinct, become excited by the sight of police cars and can’t help myself from trying to climb on in and join them on patrol. When I see police in the street I insist on towing vigorously towards them to say hi and I lie down and refuse to move until they pet me. But sadly these wonderful creatures generally only seem to come in ones and twos so you can imagine my delight when I espied an entire troop of them! I do wish they’d take me on patrol—I am sure I’d be a great asset:

Wimsey on Police Patrol

Wimsey: Is it time for doughnuts yet?

Officer: Not yet. Right now we have to apprehend a perpetrator who is stealing a bicycle.

Wimsey: What! Stealing is illegal?!

Officer: Yes it is.

Wimsey: Who knew? But why would anyone want to steal a bicycle. It’s not edible.

Officer: True but people steal all kinds of things.

Wimsey: Like underwear!

Officer: Not exactly. But look! There is a man snatching a purse! Let’s get him!

Wimsey: Purses can be eatable. Chewy but eatable. Have you ever experienced the impact of 126 lbs. of a rampaging Hound running at full tilt?

Officer: No.

Wimsey: Well the purse snatcher is about to. He won’t like it. Or so my humans tell me.

Officer: OK Sir. I will now read you your rights: You have the right to remain silent..

Wimsey: Except when I poke you in the crotch with my muzzle..

Officer: Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…

Wimsey: Especially any remarks threatening a Hound when he is in the course of doing his duty by using his wet cold nose to hunt for concealed sandwiches on your person..

Officer: You have the right to speak to an attorney..

Wimsey: But not to complain about the fact that you are being sat upon by a giant smelly Hound.

Officer: And to have an attorney present during questioning…

Wimsey: ..Although derogatory testimony about the giant smelly Hound is inadmissible owing to his sensitive nature…

Officer: If you cannot afford a lawyer one will be provided for you at government expense..

Wimsey: But you will be charged for the biscuits the Hound will extort from him during the interrogation.

Officer: Book him.

Wimsey: There are books? I like books. Not quite as chewy as purses but they shred better. Well Officer, another successful day-- although Hounds usually measure their success by the amount of peace they destroy not by the amount of peace they keep. I think I will take charge of the evidence now; Louis Vuitton is one of my favorites.

I am sure the officers of the 20th Precinct would love to have me in the squad car—especially since I love to drive!

Now also this week I managed to crash an evening picnic that several families were having and I was surrounded by an admiring group of adults and kids while Maria extolled my innumerable virtues. And Elizabeth who, unlike Maria, has a wide experience of dogs that are not Hounds, even managed to hold her tongue. I did try very hard to imbibe some of the nice wine they were drinking but I was given a lovely empty water bottle to play with instead. So now, in addition to police officers, I also tow to say hello to picnickers. Those nice people have a lot to answer for—it takes very little to encourage a Hound to behave badly (or like a Hound).

And speaking of picnics, on Wednesday we all went to the Loeb Boathouse Café for lunch where I highly recommend ordering the tuna sandwich and French fries. And one gentleman was so struck by my Houndly beauty and deportment that he wanted to buy me my own roast beef sandwich. I was very much in favor of this but my human vetoed the idea. And Maria wonders why I do things like run on her back with my giant paws at night when I have a running dream. I was chasing after that man and my roast beef sandwich.

And as I mentioned last week New Yorkers are very enthusiastic about the new Star Trek movie. It has even influenced my humans—this also happened this week:

Star Date 2009.0512

Lt. Maria: Captain Wimsey, we have been summoned on an away mission in sector 0319 of Central Park by Lt. Elizabeth of the Starship LL Bean.

Captain Wimsey: Yes, I know. We Hounds always know when an away mission is imminent. Especially those that involve the use of the automotive shuttlecraft. We are to rendezvous at 17:30 hours. Prepare the equipment and do not forget to pack sufficient provisions as you know how peckish I get during away missions. Meanwhile I will be resting in my quarters with my new large stuffed squeaky dog.

Lt. Maria: Aye Aye Captain. We are ready to proceed.

Captain Wimsey: We will just transport to the bottom of all these stairs.

Lt. Maria: But we don’t have a transporter.

Captain Wimsey: I know but we have the manual Hound transporter—it’s just as fast and just as dangerous.

(Cut to: The Ramble, Central Park)

Captain Wimsey: Ah, a P class environment my favorite. Hang on! Red Alert! Tricorder nose readings indicate a raccoon bearing 63 mark 8. Engage tractor beam.

Crew: Inadvisable Captain. The alien is hostile and is in possession of pointy teeth and sharp claws.

Captain Wimsey: Engage tractor beam! I must make first contact!

Crew: All hands! Alert! Haul Captain Wimsey hard a port!

Captain Wimsey: I am very displeased! I will have you all court martialed. Or better yet I will sit on you.

Crew: We had no choice Captain. Interfering with a raccoon is a violation of the Prime Directive. Also we can’t afford the vet bill.

I was immensely annoyed at being denied the opportunity to visit with the raccoon and promptly stalked off to my room with my giant squeaky dog when we got home. He is the only one who understands me. I take him everywhere and he even sleeps with me. And when I wake up from a nap the first thing I do is give him a few squeaks, day or night, so my human always knows when I am awake. Maria loves the squeaky dog too—especially when I shove him into her face and squeak him!

I mean I give my humans so much and they deny me the simple pleasures of life like messing with a raccoon. And in spite of their protestations that being with me is taking years off their lives I know that I am really responsible for keeping them healthy. I think instead of prescribing pills, doctors should prescribe Hounds:

Are you tired, depressed, overweight? Sleeping too much, sleeping too little or have no friends? Do you have too much nervous energy? Are you pompous? Full of yourself? Spend too much time working? Forget all those pills, potions and lotions! Now there’s Miracle Hound. Miracle Hound is a complete life system guaranteed to restore your mind and body to a robust state of health. Miracle Hound can cure anything, anywhere, anytime. Talk to your doctor today and see if Miracle Hound is right for you. (Disclaimer: Miracle Hound may cause broken bones and abrasions. Do not use Miracle Hound if your home contains valuable possessions. Side effects of Miracle Hound include an increased alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, financial ruin, body odor, lack of fashion sense, bruises in funny places, underwear with holes, exhaustion, uneven arm lengths and slime).

Get Miracle Hound today and start on the road to a happier, healthier and certainly funnier (although not necessarily in a good way) life!

Now the other really big thing that happened this week is that I received a package from Fairbanks, Alaska. As some of you know, I have been writing to the second graders of Denali Elementary School in Fairbanks about New York City. And they sent me thank you letters and drawings and salmon treats. It was quite thrilling and I enjoyed hearing from all of them; I was especially taken with the drawings that featured yours truly (and my much admired deep forehead wrinkle). Now in honor of this, The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art will be featuring a few of these drawings each week along with my usual erudite commentary.

Our first artist is Alex with a very impressive view of me on the Staten Island Ferry. Notice his strong sense of line—reminiscent of a young Picasso I think—and how his bold use of primary colors draws our eye into the scene. He has also cleverly eliminated extraneous details, placing the action against a stark canvas and the subject matter benefits enormously from his minimalist aesthetic. He has also borrowed a bit from some impressionist works in his cropping of the sun which lessens the sense of artificiality one gets when one views a painting. And of course his rendering of me, complete with my black saddle and perhaps in mid-bay and preparing to go for a swim is masterly. Alex: Wimsey About to Go Swimming in the Water.

Next we have a pastoral scene by Jamilya. What strikes us immediately is her rhythmic, and van Gogh-like use of cross hatching which adds interest and intensity to the limitless horizon. We also note with pleasure her use of symmetry in the echoing verticals of the tree and the girl as well as of the two central clouds. This is delightfully balanced by the seeming asymmetry of the three central flowers. However, when we look closely we realize that the space occupied by the three flowers is in fact equaled by the space taken up by the magnificent Hound, thus maintaining the internal symmetry of the work. A ball is seen in mid-flight yet both figures look directly into the viewers’ eyes as if they have been surprised unawares in the middle of the game. What a dynamic and delightful scene! Jamilya: Me and Wimsey at the Park Playing Ball.

Well it is time for me to go commune with my squeaky dog and berate Maria for the loss on my roast beef sandwich and raccoon. We are yet again expecting some wet weather so I don’t suppose I will have nearly as exciting a week this week. But one never knows—especially when one lives with a Hound.

Until next time,

Wimsey, Artist’s Muse