Friday, September 10, 2010

Wimsey's Blog: Dairy of a Manhattan Bloodhound #183

Entry # 183
September 10, 2010

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the newly autumnal (or semi-autumnal) precincts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the usual amount of fall Hound adulation is in full swing. This is a good thing since not only do I demand a turkey tribute when my humans take my picture but also when passing admirers and tourists do so as well.

And speaking of my humans, my primary one, Maria was sick this week, meaning that I spent part of the week with her friend (and my auxiliary human) Elizabeth. Having a spare human is very important as they seem to break quite easily, so whilst one is being repaired the spare insures that I am not deprived of any of the services to which I have become so accustomed and which are so richly deserved.

And I know how much Elizabeth appreciates having me stay with her--especially my middle of the night bed checks and my toe licking when she forgets to tuck her feet in and how much she enjoys being towed around the park for an indefinite period first thing in the morning and how she likes finding artistic looking stains on her walls, ceilings, clothing, floors, upholstery, bedding, etc. And this is to say nothing of my attempts to terrorize the neighbor’s little dog, who for some reason seems disinclined to have my cold, wet nose shoved up his bum or the electric effect my baying has on the Chinese deliverymen.

But sadly Maria recovered (or recovered enough to take me back) and Elizabeth was forced to part with the 24/7 range of services I provide—including dripping nasal secretions on her food as I inspect it for quality and wholesomeness. Well with one of my humans being sick and the other exhausted, not a lot of photos were taken (at least by them) so I apologize in advance for their paucity this week. Many of those that were taken seem to involve a liberal display of tongue as the weather has only recently cooled down—not a moment too soon as Elizabeth’s elegant fall LL Bean hoodie arrived in the mail this week. And then on Sunday I decided (on the way home of course) that it would be nice to lie down on the bridle path and take a nap which seemed to amuse everyone except my humans who seem constitutionally deficient in the humor department.

And the week was rife with the usual mistaken identities—the most spectacular being people who thought I was the dog from Harry Potter. I guess all we canine celebrities look alike and I do very much admire the extensive wrinkling of the Harry Potter Neapolitan Mastiff and his imposing demeanor so I choose to take it as a compliment.

But speaking of wrinkles or the lack thereof, Maria found a picture of me at about two months of age that my breeder sent to her when she found out I would be joining (ruling) her life. Look how smooth I am! Hideous really—I look like somebody botoxed me! So embarrassing that I was ever bereft of my ponderous assortment of wrinkles. And the quote at the bottom reminds me that it is Wimsey family lore that Homer took substantial liberties with the truth when he narrated the goings on in ancient Greece and Troy in the Iliad:

The Iliad Expose

Now Helen, a quite lovely looking creature was married more or less happily (like any other couple ruling Sparta they had their ups and downs) to King Menelaus. They only had one child—a daughter named Hermione (the name was King’s idea)—principally because the King spent far too much time out making war on smaller kingdoms and hunting with his cronies. Anyway, cut to a banquet on Mount Olympus where a goddess, cheesed off because she had not been invited threw a golden apple into the proceedings. Now this apple was inscribed “For the Fairest One” which caused a pandemonium not seen since the Jimmy Choo half off sandal sale. Apollo (whose orientation was always somewhat suspect) had to be elbowed out the way by Hera, Aphrodite and Athena who all believed that the apple was meant for them. They asked Zeus to decide but the guy did not get to be king of the gods because he was an idiot, so he wisely decided to give the whole thing a miss and selected some poor Phrygian sap named Paris to decide instead.

Well of course each of the goddesses attempted to bribe Paris, life on Mt. Olympus being of a somewhat cut throat nature. Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war and Aphrodite offered the love of the world’s most beautiful woman. Sadly not much has changed in the world since then and then as now men’s brains are often to be found in their tunics, so as far as Paris was concerned this was a no brainer. (Many subsequent readers of the Iliad though this was a no brainer too, but for entirely different reasons).

Anyway, the upshot of all this was that Aphrodite had her apple (such affirmations being necessary to her sense of well being owing to her low self esteem) and Paris had Helen of Sparta who, having still not forgiven her husband for naming their only child Hermione, was not too displeased with her handsome young lover. And all’s well that would have ended well (Menelaus being not too unhappy to dispense with Helen’s nagging and after nine years of marriage, if truth be told, even great beauty wears a bit thin) except that Helen refused to leave Sparta without Wimzeus, the King’s prized hunting Hound and her favorite canine companion.

Well Menelaus was incensed and immediately declared war on Troy and thus it was that The Face (or more precisely, The Nose) that launched a thousand ships belonged to an adorable Hound. Hera and Athena were mighty peeved that they had not thought to offer Paris the Hound instead of Europe, Asia or prowess in war and came down solidly on the side of Menelaus and Greece. And as further punishment they forced Homer to write 24 tedious books detailing the ensuing murder and mayhem that all future school children would be forced to suffer through. Amidst it all, the only voice of reason was that of Cassandra—the daughter of King Priam of Troy—who had been given the gift of prophecy by Apollo when he hoped to get into her pants and then cursed with the fact that no one would believe her when she declined his advances. Apollo could be spiteful that way.

Cassie apparently took one look at Wimzeus Hound of Sparta and foretold that no good would come of his presence. Apart from a bunch of Trojan heroes being killed, and the catastrophic defeat of Troy due to Greek’s hiding in a giant hollowed out horse she foretold that many provisions would go missing that there would be a massive destruction of chitons, chlamyses, peploses and sandals and that the white marble of the temples would not stay white for long which, some of the gods would be bound to find a punishable offense. But sadly the only response to her prophetic observations was “But he’s so cute!” and Apollo had his revenge.

Homer’s publisher’s marketing department decided that the story would be of more appeal to the ladies if the whole thing were about love instead of a large, smelly Hound. Men on the other hand found the love motive puzzling and would have completely understood the wrath of having one’s prized Hound abducted, so Homer wisely decided to appeal to them with the vivid descriptions of violence and carnage so beloved of men everywhere and in every time. The fact that it is written in dactylic hexameter does somewhat limit its marketability but the publisher felt that no one would notice and that the gore would more than make up for the work’s literary merits. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Well anyway, back here in the 21st century I guess it is only to be expected that I have embarrassing baby pictures just like everyone else. I also noticed that in this picture that there is a hand holding up my head—apparently I was no more cooperative about having my picture taken then than I am now, the puppy being father of the dog as the poet Wordsworth so aptly observed.

So until next time,

Wimsey, The Face that Launched a Thousand Blog Posts


Bentley said...

Aww, what a cute puppy picture. My humans couldn't decide which picture they liked best...the puppy picture or the puddle of hound in the middle of the path.

Good to hear that your primary human is feeling better too.

D.K. Wall said...

And we do love that face.

Nancy and my Neapolitan Mastiffs said...

Lovely puppy. I love the face too.