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Monday, March 24, 2014

The Escaped Elephant Speaks

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say three elephants escaped from their handlers at a circus near St. Louis and damaged several vehicles in the parking lot before they were recaptured.

The first mistake they made was going after the cars.  It's typical with elephants, we just can't resist a car.  When I made my break from Ringling back in, oh, must've been 1985 or thereabouts, I had to go straight through a parking lot.  Hardest thing I ever did.  Cars everywhere.  I wanted to sit on one so bad, just to see what would happen, but I kept telling myself, "Keep moving, Jumbo, don't stop now."

The thing is, when you're an escaped elephant, what you've got to do is blend.  Fortunately, being gray, it's a lot easier than you might think.  Act casual.  Read a newspaper, drink a latte.  If you don't act like anything's wrong, no one will suspect.  It's when you act all nervous, you start thinking, "Everybody's looking at me!" you think, "They know I'm an escaped elephant!"  Once that sort of idea gets up between your ears, you've had it.  Next thing you know, you're looking for a good car to sit on to settle your nerves.  "Just one," you tell yourself, "'til I get my head together."  Once you sit on a car, it's a dead giveaway.

That's why most escaped elephants don't get away with it.  Can't stay away from the cars.  Of course, there's a few exceptions, like me.  I made the break thirty years ago, and been on the run ever since.  Kicked around for a while, got a job doing data entry, now I'm assistant manager at Five Guys.  

I'm saving up for a ticket back to Nairobi, but it's expensive.  I have to pay for two seats.  One way, but still, you don't make much at Five Guys.  I don't know how I'll get through TSA, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

If I don't crack first.  There's a guy comes here about once a week.  Drives a little cherry-red Kia.  It looks exactly like this red box I used to sit on back at Ringling.  I'm dying to sit on it, just dying.  I eat a few pounds of peanuts until the craving goes away, but I don't know how much longer I can hold out.

It's so little.  It's so red.  It's so tempting.

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