Elephants have been all over the place recently. First there was that documentary on Channel 4 where they chopped one open. I was emailed an exciting picture at work of an elephant standing on a pallet to illustrate its strength – a fascinating insight into the day job, there. Then there was that stuff about the parade before Michael Jackson’s funeral, and that Thirst Pockets TV ad where a stubborn elephant gets pissed off and impetuously boots a wheelie bin down the street, which always makes me chuckle. Plus the answer to the Guardian’s Scrabble problem this weekend was pachyderm.
Yep, the thick-skinned little blighters are everywhere I turn at the moment, and, yesterday, some more cropped up.
Travelling home from a weekend featuring, at certain points, quite possibly life-threatening levels of inebriation, I stumbled across a text message I sent to my mate Matt at quarter to one in the morning on Sunday. It simply said, ‘elephants’.
Oh fuck, I thought, what could this mean? The clearest memories I have of Saturday night are hazy at best, the most salient of those involving an early-hours Shoe-Throwing Olympics, held to establish which member of our party – all pushing 30 years old, by the way – could project a manky loafer over the top of a bridge, and later waking up on the sofa to find my friends fashioning a makeshift handlebar moustache on my upper lip out of some furry crap from off the floor that looked uncomfortably like a yeti’s pubic hair. How we all laughed.
But back to the elephant in the room. I am drawing a complete blank on this one, and this concerns me. Why had I sent this message? Had we all made a pledge to do more to help the world’s declining population of the magnificent beasts the moment we got back to our desks on Monday? Probably not. More worryingly, and more likely, it could have been a – not at all funny or clever – reference to some of our fellow nightclub patrons, which seemed both funny and clever at the time. Let’s hope if that’s the case it was kept between the two of us and the fatties didn’t find out.
Or, judging by how I’ve been feeling ever since I woke up on Sunday, it might have been a hurried warning text sent just before an actual stampeding herd of the meaty grey monsters tore Jumanji-style through the bar, crushing everything in their path and stamping my delicate head into a pulp. This makes more sense than the other, ridiculous, explanation – that I might have got a bit carried away on the sauce.
Whatever it means, though, incidences of these black holes occuring after sessions of drinking that might popularly be described as binges have escalated quite significantly for me in recent times, and it is worrying to say the least. It takes less booze to get to that stage now, too, so I’m wondering where it’s going to end? With me regaining consciousness face down in a smashed-up hotel room with a questionable new bride and the receipt for a single pint of shandy in my pocket?
Elephants never forget, but I’ve forgotten all about the elephants. And I’m terrified of what that might mean.