Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Elephant in the Room

Setting: Condo living room where four couples are socializing after dinner.

Couple 1: Art & Annie
Couple 2: Bob & Betty
Couple 3: Cal & Connie
Couple 4: Don & Dora
Couple 5: Ed & Ellie

Connie: Who's ready for some dessert?  Why don't I go get it ready..

Cal: Let me help you carry plates, dear.

(They exit)

Art: Why the hell is she worrying about dessert?  There's a damn elephant sitting on the coffee table or haven't the rest of you noticed?

Annie: (sweetly) Well, now, it's her elephant and her coffee table. It would have been rude to mention it. I'm sure she'll take care of it in good time. Don't get upset about it.

Art: I'm supposed to eat dessert off a table the elephant's ass is covering???

Betty: (getting up and looking around) I wonder where she keeps the cleaning supplies.  I could clean up the table while she gets the cake.  Well, if someone can get the elephant to move, that is...(continues searching)

Bob: (amused) You might want a shovel first.  I think the elephant is getting ready to poop.

Annie: (worried) Oh, dear...

Don: This is no ordinary pachyderm, you know.  This is a rare opportunity.  Few people have the chance to enjoy such an amazing creature.

(Dora nods admiringly at Don)

Art: Rare opportunity my ass!  It's a fucking elephant and it took a dump on the rug!

(Annie shrinks in mortification at Art's boldness)

Betty: (returning with rubber gloves, a bucket, and disinfectant)  Ok, let's get cracking.  Art, Bob,
Don, I need you to give a good heave to get the elephant out of my way so I can start cleaning up.

Bob: (chuckling again as he walks toward the elephant) Mind if I take the front end?  I'd like to avoid any more of what came out the back end a bit ago.

Art: Hell if I'm getting a hernia trying to move that thing.  It's Connie and Cal's elephant.  Let them move it and clean up after it. 

Don: No need to get upset.  It's a trained elephant.  I helped Connie and Cal get it here all the way from India.  I'm looking to grow an elephant import business.  Just need the investors to help supply the capital.  Say Art, you're a man of means.  I can double whatever you'd care to invest...

(Betty scrubs at the carpet furiously.)

Art: Fuck off, Don.  You're as full of shit as Dumbo's bowel was a few minutes ago.

Annie: (attempting to placate) Dear, just take a deep breath.  I'm sure when Connie and Cal come back they'll get the elephant out of the room.  If not, we'll find a way to manage.

Dora: Connie makes very lovely cake.  I hope it's carrot...

(Connie and Cal return with several plates of sliced cake.)

Connie: (stopping dead in her tracks in the doorway before shouting) What is going on in here?!

Betty: (without looking up) I thought I'd save you the trouble and try to get the spot out of the carpet but I can't move the elephant.

Annie: It's ok, Connie.  Don't worry.  We don't mind the elephant.

Art: Speak for yourself.  If I wanted to eat with the elephants I'd go to the damn zoo and climb in the enclosure!

Bob: (with another laugh) I dunno.  It's kind of fun.  I sure never had dessert with an elephant before.  Hope he likes the cake!

Don: Connie, tell them how I imported the elephant...

Connie: (red faced and indignant as she throws down the plates she is carrying) THERE IS NO ELEPHANT!!!!  I can't believe you'd even suggest such an absurd thing!  What kind of people come to someone's home when invited and show such nerve!  I never...

Dora: (murmuring glumly)  There goes the carrot cake.  I was so looking forward to it.

Cal: (setting down the plates he is carrying and approaching Connie tentatively) Sweetheart, calm down.  They didn't mean anything.  Now come sit down and relax.

Connie: (in complete fury)  I will not sit down and relax when people are accusing me of having an elephant in the room!!!  The gall!

Art: Are you out of your mind?  Dumbo took a shit right on your carpet!  If you are going to pretend that didn't happen I'm going to start giving him prune juice followed by an appropriately sized enema.  Then maybe you'll be forced to do something about it.

Annie: Dear, maybe she's just not ready or doesn't know how.  It's not her fault.

Betty: (exasperatedly peeling her rubber gloves off) Well, if Connie isn't going to do anything and Art's going to give the beast diarrhea I'm not going to keep scrubbing.  Let's go, Bob.

Bob: (still smiling) Well, it's been interesting. G'night, all.

Connie: (insane with rage) NO ONE IS GOING ANYWHERE!! I MADE CAKE!!!

Dora: Is there any left?

(Cal hands Dora one of the plates he had been carrying.  Bob and Betty leave.)

Don: (reaching for another of the intact plates) I believe I'll have some too.  I've got a great cake supplier on the East Coast but I wouldn't mind expanding that business venture.  Say Cal, maybe you and Connie would like to be my Southern suppliers.  It would just require a bit of investment.

Annie: (trying to pick shards of broken plates off the floor) Let me just get this out of the way so no one gets cut on it...


Art:  (gruffly) Annie, we're done here.

Annie: (sheepishly depositing a handful of broken china on an end table) Connie, Cal, thank you for having us.

(As Art and Annie reach the door to leave they encounter Ed and Ellie, who heard the ruckus from across the hall and thought they should check in.)

Art: Word to the wise...circus tickets.

Ed: (knowingly) Oh no...

Ellie: Huh?

(Ed and Ellie step through the door to see broken dishes and cake on the floor, Don and Dora eating in the corner, an elephant relieving itself on the coffee table, and Cal trying to console a hysterical Connie.)

Ellie:  Good Lord, what happened in here and who let the elephant in?

(Connie wails at mention of the elephant and mess.  Ed tries to grab Ellie's arm to drag her out of the room.)

Ellie: (protesting) Ed, Connie and Cal need some help here.  Connie, does the elephant have a leash?

Connie: (whizzing a plate at Ellie) THERE...IS...NO...ELEPHANT!!!!!

Ed: (ducking back out to the hall as fast as he can) Every man for himself...

(Ellie stands in the doorway incredulous at the scene)


clean and crazy said...

hey, i was that elephant!! that was me!!

Beach Bum said...

Well to be honest I tend to be that elephant in many social situations.

Cricket said...


Only you, my dear, could get my Monday off to such a surreal, funny, and allegorical start.

A bit of absolute brilliance.

Btw, I live walking distance from a good size zoo, where I am a member. A standard elephant "spoor" is about the size of a basketball. Yikes. Just in case that adds to the delightful image....

I'm not sure i even dare ask for the backstory.

Anonymous said...

Interesting read first thing on a Monday morning...

Loved it.

- Jazz

S said...

i dont totally get the metaphor, did you write that?
what the hell is going on in your brain? :P

Craig said...

You always keep me guessing. . .

I'm beginning to think you rather enjoy it. . .


At least the elephant isn't pregnant. . . or is she?

Suldog said...

Well, I'm not sure what the elephant is in your room at this time (if indeed you have one, which you may not) but this is genius. Pure genius. And hilarious.

Moannie said...

You had me going from the word go...why can't I have a neighbour like you?

This would make a great visual sketch with French and Saunders or Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. Genius is right, Jim.

Anonymous said...

oh my, allegory can be such a frightening thing

Susan in the Boonies said...

A good mahout, who can find?

Their price is far above rubies.

Anyone know Ruby's price, by the way?

Trooper Thorn said...

Perhaps it was a camel?

Mother Theresa said...

??? I'm just a little confused. Did I miss something? Or does this have something to do with the unsettledness of the previous post. I'd sure be unsettled if there were an elephant in my living room.

Jocelyn said...

All I know is that Connie is clearly a Midwesterner. Well, except for the raising her voice and throwing the cake parts. But denying what's in the room, right before her? Oh, yea, baby.

secret agent woman said...

A little backstory?

Dave said...

Now Michelle, I'm sure that if you keep taking the medicine the elephant will soon go away...
(What was all THAT about?)
P.S. If you wrote that play well done! A funny piece! - Dave :-)

G-Man said...

Where are those turd rolling Dung Beetles when you really need one?