Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The excited elephant
The Telegraph, has the top 20 most ridiculous complaints made by holidaymakers to their travel agent, and this beauty came up:
A tourist at a top African game lodge overlooking a waterhole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel "inadequate".
Now for the Snopes.com version. The "African game lodge" honeymooner experience happened may actually of been Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando.
We took a family vacation to Disney's Animal Kingdom, and we were placed on a safari truck, with a honeymooner couple in front of us and two rows of college kids behind us. When the ride started, the "tour guide" gave a big welcome to the honeymooners, and we were off on our pretend safari. When we got to the African watering hole, there was an aroused elephant as described, with extremely elephantine characteristics.
The college girls in the two safari seats behind us started filming Mr. Elephant and laughing and pointing it out to the other kids in the front of the truck. They stood up, and went to the side of the truck, and clicked their cameras as though they were at a Hollywood premiere.
Apparently, I thought it was a bit too amusing, because I heard the the phrase, "You pig!" and got a slap on my leg.
It seemed that the honeymooners dealt with it without significant ramifications, despite the "oh my god" shrieks by the college girls that took pictures with their camera phones.
But further along on the "safari" ride, one of the trucks on the route ahead of us had gotten stuck in the mud, and all the trucks on the tour out on the grasslands, had to stop, until a tow truck could pull the other truck out of the mud.
And our safari was stuck in front of the cheetah exhibit.
The exhibits are quite nice, because there is a moat with rocks above it seperating the animals from you, but you can't see it, so it looks like you are really on the African planes. But while we were stuck in front of the cheetah exhibit, things starting getting unruly. They starting to run towards the truck, and then they jumped on the rocks overlooking the moat. One of the cheetahs then jumped about up 12 feet into the air and into one of the trees, and menancingly looked at the safari wagon.
At that point, even the "tour guide" seemed to get a little nervous, as she said that she had never seen that before.
You could guesstimate the distance across the moat, and if you saw how easily the cheetah jumped into the tree, and how agitated they were, it didn't take much imagination to guess that they might be able to jump across the moat. The honeymooner was already making that calculation outloud!
Now this happened in the heat of the day, so the sun was shining rather brightly, so if there were wires above the moat or around them inconspiciously, you couldn't see them. Think a Las Vegas levitation trick outside a hotel, done in the bright sunlight. Is he really floating and flying up in the air? You just don't see the wires from the crane overhead!
Anyway, the honeymooners were really starting to freak out, and starting slide to the other side of the truck. They told the people to quit clicking their camera's, and not to look at the cheetahs. He also seemed to be rather annoyed with the college girls that were taking pictures of the "attack" cheetahs. He re-iterated that the clicks would make them attack. They were actually making everyone nervous. People at the front of the truck, asked if they could get out of there some other way. Then my six year old daughter asked me if the "lions" could get us. I said no, but I calculated my own contingency plan. If worse comes to worse, and if a cheetah would jump over the moat, I'd have to jump out of the truck, and toss some dung at one of them, so maybe they'll leave us alone or just attack me. (After all, the markets were pretty lousy then!)
Finally after sitting there for about 15 minutes, the cheetahs decided to quit pacing and jumping on the rocks trees and looking at us, and they went back to the grass and laid down, and in another 10 minutes or so, a tow truck had pulled the other safari truck out of the ditch, and we were able to continue the tour.
By then, the excitement of the cheetahs had worn off, and the college kids started talking and laughing about the aroused elephant again and comparing the pictures they took.
Mr. Honeymooner, who had a sunburned face, was comforting his shaken bride, but when she heard the kids laughing, she nervously laughed also, and chimed in that she had never seen anything like that before in her life.
He said, "Yes, it was rather scary there for some moments" but then his bride said, "No the elephant! It was so huge!"
So maybe it was at an African game lodge. Or maybe, that was the glamorized version of what happened in the pretend safari at Disney, of which we had a first hand seat.
Whatever it was, the ride was worth the price of admission.
You had the aroused elephant and the crazy college kids clicking pictures, the crazier attack cheetahs and the Honeymooner's from Hell.
And now that story, or a version of it, made it to print.
It would of had too.
It was too funny for people to keep quiet!
Posted by Palmoni at 8:03 AM