We were sitting at a diner, eating burgers. I had decided that would be the best way to celebrate my new citizenship, so American.
“Look outside,” said Rob, “Are these elephants? Elephants in the middle of the street?”
“Circus in town?” I asked. “Look, they are helping people from the sidewalk get on the elephant’s back.”
“That’s no circus,” said Clem, “I read about this. They’re elephanteers. People riding elephants for health and sanity.”
“Huh?” Marsha articulated interest. A rare sight.
“Think about it,” said Clem, “Elephants have been with humans since the dawn of time. Mammoths at first, actually. They were there when the greatest empires existed. They influenced the social order. Some people discovered that and they pushed Congress to allow regular folks to have elephants.”
“So,” said Rob, “What are the benefits?”
“Riding an elephant, being near an elephant, and seeing one is very soothing for the mind. Especially riding one, it’s like, the most natural form of massage. It makes you calm and focused. A study showed it increases your IQ. Plus it removes bad electrons. Something about elephant skin that does that.”
“Sounds fucking stupid to me,” said Marsha, and then just sat there with her lower jaw forward, looking really tough.