A Giant Dump

My girlfriend and I are watching an elephant show outside of Chiang Mai.  It's pretty interesting.  The elephants have done this a lot and like doing it and even the baby elephants are underfoot imitating their mothers.  There aren't any boy elephants. They cause trouble. The elephants are beating drums, and dancing, and kicking soccer balls, and playing basketball, and painting, etc. The mother elephants are smiling, the baby elephants are smiling, the tourists are smiling, the mahouts are smiling: and the elephants can smell the sugar cane and banana treats we were all encouraged to buy.  Lets see: start the day with a bath in the river, put on a twenty minute show followed by snacks.  I know a lot of humans who work harder than this.

Anyway, the show is well rehearsed and well presented; what could be more interesting?  Just then my attention is drawn to a group of Thais who are laughing so hard it looks like they might break their ribs.  Laughter crosses all cultures and these Thais are laughing so hard they look as if they might lose control of their bladders.  They look as if they might lose the ability to stand and end up on the ground with tears of laughter streaming out of their eyes.  What's up?

Off to the side of the bleachers is an old retired elephant who isn't a part of the show.  She's moving slow, and has saggy wrinkled skin, and her show days are over.  She looks ancient and tired and used up. She is also giant.  I'm no elephant expert but this lady is huge.  Dinosaur huge.  Ever seen those three hundred and four hundred and five hundred pound women in shopping malls?  Now think elephant.  HUGE.  And she is taking a giant dump.  It looks like she hasn't taken a dump in weeks.  She's balanced precariously on all four feet in one spot as if she is on a stand in a circus.  A feat of improbable balance and athleticism.  Her rear end is projecting and her tail is up. You don't see this every day.  Anyway, so much green stuff is coming out of her back end that it is forming into a little mountain.  And it is still coming.  And coming.  And coming.  A river of poorly digested green plant material going back to the earth.  Under her athletically poised rear end is a growing mountain cone of this stuff.  It is amazing.  And it just keeps coming and coming . . . a green growing mountain of crap.

And surrounding this growing mountain of elephant crap are a bunch of German and Japanese photographers taking pictures and using movie cameras.  Nobody is taking pictures or movies of the elephant show, but there is about $50,000 worth of camera and movie equipment being used to memorialize this mountain of elephant crap.  No wonder the Thais think we are all crazy.  No wonder the Thais think foreigners are strange.  We have traveled thousands of miles at great expense, and some inconvenience, and some risk on our vacations to take photos of a big fat old lady taking a dump.  But it's all good.  It's hard to predict how modern camera technology will be used.  Sometimes the content might not be equal to the technology, but as always: it's the smiles that count.


You can contact the author at DanaInAmerica@aol.com