Sunday, 15 June 2008

Animal Magic

Ionescu started it all in 1959 with "Rhinocéros": the square of a small town, the town and a house in the small town become infested with rhinocerontes, indeed with a crash of the creatures.

The elephants in the room have become familiar to all of us through the extraordinary repetitive endeavours of the dead-tree media and the blogeurs nouveaux alike, both as a source of cliché and - potentially - of 4 umbrella stands, 1 fly whisk and 2 novelty mead horns per animal.

But like the herd of peccary under my bed, the won't stay still long enough for a moderate shot like myself to draw a bead on them.

The pigs live on the fungi that grow out of my bedsheets, which saves me having to launder the linen more than once a year, so we have a symbiotic relationship of sorts. Shaking the pig poo out of my socks (2) and underpants (1, incidentally an example of the Plural Singular, like falling over "a" sheep in the kitchen when you are going for that third bottle of Stolichnaia Krepkaia from the freezer compartment) every morning is a small but bearable overhead.

Not sure what the elephants contribute, apart from eating everything in the fridge while they're waiting for the Elephant Jokes to start, and snuffling away in anticipation like a pack of children who have plotted a Wizard Wheeze.

But now, according to one Jonathan Clark in his review of Tony Claydon's "Europe and the Making of England 1660-1760" (TLS 13 June 2008), "Further: the gorilla in the corner of the room for Claydon's scenario is the American Revolution".

Drats. So that's what happened to the bamboo plant. Or was that the panda in the alcove / deposition of the last Qing Emperor?

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