Thursday, November 5, 2015

The elephant in the room

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Nowadays in Lebanon, trying to have any conversation about any obvious issue goes a bit like this:

- We should talk about the elephant in the room.

- Yes we should.

- Great, so…

- So is it from India or from Africa?

- What??

- The elephant, is it from India or from Africa?

- I don’t know… Who care?

- Elephants from India have smaller ears than elephants from Africa.

- But…

- I’ve seen one in India, you know. Beautiful animal. Hannibal crossed the Alps riding one. I think it was an African elephant. India is too far from the Alps.

- Ok…

- I love India. I’ve been there twice. But I’ve never been to Africa. Next summer maybe.

- So, the elephant…

- Poor creature, it’s an endangered species they say, soon to be extinct.

- Yes, ok, but the elephant in the room…

- Well, if it’s in danger to be extinct, it’s much safer in the room than in the wild.

- ...

- You don’t agree?

- I…

- What about animal rights, huh? You don’t care about animal rights?

- (Trying to remain calm) I care about animal rights, I care very much, but “the elephant in the room” is an expression, a metaphor…

- Yeah right, go tell a mother elephant that her dying baby elephant is a metaphor!

- …

- You’re so heartless.

- (Losing it) I care about animal rights, ok!! I just want THIS elephant, in THIS room, to be fucking extinct!! So can we just focus on the damn elephant in the damn room?!

- I don’t talk to people who want elephants to be extinct.

© Claude El Khal, 2015

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