My Witt's End

Labor For Elephants

Labor for Elephants


The traveling circus passed through our village this morning. I considered running away, then remembered a few other obligations. And besides, how would the government know where to send my Social Security check?

So instead, we took our 10-year-old grandson to watch the circus folks raise the big top. I think he might have preferred something a bit more digital than archaic, however, any chance you get to see a piece of living history, I say, "Take it! Go for the gold!" (Oh, too much television in my system …)

Anyway, watching the elephant (Lisa, by name) in harness, pulling on the rigging that raised the roof 39 feet above us, I had one of those what-if moments. Lisa is a well conditioned 37 year old, tipping the scales at around 8,000 pounds—give or take. She eats about a quarter ton of food every day and drinks about 190 liters of water.

Just think of how many humans could be hired to do this same manual labor—and they'd eat and drink a lot less. The humans would, of course, have other duties around the circus, but their primary function would be the daily raising of the tent with its 160-foot-diameter. There is huge entertainment value in this, as well as a cost savings.

So, later in the day when I was talking with President Obama, again, about the unemployment situation here in the U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A, I outlined legislation proposing humans, not elephants, be used as tent raisers. I told him, I know he's against this top-down economic mess the Republicans got us into, so this would be a top-up program.

As usual, the Prez was a step ahead of me. He said the idea has merit. He thought the symbolism of elephant pictures would make it easy for Congress to understand and hard for them to object to. But in the end, elephants will work for peanuts.

Plus, the Chief Exec said, given the current mood of Congress, the immigrant work permit problem alone would be huge with elephants, and besides, their birth certificates are suspect. And what if an elephant got sick?



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