The Elephant In The Room

There is an elephant in the room. It is pushing the envelope and thinking outside the box, and what it is thinking about is not rocket science. Elephants are among the more intelligent members of the animal kingdom, but their brains cannot cope with the complexities of rocket science. It is more likely that the elephant is thinking about food, and when next it might find some vitamin-rich leafage to munch. Not that it would have any concept of vitamins, any more than of rocket science.

So, anyway, there is this elephant in the room, with an envelope and a box. It must be a reasonably big room, for an elephant to fit into it, and one, moreover, with a l’age d’or. Sorry, I mean a large door, sufficient in height and breadth to allow the passage through it of a great big galumphing elephant. The lobby of an important hotel fits the bill.

Somebody has placed in the lobby an envelope and a box. They may have been put there before the arrival of the elephant, or after. It doesn’t matter, for Christ’s sake! With regard to the envelope, it is a pretty straightforward matter that the elephant has chosen to push it across the floor, by exercising its trunk. Whether or not the envelope is sealed or open, whether it is empty or contains some document – a legal writ, a love letter, a coupon snipped from a magazine – the elephant neither knows nor cares. We might surmise that it is pushing the envelope because that is something for it to do, to keep it occupied, or because the presence of the envelope on the floor of the lobby is an irritant, to the elephant, which would prefer an unsullied space in which to plod about.

That the elephant is thinking outside the box is blindingly obvious. Unless it is an enormous box, the elephant is not going to fit inside it, is it? Even if the box is big enough to receive an elephant, it would have to be an elephant of rare daintiness to succeed in clambering into the box without crushing it in the process. It is, after all, a cardboard box. We can assume that, not only is the elephant thinking outside the box, it is ignoring it, at least for the time being, while it is busying itself pushing the envelope across the floor with its trunk and thinking about food.

Everything might change, of course, when the elephant pushes the envelope as far as the wainscot and can push it no further. It is anybody’s guess what will happen next.

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