The BBC reports that Scotland has just won the world championship in elephant polo.
Let us add to the annals of brilliant postcolonial revisions of British culture, which already include such books as J. M. Coetzee’s Foe and such films as Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice, the adding of elephants to polo.
I have not been so fascinated by the sports world since I learned that there actually is such a thing as underwater hockey. I went hunting around for more information on the “elepolo” phenomenon and discovered that the team Tickle and the Ivories is recruiting members for next year’s season—so click, my friends, click! (Their website also features a very informative “Song of the Week” feature. The song of this week is Chopin’s “Minute Waltz.”) I tried to gather recruiting information on the “Screwy Tuskers,” because I liked their name, but I found myself staring at photos of what seemed to be a bunch of lithe Thai elephant polo groupies with a penchant for acting like they’re about to take their shirts off.
Putting ladyboys on elephants to play polo was the brainchild of one Alf Leif Erickson, a retired American inventor whose enthusiasms now run to hot air ballooning, corkscrew collecting, and visiting erotica museums.
Predictably, alcohol figured in Erickson’s elepolo involvement. “I met Jim Edwards over a few drinks in London,” he says. “And I said, ‘I’ll bring a team.’ I had four daughters—a mixed blessing, that—and they played [as the Screwy Tuskers] for four or five years. Then they got married. I wanted to do something crazy.”
Well. This has been your daily dose of surreality. It’s amazing where the BBC will take you.