Raceballs 18: The elephant in the room

Official Almanack of the P.D.R.R.L

The Philosopher and the Idiot

A short play


THE IDIOT: What is wrong?

P: There is an elephant in the room!

I: Is that a bad thing? 

P: As you should know from our history, elephants trample things, and destroy rooms. They are wicked, wicked creatures! Wicked and dangerous!

I: Ooooh, that's terrifying! Where is this beast?

P: There!

I: Where?

P: There!

I: That? 

P: That!!!

I: Ooooh! My golly! That is a nasty looking creature, and what rude language! But.... are you sure that is an elephant?

P: Don't tell me you are an elephant denialist! Have you forgotten all the destruction elephants have caused rooms in the past?

I: Oh, no, not at all. It just does not look particularly elephanty to me. 

P: Can't you see the resemblance! It has two eyes, just like all other elephants do, four legs, and a longish nose, ears and a tail.

I: I see all that, but dislikeable creature that it clearly is, is it not possible that that is a mouse?


I: Yes, a white mouse. 

P: Are you suggesting that that creature is NOT an ELEPHANTI

I: Well, it is rather tiny, and mousey looking.

P: You poor uneducated imbecile. Do you know nothing? Can you not recognise an elephant in front of your very own nose?

I: .... Yes, well, you are the expert, I just thought ... aren't elephants meant to be big, huge even? 

P: Well, I grant you that that is not the largest of all elephants. And it is somewhat deficient when it comes to the snout, incisor and ear side of things. 

I: Like, a mouse...

P: Certainly not! What you don't understand is that elephants know we are vigilant and watchful and ever on the lookout for them. They have had to resort to disguising their appearance in order to smuggle themselves back into the room. 

I: Really?

P: Really! That creature - while I grant you does perhaps bear one or two superficial resemblances to a small rodent - is in reality a covert-elephant.

I: A covert-elephant?

P: A covert-elephant. 

I: Not a mouse?

P: Not a mouse. 

I: I stand corrected. Thank you! It almost had me fooled. What sly and despicable beasts they are. 

P: You are welcome. 

I: One can never be too careful these days. 

P: Indeed. 

I: And what is that?

P: What?


P: What?

I: That mammoth creature over there! The one with the fearsome tusks and big floppy ears that it is angrily flapping about! And what a terrifying trumpety-trumpety noise it is making!

P: I can barely see (or hear) what you are talking about. But whatever it is, it is not-an-elephant.

I: Not-an-elephant?

P: No. 

I: It certainly looks and sounds quite elephanty to me. 

P: Not possible. It is of a rather dark-ish hue, and as you should well know there is no such thing as a black-elephant.

I: Really?

P: You really are very slow. If you had gone to university you would know these things. By definition, an elephant is a creature of great size and power. Something which dark not-an-elephants quite clearly lack. 

I: Unlike covert-elephants?

P: Indeed. 

I: Eeew! 

P: What?

I: The not-an-elephant just squished the covert-elephant! It also smashed the tea set in the process.

[Audience cheers wildly]

P: HOORAY!  We are saved! And with the aid of the not-an-elephant we will finally be able to stomp out all the covert-elephants scurrying about once and for all!


(of the room)