Do you know the expression “there’s an elephant in the room”? When people don’t talk about a problem or refuse to mention a difficult situation, an invisible elephant enters the room. Next time you go to a restaurant, take a good look around you. You’ll notice the place is rather crowded with sad elephants nobody wants to see. It’s amazing how many couples don’t mind sharing their beds with an elephant. They say: “Ok, you can stay with us for a couple of days.” “Trust me”, the elephant says, “you won’t even notice me.”
The problem is the elephant who isn’t there won’t go away. Of course, the simple solution would be to mount that bitch and ride it out of the room. But without elephantine issues, what’s left there to talk about? The truth – argh, nobody wants to hear it. It’s the hardest thing to say. So this guy doesn’t say “hello” and the other doesn’t say “I’m sorry”. The twentysomething who comes to the coffee bar every morning to order a flat white because she wants to kiss the barista – she keeps on sinking her lips into the cold flat white foam, thinking: “I’m a mess, but a dateable mess, surely?”
People have so much on their plate. They forget that the elephants in the room are sensitive beings with feelings, too. So much happened before you came along, you know. We would love to fly away from your dirty past, like Dumbo. We’ve had it up to here with mopping up your lies, listening to the same lame excuses, time and again. People may polish the turd as hard as they can, but it is, and will always remain, spectacular crap.
When you are front and centre of other people’s spectacular crap, you become an expert in sardonic gallows-humour and a fan of House of Cards. You want revenge. You come up with a plan. In an undercover operation, we shrank Invisible Elephant No 330 into a pink, elephant-shaped mouse. Yes, it was a vicious thing to do, but it was vital. For a start, the house of human conversation has not enough rooms to fit in all those elephants. We had to downsize somehow. Secondly, we want to keep things vice but nice.
Picture an army of cheeky, good-cop-bad-cop elephant-shaped mice hiding in plain sight. Does the thought of shit-chat destroying mice leave you slightly punch-drunk? Excellent. For every akward silence, we shall release another cheeky chap. As I speak, The Mice are invading boardrooms, bedrooms and bars near you. Whenever you or somebody else think up smarty-pants ways to sidestep genuine engagement with anybody or anything, remember: The Mice are in the room, having a laugh.
© Play Hunter
This story was originally published in the compilation “Gruesli”, edited by Natalia Gianinazzi, December 2016