December 31st, 2001


bi suburban subculture

I don't know if you'll all disapprove of this, but I actually have a 5% share in an ivory company. I know it's not very ecologically responsible, and I feel horrible about it, but it would be really complicated to get rid of it.

You see, it goes like this. Ninety years ago, there were very few limits on ivory gathering, and the world had just started to become aware of the idea of the environment as something to be protected, instead of tamed. There was a guy who worked as a travelling dancer with a ballet company, and he was travelling from Amsterdam to New York, but, being a drunken sot, boarded the wrong boat and found himself bound for Luderitz. The rest of the company left him behind, and he spent the last of his money on cheap licorice liqueur and trigonometric charts once he got to port, so he sort of had to figure out a way to get by.

So he headed east and began doing elephant imitations. He was better at that than dancing, so he wound up making his money that way. At first, he just did it at parties, but eventually, his elephant imitations attracted the attention of ivory merchants, who hired him for training simulations. He was quite a sucker, so he accepted a share of the company instead of cash, and never made a cent on it. The ivory company went out of business, but another company opened with the same name ("Eye For An Ivory"), and, six years later, the original owner sued and got half a share in the succesful company.

Did you follow all that? That wound up with the dancer having a share of the ivory company.

He eventually made it back to New York during World War I by disguising himself as a zoo elephant and sneaking onto a zoo boat. Once in New York, now getting a little older, he fell in love with a farmer's daughter and settled down there, They both died peacefully in bed and left no heirs.

...which is where my great aunt came in. Rumor had come about that the farmhouse was haunted, and my great aunt, a bank emploee, was promised by the bank one hundred gold pieces, plus any treasure she could find, if she would rid the house of ghosts so that it could be resettled. My great aunt, you see, had one blue eye and one brown eye.

It turns out there were no ghosts, and my great aunt collected the gold and treasure quickly. By "treasure" I mean extremely moldy cheese, three goats, a collection of very nice farming clothes, an elephant costume and some books of trigonometry charts.

Later, she told me and my brothers the story. I was reading the deed, vaguely not listening. I was my great aunt's favorite, so she asked me what I wanted the most out of all the treasure. I didn't really hear what she was saying, and sort of showed her the deed to indicate what I was doing, and she assumed that the deed was what I wanted.

She was kind of hurt and insulted that I trivialized her generous offer, but gave me the deed. The whole family started telling the story about it, and thoght it was weird and tacky of me.

So now, if I don't keep the deed, I'll have angered my loved ones.

Can you all forgive me?