Tuesday, October 7, 2008

the advertising jet-set


Tomorrow I’m leaving New York for an important business trip to sophisticated Kingsport, Tennessee, where local lore has it that way back in 1916, a circus elephant named Mary was brought to town to entertain kids.

While Mary was drinking from a nearby pond, an assistant elephant trainer thought it would be a good idea to jab Mary behind the ear with a hook. Not surprisingly, Mary slammed him to the ground and smashed his head in.

Naturally, the town felt the only way for Mary, the 5-ton elephant, to learn her lesson was to be euthanized.

Publicly.

By way of hanging.

The event drew 2,500 people, most of them children. Presumably so they could learn the moral of the story:

If you think somethin cain't be done, riot. That always gets ’er done.

I can’t wait for my trip.

3 comments:

Dan Koehl said...

After rather a lot of research regarding what actually happened with Mary and Walter Eldridge, and reading different varieties, its good to know that at least one person knows exactly what happened.

So far my research led to this >> http://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=1974 maybe you want to state your source for what really happened, including the hook etc?

s. moe said...

Wow! thanks for the info, Dan. I'm afraid my research began and ended with a Wikipedia search on Kingsport, TN, and I happened to come across the story.

Dan Koehl said...

OK, Wikipedia has its strenght and its wekanesses, but lets just clear out, why was it not surprising that Mary killed Eldridge?

It would also be intersting to get a glimpse of your personal experience of captive elephants, and their interactions with trainers/keepers and newly employed staff?

While on spot, do you think you could get some neutral facts about the whole thing?