Elephants In Pinnawela: A Crappy Adventure

swimming baby elephant in sri lanka sanctuary

I was recently sent to Sri Lanka for a work project, and my main plan was to visit the elephant sanctuary in Pinnawela.

I was told that there are wild elephants hanging out, many of them were orphaned by poaching and military action. This is true, and they’re fed from bottles and you can ride ’em (I didn’t), and they’ll have their picture taken with you, but the reason they do that stuff is because there are dudes poking them with big, nasty bullhooks.

I swiftly fell out of love with the concept. It’s a mixed bag- it’s tourist money that feeds these guys, and there’s the an old blind elephant being taken care of, and there’s an elephant who lost a foot in a landmine whocouldn’t survive in the wild. On the other hand, they’re just as penned in and abused as elephants in the circus. They also appear to have a breeding program going to generate the babies that tourists, myself included, love. Yes, you do get to pet a baby elephant for tips, which feels good, but dirty. I don’t know how much more for a lap dance, but you’re advised to have a very strong lap.

blind elephant

The first elephant I petted was this old blind man, with giant curvy tusks like a mammoth. He felt like a hairy handbag. After I petted him, an Australian lady took her turn and he bellowed and peed all over her. I said to my friend, Oh, I’m glad that wasn’t me. After he had a nice piss, he got an erection. Against my best judgment, I took, like, a million pictures of it. I’m not proud, but nor could I help myself.

Here we can see the ginger, bearded hipster outside his natural habitat of Billyburg, meeting an elephant while a prick holds a bullhook.

hipster with elephant in pinnawela

It’s not that the elephants weren’t beautiful, or that the babies weren’t adorable and the dusty navy of blueberries. They were.

For a vegan to drive three hours through the jungle to watch animals be abused is a real letdown.

They don’t have animal rights in Sri Lanka, they barely have human rights. Still and all, I felt like a giant asshole.

Dogs Shouldn’t Smoke

I found this gif of a smoking bulldog and I thought it was important enough to put here.

Eulogy for a Hate-Filled Cat

Gypsy and her Brother Wrestle on an Ugly Comforter

Gypsy Rose Jones, a half-Siamese black and white shorthair, passed away peacefully in her sleep last night, December 4th.  She was seventeen years old.  She is survived by no-one in her immediate family.

Family History

She survived all of her siblings by ten years.  She was given to me for Christmas in 1993, and was named during a New Year’s Day acid trip in 1994, when we determined that the next image on a television would determine her name.  Gypsy Rose Lee came up, but she could have just as easily been named Morley Safer.  Many people ask how she stayed alive so many years, staying kitten-small and kitten-cute for her whole life.  The answer is that  she was kept alive through the twin furnaces of kibble and hatred. 

If you ever met her, you already know that she hated you with the white-hot passion of a thousand suns.  Perhaps you also bear a whisker-thin white scar where she attacked you while you stroked her glossy black coat.  She also hated and feared her roommate Cosey, whom she lived with for 10 years and who never touched her, but whom she detested to her last moments.

Words To The Wise

Any interaction Gypsy had with a new person was begun with my advisory motto: “Ears go back means I’ll attack.”   My friends used to say things like “Well, you can’t tell what kind of abuse she went through before you adopted her.”  The sad truth is, she came to me straight from her litter.  She only ever knew me.  Anything that’s wrong with her is my fault.   I don’t know what I did, I mean, I used to make her jump through a hoop for POUNCE brand moist cat treats.  Maybe that’s enough.  

I know that she really hated riding cross-country from Texas to Oregon in the back of a Nissan, where even though she was medicated, she meowed every minute for the whole drive.

  Meow.  Meow.  Meow.

  The meows only decreased slightly in intensity and volume when she had a snootful of kitty Valium, which is the same as human Valium, but I did not tell her that.  She already hated me by then.  She really hated her brother Biggles, a Boston Terrier whom she outlived by several months.  I think surviving Mr. Biggles was her ultimate revenge, unless it was dying with her eyes open, which was incredibly creepy.  I think the only things she liked were catnip, leftover Thanksgiving turkey, and sitting on top of the warm, smooth surface of the stereo receiver.  Fare thee well, Gypsy.

Rabid for Rabbits

I was trolling for myself on PIPL, which is THE place to find out if your blind date has a history of sex offenses, and found, lurking on the internet, a ten year old treatise on rabbit-hating. I really think it’s just as true today.12.30.99

Rabbits are Bad: A Poem By Melissa Favara

Dear Miss Favara;

I am a representative of a group called H.A.R.E., Hate A Rabbit Evokation. Our group tries to educate the public: rabbit references in literature, art, and film are undesirable in the extreme. Far from their cleverly honed public image as cute, silent, harmless animals, egg-gifting, carrot-nibbling cuties, rabbits are in fact fearsome, tusked and armored beasts that roam the midwestern plains in search of toddlers to eat. Your poem’s assertion that you should talk to them represents a public health and safety hazard . However, I find that I still liked the poem, once I had thoroughly exised the word “rabbit” with liquid paper. Unfortunately, I can barely see anything on my monitor these days. Oh, will this be displayed on the Internet? Oh, Rabbits.

Suicidal Tendency: Duck, Duck, Annihilation


Well, it’s not the first time a suicidal duck has made its way around the internet.

Well, maybe it is. It does remind me of one of my friend John Freeman’s dozens of bands, Duck, Duck, Annihilation.

As to complaints that the duck is too well-built to actually electrocute, (this is one product that never considered hiring a customer service staff) please consider either of the two easy backup options, given that you could hang yourself with the cord OR in dire straits, eat the duck, which if you are any kind of celebrity or known entity will result in a six month period where the phrase ‘eat a duck’ will be hipster shorthand for any suicide, which will confuse the heck out of people in food sales.

Eventually, it will end up in Cockney rhyming slang as a euphemism for sexual intercourse, which everything is.