Friday, April 5, 2013

Elephants at War


'E' is for Elephants at War

     Imagine you're an elephant.  
     
"What the f...?
All I wanted was some damn peanuts."
    Now imagine you're walking around a jungle, minding your own business.  Suddenly, some little dude in a loincloth throws a saddle around you.  Jumping on your back, he kicks you in the ribs and points you at a group of other little dudes in loincloths.  Shouting and screaming, they throw rocks and spears at you.  

   Who can blame you for making them all into little pizza pies under your feet?
   
    Sheesh, and all you wanted to do was eat some bark.
    
    Humans suck.
    
    The use of elephants in war first started in antiquity.  Used primarily to charge, confuse, and instill fear in their enemies (or, when all else failed, trample the living shit out of them), they were the nuclear weapons of their day.  And a lot more frightening than using squirrels.
    
    Pachyderm warfare was first practiced in India and spread gradually to the Mediterranean area.
    
    NOTE:  War elephants were much less common in Canada, with their legions of Killer Puffins.  
   
"Jane, this not right. This Asian elephant.
Wait.  You have purse and me no have shoes?
Man, that effed up."
    As a result, most of the elephants used were Asian elephants, African elephants all being hogged by Tarzan.  Asian elephants, in addition to being fierce fighters, also proved deadly behind the wheel of a car.  And could seriously program your VCR.

    War Elephants were effectively used the Greek General Pyrrhus of Epirus  (I'm not exactly sure when he used them or against whom-I don't feel like looking it up.  But, I'll bet a safe bet would be the Persians, who've been causing trouble for thousands of years).
    
     Perhaps the most famous use of elephants was during the
"Hey, whose bright idea was it to cross when
there's snow on the ground?
And is that a mouse?"
Second Punic War in something like 300 or 400 BC or whenever (NOTE:  this was the sequel to the First Punic War.  It was really exciting, too,  especially when compared to the Third Punic War.  Which sucked.  It was a lot like Godfather III that way).  It was during this latest dust-up between the Romans and Carthaginians that Hannibal snuck a bunch of elephants disguised as Italian grandmothers (luckily they had some Mexican smugglers to help them) over the Swiss Alps into Rome.  
    
    Despite a small delay brought by a stop to pick up some cheese, chocolate, and wristwatches, they managed to freak the Romans out.
    
    Who still won and beat the batcrap out of the Carthaginians.
    
"Not so badass now, are you?
And I didn't even use a cannon."
    With the advent of the cannon, elephants proved to be less an attractive means of waging war.  Because, as you know, the bigger you are, the bigger hole a cannon ball makes in you.
"Hobbits.
 Betcha can't squish just one."
    
"Is that Donald Trump?
I'm so gonna eff him up!"
    However, elephants have carried their careers into such cinematic classics as 300, Lord of the Rings, and A League of their Own.

    War Elephants:  Man using nature for his own selfish needs.

    Trivia:  Did you know that a division of war elephants is called an 'elephantry'?  Or a meeting of the 'Michael Moore Lookalike Club' at a San Joaquin Golden Corral? 

"Hey, you gonna eat that?"


56 comments:

  1. Squirrels and killer puffins? I guess it's a matter of preference. I used to think Rosey O. was kinda funny when she was young.

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    1. I agree. She's a talented comic. If she would only shut her festering gob (unless she was telling a joke), we'd be good.

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  2. I think I would rather wage war with squirrels. Those things are small and angry and would probably do a lot of damage if thrown in someone's face. Plus you aren't likely to be knocked off of one and fall to your death.

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  3. Poor elephants. Just minding they're own business and the next thing they know, they are being used to fight wars. I guess that's what happens when you work for peanuts.

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    1. They were probably saying, "Hey, go pick on the hippos, why dontcha?"

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  4. Those elephants in LOTR were pretty intimidating. I'm fairly certain I'd pee my pants if those massive beasts were charging at me.

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    1. TWO sets of tusks, too.
      I never saw THAT on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.

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  5. I'd stomp on man too, after trying to put a saddle on me and lol great dig at a league of their own.

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    1. And let's not mention that whole "kill me just because my tusks would make cool conversation pieces in your rumpus room" thing, too.
      Oops. Just did.

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  6. Good analogy on the third Punic War, though I'd have to say that the Romans lost far more batcrap than Hannibal in the second.

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    1. Agreed. It was a pretty close thing in the 2nd. I think the third was just a case of "Let's beat up on the African kids just because we can."

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  7. I'm glad that elephants are still around with all those things happening with them.

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

    Mary Montague Sikes

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  8. Would anyone know the difference if you stood Rosie beside an elephant? Which one would be the animal?

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  9. You are strange, funny, and brilliant all at once.

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  10. As always, I totally enjoy your historic diatribes. Few bloggers make me laugh out loud and you're one of them. I was watching an old Tarzan movie the other day and you can see that the ears, so different on African/Asian elephants, were taped on. You can easily see the tape.

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    1. When I found that picture, I noticed it was Asian. Then, I saw Janes's purse and started laughing myself.
      Man, that effed up.

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  11. An enfantry of elephants. Very cool. I'm wondering how they got the metal armor on them, though. Must've taken a lot of peanuts!

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    1. How 'bout that little piece of arcane trivia? Thanks, Google!

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  12. The photo of that elephant hunter made me cry! I got to meet two wonderful ellies up close and personal. I got to feed them, I got to groom them, I got to ride them and I got a kiss from one of them!

    They are beautiful, gentle and amazing creatures.

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    1. To be honest, I really pondered whether to put that picture in. But, the joke....
      Elephants are really such noble creatures. Your experience sounded wonderful.

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  13. This is the best post I've read in so long Al haha, I have no idea how this idea came into your head but I'm laughing so much, I never considered how terrible it was for elephants to have to go to war, poor guys, feel sorry for them.

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    1. Yeah, I know. It's not like anybody asked them.

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  14. I have been thinking about trading in my car for an elephant. I hear they have good gas mileage.

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    1. But, there's not enough room in the trunk. Plus, when they take a drink, your luggage gets all wet.

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  15. After Napolean's exile the French used war squirrels exclusivley!

    That is why the Germans invented The Nutcracker.

    See how that turned out didn't we?

    The High Cost of this Low Living

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    1. Apropos of nothing:
      Why are there trees lining Paris' Champs Elysees?
      A: So the German army could have shade.

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    2. @ Bushman - But give us a squirrel and we'll show you how effective our nutcrackers are! mwahahaha

      @ Al - and that's why Germans are noted for their complexions...shade!

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  16. I was wondering if you'd be mentioning our Killer Puffins - bring on the elephants any day, we say!
    But leave behind that bat wielding one - me scared and need Tarzan's help...or Jane, me no care!

    You've worked your magic yet again, Mr Penwasser. Not only highly educational (my first reason for reading you, I hope you understand that) but exceedingly entertaining. Note how I worked in a few exceptional "e" words here! :)

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    1. Thought you could keep those puffins a secret, huh?

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    2. Well, we're pretty good at keeping most of our other puffin a secret, why not these! But I will tell you this much...those Puffins you mention, they're not really Killers, we just say they are to keep folks away from our real puffin! :):P

      Breathe in, now exhale slowly...that's right...you'll be a puffin before you know it!!!

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  17. Read it, loved it, back tomorrow. Just wish you weren't posting in the middle of my night. AND, daylight savings ends tonight so I got wait a whole extra hour before I wake myself up. Darn!

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    1. Oops, sorry. You're probably ready for some cooler weather, huh?
      Just like we'll be in October.
      That hemisphere thing is so wacky, huh?

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    2. I lurrrrv winter. Always have. I also luv that there are people I can talk to on the other side of the world who get it. Night night Mr P.

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  18. Did anyone ever tell you you'd be a great teacher? You would. You make learning a lot of fun, Al. And I'd bet my life's debt (if I had savings, I'd bet that too) you're the only one who wrote a post on "Elephants at war".

    xoRobyn

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    1. Awwww........you're making me blush again.

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  19. I love elephants! Did you know they all have different ears? It's true.
    I have a mammoth bone. Of course ancestor to the elephant.
    Technically it is my daughters. My dad found it when he was out walking around in the woods. Yes, in Iowa.
    People are so mean to the elephants. Kill them for tusks, use them in war, stick them in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. They just get no respect.

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    1. Make them do stupid tricks in circuses...it sucks, for sure.
      When you said you had a mammoth bone, I at first wondered what part of your body that was.
      Cool, though.
      I didn't know they all had different ears.

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  20. One of my favorite simpsons episodes is when Bart won the contest on the radio and asked for the joke prize. Which turned out to be an African elephant which they were forced to give it to him.

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  21. Haha.. It's been fun to see the variation of elephant posts today. Yours is definitely the most unique!

    Congrats on being almost done with the first week of the Challenge :)

    AJ Lauer
    #atozchallenge helper minion
    Twitter: @ayjaylauer

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    1. If you think 'Elephants' is common, wait until 'X.' My prediction: a LOT of X-Men posts. Which I did in 2011. In 2012, I did 'Xerxes.'
      In 2013, we'll wait and see. But, it won't be about the X-Men.
      This first week has been tiring. I try so very hard to answer each comment and then go visit the blogger who took the time to visit here. So, be warned....I'll be coming your way! ;-)

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  22. This is the second post I read today on Elephants. I think they are amazing, they have such great memories, they can see bones from a hurd member years later and they remember them. Great post, I am following from blogging A to Z. I just added you on GFC.

    A MOM'S POINT OF VIEW
    http://www.AMomsPointOfView.com

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    1. Hey, thanks!
      I have ALWAYS been fascinated by these animals. Even though I joke around, I am so sad they had to be dragged into our business (i.e., war) when all they wanted to do was eat bark (or...leaves, is it?).

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  23. Humans are stupid. Everyone knows elephants are bad at war due to their weakness for peanuts. It's like throwing kryptonite at superman, for Christa sakes.

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    1. And you can forget our loading up catapults with mice.

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  24. "Elephants disguised as Italian grandmothers." What an ingenious plot. Hope Rosie doesn't know where you live. Extremely entertaining as always Al!

    Julie

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    1. Rosie, Snooki, Chaz, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, the French....
      Yeah, a lot of people probably would want to get a piece of me.
      Which makes me way suspicious of all those Russians who've been visiting....

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  25. How does one put a saddle on an elephant, me thinks it would be bloody difficult and risky as said elephant could stand on you while you try and do it up.........

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    1. There HAD TO have been a guy who first thought, "You know, I bet I could put a saddle on on one of those things."

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  26. I've always felt bad for elephants in the circus, so I am incredibly sad thinking about elephants going to war. I can see how they would be an excellent tactic, though!

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    1. I say humans should deal with humans and let the animals alone.

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