The Fire Chief Hires an Elephant

He starts to regret it. The elephant can’t slide down the pole or fit on the truck. None of the uniforms or equipment fit the elephant. The elephant steps on a Dalmatian.

The injured Dalmatian happens to be Spotty, everyone’s favorite Dalmatian. The Dalmatian everyone hates—Stripey—is secretly pleased.

The Fire Chief decides to fire the elephant. Comes up behind the elephant at his desk. The elephant is drinking coffee through his trunk. The Fire Chief startles the elephant, who sprays coffee everywhere.

A light bulb goes on over the Chief’s head. Coincidentally, five minutes later the Chief has a great idea.

The Chief gives the elephant a job serving coffee. Everyone’s happy. Except one guy, whose name is Jeff.

Jeff thinks the coffee is too cold now. The elephant explains that when the coffee is hot, it burns his trunk. Jeff makes a big deal about them not needing an elephant to serve coffee. The Fire Chief fires Jeff. Everyone’s happy.

Except Spotty, who is now bitter and angry. Spotty’s plans to put hydrochloric acid in the coffee maker, and thereby kill the elephant, are uncovered by Stripey. Spotty gets fired. Stripey gets promoted.

Spotty and Jeff get an apartment together. They talk a lot about getting even. Then they get cable. Then they get HBO. They watch a lot of TV and never get even.
The Fire Chief Hires an Elephant

4 thoughts on “The Fire Chief Hires an Elephant

  1. The beginning–so informed. The middle–very appropriate. The ending? Hm. I feel like you didn’t deliver. I don’t know how you could have delivered better, but if you had not told me they never get even and ended it with some micro-vignette, maybe then.

    1. jthomasstervenson says:

      Obviously, I can’t tell you that you should have liked it. Much respect.

      But I like things that pretend to be headed somewhere and then aren’t, and when something is so short and so dumb from the beginning to the end, I don’t feel like it’s a betrayal when it drifts off.

      At any rate, the drifting off is intentional.

      1. I didn’t feel betrayed. But, I did feel like you could have maybe drifted off more. Just drift off into a different vignette entirely?
        Hey, I’m not here to tell you how to do your job, though. I just think that final idea “they never get even” could be a scene in itself about a toaster or something or the anger they feel towards one another, both always in an irritable mood, because HBO has made them unhappy about their existence. I don’t know.

      2. jthomasstervenson says:

        But HBO made them feel content and palliated and apathetic about their situation. They didn’t care anymore. That’s what happens when a dalmatian and a dude live together as roommates and start watching TV. I’ve seen it a million times.

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