And How Would You Like Your Elephant Sir?

 |  December 25, 2009

Happy New Year! I hope that you all have your resolutions in place ready to make you a better person during the course of the coming months? I am sure that the Daring household is just the same as many others with the usual resolutions being made and discussed.

No more drinking during the week. Get up early each morning and do half an hour of exercise. No more fatty foods. No smokes. Get plenty of sleep. All good stuff and very sensible but so terribly boring and with my flawed character, almost immediately doomed to failure. Why is that? I believe that is simply because most of my resolutions are like trying to eat an elephant.

What? Eating an elephant? How on earth does this relate to resolutions? That’s barbaric and Daring – you are a b*st*rd. Well first of all, thanks and secondly I don’t know of anyone who in the literal sense would actually eat an elephant (the plates are too small); but in the figurative sense, how would one pack a pachyderm into one’s stomach?

Even with larger plates it is not something that could be done in one sitting, as there would be just too much food. Whenever I am faced with an American sized portion of food my appetite disappears so the one meal approach wouldn’t work. Jumbo fries and Jumbo anyone? Give me a Jumbo soda on the side…and they wonder why they are the most obese race in the word…but I digress.

If I got the butcher to cut Nellie into 365 pieces, froze them and ate one small piece a day, it might be possible to eat the elephant in a year and perhaps this is where I have been going wrong. Most of the historic Daring resolutions have all been elephants to be consumed on the first day of the year. Won’t work; won’t happen. I need to change them all to the longer view and look forward and then maybe I could stick to a resolution throughout the year.

Some politicians could do with getting their elephants sorted out. Mr. Obama is still obviously looking for his as nothing has happened after nearly a year in office. Mr. Ahmadinejad appears to have his head stuck up his elephant’s bottom and Mr. Brown appears to do nothing other than roll around in his elephant’s manure.

Mr. Sarkozy needs to find an elephant to sit on so that he can look at his wife straight in the eyes whilst Mr. Kim Jong Il is looking to buy some black market elephants and Mr. Berlusconi might be able to help. For those of you that know about California’s debt position, Mr. Schwarzenegger was last seen walking through downtown LA with an elephant in each arm asking if anyone could actually pay for them.

I mentioned to Mrs. Daring that she should try eating an elephant. I admit that the timing could have been better as it was suggested during a discussion following that most dangerous of questions namely, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” Rather than being seen as a fine motivational speech, it was interpreted as her now looking like an elephant and from there the conversation went downhill. I will say no more but my trunk will have nothing to do for a while.

I actually tried this bite-sized piece a day approach last year with one of my 2009 resolutions. As boredom and age closed in, I decided that I had to make some radical changes in my life. With the support of my (non-elephantine) Mrs. Daring and the kids (‘Little Dares?’), I walked away from my nice, safe and well-paid corporate job to do something radically different. In this case I started a brand new business with some partners doing something I had never done before. Are there risks? Oh yes. Am I scared? Absolutely; and having no money is also an interesting experience. Mrs. D does not really agree with the last point but I have eaten my first elephant and overall at the moment it tastes pretty damn good.

Even daughter number two, faced with important exams later this year seems much more able to think about eating elephants rather than revising. Breaking each subject down in to bite-sized chunks to be eaten every day is a much more palatable idea. Unfortunately, maths seems to be full of gristle at the moment and a little indigestible but all she has to do is keep chewing.

Talking about elephants let me just briefly tell you one of my favourite jokes. The editor will probably remove this, but anyway….there was this explorer walking along a path in deepest Africa and he came across this Pygmy standing next to a dead elephant.

He asked the pygmy “Did you do this?”

“Yes” said the Pygmy, beaming with pride.

“Wow” said the explorer, “what did you use?”.

“A club” replied the Pygmy.

“Blimey!” exclaimed the explorer, “it must have been a big one!”.

“Yes” said the Pygmy, “there were a 137 of us.”

So there you are. The Daring approach to resolutions. Don’t give yourself an elephant to eat on the first of January but break it down into a meal a day. Please send your recipe suggestions to The Editor at Citylife Chiang Mai. She will be awarding prizes for the most inventive suggestion…or not. And she has also asked me to point out that no elephants were actually harmed in the writing of this article.