I stared at the schedule for the week’s shows. We all worked in all areas of the show, but the cleanup was always on a first-come-first-served basis. If you got to the roster last, you got the crap job… literally. Trust me. When elephants fly, you don’t want to be on cleanup.
Looks like I was the first one to sign up on the cleanup rota this week. I gave myself an internal high-five and quickly put my name in for trash pick-up in the main arena. That one was the easiest because it only included the trash under the risers where the audience sat. Everything else was the responsibility of the animal cleanup crew. And the elephants were all the way down at the bottom of the hierarchy for a reason.
Oh, it wasn’t because nobody liked the elephants. Far from it. They were some of the sweetest creatures ever and were the best conversationalists. We all fought over who got to take care of them. In every chore, except one. See, after the elephants did their bit in the show, they flew back to their enclosure which was always about a mile away from wherever we set up. We did that to keep them safe and away from curious and potentially harmful onlookers.
Ten years ago, I’d just started with this circus. At that time we kept all the animals just out behind the main arena. We even allowed people to wander around back there and check out the animals. We kept an eye on everybody; even thought we were pretty good at it, until some a-hole tried to steal, actually steal, one of the baby elephants. Fortunately for us, unfortunately for him, the baby’s mama snapped his leg with her trunk.
The next morning, the boss had a conversation with the bull who’s the head of the herd. They decided that keeping the elephants away from the onlookers was the best idea. So, now we set them up about a mile away and the ones who are doing the show (they rotate) fly themselves with one human assistant back and forth. The first time we did that was also the first time we added a new chore to the cleanup rota. Turns out that elephants poop while they’re flying too. Rasha, the bull, thought it was hysterical the first time a big ol’ elephant pie landed on a car as they were flying to the show. The boss man, not so much. So glad I didn’t have to deal with that mess!
So in addition to the human assistant flying with the elephants, we had to add two people to cleanup crew to follow behind, on the ground, when the elephants fly back and forth. And they’re not allowed to fly over the road anymore either.
I’ll repeat myself. Trust me when I tell you, you DO NOT want to be on cleanup crew when elephants fly.
This week’s prompt challenge came from ‘nother Mike: When elephants fly, you don’t want to be on cleanup… Not sure where my brain came up with this one, but the inside of my brain can be a very odd place. My prompt went to Fiona Grey: There was one very interesting item in the ad for the house: Magic portal access in back yard included. If you wander on over to More Odds Than Ends you can send in a prompt for next weeks challenge, pick up a spare and see where it takes you, or just read through the comments to see what everybody comes up with.