Topic: "Jambo Jumbo" (3)
Traffic in the Shire gets worse every single day. Frodo long ago learned that travel on an Interstate Highway anywhere near an urban center must take place only between the hours of ten and three on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. To fall outside these parameters means that the motorcar will be parked between idling semis in the middle lane of an expressway for an inordinate time span. As bad as that kind of experience is, it does not rival what is happening in the Indian State of Orissa as you, dear reader, pore over these lines.
Motorists there are complaining about a wild elephant who has learned to block traffic on a roadway, and who refuses to move until the motorist offers the elephant an appropriate homage, namely food. So far the pachyderm has not harmed anyone, but the animal insists that the driver roll down a window and offer the vehicle up for inspection by a wandering trunk. According to one resident, "If you are carrying vegetables and banana inside your motorcar, then it will gulp them down, and then allow you to pass."
Forestry officials in India insist that the elephant is old, and is merely looking for an easy meal. "We are telling commuters regularly not to tease the elephant, because the old elephant may choose to retaliate," said Forest Ranger Sirish Mohanty. Frodo adds that if the elephant is eating large amounts of vegetables and fruit, and if the digestive system of an elephant in any way resembles that of a Hobbit, then the motorists of Orissa may have more to worry about than inconvenience.
Frodo hopes that Mr. Chertoff and his associates at the Department of Homeland Insecurity take special note of the prowess of the pachyderm as a custodian of the borders. Placing an elephant or two along our national borders would certainly slow down the penetrations of illegal immigrants. Imagine, dear reader if the TB-carrying Mr. Speaker had been confronted by our traffic-stopping friend. Without any vegetables or fruit in his rented motorcar, he would still be sitting on the Canadian side of the border.