How to eat an Elephant
The other day, Petra Ahlers, my website manager, said, “Shooo. This is like eating an elephant” My mind immediately bounced back to the days many, many years of participating in the exercise of working in the typing pool at a certain insurance company. The girls in the typing pool seemed to have a different culture to myself and as hard as I tried, I never got it right to fit in. One day, the Personnel manageress decided that the girls ,”needed educating”. So all the typing pool girls, including myself were marched off to her office to be educated. I can’t exactly remember what was said, but do remember her producing a comical picture of a large elephant and people standing around with knives and forks.
“So.” said the Manageress, “How do you eat an elephant?”
I saw the answer immediately, but was already squirming and feeling ashamed at being asked such a stupid question. I kept quiet whilst the Typing Pool girls sweated and moaned as they searched for the answer. Finally, in exasperation the Manageress turned to me for the answer and through gritted teeth I said, “Bit by bit until the elephant has been completely consumed”.
Apparently the Manageress thought that I was very bright and was not invited to be educated again, but had to stay back and do all the work whilst the Typing Pool girls got educated!
The elephant that has to be consumed is the fact that I am preparing for an art exhibition in a few months time. I am working on the theme of Babette’s Feast, which is going to be compared with by a feast prepared for me and my guests by a very special friend, Astrid du Toit.
Whilst working on this, Petra and I realised just how much work there has to be done before the 7th October at Upstairs at Bamboo (Corner 9th Street & Rustenburg Road, Melville) when the exhibition will be opened. We decided that we will, like eating an elephant, do it bit by bit until it all gets done in readiness for that special date.