Elephant Polo 1999
by Tilman Smith
III. The Great Defection
For those of you who are Screwy Tusker historians (and, yes, I know you number in the thousands...), you have probably noticed that one of our team members jumped ship last year to join the International Tigresses. Well, I caught up with our little Turn Coat, in spite of her efforts to hide behind her great big screen MacIntosh, and I grilled her in the late afternoon sun before the throngs of Cricket fans whom had assembled at Tiger Tops to watch the 18th Annual Cricket Fiesta could provide her with refuge. Here, she bares all ...
With an earnest face, this is how Laurie began her tale of woe. When asked how it felt to be a defector, she noted that Alf started this whole thing when he managed to get himself kidnapped last year. Laurie showed up at Tiger Tops panicked and teamless, thinking the Screwy Tuskers had abandoned her at some Aussie opium den. With what she grants may have been clouded judgment, she realized she had to find a team, or be fed to the tigers. (I would like to interject that Laurie's very own team mate, Celia Temple, swears that Laurie arrived in a state of euphoria (noted by her big smile), not the hysterical state that Laurie claims, though she did arrive at the unusual hour of midnight.)
Laurie continued on to claim that the Tigresses, taking pity on her pathetic state, arranged for her to play Goalie (position #4), and feeling quite fortunate to have a team to call her own at all, Laurie took the job. Of course, (eyes roll, here, please) Laurie was so distraught about Alf and her old team mates that she could barely concentrate or defend the goal. Somehow, she managed to pull herself together and help the Tigresses place 3rd last year. My suspicions about her allegiances were not laid to rest by the look of glee in her face as she reminded me repeatedly about that splendid placement.
Now, here is where Laurie's story really got fishy. As you know, Alf was miraculously freed and, after recouping, he brought another team with him to Tiger Tops. While only one daughter was willing to brave the trip after their horrible ordeal last year, Alf assembled a mighty new clan to get him through to the millennium. So, where was Laurie to be found this year? With the Screwy Tuskers, you ask? Oh no, somehow she ended up back with the Tigresses. Laurie claimed that Alf, thinking that Laurie actually helped with the success of the Tigresses last year, thought she might have become too good to play with the Screwys; that she would actually hurt our chances for a decent handicap, so he mercilessly kicked her off our team.
Well, do you buy her story? I must say that the Tigresses do make an awesome team, and though Laurie voiced once or twice, usually before a highly competitive game, that she had serious doubts about her defection, she seemed to fit that goal nicely. Luckily the Screwy Tuskers didn't have to play the Tigresses this year, or we would have had no choice but to strip Laurie of all the Screwy amulets she had hidden about her person, and we would have had to unleash our own new, secret weapon, Shamane Simons, on her as well.
I must say, I am a bit worried for the Millennium team. Not to be paranoid, but I swear Ms. Simons was being actively recruited by both the Titanic Tracks and the Chivas teams. Who knows what she'll arrange to have happen to the Screwy Tuskers so that she, too, can defect to some high falutin' team. Wish us luck.