News item: An elephant in southern China has kicked its heroin habit after three years of rehab. - Agence France-Presse.
SCENE: Two elephants -- Iggy and Keef -- stand together in a lounge at the Betty Ford Center, chewing Mars Bars that they pluck out of a giant bowl on a table, unwrap with their trunks, then pop into their mouths. Another elephant, Dumbo, trudges up to them and plunges his trunk into the bowl.
IGGY: (Warmly) Hey, dude! You new around here?
DUMBO: Yep. Just flew in from China.
KEEF: On a plane, yeh? (Trumpets with laughter)
DUMBO: (Sarcastically) No, man -- I used ear power. After all, the name is Dumbo.
IGGY: I’m Iggy. You’re not the original Dumbo, are you, dude? I mean, we ele-funks live a long time, but you don’t look that old.
DUMBO: Dumbo was my dad. Don’t get me started on that jackass. I moved to the Far East to get away from him.
KEEF: Yeh, save the family issues for ferapy, mate! (Trumpets with laughter) I’m Keef. Named after the Rolling Stone, i’nt it? Stone by name, stoned by nature! (Snorts)
IGGY: So, Dumbo, you know all the rules?
DUMBO: (Bored) Obviously, man. No using. No encouraging anybody else to use. Be respectful, and blah blah blah. I’ve been in rehab for two and a half years already in China. They punted me over here ’cause the Chinese government wanted me out of sight during the Olympics. They didn’t need yet another elephant in the room.
KEEF: Who does, mate? (Trumpets)
IGGY: (Enthusiastically) Then welcome to the Betty Ford Center at Rancho Mirage, dude. The weather’s fine here in California and you’ll totally dig the pool. Hey, if you don’t mind my asking, how’d you even get started using -- what with you being the kid of an animated character and such. I mean, I’ve heard about Robert Downey Jr. getting intro’d to drugs by his dad the director, but that’s human foibles for ya. We ele-funks are w-a-a-a-a-y wiser -- generally speaking. Me, I’m the kid of a randy rock’n’roller, a xylophone player at the Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang, Thailand. You know musicians, dude. Crazy ele-funks -- but dude, what rockin’ parties! A drummer from Bangkok befriended my dad, started giving me tastes of this and that, and the next thing you know, it’s ‘Hello, Betty Ford.’
DUMBO: For me, it was the smugglers, man.
IGGY: You mean junk smugglers?
DUMBO: Animal smugglers. That’s how my friends and I got captured. The smugglers laced bananas with heroin, left them out for us, and we were putty in their hands.
IGGY: Whoah, dude! That is so ‘Cruelty to Animals’!
KEEF: Sounds like a dream come true, mate. Anyway, it’s always somebody else’s fault, i’nt it. Me own sister ----
DUMBO: (Interrupting, eager to vent) They hauled us off to a mountain farm with an electric fence and kept us high while they searched for buyers.
IGGY: What were you doing before that, dude?
DUMBO: Carting logs around. Boring work, man, but it beats a zoo. Every so often we’d even get a day off.
Awesome. What’d you do for excitement in China then?
DUMBO: Two words: female elephants.
IGGY: (Trumpets) Totally!
KEEF: Not me. Those flippin’ cows are on you like morning mist on Malibu hills. (Imitates a nagging female voice) ‘Eat your bananas, Keef! There’s nuthin’ more alarmin’ than a constipated elephant!’ (Disgustedly, in his own voice) Ah, stick it in yer big floppy ear.
(A man wanders past them, helps himself to a few Mars bars and makes a beeline over to a sofa to chat up a female ostrich)
DUMBO: What’s she in for?
KEEF: (Leering) Lookin’ too good.
IGGY: Eating disorder, maybe. Did you see the skinny neck on her?
DUMBO: That’s sad, man. Why would a luscious, leggy babe do that to herself? What about the guy?
IGGY: Dude, that’s David Duchovny.
KEEF: Well, ladeez, time to shuffle off to ferapy, i’nt it? (As Keef starts walking, it becomes apparent that he and Iggy are chained together at the feet)
IGGY: Wait up, dude.
DUMBO: How come you two are in foot-cuffs?
IGGY: I’m Keef’s rehab ‘buddy.’ Let’s just say he’s a ‘reluctant participant in the program.’ (Keef rolls his eyes, shakes his head, and leads Iggy down the hall, with Dumbo following by holding onto Iggy’s tail with his trunk)
DUMBO: Reminds me of my dad, man. After he got plastered as a kid in the Disney film, he was hooked. Post-Dumbo, he was one of the biggest stars in the world, but he never appeared on-screen again. Too busy bellying up to the bar in every no-elephant town in America, doing cheap tricks for free Manhattans. That’s probably why I got addicted so easily -- the genes from his side of the family.
IGGY: But your grandmother seemed amazing in the movie. Dude, I shed copious tears every time I saw her all locked up and trying to reach her trunk out the bars to your dad.
DUMBO: That wasn’t my real grandmother! That was an actress, Sybil Berridge. My grandmother was one of the homelier circus elephants in the cast. After the movie, she ran away with a carney and was never heard from again. Dad claimed she was dealing Cracker Jack at state fairs -- but I never wanted to believe it.
Dude, you did have a tough childhood! What about your mother?
DUMBO: I never knew her, man. Let’s just say there were a lot of pink elephants in Dad’s particular parade.
KEEF: (Snidely) Waaah waaah waaah. My muvver di’n’t love me, neivver. Put a trunk in it.
IGGY: Don’t be so harsh, dude. We’re all in this for the duration.
DUMBO (dropping Iggy’s tail, charging ahead): Let’s just get this therapy session over with, okay? I hear that pool a-callin’, and by now the staff must have hauled Duchovny off most of the eligible bachelorettes.
IGGY and KEEF: Agreed!
(The three elephants trudge into the room marked Group Therapy, No Interruptions, and Dumbo shuts the door. Mass trumpeting ensues)