The Tale of the Elephant Turd

The Tale of the Elephant Turd

The Elephant Turd in a corner of the Clark living room in 2012.

Preface: I wrote “The Tale of the Elephant Turd” in 2007ish as an email to a school secretary who’d heard one of my sons tell the story, thought it was hilarious, and wanted to know if it was true. It was, and is, 100% fact. I had an epiphany to make it a blog post recently, so here we are. Enjoy.

The Turd That Won a Major Award

Once upon a time in a tropical land far, far away (Hawaii), there was a woman named Susie. At some point, Susie took a pottery class at the local university and created a one-of-a-kind gigantic clay “jar” for an assignment. This jar ultimately, albeit not surprisingly, came to be known as “the elephant turd.” (For obvious reasons, yo.)

To its credit (and Susie’s), the Turd had actually won First Prize at an art show. As a token of friendship, Susie bestowed it upon the unsuspecting Clark family as a gift. Being far too polite, and therefore defenseless, to turn down her unique creation, they quickly parked it in a corner of the dining room, where it wouldn’t “get broken.”

Survival of the Shittest

As time passed, the Clark family moved, divided, grew, and rearranged. The Elephant Turd was unphased. Surprisingly, it survived half a century of trans-oceanic shipping, toddlers, teenagers, dogs, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, U-Hauls, UV rays, cleaning ladies, divorce, and countless other things that would do mere mortal pottery in.

In the beginning, they thought it was the ugliest thing they’d ever seen. And it is fugly, no question. To be fair, it was the 1970s. (The evolution of the world’s aesthetic sense is a whole other blog.) Slowly, mysteriously, and without fanfare, it kind of grew on them. Somehow, the Turd always secured a prime dining or living room corner.

Even a Turd Needs Love

Realizing the crazy number of photos the Turd had appeared in over the years, the oldest Clark child (i.e., me) created an entire photo album dedicated to it. Holidays, birthdays, Daddy-Daughter nights…no occasion was exempt. Being a bit (!) of a smartass, she thought it was hilarious, however, it did not amuse her family.

Each of the five Clark children and their seven offspring have expressed their affectionate disdain for the Turd, and yet, it endures. Curiously though, not one of them has ever opened it. (Because hello, touching poop.) For all they knew, it had a million dollars inside. Its line of inheritance would suddenly become verrry interesting if that were the case, but I digress.

And the Elephant Turd lived happily ever after. The end.

P.S. For more fun stories (that may or may not include other poop-related tales), feel free to follow me on Instagram.

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