A classic response now that we know what we are dealing with is to go find an elephant. As they are not native to the UK that presents a bit of a problem. Did anyone mention a travel budget?, perhaps not. For the sake of expediency we typically skip discussing all the things that might be involved in getting to where we might possibly find an elephant and move on to the how would you eat an elephant question, my groups tend to be focused on the proposition rather than the peripherals.
The next step identified by most groups is the grizzly prospect of having to despatch the poor elephant, again my groups tend to exhibit a common theme, namely that killing elephants is not a nice thing to do. However we are on a mission so what needs must!
As an aside and returning to the "what do you mean by an elephant?" you may recall that in part 1 I hinted that perhaps there was something missing from my definition of what an elephant is, to recap.
"an elephant is a four legged animal, grey in colour, native to either Africa or India, a herbivore, notable for having tusks and a trunk, supposedly possessed of a prodigious memory".
The word missing from this definition is large, most people when asked to describe an elephant will mention its size, it is after all the largest living land mammal - the largest ever found weighed 11,000 Kg.
Some people latch on to this omission - lets eat a baby elephant! Its small so there is less to consume and it will be more tender than a mature elephant. As you can imagine this proposition is greeted with dismay and horror by some people in the classroom. Thankfully we are engaging in a hypothetical situation and hopefully none of the people attending my courses are so ruthless as to descend to the point where killing a baby elephant is a deemed a good idea.
Having selected and despatched our elephant my groups identify various options, the most practical being that we need somewhere to store our deceased elephant as the prospect of rancid elephant meat for dinner does not appeal. So a big chiller is required and of course the means to transport and deposit our deceased elephant in said chiller.
It is worth pointing out that whilst I am describing events in a quasi chronological fashion my groups have tended to offer up suggestions in a random fashion as the exercise requires them to provide a different answer to any that have been provided before.
One last thing for this part of the blog - there will by now be some of you screaming out the cliched management answer "cut it in to small pieces and eat is a piece at a time" invariably in my groups there is someone who knows this answer and who is holding back. Frustratingly for them someone who didn't know the answer to begin with will have worked it out by the time that it comes around to their turn to provide a suggestion, the pressure of having to come up with something and seeing other people suggest what they were going to suggest does tend to concentrate the mind and force people into creative thinking.
More suggestions will be revealed in part 3.