water for elephants-sara gruen

“it’s because you read ape house first. the subject matter-getting older-makes it a difficult read.”

i don’t know, i think, actually, it’s because i felt most connected with the apes, and that they came into the story right away, and not 60-something pages in…i will probably watch the forthcoming movie starring reese whitherspoon, but i will wait for it to come out on dvd and watch it from the library. i guess i had elephants on the dome this week, as horton hears a who became the book that i read with the chilrens on thursday.

“One of the greatest indignities about being old is that people insist on helping you with things like bathing and going to the washroom.

I don’t in fact require help with either, but they’re all so afraid I’m going to slip or break my hip again that I get a chaperone whether I like it or not. I always insist on walking into the washroom myself, but there’s always someone there, just in case, and for some reason it’s always a woman. I make whoever it is turn around while I drop my drawers and sit, and then I send her outside until I’m finished.

Bathing is even more embarrassing, because I have to strip down to my birthday suit in front of a nurse. Now, there are some things that never die, so even though I’m in my nineties my sap sometimes rises. I can’t help it. They always pretend not to notice. They’re trained that way, I suppose, although pretending not to notice is almost worse than noticing. It means they consider me nothing more than a harmless old man sporting a harmless old penis that still gets uppity once in a while. Although if one of them took it seriously and tried to do something about it, the shock would probably kill me.” (107)

“Sometimes I think that if I had to choose between an ear of corn or making love to a woman, I’d choose the corn. Not that I wouldn’t love to have a final roll in the hay-I am a man yet, and some things never die-but the thought of those sweet kernels bursting between my teeth sure sets my mouth to watering. It’s fantasy, I know that. Neither will happen. I just like to weigh the options, as though I were standing in front of Soloman: a final roll in the hay or an ear of corn. What a wonderful dilemma. Sometimes I substitute an apple for the corn.” (8)



2 thoughts on “water for elephants-sara gruen

  1. circus secrets:

    “Horses in vaulting acts are always white so that the powdered rosin that makes the performer’s feet stick to their backs won’t show.” (66)

    “The last show I was on had a dozen bulls. One of them used to fake a bellyache every night trying to get a dose of whiskey.” (169)

    who knew? elephants boozing it up? it didn’t work for the apes…

    “Walter and Camel spend the night making the noises men make when they’re trying not to cry, and I spend the night punching my pillow up around my ears trying not to hear them.” (209)

    this one isn’t so much a secret, but a failed trick….

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