Elephant Polo 1999
by Tilman Smith
IV. December 9 Match
We had one thing to be grateful for today. Our game with arguably the best team in the tournament, the National Parks, was to be the first game of the morning. This mercy laden upon us meant that fewer people would actually be present to witness the slaughter that we were sure would ensue. This is why the 9:30 AM game is the favorite of the Screwy Tuskers. Not only is there a beautiful mist in the air upon arrival to the field to cut down on spectator visibility, but we're able to get that darned game out of the way and spend the rest of the day sunning ourselves and visiting. Most importantly, it means that many polo participants are still back at the lodge, knocking back hot coffee and popping Advils, instead of watching our every move. We can claim to have played brilliantly, and few would be the wiser.
Thank God for Margie McDougal and the Tigresses who passed on a little tip to us that would prove very instrumental in helping us contain the Parks team. Having to face the ever gracious Ram Prit, Chandra and their team mates made us quake, even though Ram Prit always had a way of insinuating that we might have a chance. His deeply placed belly laugh always gave his true feelings on this topic away, though, and in spite of our 5 point handicap going in, we knew we were in for a good, old-fashioned butt kickin'.
|SCREWY TUSKERS LINE UP|
|1st Chukka||2nd Chukka|
|1. Cindy||1. Shamane|
|2. Annie||2. Tilman|
|3. Alf||3. Susan|
|4. Stephani||4. Alf|
The first string played fabulously! And, all I could think about during the whole time was how I would be part of the next group who would let all their hard work go to the dogs. At half-time, the score was even at 5-5. Cindy, Annie, Alf, and Steph had kept us in the running! It was time for desperate measures for this gal, so when that whistle blew for the second chukka, I began yelping. Every time I got anywhere close to a National Parks team member, I let out a war cry that I must have learned in some former life, because I swear I didn't realize I even knew those sounds. (This is the strength of the women who play elephant polo; we stick together and tip each other off to what works on the field.) Though my guttural screams didn't help me score, the confusion they incurred did keep National Parks down to just two additional goals, so our score wasn't as horrific as we had anticipated.
OK, yes, Shamane had a little something to do with our performance. It was about this time that it became clear that our Chef du Jour was not only hot in the kitchen, but on the polo field as well. While I was hoopin' and hollerin', she was actually playing an incredible game. She was to be the darlin' of the 1999 WEPA Championships, and we were happy she was ours!
Are you keeping track? Have you noticed that we haven't won a game yet? No matter, we still made it to the semi-finals of the Amateur Quaiche (don't get me started on that word!). Ain't this game grand?