“What’s the worst thing about traffic?”
“The stop and go, the delay, the cars, the people, the pollution, when your crayons melt from the heat.”
“What’s under the tarp?”
“It’s part of the presentation.”
“Your presentation just moved.”
“Uh, I don’t know, what’s the worst thing about traffic.”
“The view,” Woodruff said. “All you can see are bumpers and brake lights. It’s not just congestion of the roads, it’s congestion of the mind and soul.”
“That’s what my proctologist says.”
“Well, beneath this tarp is the cure.”
“For my colon?”
Woodruff tugged on the giant brown tarp with showman-like fashion and raised his arms as it floated to the ground. “Ta da!”
“His name is Buster.”
“I don’t get it.”
“We ride Buster to work to avoid traffic.”
“I’m pretty sure taking an elephant on the Interstate is going to be the cause of traffic.”
“Don’t you see?” Woodruff said. “With Buster we will be above it all. No bumpers, no brake lights. We’ll have a clear view in every direction. Plus, we won’t be in the confines of a restrictive car. We’ll be free.”
“I don’t know, Woodruff.”
“Just give it a try.”
Woodruff held up his right arm and made a waving motion with his left hand. Buster knelt down on all fours and bowed his head to the ground. Bob looked from the elephant to Woodruff and back to the elephant.
“Okay,” Bob said as he stepped on Buster’s leg and climbed unto his back. Woodruff followed and squeezed between Bob and Buster’s large head.
“Hup hup,” Woodruff said. Buster rose up and lumbered out of the hangar into the daylight. “Buster, take a left on 29th and take I-95 South.”
Buster’s trunk tooted his reply and rapidly carried them up the road.
“I don’t have anything to hold onto, Woodruff.”
“Put your arms around me.”
“You’d like that, Sicko.”
The giant pachyderm shuffled up the onramp to join a slow moving caravan of cars, trucks, vans and semis. A baby blue Prius honked at them as Buster joined the line.
“We’re tromping here!” Woodruff shouted.
Woodruff, Bob, and Buster were faced with a stream of red brake lights in front of them, which followed the highway up and over a bend.
“Wow,” Bob said. “You were right. This is already way better.”
“I told you.”
There was another series of honks and beeps from the baby blue Prius behind them as the traffic slowly pulled forward and Buster failed to pace.
“What is that guy’s problem?”
“It’s the congestion.”
“Hey Woodruff, look at that,” Bob pointed to his right.
Woodruff sat up straight and looked out over the rippling blue ocean.
“Beautiful,” Woodruff said. “Hey Buster, look, you can see the ocean.”
Buster stopped and stood up on his hind legs. Woodruff grabbed hold of Buster’s head and Bob grabbed hold of Woodruff. A gentle breeze cut through the trio and another round of honking from the baby blue Prius disrupted their moment of Zen.
“Would you halt the honking!” Bob shouted.
Buster rocked back and a small tremor rippled through his body.
“In Pachydermish halt means make boom boom,” Woodruff explained.
Woodruff and Bob spun around and looked back as Buster dropped a steaming brown boom boom on the hood of the baby blue Prius. The driver slammed his hands on the steering wheel with a disgusted look on his face.
The giant elephant bolted down the shoulder of the Interstate and knocked into a u-Haul truck, which nearly sent Bob sailing over the median. He smashed two more side mirrors and tipped over a motorcyclist as he stampeded up the overpass. A siren blared behind them and red and blue lights reflected off Buster’s gray body.
“Pull over, Buster,” Woodruff said. “It’s the fuzz.”
Buster slowed to a stop and the police cruiser pulled up right behind them with its lights still flashing.
“No boom boom, Buster,” Bob said as he looked back of his shoulder at the perplexed patrolman.
“Is there a problem officer?” Woodruff asked.
The patrolman, in a black uniform, took off his mirrored sunglasses and put his hands on his hips.
“Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“Your honorable honorness, I didn’t know halt meant boom boom,” Bob said. “But that Prius was begging for it.”
“What?” the patrolman questioned with a crinkled up mustache.
“I don’t think he knows about the pachydermy plop,” Woodruff whispered.
“Speeding?” Bob asked the patrolman.
“I pulled you over because you are riding an elephant on the Interstate.”
“There’s no law against that,” Woodruff replied.
“Actually there is.”
“Oh, well, uh…”
“What were you two thinking?”
“This is how you win at rush hour,” Bob said.
“What are you talking about?”
“You know how your colon gets congested and your proctologist gets all philosophical?”
“Are you drunk?”
“No,” Woodruff said. “But Buster here is trunk faced.”
Woodruff and Bob chuckled and shared a high-five.
“This isn’t a joke,” the patrolman said. “Do you want to go downtown?”
“We’re actually trying to get downtown right now,” Bob said.
“I meant to the police station.”
“No thank you,” Bob said. “We’ve seen a lot of police stations.”
“Yeah,” Woodruff agreed. “Remember Santa Barbara?”
“They were nice.”
“That blonde detective liked you.”
“Jules?” Bob replied. “We still keep in touch.”
“Hey!” the patrolman interrupted. “I’m serious. I’m going to cite you two and impound your friend there.”
“Impound, Buster?” Woodruff said. “More like imton.”
“Ha!” Bob laughed. “Nice one.”
The patrolman chocked his head and placed his hand on his hip.
“He doesn’t get it.”
“You know,” Bob said to the unamused patrolman. “Pound. Ton. ‘cause elephants are heavy.”
Buster tooted his trunk in a laughing fashion and the corners of the patrolman’s mustache turned up in a smile. The traffic moved slowly by and a baby blue Prius with elephant poo on the hood rolled up. A hipster with a brown beard stuck his head out the window.
“Haul them off to jail!” the hipster demanded.
“Did he say halt?” Woodruff asked.
Buster raised his tail and the hipster quickly rolled up his window and sped forward, colliding with the pickup truck in front of him.
“Move it along,” the patrolman said the Woodruff, Bob, and Buster. “It’s citation time.”
“Hi ho, Buster, away,” Woodruff called and they rambled up the Interstate.
“Best commute ever!” Bob said as he held tight to his friend.