Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day


Just for fun (and to help a friend and her mother who run a flower business during the holidays), I spent yesterday cleaning flowers and arranging roses in bouquets and vases on Jefferson Davis Highway it was hard work- cold weather and some thorns.. but it was somehow just what i wanted to be doing, since Im not usually such a big fan of Valentine's day. Then i went to sell these flowers downtown at Main and 9th (one of several flower stands around the city.) I was there till sometime after dark at which point i found myself standing alone surrounded by buckets of roses as cars rushed past, questioning the existence of love in a "cold world" (ok, gloomy, i know.. but it was cold!) which is when i saw the elephants... (click picture for a better view)

Apparently the circus is in town. (Or is it always here?) Because out of nowhere, breaking the silence of downtown Richmond at 9 pm, 8-10 Asian Elephants walked up the hill with the ringling brothers "handlers" followed by cop cars, fire engines, street cleaners (for the mountains of what every one of the cars stopped at the intersection would soon witness.. elephant poop) secret agents, more circus animal "handlers", and PETA protesters, who had signs that said "Ringling Beats Animals". Then patiently, quietly, with a full moon overhead, these Elephants marched (were marched) right up 9th street to the Coliseum - followed by the noisy entourage of Police, EMS, and Sanitation vehicles with flashing lights, sirens, and whirring brooms -and the line of stern faced animal rights activists. Then they were gone again.. and ANOTHER pack of full size top volume Fire Trucks roared though as i swept the flower petals from the sidewalk, helped load up the flower buckets and went back home. This was straight out of some Fellini film (La Strada or maybe E La Nave Va?)

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