When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick–one never does when a shot goes home–but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd. In that instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the bullet to get there, a mysterious, terrible change had come over the elephant. He neither stirred nor fell, but every line of his body had altered. He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the bullet had paralysed him without knocking him down. At last, after what seemed a long time–it might have been five seconds, I dare say–he sagged flabbily to his knees. His mouth slobbered. An enormous senility seemed to have settled upon him. One could have imagined him thousands of years old. I fired again into the same spot. At the second shot he did not collapse but climbed with desperate slowness to his feet and stood weakly upright, with legs sagging and head drooping. I fired a third time. That was the shot that did for him. You could see the agony of it jolt his whole body and knock the last remnant of strength from his legs. But in falling he seemed for a moment to rise, for as his hind legs collapsed beneath him he seemed to tower upward like a huge rock toppling, his trunk reaching skyward like a tree. He trumpeted, for the first and only time. And then down he came, his belly towards me, with a crash that seemed to shake the ground even where I lay. – George Orwell
He would have been able to keep his $60,000 elephant hunting trip on the down low had he not sustained a broken hip that landed him in the hospital. People like to know when their monarchs are in the hospital – especially the Spaniards who have been forced into draconian austerity measures by the EU and have a 24% unemployment rate. Spain’s school budget was cut by 30% while the Royal Palace’s budget was cut by a mere 2%. While regular citizens were suffering from severe cuts in government spendiing, the king had plenty of money to travel to Africa and have a grand time plugging elephants – well at least up until he broke his hip.
But that’s not all. King Juan Carlos, as I mentioned earlier, is the Honorary President of Spain’s chapter of the World Wildlife Fund. You know, the organization that exists to preserve wildlife – not destroy it. The WWF has asked to meet with the king to discuss this awkard news and is under great public pressure to dismiss him.
That’s still not all to the story. Just a few days before this story broke, Juan Carlos’s 13-year-old grandson Felipe Juan Froilan accidentally fired a shotgun into his foot. In Spain, it is illegal for children under 14 to possess or discharge firearms. Just another example of exceptional behavior set by the Royal Family.
One more thing: At age 18 in 1956, Juan Carlos was handling a gun while vacationing in Portugal when it accidently discharged and killed his 14-year-0ld brother Alfonso.
The Tallest Man on Earth might wanna be the King of Spain, but I wouldn’t.