An elephant that was fond of practical jokes dialled a random number on the telephone. “Hello?” said a distant voice at the other end. “This is a trunk call!” chortled the elephant. Then it made a trumpeting noise into the receiver and waited for the response.

But the voice on the other end failed to see the joke.

“Good. I’m glad it’s a trunk call,” it said, “because I’m a tree and thus am in possession of a trunk. Therefore your call must certainly be suitable for me. What do you wish to say?”

The elephant grew annoyed. “You spoiled my jest, even though it was a rather corny one. I am offended by your attitude. I hereby challenge you to a duel! Do you accept or refuse?”

“I accept, of course! I have fought many duels.”

“Tomorrow then!” roared the elephant. “Where shall we meet?”

“I’m not really in the habit of going far. I’m sessile, you see,” answered the tree. “You’ll have to come to me.”

“Fine. I’ll catch the early train,” said the elephant.

“It’s a long way,” said the tree.

“I don’t mind distance. I’m a seasoned traveller.”

“Don’t forget to pack your trunk.”

¶ Corniness is as corniness does; and yet practical jokers will always be superior to the theoretical kind.