Following the announcement of the new Edmonton Elks Football Club team name, the Canadian Society of Zoologists (CSZ) and the Canadian Linguistics Association (CLA) have joined forces to condemn the new football nickname.
At a hastily-called press conference organized on the front lawn of a local Edmonton Dairy Queen, spokespersons for both organizations called for the arrest and conviction of all persons involved in the selection of the new name.
“Neither one of our organizations were consulted in the name selection process,” said Head Zoologist Harvey Wallbanger (no relation). “It’s just a slap in the face.”
Helena von Pettifogger-Halstonwise, president of the CLA, objected to the use of the “slap in the face” metaphor, calling it “tired and hackneyed”, and claimed that the more pressing issue was the unnecessary pluralization of a word.
“Elk is already plural,” said Ms. Pettifogger-Halstonwise. “The use of the redundant ‘s’ is an affront to the English language and everything we hold right and dear in civilized society. What kind of troglodyte would point out the window and say: ‘Duh! Look at all du Elks’?’”
At his point, Mr. Wallbanger asked Ms. Pettifogger-Halstonwise if she was calling him a troglodyte, to which Ms. Pettifogger-Halstonwise responded “if the shoe fits, wear it,” upon which she took off one of her sensible flats and threw it at Mr. Wallbanger’s head, narrowly missing and striking a nearby 7-year old child eating an ice cream cone.
“Seriously?” said Mr. Wallbanger over the pathetic wails of the 7-year old. “Do you know anything about sports? It’s not the Toronto Maple Leaves you dumb cow.”
“I know plenty about sports,” responded Ms. Pettifogger-Halstonwise, “and maybe if the ‘Leafs’ had bothered to put a little thought into proper English, they could get out of the first round of the playoffs for once in a blue moon.”
“Blue moon?” said Mr. Wallbanger. “Now who’s spouting clichés?”
A brief but feeble struggle ensued between members of both organizations before order was temporarily restored. Once the above-noted 7-year old child was pacified with a new hot dog and some curly fries, Mr. Wallbanger attempted to clarify the position of the CZS.
“The proper name of the so-called Elk is wapiti, one of the largest species within the deer family, Cervidae, and one of the largest terrestrial mammals in North America, as well as Central and East Asia. It is often confused with the larger Alces alces, which is called…”
“Can it, professor,” said Ms. Pettifogger-Halstonwise. “Nobody cares about your stupid reindeer stories—”
“Reindeer!” declared a suddenly indignant Wallbanger. “I’ll have you know Reindeer are completely different from Elk. I’ll concede they are the same species, but only a Neanderthal would mix….”
“So that’s how it’s going to be!” interrupted Ms. Pettifogger-Halstonwise. “You can throw around terms like Neanderthal but heaven forbid I call you a troglodyte.
“What’s the difference?” Mr. Wallbanger asked angrily.
At this point, Palaeoanthropologist Alston Hammersmithe, president of the Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology (CSPA), stepped forward from the small crowd of bewildered onlookers to offer some clarification.
“Pardon me,” he said, “but technically, Neanderthals are an extinct species or subspecies of archaic humans, whereas a troglodyte is any cave dweller, so while it is likely some Neanderthals lived in caves, so they were troglodytes, it is important to distinguish—”
“Alston!” said Ms. Pettifogger-Halstonwise, “I told you to stop following me. It’s over.”
A surprised Wallbanger immediately interjected. “That’s Alston?!” he said. “You told me he had moved to Vancouver to be with his sick mother. Are you lying to me now?”
“Oh for goodness sakes, Harvey,” said an irritated Pettifogger-Halstonwise. “I don’t know what he’s doing here.”
“My mother has recovered,” said Hammersmithe. “Not that you would care, you insufferable harpy.”
“Watch it, pal,” said Wallbanger, “that’s the woman I’m going to marry.”
“So!” said Hammersmithe to Pettifogger-Halstonwise. “The ink’s not even dry on your dead husband’s death certificate and you are off galivanting with some zoo keeper.”
“Zoo keeper?!” said Wallbanger, charging Hammersmithe. “I’m going to show you exactly how much of a Neanderthal I really am!”
“Harvey no!” said Pettifogger-Halstonwise immediately before getting the vapors and fainting on the spot.
“My love!” cried Hammersmithe; then to Wallbanger, “Look what you’ve done!”
“What I’ve done?!” cried Wallbanger. “If you hadn’t shown up here today, none of this would have happened. You are a disgrace, sir!”
As the press conference descended into fisticuffs for the second time, Edmonton Elks club president and CEO Chris Presson, who happened to be driving past, pulled the combatants apart.
“Gentlemen please!” Presson exclaimed. “Compose yourselves! This is no way to behave in public, especially in front of children.” Mr. Presson motioned towards the 7-year old child who was now covered in ketchup.
“Can’t we all get along?” pleaded Presson. “We are a community owned football team. We chose ‘Elks’ to be inclusive.”
“Inclusive?” said Egale Canada representative Marion Dodge, who happened to be leading a parade of flamboyantly-dressed males. “Are you kidding me? You name your stupid football team after a bunch of animals and suddenly we’re supposed to believe you’re trying to be inclusive? Let me tell you something about inclusive….”
“Ah fuck it,” said Presson. “We’re going back to Eskimos.”