The Hotspur, October 1944. “GOOD-BYE, DEAD-WIDE DICK!”
Two accidental forays into surrealism by British boys’ paper The Hotspur, which amazingly lasted until 1981. I say amazingly, although on the other hand there were lots of British colonial era things that inexplicably carried on into the 1980s and beyond. Not to mention that The Hotspur‘s first issue had on its cover a plane-sized eagle attacking an actual aeroplane, and came with a free “Black Cloth mask” for no immediately apparent reason, so they definitely started as they meant to go on.
The cover above is almost certainly not referring to the fact that this football player has a feature likely to make him popular with the ladies and about 10% of the gentlemen, but instead that he scores goals by kicking unexpectedly wide. As for how and why somebody decided to counter this tactic by installing a gung ho bipedal elephant in football kit… I’ve got nothing. Dick’s certainly surprised, as you would be.
Perhaps it was the same genius who decided to deploy their centre-forward on the roof of a nearby building instead of on the pitch?
The Hotspur, January 1943. THE ROOF-TOP CENTRE-FORWARD.
More from Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity by Bruce Bagemihl. Elephants hardly need any introduction and since they weigh up to 7½ tons they definitely don’t need an introduction when you stand next to one. Sadly both the African Elephant and the Asiatic Elephant are endangered species. African Elephants live in Sub-Saharan parts of the continent; both sexes have tusks. Asiatic Elephants range from India through southeast Asia to China. They are slightly smaller in general, with smaller ears and tusks only on the male.
Elephants are matriarchal and have complex social lives. Females live in matriarchal herds, while bulls generally live alone or in smaller male-only herds. The sexes are mostly segregated and antagonistic towards each other. Females show solidarity towards one another and care for the group’s calves collectively. Unlike animals like the Manatee or the Walrus, female Elephants actively fight back against male abuse. Females charge and chase offending males, and they will intervene to forbid males from mating with juveniles of either sex.
African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Homosexuality: Female & Male Behaviours: Affectionate, Sexual, Pair-bonding Ranking: Moderate Observed: Wild
(See It’s Gay Animal Fortnight for an explanation of this box.)