Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots

The Web's Original Shaggy Dog Story Archive

Elephant Hunting Tactics Of Various Professionals

Category: Gaggle of Groaners listserv, Puns, Rated G, Shaggy Dogs

From the groaners listserv.

In order to hunt elephants:

A Programmer…

Begins at the tip of South Africa
Performs alternating west to east and east to west searches
Decrements the latitude argument in a non integer sequence between each search
Finds an animal
Compares found animal to a known elephant
If found animal matches known elephant terminates search, else Resumes at 3

An Experienced Programmer…

Places an elephant in Cairo, Egypt to ensure that the search will terminate properly before initiating the above.

An Assembly Language Programmer…

Will perform the same search on hands and knees.

A Mathematician…

Will first develop a hypothesis supporting the existence of a unique elephant before proceeding with the search as a subordinate operation, collecting all animals found, testing them against the hypothesis and discarding all that don’t fit.

A Professor of Mathematics…

Will first develop a hypothesis supporting the existence of a unique elephant before sending his/her students on the search, requiring that they collect all animals found, test them against the hypothesis, and bring all matching animals to him for publication.

Trickle-Down Economists…

Don’t hunt elephants. They believe that if you give the elephants a small tax incentive, they will hunt themselves.


Don’t actually hunt elephants and indeed may never have hunted elephants, but they can be hired at great expense by the hour, plus expenses, to advise those who do. This of course does not include the time it takes to find out what an elephant is.


Also don’t hunt elephants, but will share any elephants you catch with the people who voted for them.

Software Lawyers…

Will claim that they know who owns the entire herd based on the look and feel of one pile of dung.

Quality Assurance Staff…

Ignore the elephants and spend their time looking for mistakes the hunters made while packing the jeep.

Sales Staff…

Don’t hunt elephants but spend their time selling elephants the hunters haven’t caught yet, and promising delivery two days before the opening of elephant hunting season.

Software Sales Staff…

Ship the first thing they catch, write up an invoice for an elephant, modify the documentation to match and promise a real elephant at the next update.

Hardware Sales Staff…

Catch rabbits, paint them gray, and sell them as “laptop” elephants.


Only hunt elephants they can see from where they’re standing.

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