Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “the evil plot”, and by co-incidence this appeared on the TV page of the Irish Times on Saturday. I’m sure Timothy Oliphant wouldn’t be at all impressed, but maybe it’s not him that they’re talking about …
John McClane was having a bad day.
His white vest was dirty and covered in blood (his shirt tended to vanish fairly early on during these situations, rather like the Incredible Hulk’s ), he had been shot at, beaten and, bizarrely, a Klingon warship had fired a missile at his car from space.
Despite all of this, he was winning. The 33 agents of the Archvillain’s gang, having fired over 2,000 bullets between them without hitting him even once, all lay dead. Some had been shot, one was strangled in a head-lock by McClane’s legs as he swung from a chandelier, one was drop-kicked twenty floors down into a conveniently placed bin-lorry, and one had his head stuck into a computer monitor and was emailed out into the sea.
McClane had blown up their tank by sticking a potato into its gun-barrel, he had sunk their submarine by throwing an electric eel into the Hudson and short-circuiting their controls, and had fought off their robot grizzly-bear by smacking it in the face with a shovel.
All New York cops are taught how to do all of these things.
Now there was just the Archvillain left. McClane finished his seventy-floor climb of the inside of the elevator-shaft, opened the door from the inside (nah, I don’t know how either) and emerged onto the top floor of the Empire State Building.
“Ah, Mr McClane,” said the Archvillain.
McClane stared at him. “You’re an elephant,” he said eventually.
“Very observant,” said his foe, taking a bun from a large bucket in front of him with his trunk and putting it into his mouth. “My name is Timothy Elephant. You have severely interfered with my plans, but I will still prevail.”
“And what are those plans?”
“Death to circuses,” said Timothy. “For too long my species has been forced to stand with one foot on a stool. For too long we have been forced to pass a beach-ball from one to the other by sneezing down our trunks. For too long we have been forced to jump through hoops of fire.”
“Really?” said McClane. “I thought it was the tigers that did that.”
“The tiger is an endangered species now,” said Timothy. “The World Wildlife Fund won’t let the circuses use them.”
“And you really think you can close all circuses all over the world?”
Timothy laughed the mwa-ha-ha-ha laugh that is the sign of a true Archvillain. “Of course I don’t. But the important thing is that the Clowns think that I can. The Clowns Association are willing to pay me twenty million dollars not to do it.”
“Where else would they get jobs?”
“So you’re taking money for nothing? You’re just a common thief.”
“I am an exceptional thief,” snapped Timothy.
“You’ll never get away with it,” said McClane.
“Of course I will. You may have defeated villains before, but they always made stupid mistakes, in their elaborate plans they always forgot something vital. But an elephant never forgets, and that’s why I’ll defeat you.”
McClane wasn’t listening (he was ignoring the elephant in the room, in other words). He was watching as Timothy reached his trunk into the bucket for another bun.
And took out the grenade that McClane had slipped into the bucket, and put it in his mouth.
McClane had seen a horse-fly, and had seen a dragon-fly, but he had never before seen an elephant fly.
He didn’t this time, either. The blast hurled Timothy out the window into the New York sky, from where he dropped like, well, an elephant.
“Yippee-kay-ay, mammothf**ker,” said McClane.