Someone recently asked me what sports team I favored, and I told them I am a big fan of the Elks. The person asked what kind of sport they played, and I told them they were a Florida toboggan team. Most people have heard little about this wonderful sport, or the Elks, because they live on a very isolated mountain located in the middle of the Everglades. The mountain is so tall that it has snow on it year-round, sometimes with the help of snow-making equipment. Elks’ fans are distinguished by the large antlers they wear to toboggan meets.
But the toboggan team has been running into problems because the Florida legislature has been passing laws that restrict them. One law is that they cannot come within 1000 feet of a flower shop. The reasoning given is that bulls should not enter china shops, therefore Elks and flower shops don’t belong together, either. Elk team members also must register their car with the toboggan team registry. If the value of their car is under $30,000, they must turn it in to the police because it must be old and ugly. In addition, if it is valued at or more than $50,000 they must also turn it into the police because it is either capable of excessive speed or is pretentious. Owners of cars between the two figures are also endangered by new laws that allow confiscation on the grounds of mediocrity.
But perhaps the most outrageous rule the toboggan team faces is that they must stop when the traffic signal turns green. They are not allowed to move forward when others can do so. This alerts nearby drivers that an Elk is nearby, and thus caution is required. This is also to challenge the idea that advancement in life is unilaterally expected, something very much questioned in this day of enforced inequality of Elks and their fans. Elks must also stop when the signal is red, to reflect obedience to standard traffic laws. However, if they are very vigilant—and most Elks are—they can go through on a yellow light, as long as it does not turn red before they leave the intersection. However, it is thought by some that the traffic light law encourages “yellow light turns red” sting operations against Elks and fans.
Toboggans are an increasingly popular form of transportation in Florida. In fact, toboggans are highly valued in retirement homes. One non-competitive team consists of citizens who are all over 100 years old. That team is known for reaching speeds of more than 75 miles per hour on downtown city streets. Even if there is no accident, some of these tobogganers do not survive the meet. But small, motorized toboggans are gaining popularity among our aging population.
Yes, I cannot think of a finer group than the Florida toboggan team, the Elks. Everyone in Florida who enjoys tobogganing and affirms equal opportunity sports should support the Elks, since it is the only toboggan team in Florida. Yet it must be admitted that some object to the de-humanizing of an entire species by having a sports team named after them. But I have never heard a real elk complain about this. Yet it must be admitted that very few elk attend tobogganing events in Florida, perhaps a subtle form of protest.
Please encourage your representative to support the right for tobogganers to vote. Voting has been prohibited due to the jostling with antlers by many fans of the Elks as they waited to vote. Legislators felt the best solution was to take away voting rights from tobogganers, which they thought would discourage “antler parties” among voters. Many hope that the governor does not prohibit tobogganers from living with their children.
Critics say that it is a waste of public money to create snow for tobogganing in the Everglades, but those critics forget that when snow melts it becomes water, one of our most precious commodities. Snow can provide a wonderful supply of fresh water for the decades ahead, especially in arid areas like the Everglades. Critics counter that funds for the snow-making equipment come from a slush fund. Such arguments make for frigid dialogue on the issue.
There are also those who believe the large amount of ice required to produce snow is a waste of energy. There is a serious flaw in this argument. Making snow in Florida is more nature-friendly than air conditioning. Snow-making machines consume less electricity than air conditioners. Some have pointed out that this is because there are more air conditioners than snow-makers. Such arguments generate heated exchanges among citizens and legislators, adding to the problem.
Concerns such as these have spawned a movement called the Green Elks, Elk fans who are engaged in environmental issues. However, the legislature turned down the latest proposal of the Green Elks, which stated that nudity should be acceptable because homeless people lack clothing. Legislators, in contrast, insisted that it is far more natural for people to carry briefcases than to take off clothing. The Green Elks then suggested that prohibition of nakedness makes showering difficult. The proposal was tabled indefinitely when it was noted that showering without clothing could be seen as a violation of the law.