Lord Berners wishes to dispose of two elephants and one small rhinoceros (latter house-trained). Would make delightful Christmas presents.

ministry_of_silly_walks_by_mrkiwi101-d5ufhx4The eccentric Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson, 14th Baron Berners, apparently bored placed an advertisement (the title of the post) in the personals column of the London Times in December 1936. When a newspaperman telephoned, Berners took the call himself, pretending to be the butler.

“Actually, I haven’t seen the rhino, myself, sir, but it’s often about the house. It’s quite gentle, I’m told. The weather was getting too cold for the elephants, so I’m glad they’ve gone. They went on Saturday. I understand Mr. Harold Nicolson has bought one and Lady Colefax the other. I hope they have good homes.”

Then then newspaperman contacted Mr. Harold Nicolson, who, bewildered, found himself insisting, “I have NOT bought an elephant! I do not intend to buy one! I do not want an elephant, and I have nowhere to put an elephant! This looks like a joke. I have known Lord Berners for twenty-five years, but I don’t feel friendly to him this morning. I do not want an elephant, have never wanted one, and I have not bought one.”


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