As New Year’s Eve approaches, a time for good cheer and festivities including the imbibing of champagne, Jeeves pondered where the “seeing of pink elephants” as a metaphor of inebriation came about. This was spurred by a client bringing to Jeeves a soft-toy “pink elephant” for cleaning.
In Chapter II of Jack London’s novel “John Barleycorn” published in 1903, the author provides an excellent definition of how alcohol and pink elephants are associated.
There are, broadly speaking, two types of drinkers. There is the man whom we all know, stupid, unimaginative, whose brain is bitten numbly by numb maggots; who walks generously with wide-spread, tentative legs, falls frequently in the gutter, and who sees, in the extremity of his ecstasy, blue mice and pink elephants. He is the type that gives rise to the jokes in the funny papers.
Jeeves wishes you a safe New Year’s Eve, full of fun and merriment and if your path should cross with “pink elephants” and they are in need of cleaning, Jeeves can assist.
In fact over the course of our history, we have hand-cleaned hundreds of soft-toys including a six-foot tall teddy bear. Thankfully this pink elephant was only 30 inches long and not a hallucination. Cheers!