``Anything new in the newspaper?''
``With the non-ideal world in which we live?''
``Little feature about the Alexander Elephant Bridge. You know it?''
``I know of it. I disclaim all responsibility for its actual condition.''
``If you're starting from Muddled Beach.''
``Supposing I am, here's some interesting developments on the Elephant Bridge.''
``Is that supposed to rhyme?''
``I hope not. It's only acceptable if you were doing a song with that internal rhyme attempt.''
``I wouldn't have thought the bridge wide enough.''
``Maybe I'm not open-minded enough. You'd think the lots would be too narrow to build on.''
``They could make that up in being tall.''
``Only if they hang over the edge. Build too much and the elephants couldn't cross.''
``You've reached the article's point!''
``I thought Article's Point was at the other end of the beach, near Spring Cheese Radio Tower.''
``No, the other point. It turns out there's no record of any elephant ever being on the Alexander Elephant Bridge.''
``They've kept track of all the elephants not on the bridge?''
``Little box on page four every day.''
``I kept seeing that little box saying `no elephants today', and I thought they were just disappointed by what the stores had in stock.''
``The market for elephants in these parts can be sluggish.''
``Do they always have someone watching the bridge, so no elephants snuck across?''
``Have to ask the newspaper. But it couldn't be the easiest thing to sneak an elephant across the bridge.''
``What if they made a mistake? One day meant to write 'Elephant today', took sloppy notes and published `No elephant today' anyway?''
``It'd turn up in the corrections column.''
``Not if the elephant valued her privacy and wanted to avoid scandal. So why is it the Alexander Elephant Bridge then? Is it of particular use to the Alexanders?''
``The other strange thing. It turns out no Alexanders are known to have ever used the bridge.''
``I don't remember that column.''
``It floated in the classified ads after the 1930s.''
``You'd think the No Alexanders column and the No Elephants column could be combined.''
``Oh, here it is. They discontinued the No Alexanders column in 1974 after Alexander asked them to stop following him.''
``And they just know he didn't sneak across after that?''
``Yeah, they kept the No Alexanders beat open, they just didn't print it.''
``Boy, newspapers used to be able to do anything. But that still doesn't say, why is it the Alexander Elephant Bridge?''
``Turns out the whole bridge was a mistake. It was supposed to be a frog.''
``A frog bridge?''
``No, just a frog. But Alexander had ordered it from a catalogue, and he started to notice something was wrong when they got to the fourth truck full of bridge part boxes and didn't seem to be getting any nearer the frog part of things.''
``He put up a bridge just because someone sent him bridge parts?''
``He wanted to be sure it didn't turn out to be a frog when you got to the final steps.''
``Ridiculous; didn't he read the directions first?''
``Sure, but you know how it is. The last line of a recipe isn't `congratulations, you've finished making a chocolate cake', it's something like 'enjoy' or 'serves six' instead.''
``Especially if it's not a cake recipe. Those never say you've finished making chocolate cake.''
``So Alexander kept working on the bridge until he got to the end and saw there weren't frogs left in the packs.''
``Must have been disappointed.''
``He admitted he was never very good with catalogues.''
``Are they doing anything with the bridge? Maybe get some frogs for it?''
``They're thinking of letting people use it to go places instead of holding it for the Alexanders and Elephants of the world.''
``That'd be brilliant. It'd solve the whole problem of getting to the other side of the Alexander Elephant Bridge.''
``Otherwise they're thinking of getting in some elephants.''
``I hope they name one Alexander. It'd be a shame letting that heritage go to waste.''
``I hope they're better at catalogues now. We don't want to get something that clutters up the town.''
Trivia: John Evans, who held a tenement lease (from one Mary Russell) which expired on the 25th of March, 1762, appears to have been the final resident of London Bridge. Source: Old London Bridge: The Story Of The Longest Inhabited Bridge In Europe, Patricia Pierce.
Currently Reading: Sunday: A History Of The First Day From Babylonia To The Super Bowl, Craig Harline.