Who Shoots Elephants in Their Pajamas?

groucho marxI shot an elephant in my pajamas today. How the elephant got in my pajamas I’ll never know, but thank you Groucho Marx. It did get me thinking that you never see domestic animals, and certainly not wild ones, wearing pajamas. Humans are perhaps unique among all the species for feeling the need to put on special clothing just for sleeping. I’m hard pressed to theorize whether the custom of wearing night clothes stems from modesty or the desire to be alluring. Put another way, would Cleopatra have attracted more male attention by going naked or wearing nothing but a strategically placed asp?

It would be hard to imagine a zebra, a leopard or a tiger being able to improve upon what they’re already wearing. Maybe something in 100% organic cotton with a repeat field of little humans leopard sheetson it. Female rabbits might want to wear something soft and silky to spice up things for their famously libidinous male partners.

We already dress up the dog in goofy sweaters and raincoats, so it’s not too great a leap to night dressing for the rest of the domestic animal family. Cows cold wear nightgowns with little milk bottles on them. Chickens could have PJs covered with eggs. Ponies would look fabulous in jammies with a horseshoe print. Goats have a way of looking great in something stretchy -- perhaps some Underoos with the Chewbacca logo could work for them. Chimpanzees have been dressed up for years, so it’s no stretch to imagine the male chimps in silk smoking jackets (including the pipe), while the female chimps could go with a simple white chemise. Maybe it’s visions of Pepe LePew, but I see skunks tigerwearing those nautical striped PJs.

If it catches on, there’s a genuine business opportunity here. The Animal Farm Nighties perhaps? Or Animajams? Zoo Lounge? PeepSleeps for poultry? Mighty Nighty for lions? Junglerie? Deep Sleep for whales?

Why can’t we be more like animals and just curl up naked and catch some zees? I guess we just don’t have thick enough skin (or enough fur) to feel comfortable. Too bad, because a lot of us look good in leopard skin. A lot of women wear jungle prints to make themselves more alluring -- I think it makes them look more wild -- so wouldn’t it just be easier to have tiger striped or leopard spotted fur all the time? Brings a whole new meaning to the saying, “she’s a tiger in bed.”

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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