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Elvis has left the Building

Graceland, Wedel, Germany

Elvis Has Left The Building

Recently, I’ve been spotting Elvis quite regularly. Every morning on the fridge, but that’s not unusual.

A few years ago, one of my daughters pinned a printed PDF of this column from FIDELITY No. 44 to the fridge. Headline: “Elvis has not left the building”, with a lovely illustration next to it showing the protagonist of that little last-page story with a black quiff and rather hidden gray sideburns. But more on that in the second paragraph. First, I would like to tell you about my irritation when I read a press release with the headline “Elvis meets Elvis”. The Madame Tussauds wax museum in Berlin announces that the “King” has been given a new look. This includes a white Las Vegas suit that has been specially “precisely hand-crafted” (previously, wax Elvis wore a US Army uniform), a real hair transplant that took “hundreds of hours” and new eyes produced using “individual 3D printing”. The fake real hair Elvis was unveiled by: Elvis. Also a fake one, the actor Grahame Patrick, who appeared in Berlin this summer in ELVIS – The Musical as Mr. Presley. At the presentation, two Elvises (spelling conventions have yet to find a convincing solution for the plural of Elvis) were laughing side by side into the cameras, both in white jumpsuits, one with blue 3D eyes, the other with an authentic Las Vegas double chin like the original. But who is the original? Was there ever an original? Did Elvis ever live? Is he still alive, as surprisingly many people believe? Or did he fly home to his home planet, as convincingly portrayed in the movie Men in Black? Does he deserve to grin forever cast in wax while middle-aged men (and women) all over the world squeeze themselves into white suits? As I said, I’m irritated.

Also, I am sad. The Elvis I wrote about in issue no. 44 is dead. He was lying in his stable one morning, very small, curled up like a croissant, no longer able to get up. Still sniffing the hand that held up to him. Nibbling on his last carrot. It was Sunday. We gently placed Elvis in a basket. We drove to the emergency veterinary practice on the other side of town. Here, Elvis was given the merciful injection. He was 17 years old, which is a remarkable age for a lionhead rabbit. Elvis had come to us five years ago, third hand, as part of a deal: I’m cool with the animal, the family is cool with my new hi-fi system in the living room. In those five years, however, I became an Elvis fan. We were the only men in the household, we stuck together. I would collect dandelions and clover for him, he would leave his droppings on my lap. We then drove out to my mother-in-law’s, who had a tiny garden in the small town of Wedel. This is where we buried him. Elvis has left the building.

Elvis has left the Building

PS: Useless facts, part 32: On this occasion, I repeat the following information: The saying “Elvis has left the building” was coined by the American television presenter Horace Lee Logan. When the audience of the legendary Louisiana Hayride program just wouldn’t calm down after a performance by the young star Elvis Presley on December 15, 1956, Logan shouted: “Please, young people… Elvis has left the building. He has gotten in his car and driven away.” The saying has come to be a catchphrase to emphasize the definitive end of an event.

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