I like elephants. A friend of mine was very excited therefore to tell me an elephant joke this morning. Problem is I don't get it, and she didn't hang around long enough to explain it to me. What is the language gag here? Here's the joke (I think):

A friend of mine gave me an elephant for my room the other day. "Wow", I said, "An elephant. Gee, thanks very much." "Oh, don't mention it".

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    The elephant in the room is the obvious problem/issue nobody wants to mention (don't mention it). The play is on the "don't mention it" part of the joke.
    – user66974
    Apr 21 '17 at 13:46
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    It's a play on the idiom "an elephant in the room," which is an important topic or issue that people are keen to ignore. The advice to "Don't mention the elephant in the room" will mean something like, "Don't mention the obvious thing that everyone knows is problem, because we're all trying to ignore the fact that it's a problem... and we don't want you to bring up the fact that we're ignoring it." This joke is funny(?) because the friend gives you an elephant and then says "don't mention it," in the sense of "No problem for the gift" but also in the sense of the literal elephant in the room.
    – MDHunter
    Apr 21 '17 at 13:48
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    @MDHunter Is your comment an answer in disguise? Apr 21 '17 at 14:06
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    "A traveler passing through Yuma / Told an elephant joke to a puma. / Now his bleached bones lie / 'Neath the cold Western sky / For the puma had no sense of huma."
    – MT_Head
    Apr 21 '17 at 20:23

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