The Eighth Page

Tobagganing on Penguins

Let me tell you the story of why I am no longer allowed at the zoo. Last week, my friend Walter and I picked a fight with an Eskimo. Let me clarify: Walter is a penguin, and by friend I meant lunch. So anyways, we went to Alaska. First, however, I had to free Walter from the prison in which he was confined. And by prison, I meant zoo. So after watching Madagascar again, I decided that the best way to save my flippered friend would be for him to fly out of his cage. You might be thinking, “Hey, nice idea Dave.” Well you also might be an idiot, because penguins can’t fly. However, thanks to the Canada Dry commercial, I knew that penguins make excellent toboggans. Unfortunately, as I discovered 6 hours and 4 penguins later, you can’t toboggan on dry ground. So instead, I just decided to teach him how to fly. So I put on my snowshoes and went to the library, where I checked out books for Walter, including Amelia Earhart’s Guide To Flying the South Pacific, The Hindenburg: Hydrogen, Your Best Friend, and George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends. That last one has little to do with flying, but I felt that, given the overall gravity of the situation, a coming-of-age story about the internal struggles faced by two large hippopotami was entirely appropriate. Unfortunately, our plane exploded due to a hydrogen gas leak over the South Pacific while Walter and I were watching the in-flight George and Martha videography. I love VH1. However, by sheer chance we managed to land on top of the Soul Plane, and Snoop Dogg immediately let us inside to join the fun. But Walter took the left side, not the Crip side, and needless to say, Snoop threw a hissy fit. “You got me straight trippin’, boo” said Snoop. “Squawk,” said Walter. Then Snoop filled Walter with lead and I poured myself a drink. Ah Canada Dry. And the worst part, I think, is that Walter won’t even make it to the Promised Land. Because penguins do not have souls. Of course, now it was my sad duty to return Walter’s body to the zoo. Needless to say, Snoop threw a hissy fit. Again. He insisted that Walter’s dead lifeless corpse would make the perfect wife. Women… Just kidding. Actually, he wanted to wear Walter as a hat. Now I’m sure you’re probably aware of the fact that zookeepers tend to flip out when you return to them the betrothed corpse of a former inmate (read: caged animal). He had a funny way of thanking me for liberating an enslaved creature (Walter). He suggested that I spend the next year living with the lemmings. Long story short they all jumped off a cliff and died. They were quite ferocious, in a tenacious sort of way. Which is why they no longer allow me at the zoo. And now, having completely ruined the flow of this article, I would like to apologize to you, the reader. It is entirely my fault that you have to put up with this drek, drivel, and general shmuzzle. And furthermore, shmuzzle isn’t even Yiddish. It’s actually just a word that I made up because I thought it sounded interesting at the time. Alas, I was wrong. So let me promise you that I’ll make it up to you next time, if you can ever forgive me. My next article will undoubtedly be stellar. Hurray.