The Eighth Page

The Memoirs of an Angry Emperor Penguin

The Emperor Penguin is the only penguin species that breeds during the Antarctic winter. The female lays a single egg, which is then transferred to a unique pouch in the male’s belly and incubated by the male while the female returns to the sea to feed. With his baby mama missing, the male penguins form gigantic, tight-knit clusters of penguinhood to block wind and maintain body temperatures amidst the Antarctic winter. The temperatures vary from 0 °F to below –100 °F. These are the thoughts of one such male Emperor Penguin through the difficult, solitary months of incubation. It’s the first day since Annie left. God, she was a beauty! She had the waddle of a runway model, with majestically useless wings. Mmmmm…. Anyway, I sent her off to get some food and now I’ll have to keep my baby warm in my belly for two horrible, freezing months. At least there are 2000 other dudes here to tough it out with me. Actually, it’s kind of a sausage fest. Two Weeks Later: Holy human, this is getting old. Do I have that sandwich I sent her for? No! It’s so cold I could rip my own beak off. Annie’s abandoned me and I have to raise our baby alone! She’s not even paying child support. She’s probably out there mating with every Dick and John she sees up there on the coast. Pshhh, the Antarctic Coast. Like that’s so nice. One Week Later: All alone… All alone… All alone… And so cold. Why would she do this to me? I was a caring mate, what did I do to deserve this? Five Minutes Later: Also, what is that human doing here with that camera? What is he, just filming us? Can’t you see we’re freezing here? This isn’t just a day on the beach, you douche. I literally cannot move or I will freeze to death. And will somebody please tell me why that penguin keeps dancing? Two Weeks Later: Me and my neighbor, Frank, have finally hit it off. Turns out his mate left him here too. I guess it’s just females in general that suck. Well, I’m starting to get over her. Too bad she’ll probably reappear here in a couple weeks trying to be a “good mother” and to “help me raise the child” or some other horsepoo reasoning. I hope she never comes back. Three Weeks Later: Yup. She’s back. Greaaaatttttttt. And she just wants to take the egg from me. The little runt’s been living in my belly for two months and she just all of a sudden shows up and expects to get him back. Like I’m going to let that happen. Twenty Minutes Later: Well, she stole my damn baby! – Jesse Bielasiak