A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Penguin Patrol

Every other Wednesday, Anne Marie and I dine out with her knitting group. My wife has led this group for three years, and it is made up entirely of women. It is open to anyone interested in the yarn arts, but it so happens that no male knitters have joined the group yet. I initially went along with her to lend financial support (by buying dinner for the two of us), but somewhere along the way the membership took me into their hearts and appointed me the group mascot.

Usually I sit quietly by myself and absorb the various conversations going on around me. Sometimes the ladies talk about yarn and knitting patterns, but often the talk turns to politics, world events, or whatever else is going in our lives. At the most recent meeting, I got drawn into a fascinating conversation about Antarctica, of all places.

It seems that a sister of one of the members, Eliza*, has an opportunity to travel to Antarctica just after Christmas. The trip is a leadership seminar (or at least that’s what the brochure said), but the more I heard about it the more I was convinced that it will be a stripped down camping trip for the heartiest of survivalists. I have heard about Eliza’s sister and her exploits before, and I have no doubt that she will survive the trip quite nicely. She has an adventurous spirit and could actually be Wonder Woman in disguise.

Eliza explained that Antarctica would be in its summer season at this time of year. That sounds nice until you consider that this means the temperature rises to a balmy -30 degrees Fahrenheit, as opposed to the coolish -100 degrees from the winter months. Regardless of the season, I know that it’s still too cold to keep the outdoor pools open.

At some point, the discussion veered away from Wonder Woman’s training for this one week trip to more basic topics like what she will need to do with human waste. Apparently, each person is responsible for gathering up their own crap and disposing of it properly. Yes, folks, you read it here first: Antarctica has its own curbing regulations.

This realization led to speculation as to who enforces these regulations. After a few more minutes of discussion, we concluded that there is only one species up to the job: the penguin. They’re perfect for the job!

Aside from having evolved to a point where they can survive this harsh environment, they have nothing but time on their hands, or rather wings. After all what else do penguins do except fish for food, sleep, make little penguins, and wait to be discovered by either French film documentarians, a producer from Pixar, and/or Berkeley Breathed. I surmise that these tuxedoed fowl are tired of waiting for stardom opportunities — Breathed himself recently retired Opus — and are now watching for and ratting out any tourists who dare to foul their environment.

I wish Eliza’s sister all the luck with her trip. It truly does sound quite exciting, and it will be an experience she’ll cherish for the rest of her life. I just hope she doesn’t run afowl (forgive me, I couldn’t resist) of the local aviarian authorities.

Finally on a more personal note: we miss you, Opus!

*name changed because I felt like it!


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