I once spent an entire day dri­ving a pen­guin around New York City. I didn’t exact­ly ask to do this but I’ve been paid to do stranger things. My boss was a six foot four inch Samoan with a chipped incisor and per­ma­nent­ly affixed antique avi­a­tor glass­es. I was only allowed to call him Mr. McFitz. I knew that wasn’t his real name but he didn’t pay me to ask ques­tions. What he paid me for was pre­cise and accu­rate deliv­ery of what­ev­er was in the box­es that I loaded onto my rental truck.

One day after I had the truck pret­ty much full, McFitz [as I called him to myself] brought me my deliv­ery route. He had this pen­guin behind him too. It was a strange pen­guin, didn’t real­ly look like it was in a tuxe­do, didn’t look par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in any­thing either. It shat on the floor as I watched. McFitz said to me:

Take my pen­guin with you today. Give it what­ev­er it wants.

Sure thing, Mr. McFitz.

I replied. I picked up the pen­guin, which smelled like fish for some rea­son, and buck­led him in the pas­sen­ger seat.

My first stop was the City Crick­et­stock­er. The pen­guin didn’t do much on the way there, just looked at me out of its lit­tle eyes and shat again, this time on the seat. I thought it might be a lit­tle warm for the crit­ter, even though it was win­ter, so I turned rolled down the win­dows and turned on the air con­di­tion­ing. I got some paper tow­el from the guys at the Knick to clean up the pen­guin shit in my truck. When I came back out, the pen­guin has some­how man­aged to unbuck­le itself and was wad­dling around on the floor near the gearshift. It had also shat again, this time on my deliv­ery note­book. I could tell this wasn’t going to be the best of days.

I hopped back into the truck, picked up the pen­guin and was prompt­ly bit­ten. I fig­ured it must be time for the pen­guin to eat so I got back out of the truck and went into a bode­ga for a tin of sar­dines or some anchovies or even lox if the place was kosher. I end­ed up get­ting all three, but by now I was way behind sched­ule. I was going to have to pick up my pace. Damn pen­guin. I opened the can of sar­dines and chucked it over to where the pen­guin was sup­posed to be. I said ‘sup­posed to be’ because the pen­guin wasn’t there. Shit. No, real­ly, there was just a larg­er pile of pen­guin shit in the pas­sen­ger seat. The pen­guin was sit­ting on the dash­board right behind the steer­ing wheel and was star­ing at me.

I picked it up again, got pecked again, plopped it uncer­e­mo­ni­ous­ly in its own pen­guin poo and took off for a place that spe­cial­ized in jerked chick­en and black mar­ket golf equip­ment. The pen­guin ate its sar­dines, quite sul­len­ly I might add, and behaved itself.

When I came out of Ludwig’s Hole-In-One Jamaican Food, a short and fat and old His­pan­ic lady was peer­ing intent­ly at my pen­guin. For the record, I’d like to say that the pen­guin was peer­ing just as intent­ly at the old woman.

How much for el pol­lo?

Appar­ent­ly she thought the pen­guin was for sale and thought it was some sort of chick­en. The truck gave a lurch and rolled over the woman. I looked in the driver’s side win­dow and saw that the pen­guin had released the hand brake. It was now firm­ly posi­tioned behind the steer­ing wheel and it gave me a look that said ‘Get in the pas­sen­ger side or get lost.’ I clam­bered in on the pas­sen­ger side, got pen­guin shit on my hand and was forced to sit in the poo that I had put my cap­tor in not long before. I noticed that it had the imprints of two webbed feet right before I squished down on it.

The pen­guin took off, going the wrong way down The Avenue of the Amer­i­c­as, bar­rel­ing toward Chi­na­town. We knocked over every­thing in our way. I still don’t know how many peo­ple we ran down, how many street ven­dors will vend no more. It was ter­ri­ble. When we got to Canal Street I lost con­scious­ness.

Two min­utes lat­er my alarm went off.

6 Replies

  • yes mea­gan i agree with all you said, but i got tired of writ­ing it and i actu­al­ly had to do some work, that is why it peters out.

    i was fish­ing for a lin­ux crack from you jmay. hehe.

  • yea the fun­ny thing is that I can’t make the switch over to lin­ux yet…mostly because I’m lazy and I know how fix a fucked up win­dows machine…wouldn’t have a clue how to deal with some of the shit that lin­ux throws at you.…yet, I’m pick­ing up some web stuff though so I’m going to make the switch soon.…
    sil­ly pen­guin…
    doo­by doo­by dooo…

  • Good begin­ning but the cli­max lacks a lit­tle some­thing. After “Get in the pas­sen­ger side or get lost” the pace real­ly needs to quick­en a bit. And the end­ing is a bit dis­s­a­point­ing, “it was all a dream” is so cliche’d. Don’t try giv­ing me any of that, “no real­ly this is what I dreamed last night” crap either. I know this is all just a com­ment on my sor­did past, but I’ll take the high road, I won’t sent my past lovers for you. This time.

  • I am such a geek that I laughed at that joke. Where I used to work we had these lit­tle (BSD?) stuffed pen­guins all over the office.

Comments are closed.