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 thoughts on “Penguin

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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 cliché’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.

  4. 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.

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