42nd Street Penguins

Penguins Hate Newt Gingrich

I was delighted to read this week that Newt Gingrich was bitten by a penguin.

As regular readers will recall, it recently became clear that the tiny penguins who have invaded our apartment were trying to build something. They appeared to have laid a foundation, and signage suggested that our kitchen window sill is, to them, the “future site of Penguin Town Hall.” But it’s become difficult to monitor their progress, because now they’ve put up those blue walls around the construction site. There are view-holes cut in the walls, but so far, not much to see inside. As often seems to be the case, the crew is more interested in ogling pretty passersby than in construction.

The penguins are apparently making some money by selling advertising space. They’ve put “Post No Bills” notices on the blue walls, but there’s still a fair number of wild postings, pitching Penguin Coffee, PTV, and something called Penguins on Ice. And so we learn a bit more about this strange little society: Apparently these tiny penguins have, somewhere in this area, a coffee brand, a television network, and an ice show. I suppose as long as they don’t kill us…

When we last left off, it had become clear that the penguins were building something. Today, as these latest photographs indicate, they have completed what is apparently the foundation of a planned structure.

If you’ve wandered in recently: Not long ago, we awoke to discover that our apartment had been invaded by tiny penguins. Soon they were everywhere — in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the office. Their numbers dramatically increased, and we really began to worry.

Amanda spotted one penguin running around with a butter knife — obviously a very bad sign. When we followed the advice of friends and brought in a polar bear, the penguins slaughtered the polar bear, in one of the most gruesome scenes we have ever witnessed.

The terror continues…

Well, folks, the penguin situation has only grown scarier in the new year. A few days ago, we were alarmed to notice very small tools lying around the apartment. Then, we were startled to observe that several of the penguins now seemed to be wearing hard hats — never a good sign. And this morning, a glance at our window sill tells us that these penguins are planning something big. What’s going on here?

Submitted by Amanda Sisk:
This is getting very scary. I caught this on my phone. It’s clearly a penguin running across the kitchen floor with a butter knife. I think they’re gearing up for something.

Submitted by Amanda Sisk:

This is getting very scary. I caught this on my phone. It’s clearly a penguin running across the kitchen floor with a butter knife. I think they’re gearing up for something.

Polar Bears Are Not the Answer

Since the day Sisk and I realized we were the victims of a penguin home invasion, we’ve been asking friends and family if they have any advice for us. Their suggestions, I regret to say, have tended toward the cruel and unusual. While we are eager to reassert dominion over our household, we’re seeking a humane solution.

More than one person close to us suggested that tiny penguins might be the natural prey of tiny polar bears. We dismissed this repeatedly — first, because exposing the penguins to a predator would not be a humane solution; and second, because penguins and polar bears don’t cohabit. Polar bears live on the west side. But after the penguins began multiplying to ridiculous numbers, we decided that perhaps a closely-monitored polar bear could simply frighten them away. If it looked like the polar bear was going to hurt the penguins, we could always intervene.

On Saturday afternoon, we walked through the park to the west side. We stood on the corner of 96th and Columbus, and soon enough, along came a tiny polar bear.

"We have a house full of tiny penguins," said Sisk. She showed him some of the photographs.

"Yeah," said the polar bear. "You do have a house full of tiny penguins. What’s it got to do with me?"

"We want you to lumber around on the counters and windowsills," I said. "You know, to scare them off, without actually harming them."

"But can I eat them?"

"No. That — would — harm — them,” said Sisk, slowly and carefully, to make sure the polar bear was really getting it.

A gentle smile broke across his face. “Oh! You just want me to scare them, and that’s all.”

"Right! That’s it exactly!" we said, and soon we were all chuckling merrily, relieved to be in agreement. A sense of relief set in, and for the first time in weeks, we felt that there might be an end to the invasion.

"That’s all," the polar bear repeated, with reassuring confidence. "Just scare them and eat them."

In the taxicab on the way to our apartment, we kept reminding the polar bear that the idea was to avoid any contact at all with the penguins. “Just let them see you, and maybe roar a little. Can you roar?”

"Yeah, I roar," said the polar bear, and with that, he took two steps backward, threw back his tiny head, and emitted a ferocious bellow that caused the cab driver to turn around and say, "Gesundheit."

We were barely inside our apartment when we heard the sound again, spun around, and beheld the ghastly scene captured in the accompanying photographs. I am speechless. I am stunned. I cannot imagine how the penguins managed to do this to that polar bear, let alone how they managed to do it so quickly.

Up until this moment, we’d assumed that we were dealing with benign, if overbearing, creatures. It is now clear that we were wrong. We are dealing with cold, vicious little beasts, capable of overwhelming force, and with a sweet tooth for gruesome violence. We are scared. Very scared.

And that poor fellow from the west side — what did he ever do to deserve this? Why should a polar bear meet an end so grisly? I am somewhat comforted by the certainty that if the penguins hadn’t slaughtered the polar bear, he would have eaten them, but clearly he never had a chance.

Any more ideas?

This really is a lot of penguins for a small apartment.

This is too many penguins.