27 Things to Do When Being Stared at by a Random Penguin

When you're smiling, it's creepy. Because you're knitted.

When you’re smiling, it’s creepy. Because you’re knitted.

We’ve all been there. It’s early on a Thursday morning, and you’re typing an email to a friend about how the hell to do something on Goodreads. Or perhaps you’re contacting an artist, about some art. Because that’s where art comes from.

Then you look up, and see this chap, looking back at you:

Cute? Or creepy?

Lurking in the Dark: cute? creepy? both?

You put on the light, and write the following.

27 Things to Consider When Being Stared at By a Knitted Penguin

  1. Ask if it wants a cup of tea – preferably not yours.
  2. Discover that it’s not a vicar.
  3. Try not to mention cake. As a) there isn’t any, and b) if there were, you’re not giving it to just any penguin who happens to pop round.
  4. Consider asking it if it was brought up in a barn. On account of the staring.
  5. Or a sewing basket.
  6. Remember that you weren’t brought up in a barn, and that both 4) and 5) are rude.
  7. Show it the Guardian website, as perhaps it just wanted to catch up on the latest news.

    "All penguins read the Guardian" is a sweeping generalisation.

    “All penguins read the Guardian” is a sweeping generalisation.

  8. Try and sell it a copy of your book.
  9. Suggest that if it wants cake (see 3 above), it pop to the shop at the far corner, as it opens around fiveish.
  10. If it prefers, there’s a tin of tuna in the bottom cupboard, next to the cat biscuits.
  11. Or maybe it would prefer cat biscuits.
  12. Forget about 10) and 11) above, as it would probably annoy the cat.
  13. Ask if it’s going on holidays: this works for hairdressers, after all.
  14. Remember that you haven’t been on holiday for some years, and perhaps the penguin hasn’t either, and your parents did raise you to be polite (see 6).
  15. Ask if it would like to see your collection of toast racks.

    Is three toast racks a collection? Or an obsession?

    Is three toast racks a collection? Or an obsession?

  16. Offer it a cuppa again after having shown it your toast racks, and discovering that the penguin does fancy some tea, after all.
  17. Share a laugh when the penguin mentions “Talkie Toaster” from “Red Dwarf”.
  18. Have a good old chat about “Black Books“, and discover that, whilst knitted, this penguin isn’t really a bad sort.
  19. Inadvertently let it slip that whilst you own a DVD of “March of the Penguins”, you have not yet played it.
  20. Watch the penguin ruffle its feathers in a fit of temper. Which is weird, given that it’s knitted.
  21. Attempt to divert the conversation by asking if it has read “The Penguin & the S-Reg Volvo“.
  22. Pour it another cuppa, to drink whilst it reads.

    Oi, penguin! That's my mug!

    Oi, penguin! That’s my mug!

  23. Discover that, like many knitted creatures, it only reads at 2nd grade level.
  24. Offer to read the story to the penguin.
  25. Do so tactfully. After all, it’s knitted. It may turn your socks against you.
  26. Remember that, between you, your husband and you own lots of socks.
  27. Find out, too late, that it’s invited a friend round for breakfast.
Even knitted penguins need friends.

Even knitted penguins need friends.

If you enjoyed these random observations, please come to “A Beer & Yer Ear” at Doncaster Brewery Tap, 7 Young Street, Doncaster on Thursday 26th November, at 7:30 pm to listen to author friends & myself read from our books. We’ll also be selling books (fancy that…)

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About Sheila North

I am an author and ex-journalist, who has written novels, short stories, and poems. I also help facilitate a writers' group. Check me out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sheila-North/
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8 Responses to 27 Things to Do When Being Stared at by a Random Penguin

  1. I know I’m off topic, but did I see a “Love to eat dem little mousies” card in the background of your first picture? I’m easily distracted…

    • Sheila North says:

      Sort of! It’s actually a “Love to eat dem mousies” note holder: the picture is pasted to a sort of red wooden back, with a clothes peg which acts as both stand, and note holder.

      I’ve had it since the 70s. Are you a Kliban fan?

      • I didn’t know the name of the author, but I first saw that taped to the door in my dormitory when I was in college. That’s been around since the 1970’s, so I’m betraying my age. I’m definitely a fan of that particular cartoon.

  2. Nimue Brown says:

    read it ‘Lost and Found’ 🙂

  3. Sheila North says:

    Cheers! As a fan of both penguins and stories, I need to check this out.

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