April 19, 2013

Horse 1468 - Possible Penguin Plague of Prodigious Proportions


In Horse 1356, in a piece about Bag Sitters and mentioned in passing, Platform Penguins. I feel though, that I neglected to properly mention of classify what Platform Penguins actually are. This then, is an attempt to rectify that horrible oversight and to document a few sorts of Penguins out in the wild.

Exhibit 1 - The Platform Penguin (the original)

Penguins in the wild are noted for their distinct black and white plumage and because they tend to huddle around in groups. The Platform Penguin is specially adapted to huddle around open doors of train carriages and buses, even when they have no intention of getting on them. Platform Penguins are at their most annoying when you've made a dash like a mad thing, as fleet of foot as Mercury, only to find three or four penguins huddling around an open door - at worst, the doors will close unforgivingly and you'll be left stranded, whilst your hopes and dreams steal out of the station on the departing train.
I have noted recently, that a good many Platform Penguins have suddenly sprouted iDevices and now stand around like the Statue Of Liberty except without the arm raised. The sounds of bombs bursting in air is out of place but the electric sound of "nyuk-nyuk-nyuk-nyuk-nyuk" would be perfectly reasonable.

Exhibit 2 - The Inside Door Penguin (the upgrade)

There is an interesting development in the world of Penguins. Not content with impeding people's progress to board a train, they've also taken to impeding people's progress when alighting from a train as well.  This particular breed has been spotted in the wild with all sorts of different plumage; so is more characterised by its behaviour than how it appears.
Standing perennially on guard at the door, they wait silently as if some mass apocalyptic event is about to occur. Not even the opening or closing of train doors is enough to upset them from their task. They may be facing either forwards or backwards relative to the direction of travel but they will not move under any other circumstance save for arriving at their own diabolic destination.
Often a crowd of dismayed travelers will form behind this breed of Door Penguin, for the poor unsuspecting saps mistake them for a regular Commuter. They very quickly find out though that getting around a Door Penguin is almost an exercise in futility, for not a small number of them will miss their stop and end up travelling on, on, and ever on.

Exhibit 3 - The Mechanical Penguin

From the outside this looks like any other bus but rest assured it is yet another penguin.
These buses which are controlled by penguin forces, will stand aimlessly in Clarence St and blocking traffic. By virtue of them being buses, they are free to stay in the bus lane. However, they will stand about going nowhere, up to seven at a time; thus rendering the very point of a bus lane useless.
Government buses, of which there are many in peak hour, are forced to deviate around this sulphurious saffron huddle and in turn block regular traffic. Of course this has a knock on effect and pretty soon, just the presence of one or two Mechanical Penguins will result in total and gridlock. By 2113 it is expected that simply because of  Mechanical Penguins and the ensuing gridlock, people will be born, live their entire lives in the jam and die, without even moving four city blocks.

Parking a car in a bus lane is bad form; parking a bus in a bus lane is annoying; parking seven in a row is downright penguinacious.

Exhibit 4 - The Stair Penguin

This fine specimen on the 06:50am train to Berowra (carriage 3887) was so well insulated from the world via a hoodie and iDevice, that it (I never did find out what was under there) successfully blocked one elderly gentleman from getting off the train at Westmead, impeded one person alighting at Parramatta and grunted when tapped on the shoulder by a third irate traveler at Granville.
Stair Penguins are rare at this time of the morning, preferring the fug of the weary afternoon and evening. In a few notable cases, Stair Penguins are hybrids with the Longneck Shrieker, issuing forth the aroma of stale fermented vegetable products and outbursts of an as yet indecipherable nature.
This Stair Penguin was consoling itself with what sounded like the electric rythyms of enmeshed banshee chainsaws; for what purposes, I know not though.


There are Penguins out there and you do not have to work hard to find them. For conservationists they have the IUCN status of Least Concern and are quite abundant. Attempts have been made in the past to domesticate them but thus far, all have failed. Unless attempts at proper management are made, they are likely to reach plague proportions in the not too distant future.

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