The temperature inside my apartment was a glorious 65 degrees Fahrenheit when I awoke this morning. After I was able to extricate myself from a cocoon of quilts and blankies, I shut my open windows and curled up on the couch with a cup of coffee and the morning paper. It was divine, this coolness. My favorite kind of morning.
And yet, as I sat there on the sofa reading about Ebola, I heard a peculiar noise. It was almost as if…
No. It couldn’t be.
It was the sound of a running air conditioning unit. My neighbors were – are – running their air conditioning.
In the few years I’ve lived in this particular unit, I’ve noticed that there is only a very brief time – Late December to early January, perhaps? – that these neighbors do not have the AC running. Through my powers of deduction and reasoning, I’ve come to a conclusion:
They must be penguins.
You laugh, but for serious: Do you know where penguins come from? Have you ever been inside of a penguin exhibit at the zoo? It’s cold, man.
And also: I cannot tell with 100% certainty which apartment is running their air, and there are a handful of folks in this particular building I’ve not yet had the pleasure of meeting. Who knows who (or what?) is living in, say, apartment B?
Penguins. They’ve got to be fucking penguins.
Of course, other possibilities crossed my mind:
Their windows are painted shut.
They have terrible breathing difficulties and must use the AC.
They’re allergic to the outside.
They can’t figure out how to turn off the air.
They use the spare bedroom as a sauna / reptile room / greenhouse and must aggressively cool the other rooms due to the residual heat.
The apartment is otherwise kept warm by the piles of money they burn (because, seriously, their electric bill must be ASTRONOMICAL).
They like to hang meat in the living room.
The place is being used as an amateur morgue.
Of all these hypothetical scenarios, I keep coming back to my original thought: They’re motherfucking penguins. They live in a happy little ice castle one apartment below. Their furniture is carved from ice, and the place is filled with gratuitous ice-slides, because duh: penguins sliding around all over the place is THE CUTEST THING EVER. Oh, did I mention these are cute penguins? No creepy DC-villain penguins here. Also: no overwhelming fish smell a la The Penguin & Puffin Coast at the Saint Louis Zoo (day-um, Gina: that place reek). Instead, I think they like to order take-out. Maybe pizza’s their thing. The Domino’s guy shows up with their delivery, and they open the door, and he peeks in and sees this magical penguin playground. Best delivery gig ever. Only maybe they tip him in ice-money. Worse yet: maybe they have to pay in ice-money. Have you ever tried to run a Diner’s Club card carved from ice? It don’t work. But it’s okay. Because they’re penguins, man.
Side note: Do you know The Penguin’s real name? Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot. Can you think of a more perfect name? Nope, me neither.