Thursday, July 7, 2016

La Penquina

La Penguina

The story actually begins several years ago. To be perfectly clear, it began when a fellow Public Defender in Bakersfield bought me an Opus t-shirt. I loved Opus (and Bloom County) But my love for the absurd turned absurdly into a fascination with penguins (as opposed to Puffins).

I began collecting penguins. Statutes and the like. Not real live penguins (or even dead ones) just representations of penguins. Artistic, whimsical, weird, whatever.

Hand sculpted by an artist in Monterey

Part of the collection
 Anyway, I was a bit nuts about collection. I even have socks (several pair) with penguins on them.

That led to the gestation and birth of La Penguina.
She was born the year that Vocal Arts was going to tour Argentina and Uruguay. I had signed up for the trip and paid a goodly portion of the costs.

But work raised its ugly head. I got some big cases that were not going to let me take two weeks off to fly to South America and sing. I was pissed. Then I resigned my self to living the trip through photographs and other people's stories.

And penguins have what to do with this? You asked so I will tell you.

I have a kid who is rather inventive when it comes to such situations. She bought several plastic penguins and gave them to various members of the touring group. (Yes, she was going) The instructions were that La Penguina (the collective name for all of the penguins) was to accompany the member wherever they went and provide pictures to prove that she was there. La Penguina was me in abstentia.

It was a really cool idea and I loved that people would do such a thing. But then there was a hiccough.

Just a little glitch.

Argentina was in a bit of a political crisis. It seems that the President of Argentina and  the ranchers and farmers in the country were have a bit of a disagreement. Strikes were being called for and things were a bit tense. The ranchers and company had given the President a rude name. In Argentina the name was------ wait for it!

La Penguina!

The tour group was told that it was not a good idea to be seen taking photographs with a penguin in the group. It might cause trouble. It would be considered a political statement.

Me? Cause trouble? Even when I am absent!

So La Penquina was put into purses and bags and carried everywhere anyway. Just fewer pictures.

And why this long missive about La Penguina.

I usually have a reason to include these stories in my writing. And I do!

This week (in fact, yesterday) The Kid and her Spouse headed off for a bit of a vacation and the Kid knew I would love where they are going. So she packed La Penguina....

Safely packed for the flight
And every picture she has sent me from the British Virgin Islands has La Penguina.

Ah, the British Virgin Islands

I am really enjoying this one!!!

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