This fall the Tuna clan went to see the popular documentary March of the Penguins. Despite the rarity of seeing the word "popular" next to "documentary," we, like the rest of the free world, loved watching the little tuxedo clad wonders waddle about and swim like a torpedo through the icy waters. The baby penguins were seizure-worthy cute, and the adults possessed such humanistic qualities, I would have sworn that in reality they were marching off to rehearse the big dance number from Mary Poppins.
Tonight, as I trudged around the local book emporium, looking for anything that might be present-worthy, I realized, I'm was nothing more than a penguin. Mile after mile after mile I trudged through the store, looking for that one true match of giftage to family member. I browsed through table after table of books, stopping every once to perform the ritual: pick it up, turn it over, turn it over again, open the front cover, look it over, flip some pages, close it, turn it over again and check the back cover for the price; but more often than not, it just wasn't right. Somehow the book and I were not meant for each other, and this development left me no other choice but to continue the march. Like my arctic friends, the journey was not without peril, as another unfortunate penguin discovered. I'm not sure if she just wasn't looking and ran into me, or I wasn't in full control of my hand basket and bashed into her as I turned a corner. Whatever it was, we mutually mumbled our "sorrys" and "excuse mes" and went on our way.
Free from the monotonous trudging, TinyTuna alternated between reading on the wooden bench in the children's section and the overstuffed easy chairs near the faux fireplace. If someone threw her a fish -- albeit a bubblegum flavored fish -- she would have been in heaven. As it was, she was just as tired as we were, and as she continued to ask "how's it going?" -- codespeak for "when do we get to go?" -- all I could manage in passing was a lot of yawning. A humanistic trait, I might add, that was left OUT of the movie.
After what seemed like forever in the bookstore (and after I couldn't manage to convince cash register guy that "today is free stuff day") we trudged en masse to the car. By this time, the sharks had left the frozen tundra of the parking lot, and thankfully it was time to return to the nest.