Hideous Penguin Diorama!

...plus make exciting penguin-shaped ICE CUBES!


Given the popularity of March of the Penguins, let's begin this description with a rhetorical question: Who doesn't like penguins? Apparently there is at least one person out there who can't stand them, judging by what they have done to this poor innocent penguin who never hurt anyone.

As we all know, a recurring theme of the Craptacular is yet another rhetorical question: What were they THINKING? Mojo likes to ask rhetorical questions for two reasons. The first is, she likes to use the word "rhetorical" because she thinks using big words makes her look smarter than she actually is. But also she is particularly fond of rhetorical questions because she likes to hear herself talk, and should she open the floor to others by asking them a question that actually required an answer it might cut into HER valuable talking time.

Rest assured, then, when Mojo asks a rhetorical question she does not want you to answer. Far from it. In fact, she will find your answer tiresome to sit through, no matter how scintillating you think you are. Short attention span, you see. Mojo is well bred and polite, so she will look at you and nod thoughtfully and say things like "Yes, I see" at regular intervals and try not to fidget. But she is really playing music in her head until you are done talking. Probably Ella Fitzgerald. Mojo likes Ella. Very much.

Mojo likes penguins, too. Not as much as Ella, mind you, but while she was not overly fond of the anthropomorphism of the penguin movie she likes penguins and does not wish them harm. Mojo is so chock full of boundless love for all of God's creatures (so long as they don't draw blood from her) she even feels bad for THIS penguin, even though it is an inanimate object and either plastic or plaster or ceramic, to boot. Which is why her second rhetorical question--what was this person THINKING?--is all the more heart-wrenching.

Let's see, here. I'm thinking this was meant to be some sort of holiday display that has gone tragically wrong. Maybe someone was taking a class at the Y entitled "Kicky Fun Holiday Penguin Decoration!" and ended up failing the class. Hey, it could happen. And while I rather doubt classes at the Y would end up on a person's permanent record, certainly this travesty is worth at least one after-Y detention, or perhaps public service at the zoo feeding stinky fish to the penguins and cleaning up the resultant fish-stinky poo. Because this is a crime, people. This is a crime.

Let's see if I can use my layman's forensic science to reconstruct what happened. The victim, a three- or four-inch tall plastic or plaster or unglazed ceramic penguin (if you think for a second I'm going to open this baby and deal with the miasma of possibly exotic germs and/or mold spores just to see what the stupid penguin is made of you've got another think coming), was cruelly left to slowly smother to death in a mason jar full of what appear to be soap flakes. Or maybe shredded moth balls? Further tests will be needed. There is a plastic or wire pine branch, either to keep him company or to further his torture by stabbing him with sharp needles as he flailed about gasping for air. The mason jar was then sealed with a length of what appears to be raffia, either to further doom our plastic friend and/or to attempt a decorative bow on the outside. I don't know. The raffia looks like it has been chewed nonstop by at least three generations of cats, who seem to like chewing on such things. My cat Ratty is currently too busy bringing live chipmunks into the house to bother with it right now (don't worry; he doesn't hurt them, he just lets them go so he can enjoy watching the humans embark on the Merry Chase that ensues), but my guess is as this season's crop of chippers gets progressively smarter he will eventually resort to easier prey, like this "bow".

Granted, I'm no Martha Stewart, but in my estimation this is Not a Good Thing. This is a very bad, needlessly cruel NIGHTMARE. This poor penguin's last dying breath, lying helplessly comatose in the fake snow--probably breathing soap flakes and/or shredded moth balls into his poor tortured lungs--the poor penguin's dying breath is now forever preserved in a cloudy mason jar. All it lacks is a pint or so of formaldehyde and one of those weird machines giving off static electricity sparks and your mad scientist lab is complete.

But hey--maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this is just the very last item you need to tie your entire living room decor together. Maybe right now some excited woman is calling her husband at work and screaming "RALPH! RALPH! I've FOUND it!" into the phone. If indeed this is the case, Mojo is pleased as punch to so totally make your day. And no, there's no need to invite me over your house, nice lady; really, I'd rather not know where you live.

In a vague attempt to not make this as horrible as it sounds, and to continue with the penguin theme, and in a feeble effort to unload more useless stuff on you, gentle eBayer, I will include in this auction something I found in the basement which APPEARS to be a tray that makes penguin-shaped ice cubes. How pointless is that? (Wait--pointless? No, wait, let me look in my book of sure-fire selling adjectives and find something better.....um...... Let's see... it's sort of a soft purple rubbery stuff... makes twelve cubes at a time... um... "exciting"? No. "Life-changing"? No. How about "breath-taking"? Well, if you ingest one of the ice cubes and accidentally choke on it I suppose they can be "breath-taking", so I'll go with "breath-taking".)

As usual, the sheer horror of this penguin torture diorama is tempered by the pleasing colors and shapes of its very own Certificate of Craptacularity. Perhaps you should wrap the certificate around the glass so you do not have to always look into the sad, accusing dead eyes of this poor penguin. But that, of course, is entirely up to you. For this is a Free Country, where it is not a crime (not yet, at least) for plastic/plaster/ceramic penguin torturers to pursue their sadistic, ugly hobby, no matter how horrified I might personally be from the results. So bid away, you odd freaks you, and remember, Mojo's opinion of you shouldn't matter a whit so long as you are personally happy with your bizarre hobby.



I just got an email from my Favorite Mother who tells me SHE is the culprit who made this, apparently for my Favorite Older Sister. She is in the process now of launching an internal investigation into how I got *my* grubby paws on it. My lawyer advises me to plead the fifth. I am inclined to do so, but I am open to squealing and/or remaining silent if the price is right.