Another Penguin

Robin PenguinSo once again a bored Mojo attempts to create meaning for her life by taking pictures of penguins and dressing them up in other bird's plumage. For the record, we don't ask why, anymore. We just smile and nod, grateful that she has decided to focus her genius on something relatively harmless, like this, instead of idly whipping up the passions of an unthinking mob for her amusement, or some other equally destructive hobby.

Even if you don't know your birds--Mojo does not understand why people don't know or care about birds, but like I said, just keep smiling and nodding--even the extreme dullards among you should get this one (well, really, ALL of them thus far. I mean, it's not like I'm quizzing you on sparrows or warblers or anything like that). Hint: it's a member of the thrush family. Hint: it has almost NOTHING AT ALL to do with its European namesake, except they both have red breasteses and they're both birds. Hint: its Latin name will make the immature among you giggle like an idiot. Hint: it makes a silly cameo in one of Mojo's favoritest movies of all time--silly because this is an AMERICAN bird and not its European namesake.

Give up? Boy, are you dense and/or completely oblivious to your surroundings and/or not American, you commie bastard you.

It's an American Robin, numbskull. Well, okay, no, technically it's an Emperor Penguin done up as an American Robin. The robins have been back here in Mojo's neck of the woods for the past two or three weeks, so let us post this in celebration of spring. They have been greeted by huge snowbanks instead of the open fields they prefer to run around in, so I have no idea what they're eating right now.I do worry some times that they come up north during a nice springy break in the weather, only to be dumped on with another foot of snow (it's been known to snow up here as late as May), but I suppose I shouldn't really worry about such things. Nature will take its course.

I will make you look up the American Robin's Latin name, but I will tell you their cameo is in the Disney film Mary Poppins, in the "Spoonful of Sugar" song:

"The robin feathering his nest
Has very little time to rest
While gathering his bits of twine and twig..."

Julie and RobinAnd of course during this song Julie Andrews had a fairly well-done mechanical robin perch on her finger, whistling a contrapuntal line to her singing. (Trivia note: Julie Andrews did the whistling for the robin. Just when you thought she couldn't be any more talented. Aren't you glad Mojo is around to tell you such things?) I've seen behind-the-scenes shots of her sitting around taking a break from the filming with the damned bird still on her finger--since once they set it up with all the mechanisms and whatnot she was stuck with it until they were done shooting--but I can't find any of them in a five-second Googling for such images. Anyway, ever since Mojo was an obnoxious wee lass every time the bird scene comes up she has to snottily mention (at least muttering quietly to herself) that the story takes place in London, and yes, they have robins in London, but they are not AMERICAN robins. They would be EUROPEAN robins, and while I have not seen one in Real Life any birder (or Wikipedia, for that matter) would tell you they are flycatchery-type birds that step in their own poo and look like this while doing so:

European Robin

But just as Disney's True Life Adventures and White Wilderness and whatnot were in fact usually NOT TRUE (the infamous lemming scene was not only STAGED, for example, but the lemmings were mechanically PUSHED OFF THE CLIFF and led a generation of children Mojo's age to believe lemmings commit mass suicide), one can hardly expect natural verisimilitude in something as fluffily enjoyable as Mary Poppins. I mean, let's face it: if I were to point out all the inaccuracies inherent in this fine, fine piece of entertainment, I'd probably start out with the fact that REAL penguins don't SING AND DANCE with Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke. Nor would I necessarily want them to wait on tables; I'm guessing with their fish diet and all they are not the most hygienic of birds.

Nor--c'mon, Mojo, let's wrap this up with a cunning loop back to the start--do they have plumage similar to American Robins. Until TODAY, that is. Anyway, if you are for some reason mildly interested in merchandise with the Penguin Robin (or Robin Penguin--I keep losing track of what I actually call it), you can click on over to Mojo's Zazzle store and shop to your heart's content. Or just watch this space for more interesting mashups of penguins with other birds. Because hell hath no fury like a Mojo bored...