In which I come across a bewildered or traumatised penguin

imgp3244So we rolled on back into town in time for the nine o-clock news and after all of that it was not as though the town was waiting breathless for news of our safe return, in fact I had begun to suspect that we could have perished on the mountain and it wouldn’t have made the six-o’clock news next morning or even the seven-ten mini news update brought to you by Demerol, which is entertainment news mostly, and which yesterday spent six minutes interviewing college football players about a muck-up day incident with a greased pig. HILARITY as you can be assured INSUED.

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In the clear Texas morning light I was feeling a little more kindly disposed toward the man who had driven us off the mountain and so allowed him to shout me a craptastic Texas diner breakfast with the coins we had scavenged like cheap-skate carrion birds from between the rocks while awaiting our doom. I mean could there be anything more awful than the sight of a waffle crisped into the shape of the State of your nightmares and the implications which come with being served a child-sized tub of light yoghurt alongside a pre-packaged apparently Swiss bagel, and filtered coffee with a peel-back lid.70sFashion1

Outside there was a family of umpteen children like babushkas in evidently hand-me-down clothes (and even the parents seemed to be dressed in versions of the same thing: checked shirts, shorts, brown sandals and fanny packs) toddling around with bewildered expressions directly related to the ice-creams which they had been gifted. It was an overcast day and a weird town in which nobody really ever expects to enjoy themselves; even the penguin on the side of the ice-cream shack looked bewildered if not traumatised by his ice-cream, as if wondering how the fuck it (looking like the bloodied sawn-off horn of a unicorn) was supposed to make up for the millions of square miles of melting ice bergs  now drip drip drip dripping like an air-conditioner and forming a warm dirty pool at his feet, and what the fuck an Arctic animal was doing at all deep in the heart of Texas.

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