my dear reader, comes to mind when I mention the
word 'penguin'? A small flightless arctic
seabird, obviously. And if you happen to hail
from my homeland you may also attribute the name
to a brand of rectangular chocolate biscuit. Of
course, I'm not sure if its sold internationally
but my contacts in the US and Australia assure me
they've never heard of them. Philistines.
Now the biscuits are nothing special but for one
factor - each is individually wrapped and it is
upon these wrappers that we are treated to some
of the worst jokes in the entire history of
creation. But I ask - are these jokes trying to
tell us something? Is some hidden message buried
in the plastic clothing of this chocolaty
lunchtime treat? Let us examine them, my friends,
Q. 'What do you call a fish on a frozen
One would think that jokes on the wrappers of
biscuits named after a certain aforementioned
gregarious ornithological study would at least be
on the subject of said study. Obviously what was
going through the writer's head was this - Fish +
Ice = Penguin. Penguins eat one and sit on the
other. Which is fair enough. But getting back to
the joke. The witty answer to this one would be
'Dead' but if the joke was in any way witty it
wouldn't be on a chocolate wrapper, would it?
A. 'An ice-skate'
Of course what we are asked to ignore in this
hypothetical situation is precisely how this fish
got on the surface of a frozen lake in the first
place. Perhaps it was left there by some clumsy
penguin mother who stumbled on the ice and spilt
some of her shopping. Or perhaps it was one of
those leaping fish that leapt out of the water
just before the surface froze over, but if it did
we're talking one bloody high jump. We're talking
'hazard to low-flying aircraft' jump. Do you get
skates in the arctic, anyway?
Q. 'What's brown, has a hump, and lives
in the arctic?'
... I'd've thought most things had a hump at some
point if they were interested at all in
continuing their species. But what indigenous
life-form of the frozen wastes is the diseased
brain of the penguin joke man thinking of? None
that I can think of. Not a lot of brown in the
arctic. White is currently very big over there,
with the occasional patch of yellow where the
penguins couldn't hold it in. So let's all
release the agony of anticipation.
A. 'A very lost camel.'
Oh, I SEE! THAT sort of hump! I apologise
profusely to everyone concerned, I'm a sick sick
pervert and my wrists need a good slapping. I
thought it was a bit odd that they'd be talking
about shagging on the back of something children
might read. Now then, camels. A camel would
indeed have to be very lost to find his way to
the arctic, as well as prepared to swim across
vast expanses of sea. He'd also have to be very
stupid not to notice that the desert he was so
recently walking upon has suddenly become an
ocean, unless he was really, REALLY lost in
thought about whether Mrs. Camel would put out
tonight or not. Oh, sorry. There I go again.
Q. 'What sort of shoes do seals wear on
Our third joke and still no mention of penguins.
We've gone into animals that may or may not live
in close proximity to them, now. Fair enough, I
suppose. The penguin is a most limited source of
comedy, in that respect not unlike the BBC. But I
digress. Seals wear shoes, now? What sort of
ungodly, misshapen footwear would find a home on
the flippers of the humble seal? Nothing I would
care to show to Auntie Mabel, that's for sure! Oh
alright. My guess is 'brogues'.
Well yes, I suppose they'd be alright for casual
sliding about in the comfort of your own home,
but for the seal about town my suggestion made a
lot more sense. Or perhaps two of those
'ice-skates' mentioned above for that authentic
North Pole feel. It's a shoe! It's your
breakfast! It's your breakfast AND it's a shoe!
Y'know, I think this was supposed to be some kind
of pun. Well, hardy har. I feel glad I wore
plastic underpants today because I believe I have
Q. 'How did the little penguin get to
Suddenly it all makes sense! Seals wearing shoes!
Camels in the arctic! And they've just admitted
it - penguins go to school! Shock horror! Of
course, it's not mentioned, but I think the
implication is MILITARY school! It all fits
together! They're preparing to usurp their human
oppressors by teaching their young to be
unstoppable penguin killing machines! They've got
the seals and the camels involved, too! And look
- some of them are called Emperor penguins!
They're getting ready to take over the world! I
can see the films now ...
DEEP BLUE SEA 2: WHEN PENGUINS ATTACK
GENERIC MALE: Look, Generic Female! The penguins
have built a military school out of ice and fish!
GENERIC FEMALE: Gasp! The penguins ... they're
A. 'On an icicle.'
GENERIC MALE: Oh wait, they can't be that clever.
Look, that one's sitting on an icicle.
GENERIC FEMALE: I suppose you're right, Generic
Male. Wanna shag?
GENERIC MALE: Do I!
Oh, you don't fool me, penguin dogs! I see
through your twisted scheme of icicles and seals
wearing shoes, and I will not rest until I see
the last of your Emperors lying bleeding at my
feet! To my fellow humans, I bid you farewell!
I'm off to the arctic with a packed lunch and a
General Electric minigun to crush the penguin
resistance. And when you see the Aurora Borealis
turn red with the shower of penguin blood, think
disappeared on the 27th August, 2001. His last
recorded radio message is reported to sound like
'heavy gunfire mingled with what sounds like
someone being repeatedly smacked with wet fish'.)
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