Walking down the streets of Marilla, New York with my family and our friends the Pollocks, I approached the General Store with much anticipation. I knew I would find something to buy. But. I didn’t know what it would be. After about 37 minutes of shopping…I finally found what I was looking for. I had never seen anything like it. It was…it was a giant…a giant…stuffed…penguin! This was no cartoon-looking penguin: it was the most real-looking fake penguin I had ever seen. Only having six dollars in cash on me, my spending capability was significantly limited. With a heart full of hope, I reached for the price tag. I knew that my expectations for this penguin to be under $6 were really pushing it. Nevertheless, I…ever so slowly…turned the price tag over to reveal the truth that I wasn’t sure I wanted to uncover.
This was the defining moment of the stuffed penguin’s fate. Slowly turning my eyes downward and barely able to breathe, I read the price. Utter dismay! I couldn’t believe my eyes. The price tag! It said…that the penguin cost the ridiculous amount…of $200. $200, I tell you!!! TWO Hundred Dollars!!! Would you have paid that much?!? Would you?!? I wouldn’t. I refused. But I got my picture taken with him. Because he was just too cool. And because I wanted you to believe me. Because I wouldn’t have believed you if you had told me that you had found a stuffed penguin selling for that much money. Even if he was 3 ½ feet tall.
Originally written on April 6, 2008 (minor adjustments made)