Penny and Stu were quick to hatch a plan after they hopped aboard a three masted schooner at the Mystic Seaport Museum.
“What do you bribe a crew with? Gold bullion?” Arctic Stu asked Penny. “We can’t sail this ship by ourselves.”
“From the looks of this lot I would say they’d flip on their own father for a glazed donut. Don’t worry about it.”
Penny and Stu climbed up on the forward deck and peered down at the people milling around the vessel.
“Ladies and Gentlemen!” Penny called out. “I am Colonel Penny Loafer of South Georgia Island, this is my second in command, Stu, and under the order of the highest Emperor of Penguins, we are officially taking over this vessel.” Instantly, a large woman with a fanny pack and jean shorts jumped overboard, hitting the water with a great splash.
Penny was quick to bark instructions at his newly consripted crew. “You, holding the child on a leash, ready the mainsail! You, with the “Ithaca is Gorges” t-shirt, climb to the crow’s nest! And put on a different t-shirt!”
Penny was about to command his next crewmember when another voice broke the silence.
“What is going on here???” The question came from a man with a white beard and captain’s hat yelled. His nametag read, “Cap’n Steve.”
“Good sir,” Penny responded. “I am Colonel Penny Loafer of South Georgia Island, this is Stu, and we are commandeering this vessel. I’ll ask you to kindly retire to your quarters. We’ll take it from here.”
The man laughed a big belly laugh. “I’m sorry,” he said, “you two are misinformed. This here is a museum vessel. It doesn’t go anywhere!”
“Fiddle sticks, you daft excuse for a Captain!” Penny retorted. “Stu! Undo the lines! Ready the mainsail!”
“This ship doesn’t even have a rudder,” the man said. “It’s just for show. And I’m not a captain. I’m a “Cap’n”. Just Steve, really. I teach history at the middle school. ” Steve took Penny and Stu to the pilot room where they saw that the ship’s wheel was bolted tight so that little kids couldn’t spin it incessantly.
Soon, two elderly women from museum security walked gingerly onboard and took Penny and Stu to the exit. Realizing that their plan to sail home for free had all been in vein, they left without a fight.
“That was our shot, Stu.”
“Whatever, man. Just pound a Red Bull and let’s go.”
And the two left Mystic, Connecticut in search of their next curious adventure…
Penny and Stu were in Mystic, Connecticut for a wedding when Stu thought he’d discovered a way home. “Take a flyer, Penny!” he said. “We’re going to charter a yacht!”
Penny wasn’t thrilled. “A yacht?” he asked. “I’m sorry, but it seems I left my Tommy Bahama shirt and REO Speedwagon CD at home. Please. I only sail on proper vessels — fully rigged schooners and barques.”
Stu wasn’t amused. He stepped onto the boat and asked the captain, a balding man in a REO Speedwagon 1986 U.S. Tour t-shirt, how much it would be to go two stops, the first in Arctic Svalbard and then onto South Georgia Island in Antarctica.
The man thought for a second. “$97,000 plus gas.”
Dissapointed, Stu returned to Penny and the two continued on their way. Penny knew that since they couldn’t pay for a boat home they would have to take control of one by force. They turned towards the Mystic Seaport and set their sights on some proper ships. The adventure continued…
Penny and Stu rode their bikes from their home in Brooklyn to Grand Central Terminal, hoping to get a train out of the city. They weren’t used to the 90 degree-plus heat that was baking the sidewalks. And the piles of trash smelled like every seafood restaurant in the city finally decided to throw away the bad shrimp they’d been saving for a year.
Luckily, they were able to board the 12:37 to Connecticut.
“I hear that you can bring extra large beers on these trains,” said Stu. “They call them tall boys. You put them in brown paper bags, roll down the top and just drink from there.”
“I refuse to drink anything called a “tall boy”” said Penny. “Until they serve Balvenie 18-year, the only single malt I enjoy, I’m going to continue with this bottle of Avian and let you chug out of paper bags. Would you like some glue to huff as well?”
They hopped on the train; Stu with a Miller Lite tall boy and Penny with a bottle of Avian. Their curious adventures continued…
“You can’t recommend baby seals as a healthy source of protein!” the GNC manager yelled at Arctic Stu.
Stu and Colonel Penny Loafer had only been at the job for a few hours when the manager, Kevin, realized that his new hires weren’t going to last.
“And you! Sergeant Penny.” Kevin was fuming.
“It’s Colonel, I’ll have you know! I didn’t spend three years at the Polar Training Academy on South Georgia Island to be called Sergeant.”
“You drank all of my fish oil and told a woman to sprinkle krill on her dinner tonight if she hoped to pack on the pounds for winter!”
“I said, “L.B.”s.”
“You’re both fired!” Kevin flung open the door and kicked Penny and Stu out of the store. They were once again jobless. They went back to the midtown streets and the adventure continued.
Times have been tough for Colonel Penny Loafer and Arctic Stu. Rent is due at the end of the month and neither have been able to secure a job. They’ve been to countless recruiters but beyond travel experience, they’ve been told they, “Don’t have any marketable skills.” and “Are a polar bear and penguin, not human beings.” One recruiter threw them out of her office when Colonel Penny Loafer rebutted her remark that he didn’t have any leadership experience.
“I’ve lead 30,000 of Antarctica’s finest through the dead of winter in the most inhospitable place on earth!” he said. “So what if I don’t know how to hide columns in Excel!”
Needless to say, they were in need of some spiritual guidance.
The psychic wasn’t very helpful. Her crystal ball had three finger-size holes in it and “7 Pounds” etched on one side. The first thing she saw when she looked at it was that Penny and Stu had come from a great distance. But she did say that all of Penny and Stu’s needs would be fulfilled soon, and that money would come from a place they least expected it. “The one thing I see clearly,” she said, “is that the two of you have many adventures yet to come. Also, those Buddha figures are on sale, if you’re interested.”
“DOES THAT TICK YOU OFF?” Stu asked Penny as they stood atop a West Village roof and watched a flock of geese fly overhead.
“Does what tick me off?”
“You know, that you can’t fly?”
“Oh brother,” Penny said. “How many times do we have to go over this?”
“Until you can fly.”
“Not all birds fly, Stu. There are flightless cormorants, ostriches, emus…there’s even a flightless bird in New Guinea called a cassowary. Strange fellow.”
“You’re like a basketball player who can’t dunk,” Stu said. “You’re the John Stockton of the bird community. He could pass and shoot for days, but when it came down to it, everyone just wanted to see him throw one down every once in a while.”
Penny walked to the other side of the building so he could look out over midtown. He’d never been this high up before. Maybe if he caught the wind just right he could fly down to the streets below. Maybe he could become a legend. The first flying penguin. Certainly the first in New York City.
Stu, saw Penny standing on the ledge and knew what he was thinking.
“You’re not going to dunk today, Colonel.”
So they hopped on the elevator and returned to the streets, safetly, ready for their next adventure.