December 10, 2009

Penguins Behaving Badly

Oh, yes they did.

And I was so jealous.

I only got to be a penguin once, because after my avian debut, I was not allowed under a "skin" again in that ice show.

(A skin was the ice show term we used for a type of costume - usually an animal - that completely covered you.)

As some of you may know, when I was asked to fill in for another penguin, I never bothered to check the penguin head in advance to see where the eyeholes (in this case through the beak) lined up. I put it on moments before the music started and discovered I couldn't see a thing in front of me. I could only see my skates below and that wasn't going to do anything for me out on the ice.

So I took my flippers and pushed up the penguin head as far as I could without exposing my face and skated around like, well, you've heard the term "chicken with its ..." Really, I looked like the bird-version of the iconic Macaulay Culkin pose from the movie "Home Alone" when he tries on the aftershave.

And I'm sure I got fined for it too.

So with orders never again to skate as a penguin, I was jealous of all the shenanigans they pulled off anonymously: pretend fist fights, kick lines, conga lines, and the night of the squirt guns.

But years later I skated in an amusement park in Japan that began the show with Sailor Moon, a popular cartoon on Japanese television. Although the skaters weren't in "skins" they did have a fake head to put on and sometimes I got to be the villain.

Here are some of my fellow skaters(I'm not pictured here because I took the picture) posing after the last time we did that number - it was a lot of fun and so we were sad it ended - showing off their heads. Sorry, Sailor Moon was not available to pose for the picture.

Probably shouldn't say this now that I'm a mom, but it was fun scaring little kids. The more I scared the kids, the more animated I got. And even though my face was covered I found myself making crazy faces. I just couldn't do the broader motions with my body without the faces too.

So the next time you see an ice show with a villain - you know, your Cruella de Vil, Maleficent, or Ursula - just imagine what's going on inside. I bet (as an adult) you'll get a good laugh.

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