Monday, 6 April 2009

Penguins and Politics

Recently I went to the Sydney Aquarium.

I went there and saw many wonders. I must say the dugongs are a brilliant. They is very peaceful large beings. And I is very impressed by seahorses. They has good posture. Even when swimming. Full marks.

However of course the main attraction was the penguins and I timed my visit so I was there for the Penguin Feed session.

It is a great study in animal survival instincts and also an interesting analogy in Party Room Politics in Australia.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of seeing a Penguin Feed I highly recommend it. If you do not wish the plot to be spoiled for you, I suggest not reading further.

However, I will describe what happens as this: Penguins are doing as they usually do - toddling about and swimming in the pool, with glass window on side so audience can watch.

At Feed Time, Authorised Personnel enter the Penguin room, one with a clipboard to take notes and one with a bucket of fish to feed the penguins.

No, this is no dining table where penguins get to sit at a long candlelit dinner area and are given set portions, cutlery etc in entree, main and dessert servings.

So the penguins go to the fish man.

Some penguins quickly know it is fish time and are the first to get out of the water and walk over. They are fed quickly. Some work it out later but are still brisk. Some are slower to figure it out but are aggressive and fight for their place.

I noted two very aggressive penguins who were not the first to get up there but once there, maintained their stranglehold on front position, that's for sure.

And there was one poor penguin who was rather shy, he did not notice till later and then he toddled forward, did not want to be too aggressive and got put off even as he made his way to the front, every time there was a slightly aggressive penguin nearby he lost heart and toddled away.

I watched him.

He did not receive one single fish.

I nickname this penguin "Peter Costello Penguin" - the penguin who will have his fish only if served to him on a silver platter otherwise not at all. but he will not fight for it.

Late in the fight but aggressive, and keeping a stranglehold on front position for as long as possible was "John Howard Penguin"

Earlier on, fairly quick to trot, pushed out later by the aggressive but at least he got a nip was "Brendan Nelson Penguin".

By the way my guess is if Peter Costello Penguin acts like this every feed day he will die a very slow but sad and agonising death but the other penguins will be too busy swimming and eating fish to mourn him for very long.

Sad. I felt sorry for that penguin. I wish the Penguin Feed Time did not work that way but that is the way the system works.


Bwca Brownie said...

that just made me very sad, in a very black and white way.
What The Bloody Hell Was ClipBoard Doing If He Didn't Notice Civilised Penguin Not Pushing In?

Plenty of fish.
Sloppy Distribution.

Friendless said...

That's because the guy distributing the fish knows that Peter Costello Penguin is the most dangerous, and it's safest not to feed him. Did you see Joe Hockey Penguin - the fat one who makes a lot of noise but will never quite make it to the front?

Good article, Prude.

Meribah said...

Poor little shy penguin. I feel for him. The handler should have given him some food too and not just to the greedy guts!

prude said...

It is the way of the world. The civilised and the meek not getting their fish while the aggressive and rude getting more than their fat share.

I think if Prude were in charge things would be different.

Dear Friendless, I did not see Joe Hockey Penguin but I dids notice a Pauline Hanson Penguin, a rather confused abrasive loud one who tried to spraypaint the other penguins pure white instead of accepting the darker parts of their coats.

There was of course a Bob Brown Penguin who squabbled about whether the fish was taken in a humane way and carried a big billboards promoting both fishers' rights and fish's rights. He then announced a hunger strike till he got a fish and finally ended up launching himself over the other penguins at the penguin-feeder, quite agitatedly.

He is quite a penguin of his convictions and willing to act. If only he could sort out exactly what those convictions was and why they is.

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Ann ODyne said...

oh Prude & Penguin, you are missed.

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