This is a story of how my parents trolled me…on my birthday, no less!
You may remember that one of my pet peeves is cute holiday imagery of penguins and polar bears living together in harmony, because as a biologist I know that penguins and polar bears do not overlap in the wild. Penguins live in the south pole (only Galápagos penguins live near the equator), and polar bears live in the Arctic. Never the twain shall meet.
My mom also makes me a creative birthday cake every year. She’s done Jane Austen books, a Skellig Michael landscape, and even jungle animals. After I analyzed the species of the jungle animals, I think she assumed I’ll always be blogging about her cakes.
So here’s what I got this year:
Yes, she spent hours making these intricate cupcakes, just for the sake of irritating me by putting polar bears and penguins together. She has whole books full of cupcake designs, so I imagine that once she saw these two animals she couldn’t resist.
To be fair, they were really cute, and also tasty.
Mini marshmallows for paws
Marshmallow for stomach, Starburst for beak. Oreos for wings, and he’s also dipped in chocolate.
My mom gave me an adorable ornament for Christmas: a bunch of festive animals on a see-saw, and you can actually turn a little crank to make the see-saw go up and down. It’s a 2013 Hallmark ornament called “Up for fun!”
Isn’t it cute?
You might, then, be surprised to know that my mom only bought it for me because she knew it would push my buttons. They have heard me complain on this topic often, so this is like a family joke at this point.
See those two larger animals on the ends?
Polar bear: lives in the Arctic.
Penguin: only found in the Southern Hemisphere (the Galápagos penguin is the only one to potentially cross the Equator, and then not by much)
These two animals NEVER MEET in the wild, and it drives me crazy when holiday stuff has them hanging out next to each other like best buds. My family thinks this is hilarious (to be fair, it is), so they point out this stuff to me regularly.
The poem text on the ornament box even says they are hanging out at the North Pole–there are no penguins in the Arctic, let alone the North Pole! Unless Santa has some kind of illegal menagerie. He clearly has reindeer, but at least they are native to the region.
And what are those other two animals on the see-saw? The smallest one is clearly a mouse (ok? cute but slightly random); I honestly thought the larger one was a kangaroo until my mom suggested it was a rabbit. There are definitely lagomorphs in the Arctic, but that far north they are always white! WHITE! To blend in with the snow!
Now I’m picturing Santa as having some kind of Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole, like a jolly Superman. His zoo just has holiday animals instead of intergalactic creatures. I guess we’ve all learned something today…