Hen thinks it is a penguin or, when life imitates Wallace & Gromit

It’s almost August and that means the papers are filled with stories of animals as media silly season descends upon us. Nowhere is this more true than Metro UK which this week has already run stories on the bear who broke into a house and “stole” a teddy bear and another of a bear who put a safety cone on its head. This last story ran only because someone came up with the headline Cone and the barbearian. In today’s edition we have the breaking news of a Chinese hen who walks like a penguin.


While some may think of this as cute, in reality it is just another case of outrageous copyright infringement by the Chinese. Clearly they have trained this fowl to play the Feathers McGraw role in a horrible live-action rip-off of the classic Wallace & Gromit short “The Wrong Trousers.”

I shall recap the salient plot points for those of you poor pathetic souls who have not yet seen it (but I’m not speaking to you until you correct this error): Wallace rents a room out to a penguin. After displacing Gromit, the penguin is then revealed to be the nefarious bank robber Feathers McGraw. McGraw is a brilliant master of disguise who uses a red rubber glove to transform himself into a chicken (nudge, nudge) when he pulls off his heists. I won’t tell you anymore but I will say that the closing chase scene – involving a toy train set – is (really) one of the best and funniest things I’ve ever seen.

images wgfeath-1 feathers

Extra kudos to the W&G site for having the best competition I’ve seen in a while. “TOP BUN The best Wallace & Gromit-themed baked good uploaded to the site each month will win a set of Wallace & Gromit baking kits.” I believe they mean best picture, either that or they’ve figured out some super cool new technology.


Odds and/or ends

  1. Belated Headline of The Day (from last week): Wrigley Starts Online 'Cult' I would describe the Cubs as more of a multi-media cult…
  2. When life imitates the movies
    1. W&GWallace & Gromit and the Curse of The Real Were-Rabbit: "Furious villagers in northeast England have hired armed guards to protect their beloved communal vegetable gardens from a suspected monster rabbit."
    2. Duckback Mountain: "Stockholm – In the middle of mating season, a pair of male ducks have returned to a park in southern Sweden for the third consecutive year, ignoring the siren calls of all the lady ducks around them."
  3. Dave's Insanity Hot Sauce: Is there anything it can't do? " After years of customers telling us that they use hot sauce to keep animals out of their garden and off their dinner table, we had an idea. We created this sauce to be a delicious addition to your food and a way to keep deer and rabbits from eating your roses and carrots. The pump spray also allows you to have a more even distribution of sauce on your food."
  4. meeple mugMeeple, Meeple, Meeple. My friend Alison Hansel coined the term meeple several years ago to describe those funny human-shaped wood pieces you see in a lot of the games I play and it has spread like wildfire through the weird subcult of us board gamers. I bring this up a) because there's a really great site called MeeplePeople.com that sells meeple themed stuff and b) because in year's past this has been the week I have spent in Columbus, Ohio, at Alan Moon's industry fest/game convention "The Gathering of Friends" (how cultish is that name?) playing board games. It is very peculiar to hear the words, "It would be nice to be in Columbus" come out of my mouth. It's easily one of the most boring places I've ever been. The lack of distractions makes it a perfect place to hold a gaming event. Cultural highlights of Columbus include a topiary garden cut/planted to look like Seurat's "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" and the James Thurber House. Thirty minutes killed and there's plenty of time to get back to the game tables.