The Evil Genie grants three wishes a week. Leave a wish in the comments!
16-145B wishes: I wish my roommate would let me adopt a penguin.
The Evil Genie replies: You have a penguin in your home! He’s small and formal and black and white and wonderful all over. He’s adorable, with the marching and the flapping of his nonwings and the general peguinity of him.
You ask your landlord to lower the thermostat in your apartment to freezing, which he strangely agrees to, and you bundle up in what will now be semi-permanent winter gear. You set up your penguin, who you have named Penrod, in the bathroom. You let the tub overflow, and watch him as he slides on his belly across the icy tile. You invite friends over to watch, and they clap and dance with joy to see his tiny penguin face. Other than persistent frostbite, you have never been happier.
As the days turn into weeks, the allure of having a penguin in the apartment begins to fade ever so slightly. Aside from your hacking cough and inability to shower, you have found that having a new roommate changes the dynamic in your apartment. While your human roommate, who, for the purposes of this post, we will call Katie, was not initially ultra-jazzed about having a fish-bird hybrid for a roommate, she has bonded with Penrod strongly, and you often find yourself the odd man out. They stay up late into the night whispering secrets, and you are left to sit outside the bathroom door and eavesdrop.
Penrod is also a terrible roommate. He tries to hide his fishy smell, but to no avail. His flippers can’t pick up the trash so you always have to do it. He’s too short to change lightbulbs. Keeping the apartment cold is exorbitantly pricey, and Penrod contributes nothing to your bills or rent. He fills the DVR with nature programming he refuses to delete, and you just know he watches with erotic intentions. It’s enough to make you not want to sit on your own couch, but that is rarely an option anyway, as Penrod constantly has friends from the zoo over. “Specimen #4834 doesn’t have his own place!” he tells you, as though you’re the rude one. Worst of all, he’s incredibly pretentious and mocks your style of dress, calling you slovenly and wondering aloud if you’re a farmer. Katie laughs uproariously. “He stole that joke from 30 Rock!” you yell at her. “He’s a PENGUIN!” she yells back.
In August, after months of abuse, you tell Katie that it is Penrod or you. Her choice is a simple one, and you find yourself out on the street, still entombed in your parka and gloves despite the 90 degree heat. Homeless, you wander the streets and until you reach the Central Park Zoo. You realize that you can no longer sleep at temperatures over freezing, so you climb into the seemingly-empty icy arena for a nap and are mauled to death by a polar bear.
Back in your apartment, Katie freezes to death.