The Penguin and the Mechanic

When I was in junior high school, my clock radio alarm went off every day at 6:30, coinciding with local DJ Gary Craig's joke of the day. Though the jokes were sanitary enough for the radio, they were sometimes racy for a 7th grader, which inspired me to commit them all to memory.

I shared these jokes with only one person: Katie, the shy girl who sat next to me in Home Ec. Each morning, Katie would thread my sewing machine for me because I was too stupid (and manly!) to ever manage to do it myself. As a sign of my gratitude, I told her the daily joke. Being prudish, Katie would always beg me to stop telling the jokes, but I would finish them anyway, because my favorite mode of flirting at that age (and maybe sort of still?) was to try to prod a shy girl out of her shell.

Looking back, I'm pretty sure Katie genuinely didn't enjoy these jokes. It probably didn't help that half the time neither of us had the sexual knowledge to understand them. One joke in particular stuck with me because I couldn't fathom why the punch line would be funny. Today Gawker posted that very joke, which I will abbreviate as I remember it in my own words here:

When a penguin went for a road trip through the desert, he had to put his air conditioning at full blast to maintain the appropriate body temperature. However, mid-trip, his car broke down, leaving the penguin in quite a bind. Fortunately, a mechanic came to his rescue, promising to fix the penguin's car. He suggested that the penguin go into a freezer at the nearby grocery store to stay cold while his car was being fixed.

The penguin did just that, and while he waited, he helped himself to some frozen treats. An hour later, the mechanic found the problem and went to tell the penguin.

"Well, it looks like you blew a seal," the mechanic said.

Wiping his beak, the penguin explained, "No, that's just vanilla ice cream."

A few years later, I finally figured out why the penguin joke was funny, and it became my favorite dirty joke. I matured just enough to understand it, but then wasted this maturity by immaturely telling this joke to anyone who would listen. Haha - the penguin thought that the mechanic thought that...

As for Katie, despite my prior tormenting, she agreed to go to prom with me several years later. For the record, neither of us had vanilla ice cream.

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