Monday, July 22, 2013


It’s hard to describe what I do to people.  “You know those things you fast forward past on TV? I make those.  Sometimes in other countries.  Usually with a guy named Jimmy.”

Elijah and Luca, who have grown up in the world of Netflix and DVRs, aren’t even sure what a commercial is.  Thanks boys, you and your pals will eventually put your dad out of a job.  So it’s hard to get them to understand why dad is in South Africa for so long.  And why he calls at weird times of day.  And why all his photos on Facebook look like they are taken at a winery.

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to travel around South Africa on a blessed day off from commercial making.  Aside from many many wineries, we visited a small town in the south part of South Africa that boasts real live penguins.

I remembered a few months ago when Eli was talking to me about sea animals, he mentioned that there were penguins in Africa.  I recall I said, “Um, no.  Son.  You are wrong.  Terribly wrong.  Penguins exist in cold weather only.”

Apparently, there are penguins in non icy parts of the world.  The ones down here in the Africa climate have a distinct air of “Duh, we are the smartest penguins ever” about them.  So smug in their non constant fight with death.

Immediately after the penguin encounter, I called the boys.  I asked them how camp was going (they don’t remember) and if they are being nice to their mom (they punched her in the eye) and they asked what I was doing here.

I said, “Well.  I just saw some penguins.”

And suddenly, my job got real, real interesting to them.  Every time I call them now, they assume I am surrounded by African beasts.  Like I spend my days wrestling crocodiles and mending broken zebra butts instead of complaining about catering.

Every time I call, the first words out of their mouths are, “What animals did you see today, Daddy?”

“Well, no.  Dad didn’t see any animals.  But I did see a big old lighting guy who had brown teeth.  Jimmy and I debated how much someone would have to pay us to kiss him.  The going rate was $300,000.”

“So…no penguins.”

And that’s when they hung up.  

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