Penguin, USA

In all the times I’ve played games at fairs and carnivals, I’ve never really been a big winner.  I’ve never hit the plush toy jackpot, you could say.  I’ve won a fair few small toys, as most of the games are based primarily on aim… and I have good eyesight… but pretty poor aim.  So I usually end up pretty normal, I guess.

AND THEN.

I went to the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida.  There were many many games to play, and most of them were full of the same few plush toys:

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I would have been thrilled to win any of these toys.  And I started keeping an eye out for any particularly good ones.  Or games where ‘everyone’s a winner!’ because those are usually the only ones I win.

I didn’t even really consider this one- because the toys were all so big that I figured I had no shot.  They just seemed like you would need superhuman talent to win…

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But, while waiting for my group to go on the Ferris wheel, (not my favorite thing) I started actually watching the guy play this game.  All you had to do was use a stick with a string and a small hoop on the end to stand up a glass bottle.  And he kept doing it.  And showing everyone how to do it.  And I realized there was no luck involved in this.  And no aim.  It was just a test of your brain- and whether you could follow the instructions even as they went against your instincts.

BRAIN GAME! I was winning that Plush Penguin.  I continued to watch until everyone was off the Ferris wheel- and then I went for it.  c360_2016-03-07-20-22-27-441.jpg

After I stood up the bottle, the guy told me I could put my stick down.  I told him that I had never won anything before and he was crazy if he thought I was just going to win this without taking a picture.  I proceeded to hold the stick for several minutes as we tried to get the picture. And then I got to pick out my Penguin!

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And then I proceeded to take selfies with the Penguin all over the festival grounds to the chagrin of every child there.

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Then Penguin and I went to get some Cotton Candy!

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And then! We headed to the concert ground, where Lonestar were performing.

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Penguin took up two seats, but it was oddly satisfying to be listening to ‘Amazed’ while sitting next to a giant penguin.

Finally, it was time to go home, but we had a bit of a problem fitting Penguin into the car.

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But finally, we made it home where Penguin chilled on the couch, until I could find a decent home for him in a children’s hospital.

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Turns out, hospitals have kind of strict rules about toy donation- probably because of the germs.  So we decided to donate Penguin to a second hand shop associated with the children’s hospital.

But not before Penguin watched longingly out the window.

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So, that’s the penguin story.  It’s not a big deal to most… but definitely one of the most exciting things to happen to me since I’ve been home!

 

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