Thursday, May 14, 2009

Let the Penguin Purge Commence

After slumping home to Silver Spring via Metrorail last night, utterly dejected after bearing witness to the Capitals’ embarrassing game seven defeat to the Pittsburgh Penguins, I was tormented further by the ubiquitous penguin imagery that surrounds the Metro station. There they were, those evil flightless waterfowl, looking down mockingly at me with their cold, beady little eyes.

(Question: are there actually any Capitals fans that live in Silver Spring other than me? When I get on the metro at Gallery Place, all the other fans are going the other direction on the Red Line. Everyone else on the Glenmont train following a game cleans office buildings, is an overworked lawyer, or is mentally deranged.)

As I reached my car and sullenly drove home through the gauntlet of penguins, I decided that it is time for Silver Spring to purge itself of all penguin imagery, lest I and other Caps supporters be continually reminded of this year’s staggering playoff loss and those we suffered through in 1991 (the worst), 1992, 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2001. No thanks to the construction of the transit center, penguin signage has proliferated throughout the downtown area. They are supposed to be informing you as to where you can locate your bus or train, but in fact they just serve to cruelly taunt Capitals fans. They are even wearing helmets… like hockey players. Coincidence? I think not.

Why the hell is the penguin a symbol of Silver Spring, anyway? Because someone once made a mural with a bunch of birds getting on the subway? Why penguins? Couldn’t they have used something cute and lovable and not the mascot of a hated rival sports franchise? Like pandas, for example. They ride the subway, too. Once they finish restoring the mural, they ought to just airbrush over the Silver Spring station signs and make them say Dunn Loring or something. I’m sure the Orange Line would welcome a free mural for one of their stations.

In addition to the aforementioned construction signs, we’ve got the fake-ass penguin (actually a finch or some crap like that) that sits on the island at Ellsworth and Cedar. What the hell is that doing there anyway? We’ve also got miscellaneous street signs and a nightmarish balloon they trot out each year around the start of hockey season to taunt us. What’s next, a statue of Mario Lemieux as the centerpiece of the new Veteran’s Plaza?

With apologies to western Pennsylvania transplants, Linux nerds, and local website proprietors, it's time to deep six the birds. Seriously, Silver Spring has too many damn symbols anyway. (This was actually a subject of one of my first posts.) Screw making the penguin the official symbol - I suggest that we create a new symbol/mascot of Silver Spring, such as an anthropomorphic acorn whom shall be christened “Corny”. Any artists out there want to submit some concept sketches of Corny?

And yes, I am a very bitter man today. Go Caps. :'(



14 comments:

Lil B said...

I understand your anger about the game - PAINFUL - but don't hate on penguins, they are the pandas of the sea!

http://www.thecuteproject.com/images/items/1143.jpg

socoblogboy said...

Wait a second, a Mario Lemiuex statue? Now I can get behind that proposition. Maybe we make black and gold the colors of SS too? I like where this is going. Next stop, our own Primanti Brothers.

Sligo said...

Well, the pigeons do need something to shit on.

Anonymous said...

Socoblogboy post is brilliant! Silver Spring could be a Sixburgh annex.

Silver Spring Penguin said...

I think you'll enjoy this post (and the rest of the blog as well).

Chaz said...

Was this year's game 7 loss to the Penguins better or worse than last year's game 7 loss to the Flyers?

Sligo said...

Far, far worse. Last year they barely made the playoffs and had to make a huge comeback to force a game 7, so there was a "happy to just be there" feeling. Plus that was an overtime game, which before a bogus penalty call could have gone either way. This year the team had much higher expectations, blew a 2-0 series lead, and lost to their arch rival in a blowout.

hockeypunk said...

I AGREE!!!

Steph said...

Yes, there are at least two other die hard Caps fans who live in Silver Spring, myself and the J-man :) Funny you mention the ubiquitous penguin phenomenon in SS because that has been the subject of much conversation amongst us lately. Let not the flightless waterfowls irk you further. They serve as a constant reminder of future fare for our otherwise glorious eagles.

Anonymous said...

It would be a bit more tolerable if they would go ahead and put mullets on them.

js said...

As one of the aforementioned Western Pennsylvania transplants, I'd like to say nya-nya, n'at.

Thomas Hardman said...

You may find this a bit hard to believe, but...

There was once -- and doubtless still is -- a thriving underground comix scene in the DC area. At the time of the opening of the Silver Spring station, one of the foremost of the comix circulating in the local punk-rock scene featured a serial strip in which the punk rockers and alternative types were all anthropomorphic rats. Non-alternative types were all penguins.

Not a few of the panels featured street scenes where a few rats would be standing around at bus-stops discussing bands and the rest of the street would be mobbed with penguins.

The style used by the mural artist, Sally Callmer, is a far cry from the black-and-white art in this local 'zine, which had such strips as "9:30 Bouncer" and "Hardcore by Night", as well as one-time strips such as "On Lincoln's Left". It was definitely pretty well circulated, and at the time, at least some of us on the punk/protogoth scene referred to folks in suits, especially commuters, as "penguins". Once something like that gets embedded in the weltgeist of local archetype, it's hard to dislodge.

(BTW, my favorite "9:30 Bouncer" was "9:30 Bouncer Gets Thrown in DC Jail". "On Lincoln's Left" was evidently someone's artistic reminiscences of one of the better "smoke-ins" down at the mall.")

If someone can remember the name of this 'zine, please mail me!

Molly said...

It DOES seem like there are far fewer fans in our direction of the red line. Some caps-fan buds and I could often be found at McGinty's after playoff games, with either celebratory or comfort pitchers of beer...

Also, there's the caped fan who lives in my apartment complex. Long red cape down to the ankles, hood and all.

We'll replace Feds and Semin with a solid defender for next year and all will be well, don't worry.

Sligo said...

Molly -

I've seen that caped guy at the Caps games and wondered if he was the same guy I've seen around S.S.