Penguin Post #2

“Who’s your favorite person?”

That was the first question my boss asked me when I got to the photo desk this afternoon. Now when your boss asks you something like that, it’s not a trick question.

“Uhhhh…you? Whhhyyy?”

He hands me a photo request. I see the words “penguin chicks.” I immediately black out. (You may remember the first time I shot the penguins. If you don’t, click here.)

It’s no secret around the newsroom that I love anything cute, cuddly, fluffy, sweet, babyish, huggable, lovable, charming, adorable, darling, delightful, precious, and small. Steve Hardy told me once that I’m the only one who can cover a 600-person motorcycle rally and come back with a photo of a cute kid and a dog that makes A1 center. It’s something I’m slowly trying to get over, but I’m quickly failing at it.

We’re supposed to be there at 4:00 p.m. It’s only 2:00. Patrick, the TFP videographer, is riding with me. I ask him if he wants to leave, but unfortunately, he doesn’t want to leave 2 hours early to go one mile down Market Street. Stupid, I know.

AT 3:51, WE PULL OUT OF THE TIMES FREE PRESS PARKING LOT, me yelling at Patricia the entire way that he’s going to make us late. Luckily, by 3:55, we’ve met up with Thom, the wonderful PR guy at the aquarium, who, I have decided, has the most amazing job ever. We suit up in our usual fish boots and enter the wonderful world of penguin babies.

Staff Photo by Ashlee Culverhouse/Chattanooga Times Free Press – June 20, 2012. One of two new macaroni penguin chicks rests in its nest of stones on Wednesday at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. The chick, born to “Paulie” and “Chaos,” will undergo a blood test to determine its gender.

Per his usual, Nipper makes his way over to investigate the scene. Yes, I’m beginning to learn the penguins by name.

Clearly, it was a very bad day at work today.

Clearly.

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