When I was a kid, my favorite place to go was Sea World. I was wild about marine biology right up through most of college, but then there was this one biochemistry class that I couldn’t pass to save my life (and I’d barely hung on to the curve for the previous chemistry classes leading up to it), so I had to change my major to zoology.

Which is just as well, because going to UCSB with a zoology major places a heavy emphasis on marine animals since the campus is right on the coast. We even have an “aquarium” of sorts, although really it’s more like a shed with tanks of water in it for holding specimens for lab classes. I used to love to hang out in there between periods, they had these lobsters that were like 80 years old and nearly the length of my arm.

Wouldn’t want to get into a fight with one of those, I tell you what… Fortunately we’ve got slipper lobsters here on the west coast, so they don’t have those giant pincers like the ones you find in Maine. They do have really spiny shells though, so if they flick you with their tail they can cause a nasty gash…

But enough about lobster fighting. To celebrate my graduation from college, we went to Sea World, which I haven’t been to in like 10 years. I couldn’t tell you how much had changed since my memory was so foggy, but I just figure all the stuff I forgot means that it’s like new when I see it again.

As you know, at Sea World they have a penguin exhibit, where the penguins just kind of hang around on a fake iceberg and go for dips in the water. I wonder if they keep that water real cold for them or something, because I doubt that birds that live in Antarctica are well equipped for living in San Diego… Anyway, I’m watching the little guys do their thing, when I notice some guy making his way to the center of the exhibit. I figure it’s just some maintenance guy or a trainer or something, but then I look closer.

Wait a minute, Sea World employees don’t wear capes and cowls! That’s BATMAN!

While I’m sitting there pondering what possible reason Batman could have for wandering around in the penguin exhibit at Sea World, he reaches down and grabs one of the penguins and hoists it up so he’s looking it in the eye.

“Alright, no more games,” he growled. “Tell me who’s moving the drugs on the street!” he yelled as he proceeded to shake the penguin like a rag doll.

“Awk! Awk! Awk!” was all the poor penguin could strangle out…

“Talk! TALK DAMN YOU!” Batman screamed, as he proceeded to beat the hell out of this tiny little penguin. He was kicking it, and throwing it against the walls, and screaming like a madman.

“Holy hell,” I thought, “Batman’s gone and completely lost it.” “Hey, Batman!” I yelled out, “What the hell are you DOING?!”

“Don’t bother me! Can’t you see I’m trying to shake down The Penguin for information?” he yelled over his shoulder.

“Um… I don’t think that’s the Penguin, I think it’s just a penguin.”

Batman looked real close at the half-dead bird in his hands. “Are you sure? He’s short, got a big nose, is wearing a black and white outfit, and goes ‘Awk awk awk.'”

“Yeah, I think that’s why the Penguin calls himself ‘The Penguin.'”

“You know, I never stopped to think of it that way. I guess it makes sense. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go beat the crap out of my source who told me the Penguin was in this enclosure.”

“Who’s your source?”

“A puffin, two cages over.”

And with a shot from his grappling hook launcher, he was out of there, leaving the penguins in a tizzy.