Everything you need to know

Dear Myrtle,

I am extremely attracted to penguins. They are such beautiful little things that I cannot help but be mesmerized by their beauty. Do you think this is weird? Will society ever accept my love and stop being so stuck up? Why can’t we just love and adore other species that are different from us? Also, since I am new to this area could you let me know where I can meet penguins around here (maybe even “the one”)?

—Sad Penguin Lover

Hi there, SPL,

Love of penguins, or sphenisciformiphilia, is actually more common than you think, especially among middle-school girls and lonely Arctic nerds. How many penguin shirts, mugs, plush dolls, toothbrush holders, etc. do you see in every cutesy store in America? As long as you love a cute animal, you’re good — if you felt something special for paramecia or those horned toads that squirt blood out of their eyes, then we might have a problem. Now, if we’re moving beyond penguin love to penguin sex, we might have a problem — because unless you speak fluent Penguish, how can you be sure they really want to get it on with you? As long as you promise to be platonic, you’re in luck. The National Aviary (on the North Side) has a program called Penguin Connection which offers a “unique face-to-beak encounter.” Just keep your pants on, SPL, make some feathered friends, and find yourself a good-natured human who’ll be okay with wearing a penguin outfit and squawking a lot.


Dear Myrtle,

I have a little problem... well... a BIG problem. It’s large, hairy, and it smells a little bit like Capicolla ham that was left on top of a heater for a few hours. If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about my roommate.

I think that I’ve seen him go to take a shower three or four times since we got to the dorm, which results in a bad enough smell.

As if the smell issue was not enough, he never seems to leave. Every time I walk into the room he’s either on the phone, in bed, or in bed and on the phone. Then, when it’s finally a reasonable time to be in bed, he never is. He makes me feel like a jerk for wanting him to turn off the lights at two in the morning on a Monday.

I can’t fit every minute detail in to this letter, but I will end with his obsessive desire to play and replay “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelley on his computer. What should I do?

—Sleepless at CMU

Listen up SAC,

You’re in luck. You don’t live in the real world yet, you live in a dorm. That means that if you’re too much of a weenie to actually talk to your roommate about any of the things that make him the Antichrist in your eyes, you can talk to your RA about it. It’s handy to have a disinterested third party around during those kinds of discussions to make sure you don’t kill each other. Try talking to him, though — you have as much right to a non-crap existence as he does.