Loose Change: You have 30 days

The following is purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laugh while reading this, while framing this, or while burning this. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?

(The following letter has been sent out simultaneously to the four organizations listed below. It’s simply a call to arms, or to action, or to inaction, or to whatever they feel is particularly applicable given the circumstances. Frankly, I’m really surprised and disappointed this didn’t happened sooner.)


I am the self-appointed legal representative of an exotic form of unique waterfowl now considered an endangered species on the Sierra Club’s watch list. Realistically this species, known as the Pittsburgh Penguin (makeupyourmindus pleasus), is as ‘endangered’ as a hijacker who holds an unloaded pistol to his own head.

This particular penguin is indigenous to the greater Pittsburgh area after being first spotted nesting there in the late ‘60s. A rather useless bird with a tendency to injure itself, the Pittsburgh Penguin has remained largely undisturbed because few of the locals even know they exist. They don’t interact with the city’s general populace, which isn’t surprising considering the city’s general populace basically doesn’t give a hoot about them either (interesting that, by nature, penguins make few sounds except when being physically constrained by opposing wildlife – then they tend to whine incessantly).

At this point I could extrapolate on the short-lived but glorious history of the bird in the early ‘90s (made possible by the introduction of an alpha breeding stock penguin from a French Canadian sanctuary in 1984), but that will do nothing more than conjure up needless inconsequential nostalgia and cloud this issue even more. It already has a healthy dialogue with history; it’s the future that remains uncertain.

Alas, we are now at the point where this thing must be solved once and for all.

This exact point is where you and your organization come in. Each of you has, at your disposal, the means to finally end this terribly tiring dilemma. With something as simple as the stroke of a pen, or the passing of a company resolution, the Pittsburgh Penguin can finally have a place to hang its hat, its head, or both.

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To PETA: If these cute but annoyingly cantankerous little birds somehow appeal to you and your horde of granola-munchers, come get them. Paint them red, make them a spokesfowl for your Q-Tip Recycling Awareness Program. Save them in a way only people who spray paint Brazilian Spotter turtle aquariums can.

To FEMA: Sure you screwed up that Bayou thing pretty badly. Here’s your chance to make a difference and show the world you’re not nearly as inept as you really are. Compared to New Orleans, this is a clogged toilet. You could be home by lunch time.

To the WWF: You’re the guys who look after homeless rodents and illiterate marsupials right? Not the organization which makes stars out of guys who think Speedos are formal wear. You know, if there was ever a great cause to get behind, it would be the plight of the Pittsburgh Penguin. They’re salvageable, they’re cute and they’re always so well-dressed. On top of that, I do believe they’re tax-deductible.

To the NRA: If all else fails, I’m counting on you boys to do what’s right. Yeah, they’re harmless, they’re non-aggressive and they tread lightly on the earth’s soil, but then again that’s what they said about rabbits and look at how well they listen to a semi-automatic rifle. Some decisions are just simply hard to make. If you can see it in your heart to send up a couple of your boys to complete what the NHL food chain should have taken care of about four years ago, we’d sure appreciate it. There’s some Steelers tickets in it for you, too.

Remember, it’s first come, first serve. May the best acronym win. Frankly we’re sick of dealing with it.

You have 30 days.

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN’s hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday and Friday only on

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