Monday, January 12, 2009


One of my favorite things about where I sit at work is that I sit next to the owner of Phreddie, a glass penguin who could give Elton John a run for his money in the flamboyant costume department. Phreddie's original outfits were largely fashioned from office supplies. I don't even remember what the first one was, only that it we put it on him as a goof at the end of a long day, never thinking that we were participating in the birth of a tradition. Since that time, Phreddie has accumulated a collection of pretty sophisticated costumes, including the leather chaps pictured.

His first real fabric costume was a wizard outfit for the dual occasion of Halloween and the release of one of the Harry Potter movies. It was made blue lamé with silver accents and featured a long, white beard and staff. Since then, he has donned various costumes commemorate holidays and other assorted special events. He has come to work as a pilgrim, Santa, cupid, a nurse (when his owner had surgery), a bride, a Ducks fan, and a cowboy in celebration of the opening of the Pendleton Roundup. Despite my absolute loathing of rodeos (put me down as being on the bull's side!), I do think he looks awfully cute in his chaps.

I know the the whole thing is totally silly, but, like all colossal silliness, his presence really does relieve stress and lighten the mood. Who knew that afternoon when we cut his first costume out of a piece of colored paper that he would one day have whole shoebox cum closet full real clothes? The best part is watching an office full of adults take turns acting squirrely as they plot to abduct a knick-knack to dress it up and return it to its place without anyone noticing. If there is one thing that makes life better, it is unmitigated goofiness. It's nice to work in a place where my neighbors embrace that sort of thing. The world would be a much happier place if people just let go and allowed themselves a bit of silliness from time to time.

1 comment:

Chris said...

A Ducks fan in Portland? Does Phreddie have no local pride?

For non-Oregonians, the Ducks are the sports teams of the University of Oregon which is in Eugene, not Portland. Their mascot and logo is Donald Duck, for which Walt Disney personally gave his permission.