I went to the opera tonight. Saw Rossini's "The Barber of Seville". Loved it, but couldn't stop the old Bugs Bunny cartoon from running alongside the performance. Made me laugh out loud at times that probably weren't appropriate.
Anyhow, afterwards my friends and I went for sushi. Our usual haunt was closed, (who closes at 11pm on a Friday night?!) so we went across the street to somewhere new. I'm all about the atmosphere of a restaurant and prefer low-key as much as possible. All the usual signs of being a sushi bar were in place: large Sapporo blow-up, posing Geisha with fan, and random fish figurines. And then, there is a rhino.
Perched on one of the ledges just to the right of the cash register there is a plastic rhino. So, of course, I am both confused and intrigued. What is a rhino doing in a sushi bar? Since when did African mammals infiltrate the world of Japanese cuisine?
At the end of the meal, my friend decides to ask the restaurant owner what the deal is with the rhino. I'm all ears. Apparently, a customer left it behind one day and it's been perched there ever since. Not sure if this was a sin of omission or commission. Did some child drop ole Rhiney off the side of his stroller? Is he out there now crying himself to sleep in the hopes of Rhino's safe return? Or was this someone's idea of fun--placing an obviously out-of-place creature into the decor? I'll never know.
Owner man sees my clear interest in the rhino and says, "Do you want it?"
"Hell ya," I say, without hesitation. So he walks over, removes Mr. Rhino from his perch and gingerly slides him into my awaiting palm. And so it was that tall penguin met Mr. Rhino.
Mr. Rhino will join tall penguin on many adventures. Being purse-sized, he will be my traveling companion, much like Trunk Shark was back in my VW-driving days. What? You don't know about Trunk Shark? How could we get this far into our relationship without your hearing of Trunk Shark? Well then, I'll be diggin' through the archives and I'll pull that story for ya. Stay tuned.