A Penguin est un Pingouin is a Flightless Bird, is a Bartender?

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. However, before we explore the relative merits of this line in Gertrud Stein’s poem ‘Sacred Emily’ and find the penguin connection, we must retrace our thoughts and begin at the beginning … or is that the Begin the Beguine? 

It all began with an interrupted morning run. No sooner had I conquered the first uphill stretch, when I saw a delivery truck coming toward me. A truck, I knew was heading for our door. We have been busy checking through an array of furniture stores to supplement what we’re bringing from the US. Visiting both new furniture stores and secondhand dealers, in both their actual and virtual locations, we have made a number of purchases. A dining table, a bed frame, and un meuble télé are on order and won’t be ready until we’ve moved into our place. Ditto for ma bibliothèque, my antique, glass enclosed case to showcase my old books and other treasures. The Brocante shop will keep it for me for the time being. 

Only a pair of nightstands, more specifically night tables, are actually on route to us, which was confirmed yesterday when I received an SMS regarding a ‘livraison’ a delivery. So I had to use the dreaded phone again, to find out the shipping details. Fortunately, a helpful and patient person was on the other end and we were soon set for delivery today between 8 & 18 h, which they confirmed by text shortly thereafter. So efficient, these Frenchies! But frankly, an online tracking number would have been so much easier to handle!

Seeing the delivery truck this morning, I reversed and headed back home, curious to see our new Art Deco pieces. In addition to our two little tables, we also received one large pallet, copious amounts of cardboard and styrofoam packing materials, bubble wrap, shrink wrap and sections of sticky tape of varying lengths and widths. It now graces our courtyard and we better find out, where to find the city dump, although I doubt, the pallet would actually fit in the car. We might have to figure out when they collect balky rubbish. Live and learn, right?

After admiring our new acquisition, it was time to get back on the road and finish my run. And since we had been so athletically responsible, we scheduled a nice lunch adventure for ourselves afterward.

Yes, we went out for lunch again and enjoyed a lovely meal in a more traditional setting, including, alas, a basket of excellent bread. After an ample meal, it is imperative to exercise vigorously to prevent nasty fat cells from settling in all the wrong places. 

Thus we walked first along the bank of the Charente river, contemplating serene reflections on the still waters,

then we turned into the pedestrian zone in the Old Town, where this shop window, displaying giant origami penguins, caught my eye:

Since I was wearing all black and white (see reflected image, center background), I felt very penguinish and had to find out what this was all about. 
First question: what’s a pingouins n.m.p.?

The text on the window explains the penguin part. It says:

“Espèce d’individus portant tous l’uniforme noir et blanc pour aller travailler. Ils colonisent souvent les salles de réunion et se regroupent instinctivement autour de la machine à café”

“Individuals always wearing black and white uniforms to work. They often ‘colonize’ in meeting rooms and instinctively gather around the coffee machine”

Just clever wordplay? Still, I had to google ‘n.m.p.’, since I don’t like unanswered questions. And dear google supplied the answer: No More Penguins. A Rent-a-Bartender website, a website promising innovative and creative services for all your event needs. They’ll bring the limes for your caipirinhas and an attitude to match, but they won’t show up in the standard black and white uniform, ever, because they have an alternative vision of service. They have a FaceBook page and, of course, they’re Parisian. 
The things one learns from shop windows!       

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