On Friday, a friend and I drove to the OC Zoo inside the Irvine Regional Park to catch up with the "Surf's Up" mobile tour. The folks manning the brightly colored truck (featuring characters suspiciously similar to those in Happy Feet) were handing out free ice cream samples and had been driving up the coast and all over town. This sort of marketing wasn't exactly, er, allowed in most places, tour leader Melissa Burton said as she handed over cups of Splish-Splash and Penguin Swirl. And yet they were doing it on both coasts.
Mel and co. had been kindly told to get off beaches, and they have used every trick in the book to get around—including saying, "We're talking to OC Weekly" to get into the park that afternoon. They were particularly proud of being able to stay outside Santa Monica's Promenade for three hours straight before being told to git. All to give out freebies and have kids play this weird video game featuring a surfing chicken.
Catholic school kids lined up outside the zoo for a taste . . . probably not in line with the strict nutrition guidelines most schools have these days, but the teachers didn't seem to mind.
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Splish-Splash was a blue-raspberry ice concoction, and Penguin Swirl . . . looked like a melted penguin. They were okay on the taste buds, almost slurpee-like. One has to wonder what the rationalization was behind giving kids treats that taint their tongues in bruised shades, though. . . .