Barry Smith: Irrelativity
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
I don’t want to cause a panic, but I may have unwittingly paved the way for a duck invasion.
Everything was going fine. I was sitting at my desk writing this week’s column about a comprehensive and foolproof national economic recovery plan when a duck walked through my yard.
I’ve never seen a duck in my yard before, and I’ve lived in this house for more than 10 years. I’ve seen ducks before, of course. Down by the river, not in my yard. I jump out of my chair and run outside. Maybe it’s wounded and I can nurse it back to health. Maybe it just wants to be my friend! Maybe I should feed it! Of course. I run back in and grab a hunk of bread, then head back outside and start tossing bread balls at it. Want to live here, duck? Lots of room in the back yard. Plenty more bread where this came from. Oops – sorry, didn’t mean to hit you in the head with that one. I love you!
The duck ignores the hail of bread crumbs and walks away while I snap pictures of it. Yes, it walks. Could have flown, but chose instead to walk. Weird.
I’ve had bears in my front yard most every night this summer. I’m kind of over them. Oh, quick note to bears – CHEW YOUR FOOD MORE! Chewing is the first rung of the ladder of good digestion. The bear evidence under my apple tree looks like I tossed a few apples in a blender, hit the “frappe” button for about half a second and then poured the results in a pile in the yard. Chew, bears! 32 chews per bite is recommended. It’ll make a difference, you’ll see.
Anyway, this duck. So trippy. I saw it and just dropped everything, like it was hypnotizing me or something.
I have a theory, and you can laugh if you want, but it’ll be here in print so I can back up my charge of “I told you so” a few years from now.
Here’s my theory: The ducks are coming.
No, you don’t see it yet. Of course you don’t. That’s because their takeover isn’t going to be all loud and clunky and headline-making as the failed bear takeover. These ducks have been looming overhead, gathering intel for the past decade, watching the bears and learning from their mistakes.
Why a duck? Why will the duck succeed where the bear failed? Well, consider the advantages the duck has over the bear:
1. They can fly. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. If bears could fly they’d be running the place – just as the ducks soon will be.
2. They quack. So much better than roaring. And they know it.
3. They’re safe. Sure, this takes away some of their exotic appeal – ever see an area cordoned off by the cops because there’s a duck in a tree? – but this will prove to be our ultimate undoing. You’d never willingly invite a bear into your home. It would eat your children. But a duck? You’d hire one as a babysitter.
4. They’re generically cute. When you think of “cute” wildlife, I’ll bet the duck doesn’t initially come to mind, does it? But let me tell you, when you see one web-footing it through your yard you’ll be out there doing its bidding in no time, completely unable to stop yourself.
5. They have the power of hypnosis. See above.
I have reason to believe that the duck I spotted in my yard was a scout, sent out to make initial contact, size up our defenses. And I think my actions have doomed our town, because this ducks report will read something like, “Didn’t even reach downtown mall destination before being pelted with edibles. Humans are a weak and gullible race and have access to endless snacks. They will fall quickly and easily. This will be our finest hour.”
The ducks will not invade, they’ll just show up. Before we know it they’ll be part of our economy, crucial to our infrastructure, they’ll hold elected office and own commercial real estate. Unlike the bears, they won’t have to knock over dumpsters, they’ll have us delivering dumpsters to their doorsteps.
Yes, they’ll have doorsteps.
Notice that I’ve not made a single duck pun this entire column? No reference to “getting the bill” or “quacking up” or “crying fowl” or things “miGRATING on your nerves” or “notifying Wetland Security” or hinting at words that rhyme with duck?
That’s because this is serious.
(Next time: A comprehensive and foolproof national economic … oh, look! A squirrel!)
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