I dedicate this to one woebegotten duck, scientific name anas platyrhynchos, may you rest in peace.
I had an incident Saturday afternoon, driving home after a lovely lunch at McDonald's. I should've known the day was going to go wrong when some small woman in the McDonald's line got in an argument with me about whether or not the teller was ready to take my order or not yet. I contended she wasn't ready to take my order, as she hadn't given me the "Okay, now I'm ready" eyes, but the woman disagreed, telling me to "Just step up, she'll take your order once you step up."
"Listen lady," I said, "I'll step up when she's ready."
I shot her a backthef***off look.
The teller finally gave me the eyes, I sarcastically looked over my shoulder at the woman, who tried to avoid eye contact, but I totally tractor beamed her, before stepping up and ordering.
I often think about "What ifs?" ... What if our pizza cutter hadn't broken last week? What if we hadn't gone to lunch at all? What if we didn't decide to stop and pick up a new pizza cutter on the way home from lunch?
Then maybe that family of ducks would still be alive.
I pulled off the freeway toward the pizza cutter store, and up ahead I saw about 15 ducklings on the shoulder of the road, just beneath an overpass. One of the little guys clearly didn't make it, all of his brothers and sisters were crowded around him. It was strangely human. I'm looking at the ducklings, trying to make sure I can maneuver out of the way if they happened to wander into the street, but it was a one-way street, manuevering was going to be minimal. Out of nowhere, from the overpass I was just about to pass under, a duck dive-bombs my windshield, bounces off like a kid in a blow-up castle, and clatters to the pavement behind my car.
"WHAT THE F***!" I screamed.
I tried to stop, but it was a freeway exit, there were other cars coming. I reached a stoplight up ahead and looked in my rear-view mirror, hoping to see the daredevil duck dust itself off and go tend to the ducklings. But it was upside down. My wife, sensitive as always, described in detail what it looked like, before I yelled, "Oh my god, STOP!"
She tried not to laugh, unsuccessfully. Told you, sensitive as always.
We went to the pizza cutter store, the whole time I'm searching for local animal shelters on my phone wondering aloud "WHY DO PEOPLE ONLY RESCUE DOGS?! WHAT ABOUT THE DUCKS DAMMIT! WHAT ABOUT THE DUCKS?!"
I was quietly ushered out of the pizza cutter store.
I went home, thinking about that duck family, torn to shreds over what my two-ton car and I had just done ... fowl murder. But then, a glimmer of light, I did what everyone struggling with grief does:
I made up an awesome story to make myself feel better!
Why were those ducklings alone in the street? Because that duck mother was a whore. Yup, she was a whore. She had 15 ducklings from 10 different mallards, sleeping around town, trying to get her fix, snorting car exhaust wherever she could. She was a terrible mother, high out of her mind from some oil slick she'd found nearby, not realizing her babies were wandering off. And then, when she finally did realize her babies, who she thought were little edible crackers, were missing, she jumped off the overpass without looking or using her wings. She was so damn hungry!
But just when things looked dire, just when it looked like not only one life would be lost that day, but 14 others, a great duck mother came and found the orphaned ducklings, took them under her wing (yeah, I went there), and raised them in a loving home with her longtime mallard partner, Rory, who was a carpenter and liked to garden in his free time.
Whew, I feel better. In any case, the official mascot of Quick Takes (Quack Takes? No ...) from henceforth shall be the majestic duck. May your wings never tire and your feathers remain waterproof. Amen.
- JaMarcus Russell, Oakland Raiders quarterback and headlining member of my Fat Action Squad, now reportedly weighs over 300 pounds. I wonder if the Raiders are going to draw up plays where he's his own blocker?
- Tim Tebow jersey sales broke the all-time draft weekend record this past weekend, previously held by Jets QB Mark Sanchez. It just goes to show, Christians will buy anything with the lord's name on it.
- Baseball attendance is starting to reach the "oh shit" level already. Obviously Bud Selig has no idea, he's stuck in an iron lung at the moment getting his breathe on, but I watched a Mariners game recently where the all-time lowest attendance record at Safeco Field was set, just 1/16th into the season. It felt like a birthday party for a kid everyone hates. Sure, there were a few pity shows, but most people thought, "Meh, I'd rather stay home and play video games. I hate that kid. I'll just tell him I was sick on Monday." Why is attendance so poor in Major League Baseball? Because fans are smarter than the people running the league. The season is too long, the games are too long, and the product has become diluted by fat, lazy players who play their way into shape. Jillian Michaels should run Major League Baseball ... I think C.C. Sabathia would retreat into the ocean to rejoin his colony if that were to happen.
- Is Kelly Kapoor running the Philadelphia Phillies front office? Kelly, you didn't have to give Ryan Howard $125 million to get back together, just tell him you're pregnant again.
- Also, it's hard to type Philadelphia Phillies and then NOT type "phront" and "ophice."
- Prostitution is legal in France, did you know that? Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema, two French national football players, did. What they forgot is that while prostitution may be legal, having underage sex is not. Whoops! Should there be a hooker clause added to the underage sex law? Should we consult Ben Roethlisberger?
- I spent three hours watching Dateline NBC's "To Catch A Predator" the other night because UW Huskies guard Isaiah Thomas told me to. What can I say? I'm impressionable, as are the young, nubile decoys the show employs to catch said predators.
- LeGarrette Blount looks like he might be a Quick Takes mainstay after just two articles! After going undrafted this past weekend at Radio City Music Hall, Blount had made verbal commitments to sign with the 49ers, only to ditch them hours later and join the Tennessee Titans. While he may struggle with football at times, LeGarrette Blount clearly still knows how to throw a sucker-punch.
- Lady Gaga wants tickets to Team Voldemort's next playoff game against the Lakers? If there was ever a building in the world I wanted to burn down with my brain ...