Thursday, October 21, 2004

Ducks' Unlimited Arrogance

There's a lot to admire about ducks. They can fly and swim and waddle around on land. A triple threat of locomotion, unmatched by any other species on Earth. Which is probably what gives them their zest for life. If you ever spend some time watching ducks, the conclusion you come to is, they're having a great time, ALL the time (which, come to think of it, is also the motto of Spinal Tap's keyboard player Viv Savage).

In Minnesota you see a lot of ducks in the fall. Flying in formation, circling about, all of them cheerily quacking away. Driving into work today on Hwy 36, there were ducks everywhere. Naturally, I was inspired by nature's majesty and pleased to see these happy creatures. Pleased to see any sentient being actually happy to be alive during a midweek morning commute, actually.

But then I realized what these ducks were up to. They're leaving. The brisk north wind these past few days brought the first rumors of winter and just like that, they're bailing out on us. These ducks are off on a six month vacation in some balmy southern clime. And they're laughing it up, without so much as an empathetic squawk for us left behind to face January's shivers alone. They're like flying rats leaving the sinking ship. And they're happy about it. Those bastards!

Over the next few weeks you Minnesotans may wish to pause and listen to the next flush of ducks that passes overhead. Amid the excited quacking and flapping, I swear you'll hear the faint taunt of "so long suckers."

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