When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck. – Richard Cardinal Cushing

giant duck

I’m not sure we should be getting the definitive statement about ducks from a cardinal, and anyway, it isn’t ducks in general that interests the Idler today, it is one duck in particular. And this duck is not even a real flesh and blood, or should I say not even a real bill and feathers duck. No, I rise today in defense of the giant rubber duck.

You’ve heard the sniping. “What’s that stupid duck doing cluttering up our inland waterways?”, and, “Don’t people have anything better to do than inflate a giant rubber duck and turn it loose on an unsuspecting citizenry?” and, “If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I saw a giant duck swimming under the Rankin Bridge!” To the first two of these people I say, “Shut up!”, and to the last one I say, “The duck didn’t come up the Mon, pal, so try and cut back on the sauce.”

There are two reasons why the first two people should shut up. First, the giant rubber duck is harmless. Second, it is goofy. Harmless & Goofy may be an ill advised choice in a law firm, but it is a combination of qualities that should be encouraged almost everywhere else. These two qualities describe the loveable Labrador retriever, at least when they’re not working. (Ironically, when they are working they’re often handing you dead ducks.) Know who else fits these descriptors? Many of our most beloved cartoon characters – Deputy Dog, Stimpy (but not Ren), and Vice-president Joe Biden come to mind – not to mention the coaching staff of the Jacksonville Jaguars (haven’t the Steelers suffered enough?) and the Obamacare web-launch team.

Compared to the giant rubber duck, which, by the way, has no ulterior commercial motive, the two comparable livestock advertising figures, the Chick-fil-A cow and the Bottom Dollar flying pig, are positively disturbing. First of all, why is a holstein, who has udderly (get it?) no interest in the beef industry, trying to guilt us out over hamburger consumption? Second, when it comes to spelling, a holstein couldn’t spell cow if you spotted her the “c” and the “o”. A guernsey is a total Jeopardy champion by comparison. As for the flying pig, if he’s so disapproving of ham purchases, why doesn’t he go get all smart-alecky in a vegan store.

This brings me to my favorite butcher shop joke: A cow, a pig and a duck walk into a butcher shop. The pig and the cow faint dead away but the duck asks, “Do you have a little chicken?” The butcher says, “a little chicken?” The duck says, “yeah, a little chicken.” The butcher says, “you want a poulet?” The duck says, “no, just wrap it up, I’ll carry it.”

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com Also, Like “The Idler” on Facebook

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