Sunday, October 27, 2013

** Just Ducky.

There’s a war going on in Lago Vista, TX.  Sides have been taken and no quarter will be drawn.  The opponents both think that their opinions are the only correct opinions to be had and are willing to draw blood and fight for their rights.  Sound familiar, like any other war?  Well it’s not quite so.  It is a peculiar war in that there are no weapons drawn, no ammunition stored.  And it’s made a little more peculiar by the fact that the two armies are entirely made up of ducks. 

The resident ducks are a group of three friends who always swim together and a group of four ducks who always swim together.  They believe that it is their right, and ONLY their right, to have marina privileges, though they pay no property owner association fees and don’t even own boats.  One group stays on one side of the marina and the other group takes the other side, co-habitating,  having cocktails, keeping up with the news and living in peace.

Then, there are the ‘snowbirds,’ the commuter ducks, those that are very much like their human ‘snowbird’ counterparts except for the fact that they don’t own RVs or have second homes in the Hamptons.  When they come in for the winter, there’s hell to pay.  Let the games begin!

Allow me to introduce you to the players:  (We will ignore the group of four ducks because they really don’t care much about the commuter ducks.  They are really more like the Switzerlands or Canadians of duckhood and they let the other three fight for their rights and freedoms.  Hey, don’t knock it, it works for them.)

"Don't gimme no sh*t, mutherf***er!!"
Duck #1 = Aphro-duckie.  This duck is of an undetermined breed but sort of looks like a male mallard except for the fact that he/she has an afro.  Seriously, imagine a normal looking duck head with a little bitty afro wig on top and you get Aphro-duckie, the duck Goddess of Love.  (Well, that is, if it’s a female.  If it’s a male, you get “Shaft.”)  Either way, this goofy looking creature is not the ring leader but is the largest of the trio.  Aphro-duckie seems to follow the lead of….

Duck #2 = Laughing Duck, aka Phyllis.  Holy crap, but this duck laughs at everything and loudly?  I think she’s really giving instructions to the other two but you cannot help but laugh when she does.  Her voice is like that of a drill sergeant and she is also the scout duck, notifying all the troops about a new fish in the lake or a new branch by the lake or a new rock she just discovered or, oh, look, it’s a cloud! or anything that looks like duck news.  She sounds like Phyllis Diller and is an alarmist.  She can make drama out of anything, very much like Barbara Walters, and does so with an amazing voice, scaling down in tone and volume with each syllable:“WAAAAACK, WaAcK, WaCk, wack, wack, wack, wak….”  White, large and fluffy, she is always first to get to the bread when thrown and, when trying to do so, will swim right over…

Duck #3 = Let’s call this one Martha.  She is the smallest of the trio and is very soft spoken and mannerly, the perfect hostess when the other four come round for dinner, setting a perfect table and creating centerpieces out of feathers, poo and sticks.  Her hair is always perfect.  However, when faced with adversity, you just know that she can pull out the big guns, much like Martha Stewart.  The little mallard that could, she always pays her taxes and doesn’t do any insider trading…that we know of.

This little trio goes up against the commuter ducks, those that fly down from the North around October and decide that, no, little plant groves along the shore are not good enough for THEM, they must have what
YOU’RE having.   Well, what the resident ducks are having, anyway, which is, in fact, the marina.  Maybe it’s more fun to poop on the planks of a roofed marina than it is to poop on the shore of the lake.  Maybe it’s the abundance of algae that grows between the boat slips of the marina, making for perfect salad appetizers at duck dinner parties.  Maybe it’s easier to goose walk on decking.  Regardless, very much like Germany during WWII, the 7-8 commuter ducks invade every stinking year and every year the Mod Squad defends the decks, Switzerland and Canada.  Phyllis issues the commands; Aphro-duckie and Martha viciously fly after the many marauders, pecking at them and hurling insults.  Back and forth, back and forth they fly, making marathon runners look like sissies in their zeal to invade and/or protect what is theirs.

I have yet to see the commuters win the battle.   Though they keep up that attempt, they can usually be found in various plant groves along the shoreline for most of the winter months, grumbling about the draftiness of the reeds and the neighbors next door, those pesky koots.  You would think that they’d plan out their strategies a little better each year but, sadly, there is not a single mastermind among them.  Much like an urban gang, they spend most of the other seasons doing drugs, getting tattoos, finger pointing and blaming their comrades for forgetting to bring the brass knuckles and pea-shooters.  

The Mod Squad give each other high fives and slaps on the back when the snowbirds pack up and head back home in March or April, tired and defeated, but happy to be not frozen or mounted on some hunter’s wall.  “Job well done!!  THAT’LL show ‘em!  Pip, pip and all that rot!”  sayeth the Mod Squad.  Then they settle down, poop on the decks some more, watch TV and plan their next dinner party. 

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