Ducks and Chucks,
Now, look. Who on earth are these ducking twins and why are they so insistent about playing with me?
At first, it was all very cordial. Sure, they wanted to play "forever and ever," but what kid doesn't? I explained that I needed to pop off to Starduck's for a coffee, then I'd be back for a quick round of Scrabble, or, failing that, maybe some Lego construction.
Anyway, once I returned, all these ducking kids would say was, "Come and play with us Duck, forever and ever and ever."
"For duck's sake," said I, losing my usual cool, "I'm right here, macchiato in wing-hand, offering my good-time attitude with a slightly flexible deadline. Are we going to do this or not? I'm even open to group solitaire."
"We put the 'dead' in 'deadline,' Duck," say these twins, who, it seems, always speak at the SAME DUCKING TIME. "That's why you're going to stay here and play with us forever and ever and ever."
"I've taken whole training sessions on what a deadline is," I said, "and what you're talking about is not a deadline!"
"It's a shifting deadline," said the twins.
"Well," I said, "that may be all very easy for you! But are you launching an e-book called Behold The Ducking Snake Fiasco (written by yourself and Star Williams) this very Thursday? (It'll be free for my email subscribers, by the way.) Are you learning to speak like a human while also preparing to launch a duck-podcast on Patreon? Are you coming out as a duck + stuffie on Instagram?" [Folks, if you're interested in any of this, do sign up for Duck's email list, if you haven't already! —Star]
I then gave the twins the flipper, and made sure to balance there, right flipper raised, for a good long time. This seemed to shut them up for a minute.
"Here's the thing," said I. "You're hanging about in this huge, empty hotel called the Overlook, for duck's sake, demanding that ducks (ducks, no less!) devote endless time to providing you with play opportunities when you DON'T EVEN OWN A LEGO SET?"
I was really warming to my theme. If the twins were talking now, I was totally talking over them. Then it suddenly struck me: Now isn't a great time to be a kid.
I gave a heavy sigh and took a sip of my macchiato. "Okay, so I get why you're hanging around in deserted buildings rather than heading off to school," I said. "It's not an easy time right now, and who can catch Delta when they're the only ones staying at The Overlook? Am I right?"
The twins were staring sadly at the floor now, as if dead in the water. Honestly, this was no way to spend what people say should be the most joyful years of a child's life. And where was the duck-darn adult in charge? I had a good mind to write them an angry letter.
"Now," I said firmly, "I have to go. I can't be late. The last pond meeting I was late for went to pot. Everyone was rioting once I arrived and I had to put out TWO FIRES. But I have to say, I'm worried about you two." I reached into my jacket pocket and retrieved my pocket deck. "So I'm going to leave you with my trusty deck of cards. If you don't know how to play, google it. You can google, yes? On your handheld device?"
These kids were still trying to get me to stay. What total quackduckery!
"And listen!" I called, as I flipper-slapped away. "Whatever you do, take the stairs, because that elevator's a hazard!" No really, I've never seen such a mess behind a pair of sliding doors. And look, it's a basic rule of service: if you're going spill that much ketchup, for duck's sake, wipe it up.