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Peacock Riley's Entitlement Course: A Slippery Slope (Paved With Sticky Notes)

Riley has an angry, red glint in their eye because they've just received a certain grade for their second Entitlement paper. They are wearing a crown, sitting in front of an open laptop. Their mug says, "Peacock Genius."

Ducks and Chucks,

Today, we're welcoming Peacock Riley back to the Chuckle Duck blog. Why? Because yesterday, they were telling me about an Entitlement Course they're taking and their stories left me TOTALLY BEAK-SMACKED.

Here's our conversation:

Duck T: So Riles, why are you doing this remote Entitlement course?

Peacock Riley: Because I, Riley the Marvelous, have had to recognize that I can sometimes be a very entitled peacock.

Duck T: Well, you are a famous opera singer with a TON of wealth and pretty privilege. Plus there's that whole thing with the housework. Like the fact that you refuse to do any vacuuming, yet you also won't let me buy a Broomba. [That's a Roomba for birds—Star.]

Peacock Riley: Well, Riley doesn't like robots crawling around under Riley's delectable clawed feet, ruining the marvelously polished wood floors. Plus Riley sheds less than Duck and actually pays most of the mortgage, which is why Riley is entitled. . . .

Duck T: [Silence]

Peacock Riley: Actually, yes. That would be Riley's entitlement.

Duck T: So, how's the course going?

Peacock Riley: TERRIBLY. Riley got a C. Riley, peacock of genius and tremendous operatic clout, never gets a C!

Duck T: Duck, no! Why the C?

Peacock Riley: Well, the previous time Riley got an Entitlement grade, it was a B. Riley thought that Riley's essay entitled, "Why Riley Deserves Slightly Less Than They're Already Being Paid for Their Powerful and Celebrated Lead Role in La Peacoquetta," was worth a very polished A. That's why Riley was VERY UNHAPPY to receive a B.

Riley's response was to write a cantankerous email to Riley's Entitlement professor, Talkhouse Loon, demanding that he give more detail about Riley's less-than-gleaming grade. Riley may have said that the two paragraphs of feedback that Talkhouse gave Riley just didn't seem like enough, given Riley's genius.

Duck T: Two paragraphs? That's generous, don't you think? I mean, how much does the poor loon get paid per paper?

Peacock Riley: Huh. Well, it does seem that Riley's attitude was a touch entitled, yes. And seeing as the course consists of an ongoing fieldwork assessment, Riley's entitled response to their grade B resulted in Riley getting a C for the next paper.

Duck T: Entitlement is a slippery ducking slope.

Peacock Riley: Caagh. Riley is an entitled peacock way too often. This, Riley is learning with staggering aplomb.

Duck T: Then again, I sometimes wonder whether all your "magnificent Riley" talk is partly about hiding that vulnerable little chick that you were, when you came out all by yourself, even though you thought the world would reject you. And then, you had to explain who you were. It wasn't ducking easy.

Peacock Riley: Riley is moved, Duck. Riley is very moved. And not just because there's a peacock in Riley's class who keeps misprouning Riley, calling Riley "he" instead of "they" and not apologizing.

Duck T: That makes me DUCKING ANGRY. Because you know what you're entitled to, Riles? Kindness and respect.

Just check out what the incredibly wise Jeffrey Marsh has to say about this (and then follow them on Instagram, because they're ducking awesome):

Peacock Riley: Riley is moved, Duck. Riley is so moved that Riley might even fan their feathers in a minute. Also, Riley is only just realizing that mowing your way over anyone's pronouns without even trying to get them right is entitlement in itself.

Duck T: That's not all it is either. It's actually an attack. That's why I'm giving this classmate of yours the flipper:

Peacock Riley: Thanks, Duck. Duck is monumental.

Duck T: And I am cheering you on for doing this course and learning to identify your own entitlement!

Peacock Riley: Caagh!

Duck T: So, how can I help?

Peacock Riley: Riley has decided that in order to stop being so entitled, Riley needs to put a sticky note on their every tail-feather saying, "Just because Riley is marvelous does NOT ever mean that Riley is more marvelous than anyone else."

Duck T: Bingo. That's a lot to put on a sticky note, but I'm game. And as a pond manager, I do love stickies. So if you do the scribbling, I'll do the sticking—or vice versa.

Peacock Riley: Caagh! Peacock Riley, the magnificent, opera-singing star, is tickled purple that Duck is going to help. Riley will soon become the most aware peacock in the whole, wide world!

There we have it, ducks and chucks. Peacock Riley: #NotEntitled.

Loves ya,

Duck T.


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