Ducks and Chucks,
This duck is done, and I don't mean in the oven. If this ducking pondemic [that's duck-speak for "pandemic"—Star] goes on any longer, I might just resign as pond manager. Yes, I, Duck T, am responsible for social distancing at our pond—and if you think that sounds easy, try getting a load of waterfowl to swim in the same direction, two feet apart. It's totes quackers.
So, launching into flipper-tickling problem-solving mode, yours truly asked seventeen ducks for novel ideas on how to manage this pondemic with beak-stuffed artistry. Here's what they came up with:
1. Shark it! Score! Dress as a shark! Freddie Krueger would love this idea! All this humble pond manager would have to do to get the ducks to circle in the right direction while also staying at least two feet apart is to dress like Jaws. Ducking terrifying! I mean, look at the bird on the left there, scrambling out of shot ! I bet she's off to fetch her beak-mask. She'll probably never take it off again.
2. Move the pond to a tree! As a pond manager, this one really puts the spice in my goldfish! Then again, how exactly would I move the entire pond to this fine-looking evergreen? First of all, at least three of us—me, Swan Juan, and Xena Quacking Bedford—are afraid of heights. Secondly, our flippers would get ducking dry up there. And thirdly, after what happened at Christmas, I think I may be allergic to fir trees.
Still, this one will make for some ducking awesome daydreams.
3. Enforce synchronized swimming! Now this is a goodie. Look at this clever little quacker. If I teach the birds on the pond synchronized swimming, when I tell them, "Everyone needs to stay two feet apart!" you can bet your tickly flippers they'll comply. If they don't, we'll all look sloppy. And what bird wants that?
Slight setback: This will need to be a longer-term plan because yours truly knows nothing whatsoever about synchronized swimming. But duck it! You're never too old to learn.
4. Give every duck their own personal pond! While this looks ducking classy on the surface, in practice finding twenty small ponds and placing them two feet apart would take a ducking miracle.
On the other hand, this photo bobs my butt. Did he let out a bit of gas or is he naturally elevating himself out of his personal pond? No duck can elevate gracefully like that when they're stressed. Maybe I could get my own personal pond for stress-relief purposes. "Duck Pond for One"—not a bad marketing idea....
5. Put on a neck-tie! Look, tie-wearing won't help the pondemic in any ducking way, but what isn't classy about a snazzy neck-tie that really puts a honk in your headshot? This humble pond manager clearly needs to do some online shopping.
6. Get ducks to breakdance! In terms of pond management, this one's pretty ducking easy. I hire a breakdancing teacher and a very large hall, put every duck in position, and let the lesson commence. After, they'll be all head-spun and giddy, and swimming around in one direction just two feet apart will not seem complicated at all.
7. Place every duck on a drum! Brilliant! Here's the plan: Every bird on the pond is allotted one drum-obsessed human, who will hold their waterfowl over a drum and get them to paddle their flippers. On the plus side, those ducking birds will have to stay two feet apart. The problem? Not sure duck-sized earplugs are actually a thing.
8. Put ducks in cute clothes! Okay, this one won't actually solve the problem, but imagine the photo opportunities! And politically speaking, think of the duck visibility! Because who won't share that on Duckster, hm? Ducking inspired!
9. Ducks in pockets? Seriously? What beakbrain suggested this? I mean, if you're especially petite, then sure, we'll stick you in a pocket, but it is not my job to organize ducklings, duck-dammit. Moving swiftly on....
10. Put each duck in a car and get them to shout when they need water! Now, look, we could try this. I mean, it would be hygienic because, heck, they can't French kiss when there's a sheet of metal in the way, so in some respects, this is a ducking smooth idea. But I have been told that people are quackers if they give you access to their vehicle. And even if we got access to over a dozen cars, imagine how loud a duck would have to quack if they needed some ducking water? So, no. It's a duck-saster waiting to happen. Lock all cars! Let no duck in!
11. Inflate 'em! Ducking genius! This, pictured below, is the plover-ducking answer to the plover-ducking problem! How the duck would Mallard Jones and Goose Luce get within a foot of one another if they were shaped like giant water balloons? Plus any bird who decided to swim anti-clockwise on the pond—instead of clockwise, which is the rule, duck-dammit—they could crash into anyone without getting too ducking close. Chaos? Yes! Does it matter? No!
But we do have some issues. How does one inflate a bird in this way? Is there some kind of air-pumping contraption? Even if there was, Mallard Jones and Cootie McToggle would never agree to being pumped. Instead, perhaps bird-supermarkets could make brussel sprouts free for the month of February. What bird can say no to free vegetation? And who doesn't get sprout gas, hm? Let 'em pump themselves up! This could be worth a try!
12. Toilet duck! No ducking way! I had to ban the phrase "toilet duck" from the pond last year because some duck-darn beak-brain used it to insult the pet mallard of Sigourney Weaver. Weaver's agent got involved. Then we almost got sued by a brand of toilet cleaner. It was a total ducking nightmare.
Yes, the toilet idea enforces duck social distancing, but politically speaking, it's frogspawn. Plus TALK ABOUT RESTRICTIVE! That is not what I call a pleasant view.
13. Floaties for ducks! This one breaks one of my only rules: "If they can still get close enough to peck out your peepers, it's not a social-distancing strategy."
Glad I stopped scrolling for this one though, 'cos it totally wiggles my tinkle-feather. Was I really that cute before I had my feathers?
14. Some dude? WHO THE DUCK IS THIS? Why does he come up when I search for problem-solving ducks from Oregon? (Social media gets my flippers in a knot.)
While the head-gear is a good idea, we're NOT trying to motorbike. Plus our beaks will totally stick out of that helmet. Moving on.
15. Cat! Whoever suggested this is completely QUACKERS. It ONLY KEEPS THE CAT SAFE! It is a total FLOCKING NIGHTMARE just waiting to happen! Do we really want to come out of this pondemic with a load of cosy, healthy, fresh-faced cats who LIKE TO EAT DUCKS and have a TASTE FOR THEM NOW? If the pondemic only spares two of us, our whole species will go FLIPPERS-UP.
Let's just get serious now, people.
16. Enlarged beaks! I mean, I guess this could work, but won't enlarging our beaks make us more susceptible to disease? Sure, our bodies are further away because of the great, hulking size of our bills, but our nose-holes are also bigger, no? Meaning we can inhale more ducking air that's filled with nasties?
Okay. I may need the help of a veterinarian to work out whether this is actually a fail.
17. Duck in a package! First of all, there is clearly something seriously wrong with this duckie. Have they been somehow infected? If so, I'm glad they are safely ducking encased. But send round a vet, duck-dammit!
Engineering-wise, the likelihood of me being able to get more than a dozen birds into their own transparent cases is totally rock-bottom. So this is definitely a no-duck-no.
Okay, folks. That list started better than it ended, probably because I got majorly quacked off. But there are a wing-ful of good ideas here that put a spring in my flippers.
In conclusion, pondemics are ducking hard—for birds, for humans, for ducking everyone. If I, a humble pond manager, am going quackers, I suspect everyone else is too. My advice? Relax your flappers, grab a can of goldfish-water and a bowl of salted duck-corn, watch some old movie—When Duckie Met Sally perhaps, or Swans Like it Hot—and forget about trying to manage anything.
Also, sign up for my d-mail list, so we can stay in touch. (Goodies are soon coming for all who sign up!) And if you want to check out the Chuckle Duck birds, you'll find our biographies and headshots right here.