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How The Flipper Went Wrong

Ducks and Chucks,

You know, my friends, giving rudeness the Flipper is usually a great idea, but sometimes, a duck can put his flipper-pad right in it WHILE HE'S GIVING THE FLIPPER. And this is what happened to yours truly after Saturday's visit to Mallard Mansion.

I went to play a game of dominoes with Mallard because it's one of our favorite games. (Once we played in the front garden of Mallard Mansion and managed to cover THE WHOLE PATH with dominos. After we were done, we realized we'd been playing for THREE WHOLE DAYS. This is how much Mallard and I love dominoes.)

Anyway, after hours of playing dominoes down the main staircase, Mallard started playing dominoes on my left flipper. "Now look here, Mallard!" I quacked. "This is out of order! I never gave you my ducking permission to play dominoes on my flippers—or any other part of me."

"My dear fellow," said Mallard, "I'm sorry, but playing dominoes on your flippers is actually gesture of remarkable respect."

Now, if there's one thing that really upsets this duck, it's conditional apologies that don't take note AT ALL of what I'm actually feeling. Mallard and I have had words about this before. So, in protest, I kicked Mallard's dominoes off my left flipper, stomped down the staircase, scattering dominoes everywhere and calling out, "Mallard, I will be giving you the flipper in protest until you apologize for your 'I'm sorry, but,' and your decision to put dominoes on my duck bod without my consent."

So, out I went and positioned myself in the front garden. There I stood.

And I stood and I stood.

After a couple of hours, this happened:

Around 10pm, Riley, my peacock partner, who is super-psychic, time-traveled back from 1990's London with some old-style chips covered in salt and vinegar. Delicious.

"Isn't your left flipper getting tired yet?" they asked, once I'd finished stuffing my beak.

"Yes, it ducking is," I said.

"I, Riley the Marvelous, am going to go and talk with Mallard," said Riley. So off they went, their peacock claws scraping against the gravel path.

There I stood. And I stood. And I stood. At some point, I swapped flippers, because enough is enough. But I was honestly starting to feel a bit sad and abandoned. Where had Riley gone? Where was Mallard?

Mallard arrived around midnight with a sad, droopy beak and a watering can in his left wing. He was also wearing his evening robe. "My dear fellow!" he quacked. "Have you been out here all this time? I literally came out to water my daffodils, and here you are, planted here like a statue! In fact," he added, musing somewhat, "you're making me think that a statue of you standing here like this might be quite appealing."

I began to quack angrily in response, when Mallard gave a heavy sigh and turned, lifting his robe, to show me his tail. "Here you are," he said. "So, you can see."

I gasped in astonishment. "Why are you giving me THE TAIL, when you're the one who ducked up?" I asked.

"Old chap," said Mallard, "I thought, as recompense for my putting dominoes on your flipper, you wanted to 'see my sorry behind'!"

Of course, back when I'd complained about his saying "I'm sorry, but," he'd thought I said, "If you're sorry, I want to see your sorry butt."

He apologized and we made up, of course. We're not best frenemies for nothing. But where the duck did Riley get to?

It turned out that on the way to speak to Mallard, they'd sneezed and were accidentally transported back to a Beatles concert in the 1960's. At that point, their time-traveling powers seemed to give way for a few hours. In short, Riley returned at seven the next morning, looking a little googly-eyed, with a ton of random flowers stuck in their tail. Riley also carried a strange smell of countryside animals and hay. "All you need is love, Duck," they told me as they collapsed into bed and started snoring.

And you know what? They're absolutely right.

Love and flippers. Flippers are important too.

Look after you, my lovely friends—and if you have flippers, don't stand on them for too long, okay?

Loves ya,

Duck T.


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