Ducks and Chucks,
For those who don't know, "giving the flipper" is a plucky way of protesting or telling someone/something to duck off. It's a ducking awesome sign of solidarity, especially when you're fighting misogyny on a daily basis—and who isn't? Here's an example of Duck giving the flipper, via our Instagram:
You can also give "the good flipper," which is a wholesome salute. It operates like a round of applause or quacker-cheer.
Warning: It's easier to duck up the flipper-giving process than you'd think. But the good news is that such mistakes often come with a silver lining. Take, for instance, the moments below:
1. Goose Luce with Clocks at Homecoot—I once accidentally give my Pond CEO Goose Luce the flipper when I spotted her at Homecoot [that's the waterfowl equivalent of Home Depot—Star]. I'd just been at a Ducks Fighting Poverty rally, so I'd penned the words "Share or duck off" on my under-flipper, just so I could protest in style.
Unfortunately, we ducks also use our flippers to wave hello, so as Goose Luce appeared with her cart full of clocks, I forgot the threatening words on my under-flipper and waved hello like a total beak-brain. (Quick aside: I've never known a goose to love clocks as much as Goose Luce does.) Of course, as I raised my flipper, it looked like I was bullying Goose Luce into giving me some of her clocks. This was all very unfortunate, and I had to buy her afternoon tea to make up for it.
But you know what? As Mars Dorian says at Tiny Buddha, "If you make more mistakes than anyone else, you will accumulate a mountain of experience. And from that springs a knowledge that allows you do incredible things." Duck yes!
I actually think Goose Luce and I grew closer because of that afternoon tea. And once I'd taken full responsibility, she recognized my quactivism and helped me to organize a Bingo Night fundraiser for Ducks Against Poverty.
Sometimes, our mistakes are our biggest ducking friends.
Frogina Ribbet-Squat—Another time when giving the flipper could not sustain me, was when I was on the Queer Ducks Rock float, during the Duck Day Parade on All-Bird River. Sadly, when some random pigeon squawked out that my suit was trashy, (un-be-ducking-lievable!) I was standing right beside Wisteria Honkdom [A well-known goose drag queen pictured below—Star]. Did I give that pigeon the flipper? Of course I ducking did!
Unfortunately, when I raised said flipper, I lost my balance and tumbled right into Wisteria Honkdom. Wisteria went down—slam—so that all her petticoats ended up over her head. Plus she took the Quackmeister with her, who also accidentally locked-flipper with Swan Juan, who went down too. We all ended up in the spawny end of the river. Which is usually reserved for frogs.
We didn't win the parade award. Probably because of me. I was deeply remorseful from beak-to-flippers. Also, those frogs were ducking angry.
But when I popped round to the Frog Office the following day with some frog-shaped goldfish cookies, I made a very good friend called Frogina Ribbet-Squat. Riley and I went to her wedding the other week. (In fact, Riley caught the bouquet and is now organizing a second wedding for the two of us. Yes, of course you're invited.)
So there's a silver pondweed-lining to that mistake, thank duck.
Post-Chiropractic Ducking—A couple of years ago, Riley and I went on vacation to the UK, because Riley was receiving a medal of honor from the Queen of England (Best Bird Opera Diva of the Year).
But after all the air travel, my tight hips got even tighter. I mean, quacker-ow! So before we went to the ceremony, I ducked along to a UK duck-chiropractor, who really loosened this duck up. Unfortunately, later, just as Riley receiving the award from Her Majesty the Queen of England, I raised my flipper as a mark of total ducking-respect. But with my hips all newly loosened, my flipper swung back just a little too far. I lost my balance, accidentally slapping a royal plover right in the belly, and I also knocked down a kipping flamingo (they kip on one leg. Go figure).
"Although we might not realize it at the time, we sometimes go down the wrong river in order to find a better pond."
The flamingo knocked over some kind of priceless urn. And Riley and I are now in the process of paying off our debt to the Crown on a monthly basis.
In retrospect, I might have better-served my inner duck by going to see the Queen of England before getting the chiropractic. Anyway, at least the experience makes for a flipper-flapping story, and those are always useful—especially when you're a storyteller.
Anyway, as you can see, our mistakes are sometimes our allies. Don't forget, my duckie friends, that although we might not realize it at the time, we sometimes go down the wrong river in order to find a better pond.