Ducks and Chucks,
This duck is losing his pondweed today! You see, Riley and I have acquired a new robot called Trans Robot, who has been helping us out at home. Trans Robot is both flipper-tickling awesome and super-ducking-frustrating, plus they have a real 1980's vibe. But they're a member of the family now, so they're here to stay. We've also got them on the British language setting, which is ducklightful.
Anyway, as Riley and I were giving Trans Robot a supermarket shopping list, the following discussion happened. But if you're vegan like Riley or vegetarian like Star, just be aware that there are some mentions of eating meat in the following conversation, because Riley, who is meant to be vegan, doesn't seem to know what being vegan actually is! Brace yourself:
Riley: Riley's run out of chocolate-covered beetles.
Trans Robot: Alright, mate! Adding beetles (any gender) to Trans Robot's pen-written handy list. Thankie.
Duck: But Riles, you're vegan! Beetles aren't!
Riley: Riley knows beetles aren't vegan. They eat other insects, for starters.
Trans Robot: Smashing! I am chuffed to add gender-neutral insect fire-starters to Trans Robot's pen-written handy list. Thankie.
Duck: But beetles aren't vegan TO EAT, Riley. Beetles are living things!
Riley: Not when they're covered in chocolate, they aren't!
Trans Robot: Cheers, me old muckers! Adding non-binary chocolate nuts to Trans Robot's pen-written handy list. By the way, does anyone fancy a cuppa?
Duck: For duck's sake, Riles! Beetles have flesh inside, you know!
Riley: But in a "fruit" sort of way. Like an apple has flesh. Or a grape.
Trans Robot: Adding apples, meat, and grey apes to. . . .
Duck: If eating beetles is vegan, you might as well eat yourself!
Riley: Actually, Riley has often thought about eating themselves. Peacocks are very succulent, you know.
Duck: WHAT? You're vegan! And even if you aren't, you can't EAT YOURSELF! I NEED YOU!
Trans Robot: Adding fresh dough to Trans Robot's brilliant pen-written handy list. But blimey! I seem to have worn down Trans Robot's HB pencil. What will Trans Robot write with? Wait! Trans Robot has a spiffing idea! Instead, I will do what Duck told me to do earlier and use my head. Thankie.
Duck: Trans Robot, stop trying to write with your head. You'll smudge the list.
Riley: Eating yourself is the one living thing a peacock will actually eat. It only seems fair, after all. And peacocks, Riley hears, are the tenderest of meats.
Trans Robot: Adding peacock meat to. . . .
Duck: Trans Robot, if you add tender meat to your handy list, I will send you up the pond without a paddle.
Trans Robot: Adding a paddle to Trans Robot's "interesting items to collect" list. Thankie.
Duck: You know, Riles, you'll probably be telling me ducks aren't meat in a minute!
Trans Robot: Adding duck meat to. . . .
Riley: In Riley's experience, ducks are more beak than meat.
Duck: That is hugely objectifying!
Riley: Oh dear. Riley is very sorry. Want a chocolate-covered beetle to make up for it? They're vegan. . . .
Duck: This is total quackduckery! I bet even the chocolate isn't vegan!
Trans Robot: Adding beetroot-flavored chocolate vegans to. . . .
Riley: What's really wrong, Duck? You're not worried Riley's going to eat you, are you?
Duck: No, it's not that.
Trans Robot: Removing duck meat from Trans Robot's handy. . . .
Duck: I don't really know why I get so upset about these things. I mean, it's up to you what you eat. Just because you think you're vegan but actually aren't doesn't mean I should lose my beak about it, does it?
Riley: Riley loves that Duck is such a moral citizen who tries to help Riley achieve their goals. Come here. Let Riley give Duck a hug.
Trans Robot: Adding quahogs to. . . .
Duck: You give the best hugs, Riles. To use a British phrase, they always make me feel pukka.
Trans Robot: Okay then! And what sort of cuppa would that be? We have English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and Ginger Goose Flippers.
Riley: Mmm, now I'm hungry.
Duck: Oh, for duck's sake!
You see, ducks and chucks? I did warn you. But you know what? This duck did learn a couple of things from this conversation: One, I take too much responsibility for others' ethics. And two, Whole Foods doesn't sell paddles or chocolate non-binary nuts.
All right, ducks and chucks. Hope all is good on your pond!