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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today At The Park ...

I don't wear a cape or tights (God forbid anyone is forced to witness something heinous like that!) or leap tall buildings ... short ones, for that matter ... but I do possess the super power of sensing when any type of bread or rolls or package of buns is just minutes away from molding. And then I buy them!

I swear, I could buy a loaf of rich, buttery wheat bread or that dark and zesty rye from my favorite deli as it's coming out of the oven and it will be green and fuzzy and a HAZ-MAT situation by the time I get the damn stuff out of the shopping bag and onto my ugly kitchen counter.

In the past, I felt like I might as well just take a portion of my grocery money and set it on fire. But, like a true hero, I have figured out a way to turn a bad situation into something positive and beneficial for less fortunate citizens. Well, not people actually ... ducks ... or geese ... maybe both, I'm not really sure how to tell the difference.

A few blocks from my apartment is a tremendously cool community park. The place is huge with walking and bike paths, pavilion areas, fields for softball and soccer, a well-maintained swimming pool, some lighted tennis courts, and one of those gigantic playground structures that looks like something out of a sci-fi show ... all bright colors, weird angles, and ropes and slides ... and bridges and little play "bubbles" everywhere. And like any park worth its "salt," this community oasis has several lakes, ponds, and streams to add to the natural splendor. And where you have water, you have ducks ... or geese. I'm going to use the collective term gucks for the remainder of this post.

This time of year, Ohio is rapidly cooling down ... trees are mostly bare and the air is definitely chilled like a fine wine. Colors are taking on that thinner, more stark quality. And, of course, all the down jackets are moving to the front of people's closets. Better then any calendar, I am reminded of the general season every morning as I drift closer to consciousness waiting for the blare of my alarm clock. As I wrestle to keep a chokehold on my slumber, I am treated to a symphony of honks and squawks as formations of gucks fly over my building to land and "refuel" somewhere on the park's still lush grounds.

Both ducks and geese belong to the bird family Anatidae. Sometimes the name is applied to other similar-looking birds called shelducks. Regardless, scientists estimate that ducks and geese have been around in one form or another for close to 10 million years. These avians are monogamous, living as "married couples." They are very territorial during their nesting time but otherwise migrate wildly in pursuit of food and warmer temperatures. And they apparently love their starchy carbohydrates.

I have become the self-imposed champion of the local guck population. Each week or so I allot about $6 or $7 and visit a "second hand" bakery to purchase as many loaves of inexpensive bread as my funds will allow. I then strut onto the park grounds with confidence, hoping my feathered friends will welcome my altruistic persona. But alas ... in a fashion painfully similar to the video I've attached, they mock my efforts and display only the minimal amount of manners as they wolf down the proffered victuals.

But while I dislike their disdain, I must admit I do enjoy watching a "herd" of cantankerous gucks going after a small child while their nearby parent of guardian just reads from a tattered paperback or texts furiously on their cell phone, completely unaware of the impending doom. Or I can't help but chuckle a little when a couple out for a leisurely stroll is ambushed by a small army of plumed plunderers.

POINT OF RANT: If gucks can find web-footed wedded bliss, why is it so hard for the rest of us?!

1 comment:

  1. Are you looking for web-footed bliss? :) In any case, I think their goals and desires are less complicated than ours, and their societal rules appear simpler, too. Or maybe I just don't know! ;)