There’s a really great story hidden inside every embarrassing tragedy. I’m sure of it. Hell, I’m living proof of it.
My friend had a fundraiser last month known affectionately in our part of the world as a Duck Derby. Stop it. I know what you’re thinking, and no, even we’re not redneck enough to race live ducks. Basically, you find a body of moving water and you dump a bunch of rubber duckies in it. You’ve numbered the ducks ahead of time, and the person whose duck crosses the finish line first (thanks to high levels of rain, swift currents, and more than a few water snakes) wins the prize.
It’s basically gambling…on rubber ducks and Mother Nature.
Fortunately, I got to skip this clam bake recently by having something better to do. I don’t remember what it was, but I seem to recall wine and pretending to clean out the linen closet might have been involved. Apparently, a good time was had by all, and no ducks were harmed in the derbying of these things.
(Interesting note: I’ve only had two glasses of wine, but I’ve already mistyped “ducks” as “dicks” four times in this blog post. Make of that what you will.)
This week, I took another friend kayaking at the creek in a neighboring county and happened to see a sign advertising the other friend’s duck derby. We stopped the car, jumped out, and rescued her sign in case she decides this year’s fun wasn’t nearly enough plastic duck in her life and opts to do it again. Farther up the creek, lo and behold, another sign. We rescued that one as well.
Then later that night, it’s entirely possible this happened:
No. As a matter of fact, they weren’t her signs. I literally stopped along a roadway and stole someone’s signs. Twice. I felt so guilty (the wine made me weepy about the whole thing) that I started investigating online and discovered to my absolute horror that I had not only stolen someone’s signs, I’d stolen an environmental protection organization’s signs advertising a fund raiser that was earmarked for cleaning up the very creek the duckies would swim to financial gain and freedom on.
(Another interesting note: I can’t envision a duck derby without thinking of that episode of WKRP where they didn’t know domesticated turkeys can’t fly.)
After a tearful, incoherent apology voicemail on that charity’s phone at ten o’clock last night, I snuck off to replace the stolen signs. After this happened, of course:
Because if you’re going to steal a sign with a rubber duck on it, you need to go all gangsta on it and threaten it like a jacked up cross between Anonymous and the Unibomber, just in case you ever need to extort money from this charity. Okay, that’s a lie, but it was still funny considering I was already a wanted criminal.
The derby signs are back in place, I’ve made a generous donation to the environmental charity to make up for my wrongdoing, and now I’m spreading the word. Go to this link, adopt a duck, and help clean up the creek. If you actually win the derby, I’ll send you pictures of me stealing your/my new kayak.