The revolution will begin with a waddle

Why did the duck cross the road? That’s a trick question, of course. Ducks don’t cross the road. They stand in the middle and laugh at us as we all slow down to avoid them and some of us miss our trains.

 

Why do they do this? Other birds don’t do this. Other birds have amazing road sense. They’ll sit in the path of an oncoming vehicle, seemingly oblivious to its approach, then casually flap away at the very last moment without even appearing to acknowledging the vehicle’s existence. They do it every time, and we know that they will, to the point where we no longer think to slow down when we see a bird on the road in front of us. Unless it’s a duck.

 

Ducks are unpredictable. They are terrible pedestrians. They stop without warning. They change direction suddenly. Sometimes they even bring their families with them as they stroll out into traffic. Ducks are very irresponsible parents, come to think of it. Is there any other species that forces its young to walk behind it in single file and then lures them out in front of a bus?

 

It’s easy to believe that ducks are morons. It’s easy to believe that they wandered off to splash in a puddle on the day that God was handing out common sense. But I think there’s more to it than that. I think they’re smarter than they’re letting on. I think they have a plan, and I think it involves some pretty advanced mathematical theory.

 

When a duck stops in the middle of the road, traffic grinds to a halt. This creates a ripple of congestion that radiates out across the city. Even after the duck has left, the knock-on effect of the initial disturbance will continue to disrupt traffic for some time.

 

And what if two different ducks stop in the middle of two different roads? If the traffic ripples that they create eventually collide, the resulting disturbance will be amplified.

 

Now think about what would happen if a multitude of ducks wandered out onto a multitude of roads across a city. Think about all those ripples spreading out across that city, colliding and amplifying and colliding again. If a single butterfly flapping its wings can set off a tornado, what kind of chaos can we expect when scores of strategically placed ducks flap their wings in the face of peak hour traffic?

 

And they will be placed strategically, believe me. These ducks know exactly what they’re doing. They’re working towards something. Something horrible. And I think the other birds are in on it too.

 

If every bird in the world started acting strangely, we’d know that something was up. They can’t afford to give us that kind of warning. We’d destroy them with our bombs. So the revolution won’t begin with a bunch of spooky birds perched all over the White House. The revolution will begin with a waddle.

 

We’re all accustomed to ducks stopping traffic. They do it every day and we live with it, because they’ve been doing it for as long as we can remember. So nobody will notice that anything is amiss on the morning when it all begins. When you slow down for a family of ducks on your way to work, you won’t think anything of it. You’ll just smile at the row of cute little ducklings, completely unaware that, across your unsuspecting city, other clueless drivers are slowing down for other cute little ducks, and the imperceptible ripples of commuter mayhem are building into a tsunami. You won’t sense the impending gridlock until it’s too late. And that’s when the pigeons will attack.

 

With our transportation systems crippled, and our cities in chaos, the other birds will spring into action. Flocks of kamikaze seagulls will disable our aircraft. Sleeper cells of canary assassins will murder high ranking officials in their beds. By the time the ostrich squads arrive from their secret training facilities in the deserts, the global devastation will be unprecedented. The human race will be reeling.

 

Maybe we’ll fight back from the brink of destruction. Maybe we’ll even win…

 

Actually, you know what? I think we probably will win. They’re just stupid birds, after all. But it’s really going to hurt if a pigeon pecks you in the face while you’re stuck in traffic, so maybe just make sure you keep your windows wound up during the revolution.

 

One Response to 'The revolution will begin with a waddle'

  1. Mario says:

    Where I live the swans and geese – for the most – part tolerate each other raehtr well, but then there are dozens of them in the bay. Have you ever been to Stratford? They have quite the swan release parade there in the spring – and those swans do not like the geese on the river, at all!

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