I live in Bucks County, PA, one of the most beautiful areas of the country, just ask me. If you live in this area, there are a few things that the residents understand. One, once it gets hot it here, it gets unbearably hot and once it’s cold, it gets unbearable cold. Two, the folks here are sometimes hard to get to know but once you do, you have a friend for life. And three, when the various wildlife pass in front of your car which they invariably do, YOU DO NOT KILL THEM. We are just that kind of people, at least I like to think so.
One of our residents clearly forgot that “Rule of Bucks County” last week. I feel the need to call him THE DUCK KILLER. I’m not proud of the way I handled THE DUCK KILLER, but let me tell you the whole story before I get ahead of myself. It all started when I drove my 16 year old son home after his Lacrosse practice.
For those of you who know the area, I was making a right hand turn on Smoke road off 313. As I was turning I noticed a family- a family, I tell you – of ducks waddling across the street. I did what every upstanding Pennsylvanian should do and slowed down to be sure to pass without hitting the little waddlers as well as to alert the driver behind me to slow down because there are living creatures in the road. After successfully passing the ducks without incident, I check in my rear view mirror. The putz behind me not only refuses to slow down, he also swerves IN ORDER TO HIT THE DUCK.
I couldn’t believe it. A cloud of white feathers explodes into the air and my son looks up, as my shriek pierces through his ipod music. “What’s wrong,” he says? “The nimrod behind me just killed a duck.”
What I did next really surprised me. I pulled over to let the beast pass me and then I am hot on his heels. While obeying all speeding regulations, ahem, I came up behind him at the stop sign at the end of the road and beeped my horn. I wanted to say to him, “Do you know what you just did? Was that really necessary? ” Only he doesn’t give me the chance. He put his smoking, cigar-filled hand out the window and gives me a little wave – a dismissive, “yes, I know I just killed a duck and I don’t give a crap” wave.
Now I’m really pissed.
Instead of turning left I turn right. I have no plan. I’m probably going to get killed, but I keep going, desperate for a chance to call this pisher out on what he did. How can he sleep tonight? What kind of man goes out of his way to kill a duck right in front of his little duck family? Has he no shame? No soul? What is the world coming to?
We hit another stop sign, I beep. He waves. I’m furious.
We hit a red light. I beep. He waves.
Is this guy kidding? Does he really think that I’m going to let him get away with the cold blooded murder of a duck?
As I’m contemplating exactly how I’m going to get this guy to pull over so I can give him a piece of mind, I remember that my son is still with me. He’s staring quizzically at me.
My mind races. He must think I’m losing my mind. Is there a teachable moment here? What am I actually going to do when I catch up to this guy? That’s it, I’ve ruined my son’s life.
I finally decide as the guy reaches yet another stop sign I will simply hold my hand on the horn and put up my hands in frustration. As I do so, the other cars at the four-way stop look confused, but I think I’ve made my point. This time, THE DUCK KILLER does not put his hand out the window to wave at me. Perhaps I HAVE made my point.
I looked over at my son again and said, “Can you believe that guy, hitting an innocent duck like that?” “Mom,” he said, ‘That wasn’t actually a duck it was a goose.”
Well, I see that I’ve made an impression. We drove home the rest of the way in silence.
A couple days later, my son and I were alone in the car again. He told me that he shared my response to the Duck Killer with his girlfriend (friend who is a girl) and she said to give me the “thumbs-up.” Well, how about that? Not direct vindication but I’ll take it.
What would you have done with the Duck Killer?