Sunday, October 22, 2006

well, ducks

Donated a bunch of stuff to the local thrift store. Actually, kind of dropped it off in the dead of night, to be completely accurate.

You’re not supposed to leave stuff outside after hours because people come and scavenge and sometimes they leave things in disarray.

On the other hand, why is the store there? It’s to make money for a charity to help out folks who need it. When people come directly to the store and pick up stuff, that seems to me like a pretty efficient way to cut out a lot of hassle and bureaucracy in the middle and get things to folks who need them.

But anyway. That’s not the point of this post.

We left a bunch of (mostly pretty decent) stuff after hrs because we were desperate and pressed for time and I couldn’t think what else to do with it and I didn’t want to have to unload it all from the truck again only to re-load it the next day. Which also isn’t the point.

The point is that when we came back to leave *another* load, sure enough, there was a couple getting ready to pull away in a dirty little station wagon half full of what used to be our stuff. Like I say, I don’t have a problem with it – these folks looked like they could use a break. So I pretended I was ready to believe they’d been *dropping off* something rather than taking stuff.

So anyway. While we’re chatting the lady opens her door, and a life-sized plaster duck falls out onto the ground. This duck had sat in our living room for years. Its head and tail had both broken off and had been glued back on. It was not a well duck to begin with. And when it hit the asphalt, it finally quacked up for good. Heh. Sorry.

So the lady’s looking at the pieces of duck, and somehow, on some level, she either knows she could be considered to be stealing, or she's too proud to admit needing to scavenge from the thrift store. Either way, something compels her to communicate to me that that duck had been in her car for a long time. She looks up at her husband and says casually “Was that Marty’s duck?” Husband acknowledges that he thought it had indeed been Marty’s duck. I pretended I thought so, too. Poor Marty. Sucks to be him, losing a good duck like that.

The good part of it all is I got to talk about the incident with my kids, and we came away with a little piece of family memory. And now if ever someone’s not being completely straightforward, or trying to make people believe something that’s maybe not technically 100% true, we smile at each other and say “Was that Marty’s duck?”


At Sun Oct 22, 10:23:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can always count on you to make me laugh out loud..... :D

At Mon Oct 23, 11:54:00 AM PDT, Blogger Alan said...

Great story and a good insight into human nature.

At Mon Oct 23, 12:08:00 PM PDT, Anonymous si said...

i liked this post. must say adventures happen to you -- even with mundane activities like donating stuff...

At Mon Oct 23, 12:54:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Eric with a C said...

I gotta be honest...that was pretty funny.

At Mon Oct 23, 03:10:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay are said...

That was great. I'm going to use that too: "Was that Marty's duck?" Isn't it great to have these meaningful, deep experiences that weave themselves into the family history and jargon? I keep laughing, thinking about them thinking they were fooling you.

At Mon Oct 23, 06:00:00 PM PDT, Blogger blogball said...

That was a nice feel good story Bryan. I grew up with many of those “inside” family sayings that were initiated by a personal incident or observation . They are the best!

One that comes to mind is a Hockey player named Harry Howell who played for the Calgary Cowboys in the old WHA.. He had a way of knowing just when to stop what he was doing before ref would call a penalty on him. Like a kids knowing just when to stop before they gets yelled at by their dad. Hence the saying Harry Howell it.

At Tue Oct 24, 10:06:00 AM PDT, Blogger Andi said...

I think you could make a paperclip story funny. Loved it.

At Fri Oct 27, 09:49:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like it!


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