Fred & The Green-Headed Duck Archives
January 6, 2006
Jim: Ducking Through A Small Door
The green-headed duck pointed one wing at the overgrown pile of rotting frames. “You should open that door, Fred,” he quacked.
“That’s silly. Why would I want to do that?”
“Someone once wrote that the doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live,” he replied.
There’s no point in arguing with a duck so I opened the door. Suddenly, dozens of cockroaches, startled by the light, scampered away from their dank hiding place underneath.
The green-headed duck quacked happily and pounced. Within seconds, the bugs were all eaten.
I wondered what this said about my life.
January 20, 2006
Jim: Fred's Song
“Who can find some cardboard
Underneath a bridge
Pour on chocolate syrup
That he found in an old fridge?
“The crazy man.
The crazy man can.
The crazy man can cause he really isn’t finicky about what he eats.
“Who can take newspaper
Wrapped around a fish
Squeeze on ketchup packets
And use it for a dish?
“The crazy man.
The crazy man can.
“The crazy man grinds
Everything he finds
Into an edible powder
Talk about your dumpster chowder
I can even sing this louder.”
The green-headed duck rolled his eyes and walked away. I should sing more often.
January 25, 2006
Jim: The Midway of the Mind
“Are you going to spend all day riding the carousel, Fred?” asked the green-headed duck.
“Probably,” I grinned from atop my gaudy wooden steed. “This is my favorite carnival ride. It reminds me of my life.”
“I have the sensation of movement without really going anywhere,” I replied.
“And when the ride is over, you just step off,” he somberly retorted.
“Not me. That’s not where I’m going.”
“What do you mean, Fred?”
I pointed toward an exit sign hanging over a small door that led into the bowels of the machine. “I’m going that way,” I said.
September 28, 2006
Jim: Drake Me To Your Leader
They took me out of solitary and restarted my medications but this time the voices didn’t go away. Occasionally, though, they became quiet enough that I could hear other people speaking.
“Space aliens are landing!” screeched a haggard lady staring out the common room’s window.
“They always are, Ms. Simms,” grinned an orderly.
“It’s true!” she shrieked. “They have horrible brown bodies with green faces. And black eyes that stare into your very soul!”
“Yes, Ma’am,” the orderly agreed while gently leading her away.
I couldn’t resist looking out. But all I saw on the lawn was a green-headed duck.
October 11, 2006
Jim: It's A Bird
When the weather’s nice, the orderlies take us down to the yard. We walk on the grass, touch the trees and smell the flowers, all comfy and secure within the high wire fence.
“Aliens!” screamed Ms. Simms, pointing at the sky. Again.
As an orderly rushed over to sedate her, I followed the path of her finger.
A winged shape circled in the crystal blue sky, wheeling larger and larger.
It bounced a few times on landing, waddling to a stop at my feet.
“Nice bathrobe, Fred,” quacked the green-headed duck.
“I thought I was done with you,” I sighed.
October 12, 2006
Jim: The Grate Escape
“When were you planning on leaving here, Fred?” asked the green-headed duck.
I shrugged. “I guess when they say I’m better.”
“Look around you, Fred.” The green-headed duck pointed with his wing. “This place is peopled with psychotics. Do you think you’ll get better here?”
“Umm, I suppose not.”
“Then let’s go!” he declared.
The top of the high fence looked formidable framed against the azure sky. I knew I could not climb over.
Instead, I wiggled my way to freedom through a filthy storm drain.
The green-headed duck flew over the fence and met me at the other end.
November 14, 2006
Jim: No Room To Duck
I said, “Ducks can’t talk.” Just like that. Simple yet profound.
Squatting beside the sink, the green-headed duck spat out a capful of mouthwash. “That’s true, Fred” he said.
“A duck’s brain and larynx are too small,” I continued.
The green-headed duck nodded agreeably and said, “The famous psychiatrist Alfred Adler stated, ‘A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt as dangerous.’”
“Are you implying that I think speechless ducks are dangerous?”
He just looked at me and shrugged.
“I’m out of toilet paper,” I said uneasily.
He waddled out of the bathroom to fetch another roll.
December 11, 2006
Jim: The Designated Duck
“Have you ever noticed,” I slurred to the green-headed duck sitting on the stool beside me, “that everybody shakes the ice cubes in their glass once the drink is gone?”
He rolled his eyes and replied, “The writer Mary Pettibone Poole once said that alcohol is a good preservative for everything but brains.”
“Do you think it’s because the tinkling ice sounds so lonely?”
He started to answer but I was already onto my next thought. “If the formula for water is H2O, then is the formula for an ice cube H2O squared?”
“I’ll call you a cab,” he sighed.
August 17, 2007
Jim: Life’s A Gas
Preceded by resonant honking and shining against an azure sky, an inverted V of white geese flew north.
I stopped to watch their stately progress and said, “I once read that waterfowl instinctively fly in that V formation to take advantage of air pressure differences spinning off the wingtips of the lead flyer. It’s such an excellent strategy for long migratory flight that the whole process is built into your genetic code.”
“I guess that’s one theory, Fred,” replied the green-headed duck. “But I always thought we flew like that in case the bird ahead of us decides to fart.”