Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Return of the Duck

The Return of the Duck

I know this is hard for you to believe, but Yours Truly, Your Publisher is now in his 19th year of publishing newspapers.

“How can this be?” you are undoubtedly asking yourself, marveling that Rod-Boy must have begun publishing at the tender age of, say, ten years old. “Certainly,” you are thinking, “he couldn’t be much older than that, could he?”

But alas, it’s true. Yes, your publisher is slightly over 30 years old.

Back in 1989, there was only one newspaper, and Yours Truly was not only the publisher, but also did most of the writing, editing, designing, advertising, filing, bottle-washing, and floor-sweeping. (But NOT the headline proofing or speell-checcking! No one did.… a tradition that continues to this very day!)

A few days ago, while I was glancing through a copy of our little gazette from October, 1989, I came across some of my earlier writings. Back then, it seems, I personally penned so much of the weekly newspaper, that I took to writing some of my columns under pen-names. One such pseudonym was “Dr. Red Duck”.

Dr. Red Duck wrote a weekly column for a year or so, under the heading: “Dr. Red Duck: Weather Forecasts, Medical Advice, and Waterfowl Commentary”.

And, since it’s now again October, albeit 18 years later, and the State Fair is approaching, I thought I’d share a little vintage nom-de-plume newspaper writing with you… if only to make you appreciate my current colums a little more, from an “it-could-be-worse” point of view.

From October, 1989, I’m pleased to present the Return of Dr. Red Duck with a segment from his weekly advice column entitled “It Just Ain’t Fair”:

It's that time of year again. Time for the fair. But actually, it should be called the UNFAIR because it is unfair to ducks.

How is a duck supposed to enjoy such an unfair event? Is there no justice in the world? First there are those ridiculous rides. How is a duck supposed to ride on of those horses on the merry-go-around? And what about the rides that go round and round and round and round and round... I get dizzy just thinking about it!

And then there's the Midway. The most crowded mass of humanity imaginable. Quite unpleasant if you are an 18" tall duck.

And fair gunk! How would you like it if you had half-eaten candy apples, partially dissolved cotton candy, grilled onions, egg roll innards, polish sausage, pepperoni pizza with extra cheese, ice cream, hot dogs, and all other kinds of sticky goo oozing between your webbed feet - not to mention the latest horror - chocolate covered elephant ears! It's disgusting!

And how about the poultry judging? What a disgrace! Beauty pageants for people are nothing compared to this pathetic parade of pompous poultry. So much as a feather out of placeand its everything but your head ona silver platter.

Of course, there are a few things that are average and acceptable. Alright, I'll say it…a few things are FAIR.

The best, of course, is picking up ducks. Many fairgoers enjoy the game of "picking up ducks". But as a duck, it's more than just a game!

And I'll have to admit the poultry pageant had some pretty cute chicks. One really cute chick has a great pair of drumsticks – mama-mia!!!

The flower exhibit is also great. Great, that is, if you like to eat flowers. Begonias, daisies, petunias, rhododendrons, roses, sunflowers, poppies... it's pure t-heaven!

And finally there are the sideshows. The Amazon Duck Women -- you gotta see them!
My advice for the week: When you go to the fair watch your step. If you're a duck you might step in some fair gunk; if you're a person you might step on a duck!

I'm Dr. Red Duck


Lisa (Chappell) Beers said...

Oh My God!!!

I remember Dr. Red Duck, and October 1989 is around the time I came to work for you. (Almost 20 years ago, say it ain't so!!!) Still some of the best years ever, never never a dull moment. But hey, you eventually did get some help with that first paper -- ME! But you're right, we never were good at proof reading. Musta been the hangovers...

Just found your blog on Google, and it's great to "see" you and all the newspapers you publish now! Who'd a thunk it? Good for you.

Me? After a stint in retail (ugh!) I got into "communications" and eventually started my own design company in 1999. Been building websites ever since. I guess this apple didn't fall far from the tree... but you predicted that. ;-)

Anyhow, drop me a line sometime at

Lisa (Chappell) Beers

Anonymous said...

Mayhaps Dr. Duck ought to go in the company of "Cockwheat"...