Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A couple weeks ago I went to visit my nephew in upstate New York. He's a fun hetero who's as carefree and aimless as the rest of his generation. Between current pop culture and the avoidance of work we have a lot in common.

He's bored and thinking of getting a companion. "If you could have anything at all for a pet," he asks me, "what would you get?"

I don't even have to think. "A duck," I say. I've wanted a duck forever.

He laughs, and he definitely veers from "laughing with me" territory to "laughing at me." "A duck?" he repeats. "Why the hell would you want a duck?"

His scorn runs like water off my back. I don't care: I'm totally secure in my duck-wanting orientation. "Are you kidding?" I ask. "They're adorable. They waddle. They quack. You don't have to walk them: you can just toss them in the bathtub and they'll exercise themselves." He's speechless. "Oh, and they can walk, swim, and fly. Toss a dog in the air and see how far it gets."

He shakes his head. "That's ridiculous," he says.

For the rest of the visit I feel blanketed with humiliation, and then a week later I see a photo on his Facebook wall.

My mouth drops open and my heart stops as I read his post. He just "decided" to get a duck, he says. Just on a whim he went to a nearby farm, bought a fertilized duck egg, and HATCHED IT HIMSELF, he says. And now he's in love. He can't believe he ever lived without a duck.

I literally can't believe my eyes. That's my duck, I think. MY DUCK. In a fiery fit of anger I dash off a furious email where I tell him exactly what I think. I call him every name in the book, for laughing at my idea and then stealing it, and for knowing how much I'm dying for a duck and then rubbing his new pet in my face.

His reply is just a photograph. Though I admire his skill with a crochet needle, I'm pretty sure we'll never speak again.


jeesau said...

Glass half-full: you have a new duck nephew!

RomanHans said...

I'm more of a "Who stole half of my goddamn drink?" kind of guy.