Sunday September 25, 2005

Don't call me AFLAK!

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

Emerging from the house the other morning I encounter a puddle of watery shit on the sidewalk large enough to warrant a lifeguard. This can mean one of two things: canvassing politicians, or muscovy ducks. Insofar as there’s no impending election, I figure it’s the ducks.

Everybody in south Florida knows about muscovy ducks.
With their distended asses, greasy-looking feathers, and hideously mottled bare-red faces, their eerie resemblance to victims of radiation poisoning is unsettling. The males, which can grow to 15 pounds, emit a hissing noise when confronted, and while they can actually fly, it’s with all the grace of Rosie O’Donnell skateboarding.

But it’s their tendency to shit all over creation that is most irritating. Traveling in packs of 3 or 4, they slowly waddle down the sidewalk, shit pouring from their feathered butts every step of the way. Green, milky, and semi-solid—imagine a bowl of mildewed grits—it’s a source of salmonella and E-Coli bacteria, as well as a revolting and slippery obstacle to put a bare foot into.

I’m told that Caribbean people eat these things. When I mentioned this to a Bahamian acquaintance, he stared at me in horror. “Dat duck dere?!” he asked, pointing in disbelief.

Even though they’re non-native to south Florida, it’s illegal to slaughter them, presumably for the same reason that you can’t kill tourists, even in season. You can chase them, as I have, waving a baseball bat and screaming epithets, when I found them eating from the food bowls I leave for the cats (and merrily shitting all over the carport). But that bends the animal lovers out of shape, and frankly, the ducks don’t seem to really care: they shoot me a dirty look, waggle their tail feathers..and shit.

I thought about putting poison out, but that might end up inside some neighborhood kid, and I’d have a lot of explaining to do to its parents. Besides, with my luck, the damn duck would drop dead somewhere I can’t reach it, and rot. I hate it when that happens.

If they were bums—oh, I’m sorry, “residentially-challenged persons”—I could call the city and have them removed. If they were dogs, cats, or alligators, I summon animal control. But this feathered pestilence? Is there such a thing as DuckBusters?

[See all Articles by Steve]

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  1. i know    Mon Sep 26, 10:08 AM #  

    these ducks are the worst, try kicking them very hard, if that doesnt work, peeing on them may make ypu feel better

  2. Donald    Mon Sep 26, 10:13 AM #  

    Don’t know if it’s a good idea to whip out your shlong like that—not in public, anyway, and what if the damn thing turns around and takes a bite? Is it illegal to have sex with an underage duck?

  3. Daffy    Mon Sep 26, 10:15 AM #  

    I heard that if you feed them uncooked rice, it swells up and kills them from the inside out. Kind of a foi gras effect.

  4. Rodney King    Mon Sep 26, 10:23 AM #  

    You people are sick and perverted. These are harmless creatures who’ve been around these parts longer than you have. Sure they shit: that’s what living creatures do—look it up. You may think they’re ugly, but what do you suppose you look like to them? Some of us like living in nature, ducks included: check it out.

    Why can’t we all just get along?

  5. Starvin' Marvin    Mon Sep 26, 04:36 PM #  

    Here are 20 recipes for Muscovy Duck. The eggs are edible as well. Eating them is a real good way to get rid of them. In fact, why isn’t there a “Miami Duck” like there was a “Boston Chicken?” Somebody needs to look into this.

  6. Dale    Mon Sep 26, 04:40 PM #  

    Once I drove right into one of these bastards. Feathers, blood, bones, and most of all duck shit all over the place, and it cost me $250 to pull blubber from the engine and fix the dent in the hood. But it was worth it. One less!

  7. Miami Harold    Mon Sep 26, 04:48 PM #  

    The difference between tourists and muscovy ducks:
    one is an ugly, invasive species
    that treats south Florida like its own personal toilet.
    The other has feathers.

  8. Debra Noce    Fri Oct 7, 11:48 PM #  

    This article makes me sick. These ducks serve us humans a great service. They are primarily used on farms and such to keep the bug population down. They are used mostly to control West Nile Virus. The do not cause e-coli, misinformation is the root of most evil. They are not pond dwellers they like tall grass, to get mosquitoes. Their feathers are not slimey. These are domesticated animals. You should look into duck rescue groups, instead of swinging a bat around. I can only assume, your neighbors would prefer the ducks to your behavior. I would have you arrested, if you lived in my neighborhood.
    These animals are so domesticated and friendly, they are subjected to abuse of people like you. They only hiss when they are being persecuted and when males are trying to attract females. These ducks DO NOT BITE!!!! They have NO teeth, this is insane. They also do not quack.
    Please do your research, before putting down mindless, reckless information in the future.

  9. Muscovy Duck    Mon Oct 10, 10:25 AM #  

    Thanks for your kind words and strong support. It’s always a pleasure to hear from people who don’t mind getting shit all over themselves and everything they own. It’s perfectly natural shit, so what’s the big deal? Let’s get together soon, so I and my family and friends can shit on you and your family, cars, laundry, sidewalk, and non-farm lifestyle. Thanks again, and see you soon!