Monday, January 19, 2009

If It Quacks Like a Duck

I know I'm behind on blogging.

Really, I'm behind on everything.

Just last night we finally got around to having the neighbors over for latkes.

Sure, we missed Hannukah.

And Christmas.

And Kwanzaa.

But damn, we got those latkes out in time for celebrating the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

As it happens, it really was a proclamation of a woman's right choose: Edith, not born into the Tribe, chose to put ketchup on her latkes.

This is a slippery slope. You let the convert put on ketchup, next thing you know, the Newfie will be putting on scruncheons.

Still, it was a lovely evening. Don tried to goad their son into saying Copacetic, but the wily three year-old refused.

How are you? Don asked, in that smug parent-of-a-kid-with-an-impresssive-vocabulary way.

Ducky! Adiv answered, in that oh-for-a-moment-I-thought-I-was-Noel-Coward way.

Not only was it freakin' adorable, it was also the perfect opening for me to segue this blog entry into the requisite Martin Luther King, Jr./Civil Rights Movement/Barack Obama-is-about-to-be-president content that any media produced in this country in the past 72 hours has had to hit.

So here goes.

Yes, Adiv, ducks are adorable. But it hasn't all been ducky for kids who love ducks.

Cue the NPR excerpt:

I'd like to say it was the onions I was shredding for the latkes that had me all weepy last night. But that would be as phony as pouring ketchup on a potato pancake just to celebrate a Supreme Court decision.

I was weepy because I was listening to all the NPR coverage on The Profound Symbolism Denoting How This Nation Is Not As Totally Whacked When It Comes To Race As It Used To Be.

Yes, in Barack Obama's own lifetime, there were segregated fountains and segregated restaurants and segregated housing and even segregated duck ponds, apparently.

Here in Portland in 2008 things are different. Little black children and little white children not only get to see the ducks in the park together—they get to make art about the ducks in park.And, super bonus if you are five years old, they even get to give the grown ups guff about the ducks in park.
Yes, , as we discovered when we took a walk in the park yesterday afternoon, Portland is so wholesome kids who shouldn't even know how to write yet are posting public service announcements to protect the water fowl.

It may seem like innocent fun, but parents be warned: environmental awareness is just a gateway drug . . . to human rights activism! Let your child protect the ducks in kindergarten, and the next thing you know, she could be running with this crowd:
Although not running very fast with that crowd, since moving around in those boxes is rather cumbersome.

Pardon me,
I said upon noticing the box-clad gaggle of teens, I couldn't help but notice you are wearing boxes.

Yes, the teens said, we are.

Might I inquire as to why? I inquired.

They're book collection boxes one of the teens answered, waving her arms emphatically. Or as emphatically as the cut-out armhole allowed. Do you know about the Christmas massacre?

I was tempted to point out that I am only just now getting around to the Hannukah gluttony, surely I shouldn't be expected to be up on seasonal slaughter as well. But instead I just shook my head while she explained about Uganda and mass murder and child soldiers and . . .

Well, actually, explained is the wrong verb. She vocalized about all those things. And about the book drive her school was doing. And how they were in the park making a movie to promote the book drive. Which is why they were all wearing book-drop boxes.

It seemed awfully sweet and wholesome, even if I still have no idea how book drives will help child soldiers.

What I do know is that all those kids doing their intrapark public service inspired me to try to find some service project to volunteer for today.

Please don't tell Barack.

Or Michelle.

Because really, I am not a bad person.

I volunteer! I am a board member on a non-profit! I try to do work that makes a difference in the world!

But yeah, I was kind of a slacker about the whole National Day of Service thing, and by the time I logged onto all the sites with volunteer opportunities, every damn thing was full to capacity.

The best I could do was some spontaneous trash pick up as I walked past the library on the way to Fred Meyer. Of course, since I was wearing a full-length fake leopard coat accessorized with the wacky Japanese mittens my college roommate gave me for my birthday last year, well, I realized as I walked down the block in that get-up carrying handfuls of garbage, I pretty much looked like a crazy homeless lady.

When as everyone knows, I am not a crazy homeless lady. I am a crazy lady with a big green house called Dutchboy.

Anyway, I was going to the Fred Meyer because I figured if I couldn't save the planet I could at least make a nice gift for the friends who are having me over at 8 am to watch the inauguration.

And since we are all planning on balling like [red diaper] babies at the momentous occasion, I figured I should commemorate it appropriately.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Official Barack Obama Inaugural Tissue Holders!

Also marketed under the alternative name I Have a Sniffle.

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