“Not with that attitude,” he said, and dropped the hot dog, a skinny wiener rolling down the slope of dusty sidewalk they’d just walked up. He acted as if he’d go for it and stopped, then turn-puffed over and picked up the dirty meat, chucked it into the duck pond maybe thirty yards away. He stepped on the bread, picked it up, wadded it, and threw that too. It unraveled half-way and died there and after the ducks were done wondering what the hell kind of bread could smell so grease and homeless, they quack-quacked and made for the more traditional offering, Carl screaming at them as they waddled up.
“Ducks!” he said. “I am sick and tired of these ducks–these same ducks here every day–being fed and never, not ever, not once flapping up to me on a bench and quacking what at least in their language is a thank you. Not ever looking at you with those diseased dark eyes except to quack-quack-blah-blah-quack for something that may or may not be stuffed in your pockets.” He raised them his middle finger–“That’s what’s in my pockets!“–and pointed at Christine, the blonde within almost personal conversation distance, far enough to feign bystander status, to dodge the ketchup packet she knew was still on him somewhere. “You!” he said, and turned back to the ducks.
“Hot dog! Manhood! That’s what’s in my pants! Take it! Because she can’t have it.” He walked over to her, who backed a few steps–flabbergasted, trying to look like she knew he was capable of hitting her, hoping for some dapper don to see some easy pickin’s. Carl shouted, “You! You can’t have it any more. The ducks have it. Just as greedy damned as you are, but they win because they’re too damn smart to want anything else. You want my dinner. My nine dollar salads! You scope me for my future!”
“I’m sorry, Carl,” she said.
“Well I don’t have anymore nine dollar salads”, he yelled. He bansheed. He spittle fumed. He dead duck omened and hot dog boomed.
“DUCKS!” he yelled. “SLUTS! You and I, Christine! You and I!”
He took off his shirt. Threw it at them. It didn’t make it either. He undid his belt. Slid his pants.
“Carl,” urged Christine, a growling burst, quick and meant to sound like attempted undertone–muffled and discreet–though it was desperately groping for eyes, the perception and label of sanity.
Carl went for his shoes in ankled pants. One and then the other, they sailed toward the water–splashed, rippling, duckless.
“DINGY DUMBAD DUCKS!”
He marched down to the water, stomping and pomping, slid down his underwear and plunked into the coolness of the pond, yelling and quacking, his hands in his armpits, flapping.
“Quack you, Christine!” he yelled. “Where’s my quackin’ hot dog!”
Carl was her ride, but Christine, bright red and sullen shocked, walked away–head down, fast.
The day was calm and clear, the breeze blowing slightly in. On her way she passed some authority rushing toward the pond.
She was allergic to ducks.