Three Weenies And Moonshine.

What do you expect from a town where ducks won’t fly?

Robert Cormack
5 min readApr 13, 2020

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I’ve been able to keep a certain grace about me, even in times of disgrace and craziness.” Pamela Anderson

I live near the shores of Lake Erie, a charming community by all accounts, unless it’s April. I don’t know what it is about April other than it’s April, and that seems to be enough to make people a bit crazy.

I often talk about craziness, usually in the international context. Like President Trump the other day having trouble describing the White House. “This house, this building — I don’t know what it is. Nobody knows what it is,” he said. Well, Donny, the fact that it’s called The White House should give you a clue.

There’s no point dwelling on this. He has his opinions, just like the pastor in Texas telling his congregation that Jesus don’t cotton to no corony virus, so stick with Jesus and everything will be hunky-dory.

Things happen here, and, frankly, we don’t put all our faith in Jesus or Trump or anyone else we can’t share a beer with on a Saturday night.

These are troubling times. The idea that everything’s hunky-dory doesn’t sit well in our county. Things happen here, and, frankly, we don’t put all our faith in Jesus or Trump or anyone else we can’t share a beer with on a Saturday night.

We’re an opinionated bunch, and last week tested our patience more than most. First there was the fire over in Silver Lake Park. The park’s supposed to be closed to the public, but someone started a grass fire there, anyway.

“Common sense isn’t a flower that grows in everyone’s garden,” a guy named Bruce said on social media. Ann was more forceful, calling the perpetrators “little punks.” “How do you know they’re kids?” Trevor shot back. “Don’t assume. It could be any age. Most grass fires are caused by adults trying to do a control burn.”

“In a public park with a No Trespassing sign?” Brent responded.

“It’s my zen zone,” Josh said.

Well, okay, that’s a good point, and when someone makes a good point, there’s nothing to do but head into more familiar territory, namely how much some people like fires. “It’s my zen zone,” Josh said.

“I’m right there with you, bud,” Rick replied.

“Three hotdogs, no mustard, right? Lol.”

“And some moonshine to wash it down with.”

You can’t blame guys for wanting to discuss Zen, or René, another local, for complaining about free flyers littering the street. “There’s no amount of PPE gear that would make me even dream of picking them up.”

This brought out the more exercise-minded, telling René to walk the sixteen feet, pick the silly flyer up, and walk back. “If you knew me you wouldn’t make that assumption,” René responded. Boy, imagine taking a cheap shot when all René wanted was a sanitized free flyer.

A local photographer decided some levity was needed, posting a picture of what looked like a giant black bird on a nest of branches. “Omg, I inched forward for 10 minutes…what a find…Wild black peacock…or vulture…or the illusive black swan…I was agog with anticipation…the illusive…black garbage bag…I know…SHUDDUP.”

Fortunately, the black garbage bag did fly away with the strong winds, fooling a few duck hunters in the process. “Looked like a duck to me,” Charlie said, admitting he’s shot a few flying garbage bags in his time. “Wasted shells,” he said, “but my aim’s improving. Got it right between the eyes.”

“My Sea-doo broke it’s mooring last night. If you can find it, you can ride it. Throttle sticks.”

Winds are building off the lake. Weather services are advising all cottagers to leave the area. When 110 mph winds are expected, you’d think that would be warning enough. Still, there’s always someone figuring weather services tend to exaggerate. “Are they still renting Sea-doos at Long Point?” one guy asked. His message was quickly taken down before responses came back saying. “My Sea-doo broke it’s mooring last night. If you can find it, you can ride it. Throttle sticks.”

That’s the thing about April. It’s an unpredictable season. Expecting your boat, kayak or Sea-doo to still be tied up after a storm is like hoping your downed power lines will still somehow work. It’s a matter of faith, sometimes mistaken for stupidity, but what else do you do when it’s prime time?

Sometimes it’s ignorance of the area, what town locals call “newbies settling in” thinking nature and wildlife aren’t acting the way they should. One woman named Tracy wrote the other day: “We have a mallard duck couple wandering around Dover coast. They both just walk. so worried one or both are injured. Is there a sanctuary I can call?”

“They’ve been walking for a week,” Tracy said, worried they’ll forget their evolution, and stop flying altogether.

“They’re looking for a nesting spot,” David, a longtime resident, said. “Just leave them alone.” This is good advice, just not what newbies expect or necessarily believe. “They’ve been walking for a week,” Tracy said, worried they’ll forget their evolution, and stop flying altogether.

“City ducks,” Greg said. “They’ve never lived in the country before.

“Wait ’til September 24,” Dean said, “I’ll take care of them for you.”

“They’re in love,” Carrie added. “I wish it wasn’t in my pool.”

It’s hard to make this stuff up. April brings with it a sense of determination, often seen in memes saying, “Things will get better once the breweries are brewing again.” Some of the breweries and distilleries are making hand sanitizer, essentially a mixture of corn alcohol and eucalyptus. There might be other things thrown in, pinch of caroway seed, perhaps, just in case the locals decide it’s okay to drink.

Out on the road to Long Point, signs are up telling cottagers to go back home. For some, it’s a wasted effort. The water has been rising since February. One day of 110 mph winds could cause 18 foot waves, enough to flood the entire Long Point area.

As that fisherman also said: “Anyone thinking God leaves optimists alone ain’t thinking straight.”

While sailing the intercostal between St. Pete’s and Sarasota years ago, a fisherman reminded us that Longboat Key was formed by hurricanes. We may not have hurricanes, but 18 foot waves and 110 mph winds could do more damage than we realize. As that fisherman also said: “Anyone thinking God leaves optimists alone ain’t thinking straight.”

Well, it’s April and cottagers are hoping our area won’t see the damage Florida sees. Meanwhile, there are walking ducks to worry about, and Zen fires, and flyers that keep flying by.

We’ll just have to deal with immediate needs and hope, with time, the quarantines will lift, life will return to normal and hopefully Long Point will have some semblance of beach. It’s been a long hard run after all. We need a beach.

And hopefully the ducks will fly again.

Robert Cormack is a satirist, novelist and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. Check out Skyhorse Press or Simon and Schuster for more details.

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Robert Cormack

I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.