It's Happiness Week at Cracked, which means we're taking a few days to celebrate those things that don't make us regret living in a universe subject to probabilities seemingly calculated by an invisible, omniscient serial killer. And high on our list -- before "the nitrogen cycle" and after "thumbs" -- sits "heartwarming local news stories about ducks."
Don't get us wrong: Most local news is vacuous crap. But fuck it -- we want a Kremlin-to-Pentagon-style hotline manned by a smoky-voiced ornithologist ringing us every time ducklings are reported rescued from a storm drain. And as this happens once every 15 minutes, we'd never sleep (and spend the rest of our days trapped in a cuddly living death).
Totally worth it.
Yes, duck news is the perfect news, and may single-handedly justify 99 percent of the cross-eyed pablum farted out by the 24-hour news cycle. But what makes a good duck story more addictive than a speedball cut with the adrenal glands of Huey, Dewey, and Louie? Well ...
#3. Ducks Are the Roombas of the Animal Kingdom
Much like Shakespearean sonnets or kabuki theater, there are distinct narrative components to fuckin'-A grade duck news. First off, we need the ducks. They're mostly autonomous until they accidentally wander into shit. (See: the aforementioned storm drains, highways, police chases.)
Devourer of flocks of ducklings and keys of drunklings.
Unlike cats and dogs -- which we've anthropomorphized to high hell -- we more or less regard ducks as trombones with wings. Or amphibious whoopee cushions. (Take your pick.) They're born fuzzy, look confused all the time, and quickly mutate into aqua-aeronautical necrophiliac corkscrew-donged feces factories. The more there are in one place, the funnier they are. We breed them to look like they're wearing wigs.
"It helps me get chicks."
The only way ducks could be any more slapstick is if they evolved past friction and slid everywhere in a giant pile, quacking delightedly. Yes, ducks are nature's most comically streamlined animals, and because of this ...
#2. Ducks Drain Humans All of Dignity
This is one of their unspoken biological superpowers. Take the recent headline "Orphan Ducklings Rescued from Tracks by Police." In other words, adult men gleefully relinquished their state-sanctioned monopoly on violence for a few minutes to attend to creatures who wish reality were made out of bread.
Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images
"Actually, 75 percent bread and 25 percent freshly washed cars."
That's like an unfathomable alien intelligence ripping off your roof and offering to wipe your ass every time you're marooned without toilet paper. Here's another example. We're going to level with you -- this article may be an excuse to discuss the most magnificently insane local news story in recent memory: "Ducks Make Home at Local Credit Union." Take a second and let that headline marinate.
At first blush, "Ducks Make Home at Local Credit Union" is about nothing -- a family of ducks that lives in a Utah credit union's parking lot. But the mere presence of ducks causes the reporter to lose his mind.
While retaining the ability to make more duck/bank puns than any man dared before. Like four.
Three minutes are devoted to the segment. A half-dozen bystanders are interviewed about the waterfowl. The words "the interest rate may be high for what's low in the reeds" are said by an actual human. So are the phrases "a great deposit of caring" and "some ducks on loan from nature." It's the poetry of a man with Stendhal syndrome.
#1. Duck News Represents an Ideal World
If it weren't for the reporter's refusal to divulge the credit union's location (out of a vague fear of duck harassment), "Ducks Make Home at Local Credit Union" could be mistaken for a transmission from a world where disease, war, and poverty were eradicated and humanity ran out of shit to talk about.
"So my brother's hoping they turn out to be stiff tails, while I'm pulling for eiders. My mother, on the other hand ..."
You see, there's a utopian component to duck news -- a good duck story is a morally unambiguous, self-contained novella. There are only heroes, no villains (it's hard to ascribe sinister motives to a storm drain), and ducks. In the land of duck news, Beatrix Potter rules munificently from Mount Olympus (birthed from the head of Zeus himself), Make Way for Ducklings is the 28th Amendment, and a cat nursing ducklings wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
But she got blanked at the Golden Globes.
Karl Marx had the classless society. Ayn Rand had that stage of objectivism where everybody smokes cigarettes and yells at each other. For us, we will only live in a just society when "Ducks Make Home at Local Credit Union" adorns the front page of The New York Times for 100 years.
TODAY IN POLITICS: The guys! Again!
Cyriaque Lamar is an editor here at Cracked. You can find him on Twitter.