People tend to think the government is The Man. Not true. The Man is a sprawling, amorphous Lovecraftian entity that comes in many forms, the most common being that of a petty cynical politician looking to roadblock the good work of good people. The Man is often the immovable object standing before the unstoppable force of a hero's ascent into greatness.
Right now, Washington, D.C. is in the midst of a douche tsunami of The Mans. The dark, cynical news their actions produce every day is inescapable. But somehow amid the chaos and confusion, there is one -- and only one -- news story coming out of D.C. that's genuinely heartwarming. And even it had its own The Man ready to piss all over it.
Architect of the Capitol is an overly epic title for the glorified maintenance crew that keeps the U.S. Capitol Building, along with its reflecting pools and grounds, looking pretty for tourists and to provide a gorgeous backdrop for discrete meetings between movie characters embroiled in sprawling government conspiracies. They noticed there was a family of ducks having trouble getting into one of the reflecting pools, so they built a ramp that let the mother and her ducklings easily get in and out of the water.
Looks more like a bodacious duck water slide to me.
The Architect of the Capitol's Twitter account posted this video of a group of ducklings beginning to figure out how the ramp works, which conveniently ends just as they're about to prove they have no idea how it works.
The ramps were built in collaboration with a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation organization, so it's not like they were a multi-billion-dollar boondoggle of a government project. The stoner kid who slept through your seventh-grade shop class could churn out that same B-quality work (but his would also be a functioning pipe, so there's that). The whole thing was probably $20 and a five-minute Kool-Aid break. Who could possibly have a problem with it? Behold, the fury of enraged mediocrity:
Accepting that challenge was The Man, who stepped in swinging his modest dick that he tells himself is so unfathomably large the human mind cannot comprehend it. The dick attached to the dick was Representative Mark Walker from North Carolina's 6th Congressional district. Walker was presumably strolling along the Capitol grounds, taking in the beauty crafted by the Architect of the Capitol, hating everything he saw with the fury of 10,000 suns. When he saw the duck ramp, his bowels evacuated with such force that he rocketed 12 feet into the air and his eyes exploded out of his skull while "America The Beautiful" played in stereo out of his nipples. When he landed, pants torn asunder, still smoldering with rage feces, he tweeted a picture of the duck ramp, adding, "If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be government waste."
Follow Mark Walker to get more scintillating tweets like this one.
The pat on the back he gave himself for coming up with what that turn of phrase was mistaken for an earthquake by seismologists in California.
The only good thing to happen in D.C. in months had been politicized by a guy whose misplaced sense of morality would make him the perfect villain for a 1990s children's movie called Duck Ramp, starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas because Macaulay Culkin was busy.
But heroes don't back down from a fight. Architect of the Capitol set out to ensure that Walker's complaints amounted to nothing more than bitching into the wind. They left duck ramp in place, and then doubled down as the next day fate bestowed upon them another opportunity to show Representative Walker that his anti-duck cynicism had not poisoned the well of their limitless positivity. A family of ducks was founding living on the roof of the Library of Congress. Architect of the Capitol captured them and, in an act that will prove the be the coolest thing the agency will ever do (which isn't saying much at all, really), released them at a reflecting pool with a duck ramp. See what happens when you step to the Architect of the Capitol, Mark? You get wrecked.
Let's hope the ducks learn to use the ramp to climb in and out of the reflecting pool, and then eventually use it to perform sick-ass jumps so they can flaunt their patriotism in Walker's face.
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She definitely has some stories to tell.
The smallest changes in these men's lives would have changed all of history.