The Real Mighty Ducks

| Parents & Guardians, Sons & Daughters

(During a phone call with my dad, I advise him to ‘make sure all your ducks are in a row’, with some e-mail juggling he was doing. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, so when I use or hear a turn of phrase like that, I can’t help wondering what the consequences would be if such a phrase was taken literally.)

Me: “If you actually did line a bunch of ducks in a row, and they all quacked, would the quacks amplify each other into a bigger quack?”

Dad: “Yes. Well, sort of. Sound does get louder that way.”

Me: “Yeah, but do you think it could go the point of becoming an actual, measurable ‘Quack Power’ or something?”

Dad: “Probably, yes.”

Me: “Why do I think about these things??”

Dad: “Because you are my daughter.”

Me: “If you got a bunch of ducks, and put them in a line, and had them quack in order so that the second duck wouldn’t quack until the quack from the first duck got to where the quack from the second duck would join with it, and then the third duck wouldn’t quack until it could add to the combined quack from the first and second ducks, and so on down the line, do you think you could turn that into a sort of quack weapon?”

Dad: “Well, see, if I’m hearing you correctly, you’re talking about a line of ducks quacking in sequence in such a fashion as to meld and amplify each quack into a single, large quack. The problem lies in getting each duck to quack at the precise moment necessary to match the speed of sound so that the initial amplitude of each quack matches the one before it, or else you’ll get distortion. You would also have to ensure that each quack is uniform in pitch for maximum quack blending.”

Me: “So, basically we’d need a line of cybernetically modified ducks on remote activation with computerized precision timing to ensure uniform quack volume and frequency in order to produce a weaponized quack?”

Dad: “Yes. We are now talking about android ducks.”

Me: “I love having these conversations with you.”

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