Porky's principle: Don't duck your limitations
"If your gonna be two-faced sweetie, at least make one of them ...
"If your gonna be two-faced sweetie, at least make one of them pretty."
The Daffy Duck wisecrack was beyond my comprehension when Dad brought home our first television in 1959. He was against getting one, but our constant yapping that everyone else had one or perhaps realization that he could watch the New York Yankees play changed his mind. The deal was done with conditions — chores must be done before we were allowed to squeeze together on the davenport to watch in black-and-white amazement.
Mother never cared for Daffy Duck and by extension I don't, either. Give me Porky Pig, who with good intentions tried to overcome his limitations. I related well to his stuttering and felt awful when he suffered cartoon-character Daffy Duck putdowns.
Porky first appeared in 1935 and hasn't aged much since. Petunia Pig became his significant other. His battles with Daffy Duck may have left scars, but didn't break him.
I still don't like Daffy, but that doesn't mean I'm prejudiced against all ducks.
That was proven in the pre-dawn hours on East Center Street across from the Post-Bulletin parking lot. A Mallard drake stood in the middle of the road. As someone who feels bad when pheasants, songbirds and the occasional raccoon meets its maker at my car's hands, I suggested that he move. Although Rochester drivers are for the most part courteous except for the few who use modified peace symbols and overuse their horns, life expectancy is sharply reduced by standing in the middle of a street during rush hour.
The drake — he of the green head, gray flanks and duck-tail black curl — paid little attention to me. He was in no hurry to move along and the assumed reason was his mate was sitting on a nest beneath the cover of nearby greenery.
The drake reached the sidewalk, and I used a fob to enter the Post-Bulletin. I did not see beak or feather of him for two weeks and assumed the worst. Friday morning — like a Phoenix — the duck stubbornly stood on the loading dock.
"There's a duck on the dock,'' I said to no one while marveling at the word combination. The drake didn't flinch. The hour when his family multiples is rapidly approaching. When the time comes, I hope Rochester police will be in position to help the flock reach Silver Lake. Perhaps I'll call them on the blessed day.
The department does a wonderful job with donating their time to charitable causes.
The policeman who stopped me this winter had good reason to. I pulled out right in front of his squad car without seeing him. It's an easy error to make at 5 a.m. and hence he left me without a ticket. A female friend, who it seems thinks speed limits are optional based on driving conditions, insists that she has been stopped several times and received only warnings.
"It's because of my looks,'' she said.
Her beauty is only matched by an overly inflated ego.
My last ticket was issued in 1977 for running a stop sign in haste to handle what didn't turn out to be much of an emergency.
Like Porky Pig, I can't be expected to get by on my looks. Years ago, when applying for my first journalism job, the instructor suggested that I focus on a single area.
"You have a face for radio,'' he said.
I interviewed for a disc jockey job in Pine City. It was tough with an on-air test that last much longer than it should have. The station manager intensely listened to the tape and cleared his throat to give me his assessment.
"You have a bedroom voice,'' he said. "I'm afraid you would put our listeners to sleep."
Professionally done Daffy Duck backhands, but Porky Pig and I keep on keeping on.