The Ornithologist at Rest | Scott Gannis

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No, listen, we all saw this comin’. The guy was always a quack, even before he started wearing a bill ‘roond his mouth and blowing into a duck call. Painted his garage green and brown. Waddled after lines of hatchlings. Picked fights with grass. Fella died believing, between some combo of ice dildos, Mecury in Retrojizz, and balsa wood wings, that he would overcome mortality. It’s Satanism. Paganism. Ain’t Lutheran, whatever the heck it was.

R. Duckminster Fuller, sir. M.D., PhD.

He wanted to jump off the IDS Center.

Yah. Yah.

Well, I spose we had’r differences. Everyone says some hotshot on-caller-gist is movin’ next door, y’know, Mayo Clinic and all, but it turns out he tinks the cure ta cancer is this two-bit mallard baloney.

Made a lot of noise, okay? You’ve got it in them manilla antelopes, I reckon, we did contact you guys a bunch.

Garage, mostly. Loudest in Carver County, ‘cludin’ Paisley Park.

Heck, various honks. Squeals. A foghorn. A klaxon. Pardon the language, sir, but there was some sorta animatronic contraption that’d blast red light and call Mother Goose a bitch.

Well, I do prefer her to the Brothers Grimm, maself. Kids do, too.

Tough to say, I mean, I’d work a double and know Martha’d prolly get woken up by the twins, y’know, so we had a tight winduh for some shut eye. Then some Chuck E. Cheese meets Howard the Duck weirdo pops up ‘roond midnight every darn night and, respectfully, ya stopped sending a car and talkin’ to the guy, so a fella gets fruster-ated.

No, no. Nothin’ more’n throwing saltines at his siding and postin’ roast duck recipes on the screen door.

Don’t see how m’hobbies are relevant, frankly.

Yah, in fact I do. Deer mostly. Hunted pheasant quite a bit as well.

Waterfowl hunting in Minnesota’s generally a late September to early December type of ordeal, sir. Depends, though, on the DNR and a buncha crap.

October 17th. Which, y’know, yah, is in waterfowl season.

Obtuse? Maybe yer meanin’ mongoose.

Sheriff, just what exactly are ya trying to get at here? I already told ya that Doc Larson was bonkers. A real loon. Died of a broken neck, da paramedics said when they showed up. Dry run for the IDS center. Tarred and duck-feathered himself. Was wearin’ University of Oregon sweatpants with his wings and he left his estate to Aflac, for Chrissakes.

Now wait just a fuckin’ minute, mister. Only rights you’ll find me readin’ is in the Bible, and my owning a shotgun ain’t got no bearin’ on this psychotic, bird-jerker.

I told ya, we wudn’t friends. The noise was obnoxious, but c’mon, you think I’m capable of that?

Oofdah. Buckshot to the chest and spinal column my keester. He jumped off his roof. He was quacking like a whole raft of ‘em, and besides, he had no right to wake up the damn block.

Choke on a fuckin’ worm, buddy, I want my Goddamn lawyer.

Scott Gannis is a retired forklift operator from Minneapolis, MN. He is the author of Very Fine People (Atlatl, 2020). You can parse his neuroses on Twitter @scootergannis.


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