ducktor knowGood day, readers. My name is Duckter Know and it is my great pleasure to announce and moderate the next edition of Virtual Occoquan, one of the blogosphere’s most esteemed and discriminating publications. The September 14 edition of VO is entitled The Advice Edition.

If you have some good advice to offer, here’s your chance to get an audience. Qualifying submissions, which are open to everyone, must answer some “How To…” question. Examples could include advice for George Bush or Howard Dean, recipes, blogging hints, or advice on love, sex, being happy, or just making it through another day.

Please e-mail your submission (either the full text or a link to it) by September 10 to Mark Hoback or Dave Pollard.

Since I have temporary control of Dave’s blog, I thought I would offer its human readers some advice on how to be human. From what I can see from my pond, homo sapiens isn’t very good at it. I suspect that’s because you’ve only been around for three million years or so, unlike us longer-term residents that have had more time to figure out the rules. Here are a few of them for your edification.

  1. The flock is everything. A flock is a tribe. A flock of ducks is known as a raft or a team. A flock or tribe is much more than a family (in every sense) and nothing like your human culture’s towns or ethnicities or nations. The tribe teaches you most of what you need to know to live successfully. You (plural) are the tribe. Without the tribe you are nothing.
  2. Senses are honed by exercising them, but you humans spend much of your life in abstractions. Look until you really see what’s happening and why it’s happening and why it matters. These are important learnings, not minutiae. The devil isn’t the only thing in the details. If you stop listening, seeing, learning, you are no longer really alive.
  3. Know your place. We are all part of a web, a mosaic, and we all travel, but ultimately we have our own place, our ‘home’. If you’re not totally connected with everything and every creature that is part of your place, then it isn’t your place. If you don’t have a place, then you don’t yet really exist. A house is not a place, though if it’s open it can be part of one. A mind is not a place.

Study us ducks, or even your cat and dog companions, and you will learn more about teams and tribes, about how to ‘come to your senses’, about the meaning of home, and about how to really belong in this world, far more than you will ever learn in books and classrooms and blogs and the workplaces where you meaninglessly slave away your lives.

I, Duckter Know, could tell you much more, but that’s enough for now. As your T.S. Eliot says, Human kind cannot bear very much reality.

P.S. For more animated advice, check out Pesky the Rat’s Ask Saddam the Advice Columnist.

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  1. O RLY YA RLY says:

    Dear Ducktor Know. I’m having some trouble connecting to some of the mice in my house. Can you help me?

  2. Duktor No cannot help you Harald, but Sssisster Janet can. You jusssst sssend your little friendsss over to me and I will fricassssee-oopsss, I mean “connect”–with the little darlingsssss. Absssolutely no charge.

  3. The price of advice has certainly skyrocketed since the days of doctor Lucy. Inflation I guess.

  4. Dave Pollard says:

    Janet: Thanks for handling this request. I was going to suggest a picnic with peanut butter sandwiches.Rich: Glad someone caught the Peanuts reference. I should note that it’s $25 Canadian, which is only slightly more than Lucy’s five cents.

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