It was Father’s Day in the USA, June 18 2006. We had departed early in the morning for our date with the whales in Puget Sound off the coast of Bellingham, Washington State.
The day was doing its summer thing switching from hot to cold as the sun occasionally peeped through the clouds, and a relatively calm sea beckoned to us with the white tips of its fingers. The voice of our boat tour leader droned facts and figures from history and geography of the Sound as we alternatively braved icy winds up on top of the boat and snacked at the canteen in the lounge. This was a good day for whale watching.
Boats of different sizes and shapes darted around the islands as we relentlessly churned forward, sea planes landed and took off and we looked vainly for a glimpse of the feared Indians we had read about in our growing up years. They were busy in their reservation on shore parking their latest model cars in their little slice of Americana on shore getting ready for a big pow wow. They were not interested in our scalps at all. Our disappointment was cared for when a group of dolphins put on a show and sped toward the ship to beg for a reward.
The captain of the ship was in constant communication with the other boats out on their own whale hunt. It appeared they were on a strong scent and we caught our first glimpse of those proud creatures of the deep. They were not at all spooked by the presence of humans floating around on their turf and did some deft under the boats routines to show how superior they were, occasionally shooting out of the water to give us the international sign of contempt with their dorsal fingers.
It was a great day for Fathers, but the day was to finish with a flourish. My daughter informed me that on landing we were to head for the local Thai restaurant where that great food we are addicted to was waiting. Having spent much of our working life in Asia this was good news indeed. We took our places with great anticipation and searched the menu noting with satisfaction all those familiar dishes we were accustomed to.
Though we have been raised in prudish circumstances and do not drink the good stuff it is our custom to look over the drinks menu. It all looked similar to menus we had read around the world as we waited for our food to be brought to the table, but there was an unusual drink on offer at this restaurant. Duckfart!
Now I have seen some unusual names in the Orient, but this one was one of the best. I hesitated to ask the cheerful waitress what this drink consisted of as there had been spontaneous mirth around the table on
discovering this offering on the menu and it would not be good manners to laugh in the waitress face. English being a rather unusual language that uses the same word for different meanings all kind of possibilities emerged. Duck can be a creature, or it could describe the act of avoiding something unpleasant.
So I’m reaching out through cyberspace to see if anyone can help us solve this mystery. What am I to understand by duckfart when it appears on a drink menu? Are there any takers out there who can help me
solve this problem?
In spite of that puzzle a grand day was had by all and I can thoroughly recommend Father’s Day in the USA.
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