The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.

2006.04.06 Duck amok

Written by David Green.


My cousin, who’s an aeronautical engineer for a company that designs and manufactures helicopters, told me something interesting last Christmas. I just remembered it this morning.

He said that, when designing a helicopter, engineers have to make sure the fuselage can survive midair collisions. Now, obviously if a helicopter hits something big, like a plane, it’s going down, no matter how sturdy it is. But ducks, geese, and other sizable migratory fowl also pose a significant risk to a helicopter if they run into one, my cousin said.

How do engineers test how well a helicopter can stand up to ducks? I asked.

As my cousin described it, they take what is essentially an oversized potato gun, put a dead, frozen duck in it, and fire it at the parked helicopter. Then they measure the damage it did.

“So your job is to riddle helicopters with duck fire, then measure duck splatter?” I asked.

“Essentially,” he said.

“I wish I were an engineer,” I said.

Now, I’ll smack an alpaca, but I like ducks. I like saying the word “duck.” I like thinking about ducks. I like drawing pictures of them. There’s a park in Kalamazoo that has a bunch of ducks in it in the summer, and they entertain me for hours.

“Look at you guys, just ducking around, being ducks,” I say to them. “What do you guys do all day?”

The answer is obvious, ducks duck. I mean, they do a lot of walking and swimming, but mainly they duck. Another thing ducks do is quack.

I like the word “quack” almost as much as the word “duck,” and the fact that ducks quack pleases me to no end. 

When I was employed with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, I had a working relationship with ducks. That is, instead of working, I would walk to the dam in the park’s river and watch the ducks duck around.

One day, while walking the path to the dam, I turned a corner and found a female wood duck not 10 feet in front of me, headed, presumably, also to the dam. It’s not every day that a man sees a duck walking over turf, so I followed the duck, cautiously, observing her almost too duck-like behavior.

The first thing I learned about ducks is that they have keen senses. The duck knew I was there immediately.

But, fact number two, ducks aren’t cowards. The duck could’ve taken to the wing, like I would have, were I in her place, but she instead tried to act like I wasn’t there, peering over her shoulder every now and again to make sure I wasn’t gaining too quickly. She waddled on, cautiously, and courageously.

I sensed this. “Fear me not, duck,” I called to her. “Fear, anger, hate, aggression. These things lead to the Dark Side.”

She quickened her pace. Fact number three: ducks don’t like Star Wars nerds.

Eventually, the duck and I made it to the dam, the duck ducked into the river, I walked to the top of the bridge and observed her.

She swam up to another duck. A mother duck. The mother duck quacked.

The first prolonged and bitter argument I had with a teacher concerned whether or not “The mother duck quacked” is a complete sentence. It is, in fact, a complete sentence, but say it aloud a couple of times. It sounds funny.

You know what else is funny? This joke, which Gene Beaverson told me the other day.

A duck walks into a store.

“Do you have any duck food?” he asks the owner.

The owner says he doesn’t sell duck food. The duck goes home. The next day, the duck returns and, again, asks for duck food. The owner repeats that he does not sell duck food. The duck goes home again. Despite the owner’s daily insistence that he doesn’t sell duck food, the duck continues to ask for it. One day, the owner gets sick of it. When the duck comes in, he says, “If you ask me for duck food, I’ll nail your feet to the floor.”

The duck looks at him for a second, then asks, “Do you have any nails?”

“No, I don’t have nails,” the owner replies.

So the duck says, “Good. Do you have any duck food?”

Here’s another duck joke—Two cows are standing in a field. One cow says to the other, “What do you think of this mad cow disease going around?”

The other says, “It doesn’t affect me. I’m a duck.”

By the way, do you know why ducks have flat feet? For stomping out forest fires.

Do you know why elephants have flat feet? For stomping out flaming ducks.


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