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party poker

Quack, quack, quack.

From The True Adventures of John Steinbeck, Writer:

“ ... they went to Top of the Mark for a drink together. [Carl] Sandburg was dressed somewhat eccentrically in flowing tie and a very wide-brimmed black fedora. They were seated at a small table near the window overlooking the city, and Carl was telling John a long story. The waiter came up, interrupted, and said, “Sir, your hat.” Carl looked up at him for a moment and went on talking. A few minutes later, the waiter came over again, and then a third time he interrupted, “Sir ... your hat.” Carl looked at him for a moment and said “Quack, quack, quack, quack,” and went on with his story. From then on all the rest of his life, when somebody nagged him or badgered him, John would respond, “Quack, quack, quack,” and many years later, he began wearing the same kind of hat himself when he dressed up to go out the town.

One thing that is continually hammered on in the book is Steinbeck’s constant re-iteration of his words to make sure that they sounded true. Here he makes a minor edit on Mr. Sandburg’s humorous exhaltation. I also like three quacks more than four myself, personally. Not kissing ass here, that’s just how it is. Sorry Carl.

Here’s a more literal version.

“There was no mistaking a professional quarterback’s throw – one had the sense, seeing it come, of a projectile rather than a football. I found it nearly impossible to imitate with my own throws [ ... ] sometimes the ball would leap off the fingertips – I had done it right – and the receiver would nod his head. But the next time something would go wrong, and sometimes the the players watching would call “quack-quack-quack!” to call attention to its fluttery flight.” – George Plimpton, Paper Lion

Jeff Stendec (July 1, 2006)

Tags: ducks