Duck, Rabbit, Duck!
The animator and artist Chuck Jones used to say that we all want to be, or think we are, Bugs Bunny but the reality is that at the end of the day we’re really Daffy Duck
Just the reality of that statement makes me laugh, not because it’s laughable but because it’s true.
There are a million things said about laughter. It’s the best medicine is most common. It’s the cure for what ails you. There’s also the adage, one adopted by my family, is that you have to laugh. Sometimes it just keeps you from crying.
One of the universal themes people have when they see what my kids and I have done, are doing, or plan to do throughout any given day, week, month or year is either “you’re thriving” or “you’re doing so well,” or my favorite…”you look so happy!”
Well…yes! We’re happy.
That isn’t to say that my oldest daughter hasn’t spent the last week missing her Mom because the advice her Mom had would be perfect for the struggles she’s having. Mom’s not here, and let’s face it, sometimes Dads suffer from the mere fact that they are Dad. I am far softer, more patient and more understanding than I used to be but that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes a kid just needs their Mom.
But these are moments, not entire days, weeks, months or what have you. At any given point during the day I can be upstairs doing laundry and hear the loud guffaw of my oldest daughter mixed in with the giggles and screams of her twin brothers. I’ll hear the bellow of my middle daughter mixed in with her sister after I’ve already headed to bed for the night.
Throughout the last few months my sons have noticed that the Cartoon Network has begun running the old 1940’s-70’s Looney Toons at 6:30am, right when we’re doing breakfast and getting ready for the day.
Then the other morning an old Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoon hit the air and somehow, in all the years of misspent parenting I’ve done, my sons hadn’t seen the one that was on.
Duck, Rabbit, Duck is quite frankly one of the more underrated of the trio of Elmer, Daffy and Bugs cartoons. Watch the clip up there and you’ll see the cause for a great deal of humor in my household. On the way to school I’ll tickle my son’s leg and he’ll look at me saying “you’re a dirty dog.”
“And you are a dirty skunk,” I’ll say in my best Brooklyn Bugs Accent.”
“I’m a dirty skunk?! I’M A DIRTY SKUNK?!”
His brother will sing “da da dah da da dah da da daaahhhh!”
And we’ll laugh.
“I’m an elk! Why don’t you shoot me it’s Elk Season!”
“I love the smell of burnt feathers and gunpowder and cordite!”
No matter how many times any one of us starts the joke the other four will inevitably join in and finish. It is always ended and met with laughter.
The hardest part of any life that has to continue without a wife, mother, father, or sibling is knowing that you will have experiences and life without them. Even harder is knowing that you will have times that are better than the ones you had with them, at least sometimes. It’s not better because they’re gone it’s better because good things still happen. Just as the bad things that took that person away occur the funny, silly, insane, stressful, angering, destructive and brilliant things happen, too.
This is just real life.
Real life in our home, though, is just silly sometimes. We’re always singing, we’re always screwing around, playing guitar.
We’re always laughing.
After all, we love the smell of burnt feathers, and gunpowder and cordite.