Subourbon Mom

What The Duck?
January 13, 2014, 11:51 am
Filed under: Middle Age, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , , , ,

This year, one of my favorite presents was a bathroom book filled with trivia.  In addition to the myriad useless facts stored in the depths of my brain that prevent me from ever finding my keys, I now have even more ways to annoy my family and friends. One of the facts I came across was this:

Anatidaephobia is the fear that somewhere in the world, a duck is watching you.

            Just to be clear, I looked up the definition of a phobia.  A phobia is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger…is long-lasting, causes intense physical and psychological reactions, and can affect your ability to function normally at work or in social settings.

So there are actually people who cannot get up and go to work because they are terrified that somewhere in the world a duck might be watching them?


I could see it, maybe, if someone during duck hunting season was suddenly attacked in an act of aviary revenge; or, if someone lived near a pond during duck mating season and was mistaken for a female mallard. Duck sex is violent (I live near a pond and have witnessed the attacks), and because of that I am glad I am human and have opposable thumbs. Mandy Mallard must fly faster and learn aerial acrobatics that rival super sonic jets in order to get away from her “partner.” I just have to be able to activate my taser with my thumb (and remember to bring it with me).

But there’s two things about this phobia I really don’t understand—first, Anatidaephobia isn’t just a fear of being watched by a duck. It’s the fear that ANY duck ANYWHERE in the world might be watching.  In my head, all I can picture is one massive duck eye floating in the sky, watching us, like Saron in Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, or for you non-fantasy geeks, picture the unblinking eye that floats over the pyramid on our dollar bills.

Second, people with Anatidaephobia can’t function normally in their work or social settings.  Picture this: You are at your office Christmas party trying to make small talk with Bill the accountant who is rarely out of his cube, and who pops some kind of pill with every Coke he swills all day long. He is sweating profusely, staining the bright green shirt he put on for the occasion, and constantly glancing out the windows.

“Is there something wrong?” you ask Bill.

Bill shakes his head, but can’t focus on you. He glances out the window again. You look behind you, but only see snow glistening off the bushes.

“Are you sure? Is there something out there?” you ask. Maybe Bill is afraid someone has reported his meager insider trading to the cops, and he’s waiting for them to show up.

“They’re watching,” Bill whispers urgently.

You decide Bill has definitely done something illegal, or else he’s smoked some bad weed and is having the worst trip of his life.

“Who?” you whisper back, playing along, hoping its just the weed.

The duck,” he answers, clutching his solo cup even tighter. A crack appears, but Bill doesn’t notice the white wine dripping down his hand.

You look out the window again but don’t see any ducks. There is only snow and other buildings. It’s an office block for God’s sake.

“What duck?” you ask, trying to wave Barbara from IT over. This one will go down in the annals of great office Christmas party stories.

Bill points a shaking finger out the window. “He’s out there. Watching me.”


More white wine sloshes onto the industrial-strength carpet.

“I don’t know,” Bill whimpers, “but he’s out there!” Bill scuttles off to the bathroom, hands shaking, his shirt soaked through. Ted from HR follows, cell phone in hand.

You can’t help but glance out the window one more time.   You aren’t afraid of ducks, but you definitely are now a candidate for having Christo-anthropophobia, the fear of office Christmas parties. (Don’t bother looking it up—anthropophobia, the fear of social situations, is true a phobia, but I added the prefix.

I think I’ll go put it up in Wikipedia and see how long it stays…after I get over my Cyberphobia.

6 Comments so far
Leave a comment



Comment by Lynchburggal

Birds creep me out but really…a duck somewhere in the world? Too good to resist!




Comment by libbyhall

Funny, Libby. You made me feel sorry for the “duck” guy, and I was glad some one followed him to the men’s room. Keep on laughing at the world and sharing it with us. sd


Comment by energywriter

Thanks Sharon! I’m glad you liked it, and I always appreciate your comments!




Comment by libbyhall

Great….Thanks. I will never look at a Duck the same again.


Comment by stephaniehudnell

My special gift to you, sweetie!




Comment by libbyhall

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: