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WOSTER: Discovering ‘Duck Dynasty’

Terry Woster, Daily Republic Columnist  So, anyway, my neighbors across the street dressed up for Halloween last week like a couple of the characters from “Duck Dynasty.”

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Nancy and I dressed — and it was a stretch, but we’re incredible amateur actors — as an old couple being overwhelmed by treat-or-treaters. (For those keeping score at home, we shoveled out 675 treats in the period between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. That’s 225 an hour or pretty much one every four seconds. At times it felt like we were dealing cards in the busiest casino in Vegas.)

But this isn’t about us. It’s about this phenomenon called “Duck Dynasty.” I had no idea what that was when I saw a picture on Twitter of the neighbors sitting outside their residence in “Duck Dynasty” costumes. The guy was wearing camouflage coveralls, shades and a fake beard. The woman was dressed like your kindly country cousin. Good costumes, I thought, although the same neighbors did Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln last year, and I couldn’t see any historical connection between the camo and the top hat. Beards, yeah, that was a common thread, but how? The comments talked about “Duck Dynasty,” which, as I say, I didn’t comprehend.

Oh, this wasn’t my first encounter with the term “Duck Dynasty.” I had seen a couple of references to the thing earlier in the week, in relation to the World Series then in progress. On Facebook, a guy I know from Rapid City posted a couple of mid-game scores that said something like “ ‘Duck Dynasty’ 6, Cardinals 4.” I knew he had to be referring to the Boston Red Sox, because they were playing the Cards in the series. I had no clue what the reference was. I pondered the possibility that my friend might have been trying to make some clever and subtle reference to the “Mighty Ducks,” somehow linking baseball with youth hockey and Emilio Estevez. That made absolutely no sense.

(In my defense, I did know that the Boston players grew beards, for the season or the playoffs or something. So that was kind of a link. It’s long been a hockey tradition to grow playoff beards, which can be kind of amusing on some of the 20-yearolds who make it to the professional game these days. Johnny Toews of the University of North Dakota and the Chicago Blackhawks, for example, can’t grow a playoff beard for anything. He sure can play hockey, though.)

Well, as I said at the start, we were a little busy, Nancy and I, on Halloween evening, and by the time I saw the Tweet of the neighbor’s outfits, I was too tuckered to try to figure it out. Instead, I hit the rack and saved the inquiries for morning.

At work the next morning, I asked the first person I saw if she’d ever heard of “Duck Dynasty.” She looked at me suspiciously, as if she were trying to figure out what sort of prank I was trying to pull.

“Everybody knows Duck Dynasty,” she said finally, watching my face closely to see if I was about to toss out the punch line. At that point, I should have retreated to Google. Instead, I forged ahead.

“I’ve never heard of it. What is it?”

I might as well have said I’d never heard of Lil Wayne or Kim Kardashian.

“You’re joking,” my co-worker said. “You have to start watching A&E. It’s a really popular reality show about a family that invented a duck call.”

Now it was my turn to look suspicious.

“There’s a show about a family that made a duck call? And people watch the show?” I asked. “What’s the plot?”

“It’s a reality show,” she said. “The show follows the family through their day and stuff.”

“Really?” I thought. That can’t be true, can it? I mean, I know there was a show with Ozzy Osbourne and his family, but I figured people watched that to see if he’d bite the head off a bat or something. “Really?” I thought again.

What I said, though, was, “Hey, yeah, thanks. I have to check this out.”