A Duck Is A Duck was the first book I ever read in Sister Mary Ann’s First Grade Class at St Brendan Elementary School in Miami, FL. I loved that book. So simple. So classic. No explanation to be made. A Duck Is A Duck. How can you argue with that logic?
When we were kids my dad may have been driving us through South Beach, which was a very frightening place back then filled with old folks sitting in rocking chairs facing the beach just rocking their last days away, and the derelicts of society-pimps, hos, druggies and ducks. Ducks-or as my father used to say Patos.
Patos is Duck in Spanish. It is also slang for gays. For example, a trani sashaying down Ocean Drive would elicit a “tremendo pato” statement. We quickly came to understand that a man with feminine tendencies was a Huge Duck to my father. A masculine woman was a Tortillera or, loosely translated, an Omelette Maker.
So, what came first- the Pato or the Omlette?
I guess I have pondered this lately as there seems to be so much stir about gay marriage, having to explain to your kid about gays, religion vs non-religion, breaking the law in the name of God and the list goes on and on. It is baffling and often enraging as that is not my God they are describing.
My parents never explained to us about homosexuals. Shit, my parents have never uttered that word! Pato, Torta, yes! But homo-sex-ual? Jamais! Never! Clearly we got that they were different and elicited an entertaining response from them but they never chased the response with a descriptor, an explanation, an opinion or a judgement. They simply made sure we knew that the most important thing is to “Love One Another”. After all, A Duck Is A Duck.