Duck Bowling vs. Ill-timed Christmas Gifts

*this is Annabelle, not a dalmatian.
My mom used to give us our Christmas presents early because she couldn't wait, and then she'd buy something else to open on the holiday. She and I
started a tradition some time ago, when we no longer wanted to exchange gifts, of mailing each other clipped advertisements. This game was called "This is what I'm not getting you for [insert holiday here]." The best was an inflatable moose head.

...but then when I lived in Cali she mailed me a duck decoy with white spots painted all over it (to match my Dalmatian, she said.)

Mom found the duck decoys tucked under the hedge when she bought her house (the one she moved out of without telling anybody.)

At one point she brought them to the house on Cabot street where I lived with Tim. We lined them up in the yard and played bowling with his pro bowling balls. It was Tim's idea - an act of defiance against the brain tumor that prevented him from bowling, playing guitar, or anything requiring finesse.

Apparently she'd found one more after I moved to Palm Springs.

The box it arrived in was almost three feet long. The decoys were gray plastic, probably so you could decorate it to match what you were trying to attract. Or a dalmatian. If you don't know duck decoys - well, I don't. The necks were short, but I'd swear they were goose-size. According to Cabela's, these things ain't cheap. I didn't really have room to keep it.

...so I kept putting our white-spotted gray duck decoy under bougainvillea bushes around our apartment complex, and it kept miraculously returning to our patio.

Finally Donna, the lady who'd appointed herself to care for the grounds, said,

"Damn Kids keep stealing your duck. I put it back for you."

I never told her it was me.

I did buy Mom's husband this remote control floating fish which was even bigger than the duck decoys. They had to take it to Meijer and have it filled with helium. I hope somebody got a laugh watching them bring it home all floaty in the back seat of his truck.

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