Posted in In which Anna vomits her thoughts at you

The Man Who Cried Duck

Lying carries risks. Most obviously, being caught out. Less obviously, having your desk taken over by 26 rubber ducks.

This is the story of one man who lied, and the fowl* consequences of his actions.

*This is neither the last, nor the worst, duck-related pun to come.

Meet Ivor.

depression-stick-figure(Not actually Ivor)

Ivor is a respectable man with a respectable job (head of marketing), two children, and a disdain for pointless team-building events. He’s also lucky enough to be my boss and enjoy my griping, whinging and occasional expletive tirades. And that’s just when I lose the  company ping-pong match, 2:30pm sharp every week day.

One sunny (well, probably rainy–we are English) day, Ivor was required to attend an internal training course. This got off to a flying* start for the corporate-bollocks-hating Ivor when the attendees were asked to get into pairs for an icebreaker. They were tasked with telling their partner an unknown fact about themselves, which their partner would then have to repeat to the group.

Ivor, always game* for a laugh, decided to wing* it with a lie. He told his partner, N, that he collected rubber ducks.

N swam* with this but, knowing it was a lie, laid it on a bit thick. He had the group convinced that Ivor lived for bath time with his rubbery friends, collecting them with a fervour usually reserved for this cat collecting underwear.


The next day, the first duck appeared on Ivor’s desk.

One duck was a poultry* number. Ivor laughed it off and sent an all-staff email to thank the anonymous donor.

He was still laughing when the second duck appeared.

And the third.

In January, for his birthday, when the 26th duck was delivered in an unmarked package… he was a shadow of the man he once was.

Ivor has learned not to lie. It ends in a 35-year-old career man, family man, sitting five days a week at a desk like this:


Ivor may have 26 ducks and has learned a valuable lesson, but I have the last laugh here.

He doesn’t know 11 of the ducks are from me.



Romance author

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