Minnesota Decoy Show: Neo-Luddite assails Scientific Research
Late Thursday evening the Luddite was plying several room-hopping low-li....that is, hospitably serving his distinguished guests some excellent wine, when one of them with a serious interest in discovering the secrets of the old decoy makers (inspired by the pioneering efforts of Joel Barber himself) seized upon the opportunity which the gracious host had unwittingly provided.
Seated on the floor, our Hero noted that the cranial portion of a Gus Moak canvasback decoy (Aythya valisineria pseudoduxii), priced at $3800 dollars, was quite loose. There have been assertions that The Noble Moak attached heads with a double-pointed screw and three finishing nails. It was clear to our young Archimedes that the nails had been broken or cut, and that the cranium could be removed for scientific inspection of the fastening mechanism by the application of continuous pressure by the distal portion of one meta-phalange, applied to the tip of the bill in a counter-clockwise direction.
Having successfully done so, this intrepid Magellan of the Arts thoughtfully placed the body back on the bed and examined the cranium, which proved of such absorbing interest that he is believed to have reported "Hey, this is a pretty nice head."
Our Luddite, however, glancing proprietarily at his bedfull of decoys, discovered the decapitated corpse of Moak's $3800 marvel which some have indeed likened to the after-class remains of a frog in Freshman Biology class, a frog which, mind you, had selflessly given its life in the pursuit of Education & Progress. Friend Luddite hyperventilated. He sputtered like an old jalopy. His eyes fluttered like those of a barn owl in the mid-day sun. He became red as a fine Burmese ruby.
Painful though it is to report, gentle reader, he expressed a lack of appreciation for our Hero's serious scientific endeavors and a complete lack of awareness of the societal importance of pure research. Yes, it is a sad tale, but true, (at least according to some witnesses who were admittedly of somewhat impaired observational reliability). If such attitude spreads, at least one observer fears that we may have witnessed one of the harbingers of the fall of Western Civilization as we know it.
UPDATE: I fear the Kindly Host referred to above has commented in what some might consider an intemperate vein: "Sputter my a**! Hyperventilate ditto!" I note that he does not deny turning red as a Burmese ruby, fine or otherwise, nor that his eyes fluttered like an owl. He continued, however: "This esteemed decoy collector thinks research should be conducted when performed on one's own property - how do you want to pay for the aforementioned Moakl?" Sigh. I was under the impression that he was a true aficionado of the Immortal Moak's polychromed wood sculptures, and that as such he knew full well that they are beyond price.