Monday, March 31, 2008

The Story of the Duck Cult Part 1: The Rise

There is a Duck in each of us.

Yes, you heard that right.

There is a Duck in each of us. With a capital D, too.

I told you folks about SSP, right? So this is the kind of random thing that can happen at SSP. The classes at SSP occasionally got boring. Well, not really HELL boring, but the kind of regular boringness that is associated with spherical trigonometry and celestial coordinates. On any given day, you could look around the class and find at least four drooping heads - six on a good day.

So one day, we got fed up with the snores punctuating the class and decided to add some - er - color into it. Three of us got together and Providence provided us with three of those amazing battery-operated ducks that go "Quack-quack quack quack quack quack" when you close the circuit with your fingers (Providence, I have found, has all sorts of weird ideas all the time, but this one turned out to be for the better). If you don't know what I'm talking about, click here.

So yes, Connor Stokes, Udbhav Singh and yours truly got hold of those ducks from Providence (the weird fate thingy, not Providence, Rhode Island) and got them to speak for us. Whenever the professor started getting a little too boring (which is WAY more often that it would normally seem), we would unleash the fury of the ducks. They would quack their insightful comments throughout the class, and enliven otherwise boring lessons. It irritated some people, and amused others, as is inevitable in new ideas. Great religions seldom come unhindered. But whatever opinion someone had of the Duck Cult, no one could ignore it.

And so it was that the Duck Cult was born.

We at the Duck Cult have our own set of beliefs. Our fundamental belief is that there is a hidden Duck in each of us, yearning to be set free. It symbolizes our spirit, our soul itself. And we are all mere mortals in the eyes of the Great Duck Our Lord, He Who Quacks Over Hills and Oceans.

Some would say we took this too far (are you reading this, Ilona?). But the fact remains that the Duck Cult was an inspiration, the symbol of joy and hope to the millions who found their inner quack. True Cult members are willing to die for its sake.

These are us, the three original founders, looking amazingly regal and sexy in our formal dresses.

It would be lying if we say that we did not ever resort to violence while spreading the Word of the Duck around. That is because we believe that a little violence is perfectly all right if the ends justify the means. At the end of the day, we are all happy and quacking. That is the only thing that matters.

Which is why the Duck Cult members are always to be found armed with a battery-duck and a water pistol, fighting for the cause of the Great Duck Our Lord, He Who Quacks Over Hills and Oceans.

This is again a picture of us, in a slightly more combative mood.

The three original founders (that's us, duh-uh) became more or less legendary. We recruited people from all over the world once we got back (currently we have secret organizations in India, USA, Italy, Singapore, Turkey and Greece), and even wrote our own Ten Duck Commandments:

The Ten Duck Commandments
I am the Duck thy Lord.
Thou shalt have no other water fowl before me.
Thou shalt not make for thyself another rubber duck.
Thou shalt not make wrongful use of the name of thy Duck.
Thou shalt not let the name of the Duck be dishonored.
Thou shalt not hesitate to kill for the sake of thy Duck.
Honor thy Ducklings.
Thou shalt not molest the duck.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's Duck.
Thou shalt not quack falsely.
Thou shalt not let any Duck be stolen by non-believers.

Trust me when I say that we made enemies at SSP; we irritated every non-believer out of his or her wits, and forced non-believers to take up the religion (all for their own good, of course). Anti-Duck societies sprang up everywhere, but we fought them hard, and overcame them. We infiltrated the SSP dorms, and the city of Ojai. We even planted our own flag in places where they were least expected.

To this day, we remain the Three, the founders of the deadly Duck Cult that inspired the joyless millions, and struck down non-believers ruthlessly. And it is just the beginning.

Thanks Udi and Connor for the good times. They are just beginning. And ALL other members of the Duck Cult. And a special thanks to Sydney Goings (our secret organization chief in Las Vegas), from whom I borrowed the first photo in this post. The others are my own, so a big thanks to me too. Oh and by the way, our level of infiltration is so amazing that MIT's CPW has the Boston Duck Tour arranged with it. Hmmmmm. That's us. You've been warned.


udi said...


The Duck's shall soon take over. Another great post from Z - Le Canard Terrible.

The Z-Particle said...

oh yeah, there's a story behind that name as well ... all in the coming posts about the duck cult. udi, by the way, is Y - Wing Commander, and connor is X - Il Ducke. i am, as udi pointed out, Z - Le Canard Terrible.

Awake dreamer said...

'hope to the millions who found their inner quack'..Now that is great. Gooooood job.Quack!

L'Anion said...

haha, the duck cult, for the greater good!

Shruthi said...

The duck cult? (ROFL) Really..... I am beginning to like you better by the day :D

Mary Beth said...

this brings back happy memories of SSP, even though I still am apathetic about your cult (sorry). but maybe i will reconsider after i read your full story.
also, which of your 10 commandments is 2 sentences long? it looks like 11 commandments.

Chris said...

:D awesome! awesome!

Samantha said...

ok Very funny post tho i ddnt get the whole of it! :D quack quack quack!!

Anonymous said...

You are the only deserving appicant from India who got through biggies like MIT, Caltech, Princeton. Rest all appear to be more than just lucky. Many applicants are sitting with a rejection with better scores, grades, EC and of course passion...but they were lucky. You earned it..none of the others did...they got it.

Anonymous said...

WOW you got into MIT Caltech and Pton? holy shit you're good.

very nice post again.

Ashwath Rabindranath said...

I am one of those who joined the duck cult due to Udi's inspiring writings during a three-way chat between Vihang ,Udi and myself. Do these things come up in most USA summer programs (the competitive ones i.e.) or is it just yours that is so special? Great work Pokey!

Shruthi said...

Now I am honoured to join the ranks of the newly recruited *followers* of The Duck Cult (see, I even got the caps right Rik)

Cheers Ashwath, and is it a coincidence that I was recruited the same way? Only it was me, Rik, Vihang and Udi!

Epsilon. Just Epsilon

(And pleasssssse kill word verification pokey)

Vihang said...

imaginary me !

(@ Rik : 2358x132134=311571972 Muaahh-hah-hah-ha!)

Shruthi said...

Hahaha :D Guess didnt make sure that you couldnt multiply Vihang :D

(But it was for your own good :D)

ilona said...

yes, i am reading. and i'm getting more and more worried by the minute. everyone not already irrevocably brainwashed by rik's smooth words, be warned: the duck is NOT all that rik claims. he is greatly understating the irritation of its meaningless and repetitive quacking, and also of the unpleasantness of be squirted by a water gun!

Anonymous said...

Hey, just came across your blog..I too was there in IMOTC for 2 years and I too had applied to MIT, my dream. I did not get through and always kept on wondering what went wrong..a sense of betrayal had prevailed over me.I guess your blog gave me the answer.I got to see inside the right kind of person they wanted...anyways, congrats really deserve this.

udi said...

iota, I think you know pretty well what kind of multiplication we are talking about. ;)

Aditi said...

'Honor thy Ducklings' :)

and yes please, KILL the word verification. Its an eyesore

@the very generous cowardly anonymous people who waxed eloquent about MIT's apparently flawed selection process: To this day I maintain that I didn't deserve to get into MIT. Then again they read each application twelve times(or more) , I suppose yours were/was a whole lot WORSE than mine. Boohoo to you. May you have a happy life. Of course I do agree with you on one point, nobody deserves/deserved it more than Rik :) Go pokey !

The Z-Particle said...

thank you guys - thanks a lot. ashwath, a pleasure to have you in the Cult. libin and anion, haha thanks mates. mary beth, we are ten-dimensional with an extra hypothetical eleventh dimension. does that help answer your question? :D

chris, samantha, anonymouses, thanks all! vihang and shruthi, you are now responsible members of the Cult and shall behave accordingly.

ilona, haven't we talked about this already? you ARE a duck, like it or not. so:

stop spreading slander
about the Duck, Goose or Gander.

and aditi, i am very sorry for the offending comment. you *DESERVED* MIT WAY more than we did. here's to you!

and now, for the second anonymous commenter whose comment was deleted: listen dude, i'm glad you liked my blog (or did you?). but please refrain from using my blog as a medium for venting hate or spite. it's time you all grew up and behaved responsibly. venting spiteful inner quacks are not allowed here.

Shruthi said...

You are a sweetheart arent you? :)

As for you Aditi, I am sure that you deserved it. As did you Pokey :)

And as for The Cult. Ay Ay captain Rikey. Shall behave in a responsible manner (Remind me again, what does that mean?)

L'Anion said...

sour grapes.. eh anonymous?
aditi, u were in the top 4..and thats all that matters! maybe Mr. anonymous will realize his mistake when u get the nobel/ignobel (either way sounds cool to me!)

Unknown said...

I would like to be in the duck cult. Can I be cheif of Canada duck cult?