Chuck Williams: Questions about duck's injuries

chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 21, 2013 

So what happened to the duck?

I know you have seen the commercial. The Aflac duck, a pretty important creature in these parts, has been injured.

It appears our feathered friend has done something foul to his beak. A spokesduck with beak issues is not good, especially when the sole way you earn your living is to quack "Aflac."

Is the Columbus-based insurance company hiding a duck scandal? So, how did the duck get hurt? Surely the good folks at Aflac will be forthcoming.

You know we had to ask.

"HIPAA laws prevent us from disclosing the nature of the accident, but as you know, like many of our policyholders, the duck lives a very active lifestyle, and relies on his Aflac benefits to help cover the out-of-pocket costs associated with an accident," said the duck's human mouthpiece, Jon Sullivan.

Well-honed journalistic instincts say something is amiss here. Maybe if the duck was winged in a hunting accident, the beak story would be believable.

This could be more serious than having an imaginary girlfriend or spending 14 years juicing up on drugs so you can be the best cyclist on the planet.

What are they hiding over on Wynnton Road? At least tell us where the duck was when it -- whatever it is -- happened.

"The duck was in the continental United States on personal business, but we will not comment beyond that to protect his privacy," Sullivan said.

So, now they want to protect the duck's privacy? This is not ducky at all.

There goes those journalistic instincts. Maybe the duck is at The Medical Center.

"We have withheld the exact location of the hospital to avoid the prying eyes of the paparazzi," Sullivan said.

You just can't trust those PR people. But give him credit, he knows how to spin this.

"We expect a full and speedy recovery; however, he does make his living quacking, so any injury to the Aflac duck's beak is understandably taken very seriously," Sullivan said. "Fortunately he has Aflac, so we have not had to organize any Duck-Aid style benefit concerts to help pay his bills."

Bottom line, the duck is covered.

We are assured that this is not the beginning of the end for the duck. He has survived for a decade that has seen enormous growth for Aflac. The duck will be back hawking insurance when the beak thing is fixed.

But, just like with the nature of the accident that left the duck hospitalized, Aflac is being careful in telegraphing the duck's return.

"I can't say for sure but the many concerned duck fans who are interested in more than Lady Gaga's wardrobe, may want to tune into CBS's telecast of the Grammy Awards on Feb. 10," Sullivan said.

Maybe that's it. The next time we see the duck, he will be dressed like Lady Gaga.

Chuck Williams, senior editor for content, chwilliams@ ledger-enquirer.com.

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