An innocent trip to Kohl’s. I was really just along for the ride since buying clothes is not really my thing, but I’d been spending quite a bit of time at home alone, pondering my fate. We’d just changed the clocks, so we had an extra hour and my wife needed a few things. Once there popular religion gave me the old Joab-and-Abner treatment, if you know what I mean. I’m not completely naive about movie tie-ins—they are big money for all kinds of products, especially food (both fast and slow). As if eating that burger will somehow make you more like Captain America than will a few brisk minutes on the treadmill might. In any case, I’ve known Kohl’s to support charitable causes in the past: buying a children’s book or plush animal for a donation to a wildlife conservancy or some such socially conscious promotion. I was a bit perplexed to find a tremendous amount of Duck Dynasty gear in the store on my recent trip. Being outside New York City, we are hardly rural. I mean, Kohl’s sells clothes, right? But there were Duck Dynasty bauble-heads, Duck Dynasty fanny packs, and even a whole stand of Duck Dynasty books. From conserving animals to shooting them.
I realize Duck Dynasty items are big money. At a local store just before Halloween I spied a Duck Dynasty costume—fairly simple; a ZZ Top beard and you’re good to go. While getting a haircut the other day the girl, young enough to be my daughter (literally), said “You gonna keep the beard?” I told her I hadn’t shaved since 1988. Her response? “Well, at least you don’t look like those Duck Dynasty guys.” Like Rip Van Winkle (whom I understand also sported an impressive beard), I feel like I’ve been asleep for quite a long time. When did facial hair come to equate home-grown evangelism and love of shotguns?
To calm my nerves, I signed onto Amazon.com. Prior to becoming dramatically unemployed, I used to treat myself every once in a while to some reasonably priced reading material from our Seattle savior. Naturally, they want you to buy more, so they suggest other books, based on viewing patterns, and, more importantly, purchasing records. That’s where I saw the Duck Commander Devotional, complete with a duck-themed camouflage cover. Now I think I finally understand. Reading the Bible for yourself (like Phil Robertson does) is too much trouble. It is easier to have the hirsute heroes of Louisiana tell you what the good book says. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like religion might be going to the birds.