Friday, March 14, 2008

Duck Boobs ... er, I mean Duck Babes

Last night I went to a duck dinner. You know the kind I'm talking about - a fundraiser for insert-hunting-organization-here where you get dinner, booze and the chance to spend tons more money than you planned to trying to win cool shotguns, hunting art and gear.

This was my third duck dinner, so what happened when I walked into the dining hall really should have been no surprise at all. I began scanning to see if Boyfriend had arrived yet, and within seconds, I saw it.

The raffle-ticket girls were wearing skimpy little police and firefighter outfits, in honor of the event's theme, Guns-n-Hoses, with some of proceeds going to public safety causes. As one of the girls in a blue cop outfit turned around, it was like watching the powerful beacon of a lighthouse swinging my way.

Boobs. Really big boobs, busting out of a very small, barely buttoned shirt.

I laughed out loud. Dang.

OK, so I must confess, ostentatious displays of bodacious tatas do make me just a tad uncomfortable - not because I'm a prude, not because I'm judgmental, not because I'm a feminist. It's just that when a girl is effectively wearing a billboard that says "Look at my boobs," it's really hard not to look. And it's bad enough watching full-grown men fall all over themselves staring at women's chests without going and doing it myself. Hello! I'm not a lesbian! But sorry, I just can't stop looking.

The first time I went to a duck dinner, I had to ask Boyfriend, "What is up with the hoochie mamas?" He didn't know - it was his first duck dinner too. But he wasn't complaining.

The next time we went to a duck dinner, we were there with an old family friend, so I asked again, "Jim, what's up with the duck babes?"

"Well, you know," he said, "there are two things that separate men from their money: booze and women."

I certainly couldn't argue with that. That's just good marketing. The fact that men tend to lose all common sense around pretty women is actually pretty useful, not to mention deeply entertaining.

That little conversation put everything in perspective for me, so now I enjoy watching the duck babes work the room, raking in literally thousands of dollars for the organization.

My friend Hellen, the huntress in training, and Boyfriend arrived shortly after I did last night, and it wasn't long before one of the duck babes - this one in a firefighter outfit - approached us to see if we wanted to buy tickets.

We engaged her in conversation about our best odds for winning a gun, and I don't remember exactly how it came up, but we learned that our duck babe, Nicole, is a student at San Jose State, carrying a whopping 21 units in an effort to graduate ASAP. Hellen, Boyfriend and I all teach at Sacramento State, and we're pretty familiar with an appropriate courseload, so we told her she's nuts.

I told Nicole about my fascination with the duck-babe phenomenon. She told me she comes from a hunting family, and even does a little hunting herself. She just works as a duck babe from time to time to bring in a little extra income, even though some people in her family give her a bit of a ribbing about it.

As the night wore on and I watched her work the room, selling tickets and hoisting up auction items for all to see. The best part was the "Lock, Stock & Bottle" sale, where they auction off an ordinary bottle of booze for a couple hundred bucks, and the winning bidder is entered in a drawing for a gun.

As Nicole paraded around the room holding up a Browning shotgun in one hand and an enormous bottle of Ketel One vodka in the other, I found myself telling Boyfriend, "Oh, look at her, she's so cute!"

It was the same tone I use when talking about our kitten, Giblet. Good grief, I was getting all motherly, like she was one of my students or something.

Now I had to laugh at myself.

But that's fine. I could get upset. I could rail against the objectification of young women. I could cry, "Equal rights for huntresses!" and demand beefcake raffle-ticket boys. But in reality, it's no big deal - it's all for a good cause.

And besides, this girl actually hunts.

You go, girl!

© Holly A. Heyser 2008


Blessed said...

Marketing at its best usually reveals human nature's worst tendencies - hey, if boobs help raise money to save wetlands and the ducks who am I to complain?

NorCal Cazadora said...

LOL! And honestly, it's hard for me to even get upset about the "worst tendencies" part because it's just basic biology.

And hey, if you're beautiful enough to make money off your beauty, bully for you!

Kristine said...

I'd say kudos to her for capitalizing on her assets, so to speak. Sounds like she's working for a good cause, and there are certainly worse things that sex and beauty have been used to sell.

I still vote for beefcake ticket boys though.

Phillip said...

You know, the duck babes have been part of these events ever since I started attending them 20-odd years ago. They always sell me more raffle tickets than I can afford, especially after I've had a chance to go to the bar.

Until I read this blog, I never realized what it was that made me spend more on raffle tickets for a chance to win a gun than it would cost to just go out and buy the gun straight out... now I get it! It was the boobs!

Albert A Rasch said...


(Albert squirms uncomfortably and figures that anything he write will likely be misconstrued, then decides its best not to do anything...)

Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles