I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I watched Duck Dynasty for the first time on Wednesday. It’s so popular in our area that it’s almost considered unpatriotic if you can’t carry on an intelligent conversation about the Robertson family. In fact, so many people at our church watch the show that I’m beginning to think we belong to a cult. My own son has been seen running around Wayne County wearing a Duck Dynasty t-shirt (causing me the same consternation Captain von Trapp felt in The Sound of Music when his children were seen hanging from trees in Salzburg wearing clothing made from old drapes).
Wednesday night A&E aired the long-awaited season premiere of the hit reality series. The Robertson family, operators of the Duck Commander business in West Monroe, Louisiana, began their fourth season by celebrating the anniversary of Phil and Miss Kay, who were married before a justice of the peace 49 years ago.
Phil told the judge, “We got our blood tests here that proves we don’t have any venereal diseases.”
The judge answered, “You got good, clean blood. You want her?”
To which the judge answered, “Give me $15.”
“That’s the best $15 I ever borrowed,” recalled Phil.
That’s no girl’s idea of a dream wedding, so Phil and Miss Kay’s daughters-in-law decided to throw them a surprise ceremony to renew their vows.
It fell on Uncle Si to keep Phil and Miss Kay busy the day of the wedding while the rest of the family prepared for the surprise ceremony. He invited them out for an anniversary ice cream run, but Phil was skeptical. “Let me get this right. My little brother, Silas Robertson, nekked up until he was 6 years old, offered to take us somewhere on our anniversary? And we’re actually going to do this?”
Miss Kay said, “He said ice cream. Won’t that be fun?”
Phil scoffed, “He ran nekked until he was 6 years old.” Phil spoke to the camera, “Supposedly he’s going to put us on an ice cream run. That’s what you do when you run out of things to do. Is that what he said, ice cream? Boy, I am fired up about that. That’s post-retirement. That’s almost the beginning stages of dementia, probably.”
Miss Kay tried to reassure her husband of 49 years: “It’s our anniversary today, so be happy, happy, happy!”
Phil intoned, “Oh, I’m happy, happy happy. Don’t doubt that. You and I ought to swing by the clinic.”
After they headed out on their little ice cream excursion, the rest of the clan began decorating for the big event. The Robertson “boys” were less than happy, happy, happy to be recruited for decorating duties.
Brother Jase could think of nothing except the fish calling to him from the nearby river. “If I don’t catch a fish soon I’m going to stab myself with a salad fork. Or a dinner fork. I really can’t tell the difference.”
Jase eventually escaped and cast his line in the river, only to be caught slacking off by his wife. His defense? Tell her how beautiful she is. “Never underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned compliment. Of course, if that doesn’t work, you need to have a good excuse as a Plan B. Plan C? Bribery. And then circle back to compliments. Works every time.”
This episode viewers were introduced to another brother, Alan, a (gasp!) clean-shaven blond who arrived to officiate the ceremony.
Willie said, “It may be weird to call the pastor the black sheep of the family but that’s what he is. The perfectly shorn black sheep of the Robertsons.” He added that “the smooth-faced man of God has a black belt in purple nurples.”
Meanwhile, Uncle Si was hauling Phil and Miss Kay all over town on a wild
duck goose chase, under the guise of a stroll down memory lane. But Si couldn’t quite find the special places he hoped would bring back youthful memories for Phil and Miss Kay.
Phil waxed poetic about Uncle Si’s problem: “A memory is just like an organ, like your spleen or maybe your kidney. You gotta exercise it every once in a while. Why do you think they call it ‘jogging’ your memory?”
He didn’t offer to demonstrate any kidney or spleen exercises, but you really can’t argue with that logic.
Eventually, Uncle Si delivered the couple to the wedding, where all the brothers were dressed in (somewhat modified) ill-fitting tuxedos, and finally it was time for the ceremony. The couple exchanged rings and pledged their love to one another for a second time.
Miss Kay: “From the time I was 14 years old, we’ve been through some good times and hard times. I loved you when we were poor and you were not so nice. Now you’re really nice and kind. All I can say about that is, I’m not going anywhere.”
It was a poignant moment in the ceremony, and Willie blurted out, “I’ve got a huge wedgie. I should have worn underwear.” TMI, Willie. TMI.
Phil continued, “Let’s see, Miss Kay. We’ve been running together since we were teenagers. The old blue Chevy. Si in the back. You’ve cooked me many a good meal. From your loins came four healthy, godly men. You are my best friend. And I love you dearly and I’m going to be here for the long haul until they put me in the ground. Good?”
Miss Kay: “Perfect. Our family is living proof that love can get you through anything.”
Before Phil could kiss the bride, Uncle Si interrupted: “I’ve been with this man all his life. It’s almost like we was brothers. I was in the back seat when these two right here went out on their first date. Here’s what I wish for you all, OK? I ask God to bless you both of you ‘cuz I love you and I know He does. And that you have a happy life together.”
Miss Kay giggled when Phil kissed her, and Pastor Alan closed the ceremony with a sweet prayer.
Is it any wonder America is in love with the Robertsons? Strong marriages, family values, faith. All the things missing from nearly everything else on TV these days.
Now that I see what all the Duck Dynasty hype is about, I confess that I may just become a fan. But I want to be clear that you will not see me running around Wayne County in Duck Dynasty gear (or anything in the cammo family, for that matter) and I won’t be asking my husband to grow a ZZ Top beard. I have standards, after all.