People can be Terrible

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Okay, I’m in the middle of a ride a and have to get this off my chest. People, you don’t rule the world and can’t take a life indiscriminately.

I was just leaving my house today and was looking forward to a good ride. I coasted down the hill and there is a stop light. I looked up and saw a duck walking across the street ahead. A car turned the corner in front of me, maybe 50 meters from the duck.

The guy hesitated for a moment and then just floored it and hit the duck. Just a plum of feathers. I couldn’t believe it. Still can’t.

I started sprinting to catch up to the car, but when I got to the duck, it was still moving. I stopped, thinking there was something I could do. But , I just watched as the duck died there in the road.

A car stopped and asked me if the guy just hit the duck on purpose? I said yes and he said that was horrible. He wished me “a better day”.

I moved the duck to near the water it was going to. I couldn’t really do much more.

I can’t believe how upset I am. That duck was doing nothing wrong. Just walking to water. There was no reason to kill him other than just being a horrible, horrible person.

We, humans, can’t make ducks. If we can’t make them, then we shouldn’t be killing them for no reason. I doubt a duck would kill a human if it had the ability. I know that sounds crazy, but I am a little crazy right now.

Okay, I hope this rant helps a little. I am sort of sick at my stomach. What a way to ruin a nice bike ride.



46 thoughts on “People can be Terrible

  1. Mark Thomas

    I do not understand how some humans can be so cruel. I too have seen similar incidents from drivers and it saddens me. As painful as it is to see your post, I’m glad you shared.

  2. Blaine

    It’s really hard to understand all the cruelty that goes on in the world. It’s been going on since the creation and it will continue until we humans walk the earth no more.

  3. Will

    Rip little duck. Humans can be so disgusting.

    On an early morning ride I once saw a young fox pup looking/mourning over its sibling’s bloody body which had had been killed by a car. That image still haunts me to this day.

  4. Just Crusty

    Beautiful duck.
    It’s kind of embarrassing to of the same species as the driver of the truck.

  5. Just Crusty

    when I said “driver of the truck”, I ment to say “driver of the first car”.

  6. Dennis C

    Steve, the story you told was very sad. Unfortunately, we live in a country with far too many angry, miserable people. This is a national problem. Why are so many Americans prone to anger and violence ? Some countries seem to get it right i.e Denmark. The person who ran over the duck is a world class loser. I bet he is not well educated ,has a mind numbing, poor paying job, hates people who are different from himself (i.e. minorities, gays etc. ), hates President Obama and all levels of government and votes straight Republican if he bothers to vote at all. After all the GOP is the party of the haters.

  7. Bo

    A kindergarten teacher bullying a student, a dog attacking a 4-year old on a bike, someone purposely running over an animal…and that’s just in the last two days. Seems there something that makes me sick to my stomach everyday.

  8. Robert

    No he wouldn’t, he’d be too chicken shit to hurt something that could hurt him back.

  9. Jim Robinson

    Callous stupidity runs the world over I’m afraid. I live in rural New Zealand and have seen drivers make no attempt at all, when it was easy to do so, to avoid hitting pukeko and a weka — native flightless birds, the latter a protected species.

  10. Francisco Mancebo

    Humans will trend towards extinction, and we collectively deserve it

    only a mater of time

  11. Chris G

    I agree, Dennis C., that anger and violence are disproportionate in American culture. I live in the far gentler Canadian culture now, and can confirm this is true. This is a solid scale for comparison, and I have a lot of concern, compassion, and desire to affect the place positively. I believe that constant awareness and positive influence are my best contribution (particularly positive thinking, including gratitude). I only now engage in peaceful activities, entertainment, etc. What am I trying to say..? Let’s grow our compassion and gratitude to offset the negative energies in the field. Here’s some science to show it works if needed: The Transcendental Meditation organization’s study that significantly reduced crime during a hot Washington D.C.’s summer:
    Thanks, Steve.

  12. Wildcat

    Mallards are so beautiful.

    Here’s one duck hunter that says the driver of that truck has some bad karma coming his way.

    What a fucking dick head.

  13. Scott Cahow

    I was riding Tuesday evening and in the space of a few miles came across two big female snapping turtles crushed on the road. It ruined the ride for me, just to think how these creatures had been casually snuffed out by someone behind the wheel of a car. We all need to remember at this time of year there is more wildlife “on foot”, guarding their nests, foraging for food, or looking for a better place across the road to lay their eggs.

  14. channel_zero

    I bet he is not well educated

    Don’t make the mistake of assuming the worst. The driver has as much chance of being a “successful” (defined any way you like) as the negative traits assigned.

    Blood lust is is a useful human resource. It makes it very easy to win the competition for scarce resources if you are perfectly okay ending a life. I don’t live like that, but we all have experienced it to a lesser degree.

  15. Bob kennedy

    Nice piece, Mr Tilford.
    I think we are a nation of knuckle draggers that has been desensitized by the constant churning of pulp media. Why I haven’t owned a TV since the early 1980s.

  16. Clay Moseley

    That really sucks, Steve. It sucks that it happened and that you had to witness that. Things like that are disturbing and you don’t ever really get over it. I agree with the sentiments that this must be one miserable and disturbed person.

  17. Linda

    Several teenagers in my town herded up some Canda geese and then ran them down with their car. Planned and deliberate, no remorse shown. There are sick people out there.

  18. vt guy

    Really disturbing. The driver’s behavior is a manifestation of self-loathing, and I’m glad that I don’t have to live his (cuz it’s probably a guy ) life. Mostly I’m hate to see a beautiful creature senselessly distroyed.

  19. H Luce

    Before I removed my backyard pool, I had a couple of mallards, one male, one female who came regularly every year about the same time – last year it was April 27th to the 29th – and I took some pictures of them. ( They mate for life, I hope they were well on their way to their summer quarters and it wasn’t one of them. Too bad you didn’t get that asshole’s plate number or a good description of his car – what you described is known as Felony Cruelty to Animals, and in addition to 3 years in Lansing, gets the offender a place on the Registered Sex Offender List for the rest of their life…

  20. Doug P

    What do your comments have to do with a Duck being murdered? It appears that you are so bigoted toward the GOP, you can’t get past your own ignorance and hatred. Personally I am well educated, but it has absolutely no bearing on whether or not I’m a dick. People are people and you choose to either be happy or not. I don’t like our President, but I certainly don’t hate him. I’m also friends with many Gay folks. I ride with small groups; both straight and gay, a couple of times a week. They are my Friends. I really don’t care what they do behind closed doors. As far as the Duck goes, it’s really sad that a person could do such a thing. I’ve seen them do it to cyclists too.

  21. joe

    I had a Teammate hit and killed when a driver crossed over into his lane and ran him over at about 60 mph! Continue on into an orchard where he turned around and sped off not even looking to see if he killed him or not…still have not caught this guy….psychopaths are out there unfortunately some of them drive cars.

  22. Alex


    Unfortunately, your post tells us a great deal more about you than it does about the driver of the truck who killed the duck. You sound like an angry person yourself.

    As a lifelong Republican and nature lover, who doesn’t care for Obama, I have been known to pull over and move tortoises to the side of the road they are moving to.

    Here’s to hoping that someday you’ll be as open minded as you think are.

  23. peter k

    Assholes like that driver don”t deserve the right to possess a drivers license. I’ll bet that he thought it was fun to play chicken with the duck. I wonder how he would feel if he played chicken with me in my 80,000 lbs truck…… RIP MALLARD DUCK….

  24. jprum

    I do not like Obama, have no tust of our government and am conservative. I wouldn’t kill an animal I didn’t intend on eating. You call out a group for hate but your rant was full of hate. That’s the problem with Liberals they only like those that think like them. That’s not very liberal of them. This country was founded on the ideals of us being able to think and do what we want. As long as we aren’t hurting others live and let live no matter what you think of them.

  25. william stevenson

    A good childhood friend of mine had a father who was retired military. He was also a no holds barred certified hard ass. When I was 11 years old I was invited to attend a 49ers game with the two of them. On the way to the game an oncoming car hit and killed a small terrier. I think that it was an accident and largely unavoidable. The dog came across the to our side of the road. His dad pulled the car over. He carried the dog out of the roadway and demonstrated a level of compassion that I had never seen from the guy. The dog had a tag with a phone number and we drove back down the road to find a phone booth. Instead of seeing the football game we returned the body of the dog to it’s owner and helped to bury the dog in their backyard.

  26. mike crum

    steve, guess you didnt get the license plate?? as a part time farmer/helper, we have lakes creeks ponds and a river close by. animals everywhere.. and as a counry boy, and a big tough one, i’d like to do nothing other that find that guy and beat him silly..violence is the answer sometimes..

  27. The Cyclist

    The most embarassing bullshit ever written about cycling. Who is this Christina douche bag at That guy should run her over instead of harassing innocent ducks.

  28. Chris G

    I remembered the license plate subject after commenting yesterday. I have an old rim with a bullet hole in it from back in the Texas days. In that case the license plate was right in front of me and in my surprise I didn’t read it. For me now, it’s a very careful balance of expecting peace and safety (which creates more of same) yet having at hand the skill set to read the plate first if anything happens. I’ve only needed to do it a couple of times in my life, but on the second time I read it, and it served.

  29. Andy B

    To offer a different perspective, I was involved in a high speed accident last year because traffic had come to a sudden, dead stop on the highway to let a duck cross. I was rear ended by someone who was not ready to slam on their breaks. No one was seriously injured but the duck died anyway. In that case, the driver slamming to a stop put other people’s lives in danger. Sometimes just driving straight through is the smart, safe (albeit unfortunate) move.

  30. Ron C

    Do any of you swat mosquitoes? Swat flies? Have Terminex spray for termites around your house? If so, and you are upset about the duck, then you are a hypocrite.

    I agree that purposefully killing the duck for no reason was a moronic act but for that to be a “felony” in which you have to register as a “sex offender” in Lansing tells me that Lansing is one fucked up place! Unfortunately that is the kind of crap that being “well educated” gets you these days.

    Death is as natural as being alive. The duck could have made it across the road and have been killed/eaten by a fox, coyote, hawk or some other predator. As it stands, some scavenger will likely come along and eat its carcass thus allowing that creature to live until something kills/eats it.

  31. Ron C

    How many of you “Steve included” hit/kill countless numbers of insects by driving along while they literally explode against your windshields? Oh, but that’s different right? Whatever! It literally IS the same fucking thing! You KNOW that it IS going to happen when you get in your car and drive down the road! You are taking the life of a LIVING creature that is just trying to get through life while minding its own business!

    I guess what I really want to say is harden the fuck up a little! You all sound like a bunch of little girls.

    Steve, was the duck still alive? If so, the biggest favor you could have done the thing would have been to stomp its fucking head to put it out of its misery and go on with your ride.

  32. Karen

    That would have ruined my whole week. I don’t understand that kind of cruel behavior.

    And Ron C., killing insects as you drive your car is not even close to the same thing. Maybe some cyclists should HTFU up a little but you should pull your head out of your ass. Seriously.

  33. Ron C

    Ok Karen, how is it not the same thing? Because a duck is cute and cuddly looking? Is a duck’s life worth more than a mosquito’s? How can you justify that? Who are you to say what a given life is worth? If you are honest with yourself “which I don’t expect you to be” you will admit that I am right “which you undoubtedly will not”.

  34. Karen

    Ron C., you are completely missing my point. It’s not the same thing because the guy hitting the duck went out of his way to brutally kill the duck. He intended for the duck to die. That’s very different from driving your vehicle and killing bugs with the windshield. You are not right at all, Ron C. Far from it.


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