"That duck is goin' down," exclaimed a clearly perturbed Ben Affleck recently.
Ever since insurance giant 'AFLAC' began it's latest advertising campaign featuring a duck touting the virtues of insurance, Hollywood star, Ben Affleck, has noticed increased confusion in his fan base.
"It's a fact," said Affleck's agent assistant, Sinjin Spein, to media recently. "Affleck's Q-rating has slid since that 'Aflac'-spouting duck hit the scene."
"Don't get us wrong," continued Spein. "We love that duck as much as anyone. The ads are very creative, but enough is enough."
Affleck has experienced numerous difficulties in the last year. For instance, when his name is called for a table at a restaurant, the announcers pronounce his name just like that duck - "Aflac". Not "Affleck", but "Aflac". The same thing happens at airports and other departure related lounge venues.
"Maybe the duck has an unfortunate accident," says Affleck. "Auto, train, beheading - I'm sure he's covered."
Worst of all, some critics have begun comparing Affleck's acting to the 'Aflac' duck. "It really hurts," commented an unnamed friend of Affleck's. "Ben works hard at what he does and to be confused with, and in some cases, out-acted by a stupid duck, well, he's in pain."
Even his mail has been affected. Some fans address their mail to 'That duck guy'. Or they spell his name wrong: "To Ben Aflac", not "Affleck."
JLo could not be reached for comment about her fiance's identity crisis. However, insiders say that JLo offered to let Ben use her last name to get out of the conundrum. Although, experts agree, that's why PDiddy and that Chris guy dropped JLo. They didn't want to give up their names to marry the Latino diva.
"Our first step," said Affleck's spokesperson, "Is to get Aflac to put a disclaimer in their ads that this Aflac spouting duck is not saying "Affleck". There's legal jurisprudence supporting this position."
If that doesn't work, they want the duck to stop saying "Aflac". "Why can't that stupid duck spell it out instead," said Affleck's legal counsel. "How hard is that? 'Aflac' isn't a word - it's an acronym, for cripes sake. We fear Ben is on the verge of losing important acting roles if it doesn't stop." This same lawyer says that Ben's life has been a living hell for the past year or so. Being attached to JLo is merely coincidental, and not the cause of, Ben's problems. It's a 'duck issue', period.
"We understand even JLo has asked Ben to pronounce his last name like that duck during love making. Which occurs at last several times a week. "It's humiliating," offered Affleck's lawyer. "Funny, for sure. But humiliating nonetheless."
The argument that Ben Affleck has had the 'Affleck' name a lot longer than that duck has been shouting 'Aflac' is also considered a legally strong position by legal experts. Says legal commentator Alfen Dershbagowiz, "The strength of Affleck's position will rest on the long term use he has had of the pronunciation of his last name. That, and how much he's willing to spend on lawyers. I want to be on Affleck's team. With his money we could mount a very expensive case against Aflac that would drag on for years."
Perhaps worst of all is the internal identity crisis Affleck is going through. An insider says that he's got the JLo nuptials thing, he's constantly being compared to JLo's other suitors - all of which leaves him feeling disoriented and confused. And then there's all this stupid duck business which is making things worse, not better.
Stupid duck or not, the duck has meant big things to insurance megacorp Aflac and they won't back down easily. "We wanted to bridge our differences," said an Aflac spokesduck. "We thought it would be fun to have Ben and the duck both waiting for a restaurant seat. Every time the 'Affleck' name is called, the duck goes up and says 'Aflac' and vice versa. It's hilarious."
In response, insiders say Ben has taken up the dangerous sport of duck hunting. "He carry's his gun around the house, pretending to hunt, muttering stuff like, "Gonna get that duck. Gonna get me that crazy Aflac duck. Here, ducky-ducky-ducky." It's not clear what, if anything, this means, but they hope it isn't going to lead to some sort of terrible incident like of 'duckicide'.
Affleck (left) likes to keep his duck-slaying skills sharp.
"At the very least, perhaps," says Affleck's legal rep, "We think a 'Saturday Night Live' skit about the confusion would help put things in perspective. Or, maybe some sort of celebrity boxing thing where Ben and the duck duke it out. The winner gets either to keep spouting 'Aflac' or has to stop. It would be huge ratings for Fox. It would show Ben is a good sport and willing to work it out."
Meanwhile, it appears Affleck will continue to suffer the consequences of brand confusion. When asked about it directly, all we could make out were the words, "Duck off." It's sad to see such a big star in such an obvious state of crisis. Needless to say, things will not be described as 'just ducky' in the Affleck/JLo household until the problem is resolved.